Representing Yourself in General Sessions
If you are handling your legal case without a lawyer, this means you are “representing yourself.” It's best to get advice and information about your case from a lawyer, even if you do not have one. The resources below will provide helpful information about going to court and representing yourself in General Sessions court.
This guide, provided by Justice For All, lists Court and Legal Aid resources if you are representing yourself in court.
When going to General Sessions Court, make sure that you are following their dress code.
Provided by Southeast Tennessee Legal Services, this quiz will help determine if you should represent yourself in court or seek the help of a lawyer instead.
The following videos, provided by Legal Aid of East Tennessee, contain general legal information on how to represent yourself when filing a lawsuit in General Sessions Court. This information is available in both English and Spanish.
This video from Justice For All explains the types of cases that are handled in General Sessions court.
This video from Justice For All explains how to start a case in General Sessions court as well as examples of the forms needed to do so.
This resource from Southeast Tennessee Legal Services provides information on how to represent yourself in General Sessions court.
Learn to avoid common mistakes when representing yourself in court using this resource from Southeast Tennessee Legal Services.
Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands provides information on representing yourself if you are being sued for money or property in General Sessions court.
West Tennessee Legal Services put together information on what to do if you are being sued or need to sue someone else for money or property in General Sessions court without the help of a lawyer.
This video provided by Justice For All gives instructions on how to get ready for trial including explanations of legal concepts.
In these video, Legal Aid of East Tennessee outlines general information on how to prepare for General Sessions court when representing yourself. This information is available in English or Spanish
This resource from Southeast Tennessee Legal Services outlines what to do if you have not received the money that is owed to you after you have received a judgment against the debtor.
This pamphlet from Memphis Area Legal Services provides details on how to file an Affidavit of Exemption to protect your property after you've been sued.
For those seeking help in Memphis, volunteer attorneys meet with litigants at the Courthouse one afternoon a week to provide help and make referrals. Every Thursday starting at 1:30 PM in room 134 of the Shelby County Courthouse, volunteer attorneys meet with walk-in clients and provide advice, counsel, referrals and sometimes extended services if needed. Paralegals and students provide supportive services at this clinic.
If you are in Tennessee, the website, Free Legal Answers, allows you to ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue at no cost. It is fast and easy, and all you need is a computer. This is a FREE service for people who cannot afford a lawyer.
How it works:
- You will answer a few questions to see if you qualify for their service. If you qualify, you will have the option to create an account.
- If you are eligible, you can ask their volunteer attorneys a non-criminal question.
- Once your question receives a response, you will get an email. You will need to sign into the website to read your response and ask any additional questions.
Visit https://tn.freelegalanswers.org/ to sign up.
The Statewide Directory provides information regarding Legal Aid Attorneys and other agencies by county in Tennessee
This resource contains standard court forms that are approved for all counties of Tennessee. If you need help filing one of these forms, you can ask a lawyer in your area.