Tennessee State Courts
The Tennessee judicial system comprises of three federal district courts which make up a part of the federal court system of the USA. Within the state, there are a number of limited and general jurisdiction courts in which most trials originate. There is also a court of criminal appeals, a state court of appeals and finally a supreme court which hears appeals from many of the courts below.
The district courts in Tennessee are divided into districts. Any appeals will go to the 6th circuit of the federal system, these districts are:
- Eastern District of Tennessee
- Middle District of Tennessee
- Western District of Tennessee
There are also bankruptcy courts in the district covering each of the same regions, these deal exclusively with issues around bankruptcy and bankruptcy laws.
The trial court system of Tennessee is relatively complex compared to some other states. The Chancery Courts cover each of the 31 districts of Tennessee, and share general jurisdiction with the Circuit Courts.
Criminal Courts specifically deal with crime trials, and misdemeanor appeals from lower courts can be referred to these. Not all of the districts have one of these courts, 13 of 31 feature Criminal Courts, but the Tennessee Circuit Courts take the job in those where there is not.
Tennessee has Probate Courts to deal with wills and estates, to free up the other courts to not have to deal with these issues.
There are also a number of Courts of limited jurisdiction, which have include a juvenile court for issues relating to people 17 and under, and a Municipal Court which deals with issues within city limits including traffic and small misdemeanors.
|Tennessee Supreme Court
|401 Seventh Avenue North Nashville, TN 37219-1407
Intermediate and Supreme Courts
There are a number of intermediate courts, too, for appeals to be heard from the circuit courts.
There is a Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals which acts as the appellate court for specific criminal cases. It has been in operation since the 1960s. Civil court cases are not heard here, and instead are heard within the Tennessee Court of Appeals, a separate entity.
There is also the court of last resort in Tennessee, the Tennessee Supreme Court was founded in the 1800s and has five judges sitting. The court can deal with cases referred up the chain from the courts below this in the hierarchy if needed, though most appeals are dealt with by the specific appeal courts.
Types of Courts in Tennessee
How to Find Tennessee Court Records Online
Are you looking to find specific records from a Tennessee court case? You can use our search tool to find information from many of the cases to take place in the state. The Tennessee Open Records Act provides free access to the details of these court cases for citizens, and our search allows you to find case records by surname or case numbers.