A Hamilton County General Sessions Court judge is hanging up his robe on Friday, after nearly four decades. 

Judge Clarence Shattuck, who is 83 years old, took the oath of office in 1982. He shared some of his thoughts with Channel 3 as he wraps up 36 years on the bench.

“Got a letter just the other day from a guy who said, ‘you put me in jail. I served 30 days at the workhouse. I haven't been in trouble since you changed my life,’” Judge Shattuck recalled.

The daily work in a courtroom could seem like drudgery, but Judge Shattuck never looked at it that way. He embraced the move from attorney to judge and he took that role seriously.

“The most difficult thing is trying to decide what the truth is and we don't have a jury in our court so many times it boils down to the judge making that determination,” says Judge Shattuck.

The goodbyes and accolades have been pouring in as colleagues and others in the legal community say goodbye.

Now Judge Shattuck is making plans for his time off the bench. The Soddy Daisy basketball standout of the 1950's is returning to a different court.

“I've already made my reservations both room and airline to go play basketball in Albuquerque in June,” says Judge Shattuck. “I'm in the senior games. We've played almost 20 years together.”

Shattuck says he prefers to shoot 3-pointers because they count more. However, this longtime defender of justice knows what counts most. 

“No question it's an honor to have been in this position, especially as long as I have,” says Judge Shattuck.

Wednesday, the Hamilton County Commission voted to appoint local attorney Gerald Webb to replace Judge Shattuck until the end of his term in 2022. Webb will be the first African American to hold a judgeship in Hamilton County Courts.