2020 Tennessee Code
Title 16 - Courts
Chapter 15 - Courts of General Sessions
Part 50 - Compensation and Qualifications of Judges — Jurisdiction
§ 16-15-5005. Judges to Be Licensed — Vacancies

Universal Citation: TN Code § 16-15-5005 (2020)
    1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, all persons occupying the office of general sessions judge shall be licensed to practice law in this state.
    2. Any person serving in the office of general sessions judge on August 1, 1990, who is not a licensed attorney may seek reelection to the position and serve as a general sessions judge as long as the person is continuously reelected.
    3. If a vacancy occurs in the office of a non-attorney general sessions judge elected pursuant to this section, the vacancy shall be filled by a person licensed to practice law and the qualifications set out in subdivision (a)(1) shall thereafter apply to that position.
    1. Notwithstanding this section, if a vacancy occurs in the office of general sessions judge and no licensed attorney appears at the meeting when the vacancy is being filled by the county legislative body and offers to become a candidate for the office, the vacancy may be filled by a person not licensed to practice law.
    2. If no licensed attorney qualifies for an election being held to fill the office of general sessions judge, or the only attorney candidate legally withdraws, the county election commission shall extend the qualification deadline for a period of ten (10) days, during which period persons not licensed to practice law may qualify to seek the office of general sessions judge.
    3. Subdivision (b)(2) shall not apply in counties having a population of not less than fifty-one thousand twenty-five (51,025) nor more than fifty-one thousand one hundred twenty-five (51,125), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
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