General Session Civil Court
Civil Cases (Small Claims)
- Limit $25,000 or less
- Judgment final after ten days
- Individual may represent self.
- Corporations must have an attorney.
- You must provide the parties name and address to file a case.
- Advanced court cost required at time of filing.
- Court cost will be taxed by the Judge at the conclusion of your case.
A civil warrant is used to obtain a money judgment from someone for an amount owed or damages not to exceed $25,000.
Action to Recover Personal Property
An Action to Recover Personal Property is used to recover your property if someone has it and will not return it.
This is used to evict someone from your property (house, lot, mobile home, apartment). You must first give the tenant a 30 day written notice to move, unless specified in lease agreement. You may also request a money judgment for back rent and damages.
Writ of Possession
This is used after a judgment is final on an Action to Recover or a Detainer Warrant and the other party has not returned your property or if the other party has not vacated your property.
If you do not agree with the outcome on your court hearing, you may file an appeal bond within ten days of the judgment. If you do not have an attorney, you may want to obtain counsel to help you prepare the appeal bond. A bond fee will apply.
Execution by Levy or Garnishment
Judgments for money may be enforced by execution (T.C.A. 26-1-103). This is used to collect judgments that are final and no appeal has been filed. Judgments in General Sessions Court are final after ten days. You may garnish a person's wages or levy on anything of value they own (bank account, automobile, etc.). It is your responsibility to obtain this information before filing the appropriate paperwork. Each defendant is entitled to file a personal property exemption up $10,000 which may include items of personal property in his possession and money and funds on deposit with a bank or other financial institution up to $10,000 (T.C.A. 26-2-102).
Petition to Pay By Installments
After a judgment has been rendered in court and the time to appeal has elapsed, without such an appeal having been made, a Petition to Pay By Installments may be filed with the court and set for hearing. You must appear in court and the judge will determine the payment amount based on the information you have provided. This payment agreement will stay the issuance of a garnishment as long as your payments are current.
The Credit Bureau obtains judgment amounts from this office that do appear on credit reports.
We do not accept personal checks. Individuals may pay with a cashiers check, money order, credit/debit card (processing fee will apply) or cash.
Deputy Clerks CANNOT give legal advice. They will file your paperwork, but they cannot advise you on what action you should take. You should consult an attorney for legal advice.
After Hours Filing Information
For your convenience, an after hours filing box is located at the Justice Center in the jail visitation area. If a filing fee is required, you will be contacted the next business day regarding payment.