Every county in Tennessee has a General Sessions Court. These are limited jurisdiction courts for the state, and each varies by state laws and private acts. General Sessions Courts process both criminal and civil cases.
The types of cases handled by General Sessions Courts are tort cases, landlord/tenant disputes, mental health matters, small claims of up to $25,000, domestic issues, such as divorce, child custody, and child support. These courts also see cases involving juvenile delinquency, preliminary hearings for felonies, misdemeanors, traffic, and other local ordinance violations. These courts do not hold jury trials, only bench trials where the judge decides.
Some General Sessions judges also serve as Juvenile judges except in counties that have a special Juvenile Court. General Sessions Court judges are elected into office, and they serve eight-year terms. Six full-time Court Clerks serve the General Sessions Courts. There is an alphabetical list of them on the judicial branch website for Tennessee.
Along with a list of all the judges in General Sessions Court and the court clerks, they have dozens of forms to download for cases tried in these courts. Additionally, the Tennessee State Courts website also has a self-help section for self-represented litigants who need forms, guides, or other legal assistance when navigating the court process. Each judge is listed on the website with a search form and a full biography. Court Clerk’s information is also listed along with an email address for any questions the public or patrons of the court may have. There is news listed on the website too for all types of courts in all districts and counties. The help-center is organized by case type court designation. There are also specialized courts to help veterans and people with drug and alcohol addictions.