20 Public Square North
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Phone: (615) 898-7860
Fax: (615) 849-9553
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The building closes to the
public at 4:15 p.m.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I required to use an attorney?
- No, however, we do recommend that you retain the services of an attorney. The same rules of court apply to a case whether it is filed by an attorney or by a person without legal training.
We will accept any documents that you have prepared for filing, along with the appropriate filing fee, if required. Our accepting of documents does not imply that they are the correct form or that they are filled out properly. It is extremely important that pro se litigants read carefully and understand the pleadings that they are filing before filing anything with the Court.
The clerks are not permitted to provide you with legal advice, which includes not being able to tell you what forms to file, how to fill them out, or how to proceed with your case. If you have these types of questions, please consult with an attorney, or utilize the free legal services listed below.
- What free legal resources are offered in Rutherford County?
- The Rutherford and Cannon County Bar Association sponsors a free legal clinic each Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at Greenhouse Ministries, 309 South Spring Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130.
Also, pro se litigants may obtain help in representing themselves from the Justice for All website created by Tennessee Supreme Court.
Southeast Legal Services provides a website that has information and free forms in the Helping Yourself section.
Members of The Rutherford and Cannon County Bar Association also offer their services pro bono. Please contact Heather Knott, current president of the Bar Association, at 615-848-1221 for further information or visit their website.
It is extremely important that pro se litigants read carefully and understand the pleadings that he or she is filing before filing anything with the Court.
- Can you recommend an attorney?
- No, we are unable to recommend attorneys. The Rutherford and Cannon County Bar Association website provides a complete directory of local attorneys.
Also, many attorneys have ads in the yellow pages of the local phone book.
- Is this where I get my car tags or marriage license?
- No, the County Clerk issues license plates, marriage licenses, business licenses, beer permits, and also handles probate matters. Their phone number is: (615) 898-7800.
- May I file pleadings/petitions/complaints if I do not have the filing fee?
- Litigants who believe they qualify as an indigent may fill out an Affidavit of Indigency form. The litigant must submit the completed Affidavit of Indigency form along with the pleadings/petition/complaint the litigant is filing for the Judge’s approval. If Affidavit of Indigency is approved by the Judge, the initial filing fee is deferred. At the conclusion of the case, costs will be assessed against either litigant or equally divided between both litigants, depending on the order of the Court.
- May I speak to the Chancellor or Judge regarding my case outside of the courtroom?
- No. You are not allowed to have ex parte communication with either the Chancellor or Judge regarding your case without both parties being given the opportunity to be present. If you need to speak with the Chancellor or Judges, you may file the appropriate pleadings and set a hearing before the Chancellor or Judge who is assigned to your case.
- May I file pleadings by fax?
- Yes, pursuant to Local Rule 13 and Rule 5a of the Rules of Civil Procedures, attorneys are allowed to fax file pleadings. However, we are unable to accept petitions, complaints or documents via fax that have an original oath or that require a filing fee.
In order to file via fax, the attorney must fax on the cover page a signed agreement to pay $5.00 plus $1.00 per page to be paid within 5 judicial days.
In order to receive copies by fax, the attorney must fax in a signed agreement agreeing to pay $3.00 plus .50 per page within 5 days.
We are not able to send or receive a fax without the agreement attached. Please remember to include your contact information on the agreements.
The original documents which are duplicates of documents
submitted by fax do not need to be filed.
The fax machine will be operational during regular office hours on Judicial Days. Fax transmissions received after 4:15 p.m. will be considered to be filed the following business day. Our fax number is (615) 849-9553.
- How do I get copies of documents from my court file?
- You may come into our office to get copies or request copies by mail along with the appropriate payment. All outstanding costs must be paid before copies can be purchased.
Regular photocopies are .50 per page.
A certified copy (with the Court seal) is $5.00 per .50 per page. We accept personal in-state checks, cashier checks or money orders. We are unable to accept checks from parties whom we have received “insufficient funds” checks.
Requests should be addressed to Chancery Court, 20 Public Square, North, Room 302, Rutherford County Judicial Building, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Please include case number, style of case, your return mailing address, and a phone number where you can be reached in the day time with your request.
- We are able to issue executions or levies on judgments that are more than 30 days old. Please contact Lori at (615) 898-7860 for more information.
- I received a court costs bill. I have a few questions:
- When is the bill due?
Within 30 days of the billing date printed in the top left corner of the bill
May I make payments on court costs?
Yes, we will be happy to accept payments. A payment must be paid within 30 days of receiving the original bill and should continue every 30 days until the costs is paid in full. Please enclose the attached payment agreement with your first payment. (attach form)
To whom shall my payment be made payable?
To what address should the payment be delivered?
Chancery Court, Room 302, Judicial Building, 20 Public Square North, Murfreesboro, TN 37130
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- In-state personal and business checks, money orders, cashiers checks and cash (if payment made in person.) We are unable to accept checks from parties whom we have received “non-sufficient funds checks.”
- Why do I have to pay the court costs when the other party filed the case?
- If the parties did not agree upon who will pay the court costs, the Chancellor or Judge will assess them in the final order as either to the Petitioner, to the Respondent, split between the parties, or in rare cases, the costs will be waived.
Publications: In cases where an Order of Publication is needed to serve a defendant, the Court requires a summons be issued and service to be attempted at the defendant’s last known address. Upon receipt of the unsuccessful return of service, an affidavit of diligent inquiry should be filed along with return of service. The clerk will prepare an Order of Publication and forward to the appropriate newspaper for a quote. The Daily News Journal offers a flat fee of $225.00 for Adoptions and Divorces. Please contact Lori at (615) 898-7860 for further information.
Orders of Protections: Individuals in need of Orders of Protection may contact Domestic Violence to receive free assistance in filing. Their phone number is: (615) 896-7377. If Domestic Violence is unable to assist you and you choose not to hire an attorney, you may request the forms from our office or print the forms off of the Tennessee Administrative Offices of the Court website and represent yourself.