The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Jeannie Roberts first reported news of an Arkansas Court of Appeals ruling that had the result of leaving a juvenile court judge on the state Child Maltreatment Registry.

In the case of W.N. versus the Department of Human Services , the court of appeals said Wednesday that the plaintiff, identified only as W.N., sought to be removed from the registry. He was placed there after the death of his 17-month-old son, forgotten in a hot car almost three years ago. W.N., as the newspaper article indicated — but also confirmed by my sources — is Circuit Judge Wade Naramore of Hot Springs.


Naramore was placed on the registry by the State Police after a finding of neglect by inadequate supervision. A jury acquitted him of a negligent homicide charge in the death in which he said he’d had an inexplicable lapse of memory.

Placement on the list can sometimes affect employment.  Organizations that have children in their care, such as schools and day care organizations can find out about such placements in screening.


Naramore lost appeals of the listing to both an administrative law judge and then Pulaski Circuit Court. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court in an opinion that said evidence was sufficient to justify a finding of “neglect by inadequate supervision.”

Neither Naramore nor his lawyer have commented on the case since its inception.


Would placement on the registry affect a judge’s ability to hear juvenile delinquency cases, as Naramore does? In this case, no.

That question is believed to have been under review by a judicial discipline agency in Arkansas after Naramore was acquitted, but the investigation was closed after the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that Naramore could return to the bench after his acquittal. The Supreme Court said, however, that he could not hear abuse and neglect cases. The Supreme Court was aware of the pending issue over listing on the maltreatment registry, but placed no further limitation on Naramore’s ability to handle cases involving children.

The facts of Naramore’s case could provide fodder for others contesting placement on the registry in the future.