Private Acts: Court System — Juvenile Court

The Juvenile Court Restructure Act of 1982, as amended, is codified in Tennessee Code Annotated §§37-1-201 through 37-1-214.  Its purpose is to provide adequate juvenile court services in every county.  Tennessee Code Annotated §37-1-203 provides that the general sessions courts shall exercise juvenile court jurisdiction except in counties or municipalities wherein juvenile courts are specially provided for by law.

Special juvenile courts may be created by law (private act) to exercise juvenile court jurisdiction in a county or in contiguous counties. Counties must provide funding for such special juvenile courts.  T.C.A. §37-1-205.

Clerks of general sessions courts are required to maintain separate minutes, dockets, and records for all juvenile matters in those counties in which the general sessions court is also the juvenile court.  T.C.A. §37-1-210.  The clerk of a special juvenile court is a duly elected clerk of another court in the county designated by resolution of the county legislative body, except where a duly elected clerk is provided by law (private act or charter).  Clerks of the special juvenile courts are given the same duties, authority and obligations provided for clerks of other courts of record.  T.C.A. §37-1-211.

Tennessee Code Annotated §37-1-159 provides that the juvenile court shall be a court of record.  Any appeal from final disposition of a case, except the transfer of a child to be dealt with as an adult under T.C.A. §37-1-134, may be made to the circuit court for a trial de novo.

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