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Judicial

Tennessee's 11th Judicial District covers Hamilton County and consists of four courts and two attorneys. Two courts of limited jurisdiction are also included here.

Chancery Court

Chancellor Pam McNutt Fleenor, Part I
Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton, Part II

The chancery court covers civil cases of an equitable nature, including conflicts over property, financial assets, debt and contracts.

There is some overlap between chancery and circuit courts in Tennessee. Where a civil case is filed typically depends on the amount of money involved, the nature of the case, and the preference of the filing attorneys.

For chancery court records, contact the master and clerk's office at (423)209-6600.

Circuit Court

Judge JB Bennett, Division 1
Judge Jeff Hollingsworth, Division 2
Judge Marie Williams, Division 3
Judge Neil Thomas, Division 4

The circuit court covers a wide range of civil cases, including suits for damages, contractual disputes, domestic relations cases and worker's compensation.

Because it has general jurisdiction, the circuit court plays an all-purpose role in the judicial system in Hamilton County. If the jurisdiction of a case is unclear or isn't explicitly assigned to another court, it is heard in circuit court.

For circuit court records, contact the circuit court clerk's office at (423)209-6700.

Criminal Court

Judge Barry Steelman, Division 1
Judge Rebecca Stern, Division 2
Judge Don Poole, Division 3

The criminal court presides over criminal cases involving felonies and misdemeanors.

Criminal court hears cases in which a grand jury has returned an indictment or presentment. It also serves as a court of appeal for misdemeanor cases.

For criminal court records, contact the criminal court clerk's office at (423)209-7500.

General Sessions Court

Judge Christie Mahn Sell, Division 1
Judge David Bales, Division 2
Judge Clarence Shattuck, Division 3
Judge Lila Statom, Division 4
Judge Gary Starnes, Division 5

General sessions court is a court of limited jurisdiction that covers civil disputes and criminal misdemeanors.

The court hears civil cases in which the damages are estimated to be below $25,000. The court's criminal jurisdiction is limited to preliminary hearings for felonies and misdemeanors in which the defendant has waived the right to a trial by jury.

General sessions judges in Hamilton County hold mental health hearings from 29 surrounding counties. They also issue restraining orders.

For general sessions court records, contact the offices of the circuit court clerk or criminal court clerk.

Juvenile Court

Judge Robert Philyaw

Juvenile court is a court of limited jurisdiction that covers cases involving minors alleged to be delinquent, unruly, dependent or neglected. The court presides over cases involving child support, paternity, visitation and absentee parents.

For juvenile court records, contact the juvenile court clerk's office at (423)209-5100.

District Attorney

District Attorney Neal Pinkston

The district attorney prosecutes criminal cases before the general sessions and criminal courts, and he prosecutes juvenile delinquency cases brought before juvenile court.

The district attorney conducts preliminary hearings and assists the grand jury by subpoenaing witnesses and preparing documents and indictments.

The district attorney also works alongside local law enforcement in major felony investigations.

Public Defender

Public Defender Steven Smith

The public defender provides legal counsel to people who are accused of crimes and cannot afford a private attorney.

He counsels, advises and represents indigent clients on pre-trial matters, trials and appeals in criminal and general sessions courts. The office also represents minors in juvenile court.

A court's judge determines if a defendant qualifies to be represented by the public defender.