Knowledge — 7 months ago

Tennessee Judicial System

by Eddie V.

Tennessee Judicial System, Judicial System

Tennessee Judicial System and Court System: How Does it Work?

Tennessee Organization of the courts

The Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Court of Criminal Appeal, Chancery Courts, Circuit Courts, Criminal Courts, Probate Courts, General Sessions Courts, Juvenile Courts, and Municipal Courts form the judicial system in the state of Tennessee. The Chief Justice holds the highest position of the judicial system in the state. The Administrative Director handles all the related administrative matters.

Tennessee Supreme Court

In the state of Tennessee, the highest court is the Supreme Court. It has four associate judges and the chief justice. The Supreme Court meets in Knoxville, Jackson, and Nashville.

The Supreme Court usually does not hear witnesses or examine the evidence. It takes decisions based on arguments, and records of the lower courts. Cases that involve capital punishment and also where a law or constitutional provision is invalid would be heard by the Supreme Court.

They also interpret laws and the provisions of the state constitution. As a part of the legal education program, the court also sits in other locations to allow students to be able to attend the Supreme Court’s proceedings.

Tennessee Judicial System
Tennessee Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals is the appellate court that hears all appeals related to civil cases. It has 12 members who sit as panels of three. Appeals against the decision of the court of appeals may be made to the Supreme Court. The court decides cases based on written briefs and oral arguments.

Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

The Court of Criminal Appeals hears all appeals of criminal cases. It has 12 judges who sit in panels of 3 members each to decide on requests. Appeals are heard through briefs and arguments. Decisions of this court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Tennessee Chancery Court

The Chancery Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction. There is one chancery court in each of the 31 judicial districts of the state. The Judge of this court is called a chancellor and is elected for an 8-year term.

Tennessee Circuit Court

The Circuit Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction. There is one circuit court in each of the 31 judicial districts of the state. The Judge of this court is elected for an 8-year term. The court’s jurisdiction overlaps with that of the Chancery court.

Tennessee Criminal Court

The Criminal Court is a trial court handling criminal cases. There is a criminal court in 13 of the 31 judicial districts of the state. Where there is no criminal court, the cases are heard by the circuit court.

Judicial System

Tennessee Chancery Court

The Chancery Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction. There is one chancery court in each of the 31 judicial districts of the state. The Judge of this court is called a chancellor and is elected for an 8-year term.

Tennessee Probate Court

This court deals with matters related to wills, trusts, adoptions, etc. Probate courts are present only in Davidson and Shelby counties.

Tennessee General Sessions Court

The General sessions court hears only preliminary criminal cases and has limited jurisdiction.

Tennessee Juvenile Court

The Juvenile Court handles cases related to minors.

Tennessee Municipal Court

The Municipal Court handles cases related to local city ordinances.

Tennessee Federal system

Like in all other states of the country, there are two judicial systems, one is the Tennessee system of justice as per the state Constitution. The other is the Federal system, as per the US Constitution. Federal courts handle issues related to Federal law. There are a total of six Federal courts in the state of Tennessee. Any appeals against the judgment of these courts are filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th circuit.


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