2010 Tennessee Code
Title 8 - Public Officers And Employees
Chapter 10 - Constables
Part 1 - In General
8-10-101 - Election of constables Term of office Reapportionment of districts Abolition of office.

8-10-101. Election of constables Term of office Reapportionment of districts Abolition of office.

(a)  (1)  Two (2) constables shall be elected by the qualified voters in the civil district of each county which includes the county town, and one (1) in every other civil district of the county, each of whom shall hold office for two (2) years, and until the qualification of a successor.

     (2)  All constables elected to a four-year term, as permitted by the procedure established in this subsection (a), before July 1, 1983, are declared validly elected and shall have the powers and duties established in this chapter and otherwise established by law.

     (3)  (A)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a county legislative body may, by adopting a resolution by two-thirds (2/3) vote at two (2) consecutive meetings of the county legislative body, abolish the office of constable for that county or set the term of office for the constable at either two (2) or four (4) years. Any change would not be effective until the end of the current term being served by the constable.

          (B)  This subdivision (a)(3) does not apply in counties having a population of:

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according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

          (C)  (i)  If the county legislative body of any county having a population of not less than fifty-one thousand nine hundred (51,900) nor more than fifty-two thousand (52,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, adopts a resolution in accordance with subdivision (a)(3)(A) to abolish the office of constable for that county, the resolution shall not become operative until approved in an election to be held in accordance with the subdivisions (a)(3)(C)(ii)-(v)

                (ii)  Upon passage of the resolution, the county election commission shall, pursuant to § 2-3-204, hold an election on the question of whether or not the office of constable shall be abolished providing options to vote “FOR” or “AGAINST” the question, after the receipt of a certified copy of a resolution from the county requesting an election be held. The ballots used in the election shall have printed on them the substance of the resolution and the voters shall vote for or against its approval.

                (iii)  The votes cast on the question shall be canvassed and the results proclaimed by the county election commission and certified by the commission to the local governing body.

                (iv)  The qualifications of voters voting on the question shall be the same as those required for participation in general elections. All laws applicable to general elections shall apply to the determination of the approval or rejection of the question on the ballot.

                (v)  A majority vote of those voting in the election shall determine whether the office of constable shall be abolished. If the question is approved the office of constable shall be abolished as provided in the resolution. If the question is not approved at the election, a successive referendum on the issue shall not be held for a period of two (2) calendar years.

(b)  (1)  Constables in counties other than counties having populations of not less than one hundred twenty-seven thousand (127,000) nor more than one hundred twenty-eight thousand (128,000) according to the 1970 or any subsequent federal census, and other than those of class 1 as established by § 8-24-101, shall be elected from constable districts established by the county legislative body. Prior to May 20, 1978, the county legislative bodies shall meet and, a majority of the members being present and concurring shall establish constable districts subject to the following limitations:

          (A)  The number of constables to be elected shall not exceed one half (½) the number of county comissioners;

          (B)  Constable districts shall be reasonably compact and contiguous and shall not overlap; and

          (C)  In establishing constable districts, population may be determined in the manner used to establish county commissioner districts. After 1980, constable districts shall be reapportioned at least as often as county commissioner districts, to ensure compliance with the limitations prescribed in this subsection (b).

     (2)  In counties having a population of not less than eleven thousand five hundred (11,500) nor more than eleven thousand six hundred (11,600) according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, there shall be no more than one (1) constable elected per commissioner district, and in addition one (1) additional constable shall be elected for each city or town.

     (3)  In counties having a population of not less than forty-three thousand two hundred (43,200) nor more than forty-three thousand three hundred (43,300) according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, there shall be no more than two (2) constables elected per commissioner district.

     (4)  In counties having a population of not less than twenty-three thousand four hundred seventy-five (23,475) nor more than twenty-three thousand five hundred (23,500) by the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, there shall be one (1) constable elected per county legislative district and in addition one (1) additional constable shall be elected for the county town.

     (5)  In counties having a population of not less than thirty-five thousand four hundred (35,400) nor more than thirty-five thousand four hundred seventy (35,470) according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, there shall be one (1) constable elected per county legislative district.

     (6)  The county legislative body in any county having a population of not less than thirty-one thousand one hundred (31,100) nor more than thirty-one thousand four hundred (31,400) according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census may, upon passage of a resolution by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, provide that one (1) constable shall be elected for each commissioner from each county legislative district.

     (7)  In any county having a population of not less than seventy-one thousand one hundred (71,100) nor more than seventy-one thousand two hundred (71,200), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, a candidate qualifying for election to the office of constable shall indicate on the candidate's nominating petition the constable district for which the candidate is seeking to qualify, as well as either Seat A or Seat B.

(c)  (1)  The office of constable is abolished in class 2 counties as established by § 8-24-101.

     (2)  The provisions of this subsection (c) shall not apply in any county having a population of not less than one hundred forty thousand (140,000) nor more than one hundred forty-five thousand (145,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

(d)  The office of constable is abolished in class 1 counties, according to § 8-24-101.

(e)  The office of constable is abolished in any county having a population of not less than six thousand one hundred twenty-five (6,125) nor more than six thousand two hundred twenty-five (6,225) according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

(f)  The office of constable is abolished in any county having a population of not less than fourteen thousand nine hundred twenty-five (14,925) nor more than fourteen thousand nine hundred forty (14,940) according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

(g)  The office of constable is abolished in any county having a population of not less than seven thousand four hundred fifty (7,450) nor more than seven thousand five hundred (7,500) according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

(h)  Effective September 1, 1990, the office of constable is abolished in any county having a population of:

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according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

(i)  The office of constable is abolished in any county having a population of not less than seventy-seven thousand seven hundred (77,700) nor more than seventy-seven thousand eight hundred (77,800) persons according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

(j)  The office of constable is abolished in any county having a population of not less than fifteen thousand six hundred (15,600) nor more than fifteen thousand eight hundred fifty (15,850) according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

(k)  It is the intent of the general assembly by the enactment of this subsection (k) to remove from the constable, in any county having a population of not less than fifty-nine thousand four hundred (59,400) nor more than fifty-nine thousand five hundred (59,500) according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census or

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according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, any law enforcement powers and to retain such constable for the purpose of the service of lawfully issued process.

(l)  In accordance with Acts 1996, ch. 753, § 7, upon adoption of a resolution by the county legislative body of any county to which that act applies, effective September 1, 1998, the office of constable is abolished in such county.

(m)  The office of constable is abolished in any county having a population of not less than seventeen thousand two hundred fifty (17,250) nor more than seventeen thousand four hundred (17,400)according to the 1990 census, or any subsequent federal census.

(n)  Constables in counties having populations of not less than one hundred forty thousand (140,000) nor more than one hundred forty-five thousand (145,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, shall be elected from constable districts established by the county legislative body.

[Code 1858, § 384 (deriv. Const., 1834, art. 6, § 15); Acts 1851-1852, ch. 139, § 1; Shan., § 475; Code 1932, § 722; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 23; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 8-1001; Acts 1980, ch. 598, § 1; 1981, ch. 56, § 1; 1982, ch. 601, §§ 1-5; 1982, ch. 796, § 1; 1983, ch. 160, § 1; 1983, ch. 163, §§ 1, 2; 1983, ch. 339, §§ 2, 3; 1983, ch. 340, § 1; 1983, ch. 341, § 1; 1984, ch. 588, § 1; 1989, ch. 385, § 1; 1990, ch. 678, § 1; 1991, ch. 9, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 620, § 1; 1992, ch. 973, § 1; 1994, ch. 537, § 1; 1996, ch. 553, § 1; 1996, ch. 753, § 6; 1996, ch. 797, § 1; 1997, ch. 344, §§ 1-4, 6, 7, 9, 10; 1999, ch. 296, §§ 1, 2; 2004, ch. 450, §§ 1, 3; 2009, ch. 159, § 1; 2009, ch. 230, § 1; 2009, ch. 515, §§ 1, 3.]  

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