In Which Court am I Supposed to be...,

Criminal Courts

  • Criminal Court
Criminal Court handles cases involving assault, embezzlement, murder, robbery, and other such criminal acts.

  • General Sessions Criminal Court
General Sessions Criminal Court maintains the records and funds for the General Sessions Civil Court, General Sessions Criminal Court, Drug Court, Shelby County Traffic Court and Shelby County's Environmental Court.

Civil Courts
  • Chancery Court
  • Chancery Court is a superior court of general original jurisdiction of all cases of an equitable nature. These cases include, but are not limited to:
    • Actions between partners
    • Actions for an accounting
    • Actions for breach of contract
    • Actions for enforcement of liens
    • Actions for equitable attachment and appointment of receivers
    • Actions for injunctive relief
    • Actions for specific performance
    • Actions resulting from fraud
    • Actions resulting from trusts
    • Actions to remove clouds and/or quiet title

Pursuant to certain specific state statutes, Chancery Court also has concurrent jurisdiction with Circuit Court to hear other types of actions, such as the following:
  • Adoptions
  • Declaratory judgments
  • Delinquent tax sales
  • Divorces
  • Enforcement of arbitration awards
  • Habeas corpus
  • Mandamus
  • Public nuisances
  • Removal of public officers
  • Replevins
  • Usury
  • Worker’s compensation
Note: Chancery Court does not have jurisdiction to hear actions for injuries to person or character and injuries to property not resulting from a breach of contract.

  • Circuit Court

Circuit Court is a court of general jurisdiction consisting of nine judges presiding over nine divisions. The court hears a variety of civil cases, including:
    • Appeals from lower courts
    • Auto accident
    • Condemnation
    • Divorce
    • Medical malpractice
    • Minor settlement
    • Personal injury
    • Worker's compensation
    • Wrongful death

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners funds the circuit court clerk's office, along with revenue generated by fees for service, as directed by the Tennessee Code Annotated. The clerks of Circuit Court accept the filing of lawsuits, create case files, and input data to our court management computer system.

Circuit Court continues to monitor new cases by accepting additional pleadings and filings, and scheduling cases for motions, hearings, and trials. Approximately 6,000 cases are filed annually.

  • General Session Civil Court
General Sessions Civil Court maintains the records and funds for the General Sessions Civil Court, It has jurisdiction in the following actions:

    • Civil Cases up to $25,000
    • Forcible entry detainer actions (evictions)
    • Action to recover personal property
    • Emergency mental commitments
    • Denial petitions for handgun permits
    • Drug Dealer eviction program

  • Probate Court
Probate Court oversees the following:
    • Conservatorships
    • Corrections to birth certificates
    • Guardianships
    • Judicial hospitalization under the Mental Health Law
    • Name changes
    • Passports
    • Wills and Estates

Courts of other Jurisdiction

  • Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court
Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court has eight courtrooms where juvenile and child support cases are heard. It is responsible for overseeing Juvenile justice initiatives including:
    • Assessment screening for juveniles detained for serious offenses
    • Evaluation referrals for youth affected by mental health issues and substance abuse

Criminal Court Home