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Civil Warrants Division

Warrants group photo

When Sheriff Hall assumed office in 2002, he wanted to take a close look at the Civil Warrant Division to ensure it was running as efficiently as possible.  A computer program and a reporting system were developed to track warrants and evaluate the officers’ and staff’s performance individually. In addition to service of civil process, the Warrant Division serves orders of protection and various criminal subpoenas and summons. The result is a division which manages and serves more than 220,000 warrants annually.

Evictions

Warrant being servedDetainer Warrant:The leading process of General Sessions Court, used by a plaintiff in order to regain possession of his/her real property from a defendant, usually one who has failed to pay rent. This warrant has a 30-day limit and the Court date is to be set at least six days from the date of service.

Writ of Restitution:  This writ is issued after the plaintiff receives judgment on a detainer warrant. When the writ is issued, it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to contact the Warrants Division to coordinate the eviction details. The Sheriff is responsible for ensuring the peaceful transfer of possession of the real property to the plaintiff. The service of this process must be made within 20 days of issue.

Writ of Possession:  This writ directs the Sheriff to take possession of the property from the defendant and return it to the plaintiff, provided that the plaintiff is present to take possession. The officer is to serve the writ, much like a writ of restitution, on the defendant to ensure the peaceful transfer of possession of the real property to the plaintiff. This writ must be completed within 30 days of the date of issue.

Sale of seized property

Execution/Levy:  This marks the end of the action, which orders that the judgment be satisfied by seizing real property and/or money. This warrant can be issued by itself or along with a writ of restitution. When property is seized, it must be protected and properly accounted for via an inventory process. The property is then stored in a secure and licensed storage facility pending further action, i.e., a Sheriff’s sale. When money is collected, it must be in the form of cash, money order, or a certified cashier’s check. In either case, a copy of the inventory or receipt is issued to the defendant for his/her records. Executions must be complete within 30 days of the date of issue.

Domestic Papers

Two people discussing warrantBody Attachment:  A Court order empowering the Sheriff to bring the body of an individual to jail or before the Court.

Personal Service:  The handing of papers to a designated individual or person associated with the individual. In certain cases, service is completed when the individual has been informed of the pending Court action. Mail, fax, or telephone are all acceptable methods of personal service.

Child Custody Order:  An order by a Court to return custody of a child to the plaintiff. This order must be signed by a Tennessee judge if originated in another state.

Ex-Parte Order of Protection:  An order for the respondent to appear in Court and tell his/her side of the situation to the judge.

How to File a Civil Paper:  If you wish to file a paper yourself, as a plaintiff or agent in Davidson County, you must…:

  1. Go to the General Sessions Court Clerk’s Office, 408 2nd Avenue, North Suite 2120 Nashville, TN 37201 , (phone 615-862-5195).
  2. Blank warrants, information forms, and guidance will be furnished to you but no legal advice will be given.  You will be charged a filing fee.
  3. Be sure all of the information on the defendant is correct and complete, including phone numbers, a work address and employer name if possible.
  4. In most cases, the warrant will be sent by the Clerk’s office to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office for service. You set your own court date, as long as that date gives the officer a reasonable amount of time to effectively serve the papers to the defendant. It is important for you to include a current phone number for yourself so you can be notified of the Court date.

For more information on warrants, please visit our FAQ page.