Views of Hamilton County
Blue Rounded Corner
DIVISION I ... Christie Mahn Sell, JUDGE

DIVISION II ... David Bales, JUDGE

DIVISION III ... Clarence Shattuck, JUDGE

DIVISION IV ... Lila Statom, JUDGE

DIVISION V ... Gary W. Starnes, JUDGE


Larry L. Henry, Clerk

The Court of General Sessions, Civil Division is a court of limited jurisdiction. A person may represent himself without an attorney. A corporation filing suit must have an attorney.

  
The following cases may be filed in Sessions Court on a Civil Warrant. These suits may not exceed $25,000.00. Suits above this amount must be filed in Circuit Court.
  • Open accounts
  • Contracts
  • Notes
  • Damages
       
These suits may be filed for an unlimited amount.
  • Replevins
  • Detainers
  • Detinues

The clerk must have an original civil warrant and a copy for each defendant to file a suit. An additional civil warrant is required for service out of county or out of state. All cost on civil warrants are prepaid unless a pauper’s oath is filed. The warrant must include the following information:

  • The plaintiff’s name, address and phone number
  • The defendant’s name, home address and work address
  • The attorney’s name, address, and attorney’s number
  • The type of action and the amount of the suit
  • Both sides of the warrant must have the same style

Civil warrants served by the Secretary of State must be accompanied by a $20.00 check payable to the Secretary of State. Civil warrants served by the Commissioner of Insurance must be accompanied by a $15.00 check payable to the Commissioner of Insurance. Civil warrants served out of county must have a $28.00 check payable to the sheriff of the county doing the service.

The hearing on cases served out of county or by a private process server are set in advance of service by the clerk. All other hearings are set by the deputy at the time of service. The clerk is not required to send notification of any court dates. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to call the clerk’s office to confirm service and the court date.

There are no jury trials in Sessions Court. It is not a court of record and all judgments are rendered by the Judge.

A thirty day notice, or 10 day notice if Rent is weekly, must be given to the tenant before a detainer warrant can be issued, unless lease states otherwise. Writs of possession may not be issued until the eleventh day from the judgment date. When a plaintiff is given a judgment for possession of the property on a detainer warrant, it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to request the writ of possession. Arrangements for service are made through the Sheriff’s Department. The plaintiff is responsible for removing any possessions left by the tenant from the property.

An appeal on a judgment must be filed within ten days after the judgment is rendered. The cost of Appeal is $209.50. A garnishment can be issued on the eleventh day after the judgment date. A wage garnishment is effective for six months. Personal checks cannot be accepted on garnishments.

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