General Sessions Civil Procedures

Civil Warrants ($134.25)

General Sessions is considered to be small claims court. The small claims court has jurisdiction over civil cases in which the plaintiff is seeking a money judgment up to $25,000. The object of such trials shall be to determine the rights of the litigants on the merits and to dispense expeditious justice between the parties. It is essential in filing suit that the plaintiff knows the defendant's current address. The successful plaintiff in a civil case will in most cases be awarded a money judgment as compensation for the defendant's wrongful act. The plaintiff is never assured of actually receiving the money, however, since the judgment can only be enforced out of property
belonging to the defendant. Remedies to enforce judgments are available, but a defendant in a civil case is not subject to criminal sanctions for failing to pay a money judgment.

Garnishment ($45.00)

Wage garnishment, the most common type of garnishment, is the process of deducting money from an employee's monetary compensation (including salary) as a result of a court order. In the United States, such payments are limited by federal law to 25 percent of the disposable income that the employee earns. When served on an employer, garnishments are taken as part of the payroll process. When processing payroll, sometimes there is not enough money in the employee's net pay to satisfy all of the garnishments. In such a case, the correct order to take a garnishment must be satisfied. For example, in a case with federal tax, local tax, and credit card
garnishments, the first garnishment taken would be the federal tax garnishments, then the local tax garnishments, and finally, garnishments for the credit card.

Bank Levy ($45.00)

A bank levy is when your bank account is frozen and all or part of the monies in your bank account is seized. Bank levy's can happen for many reasons, however the two most common are due to unpaid taxes and unpaid debt. The bank will freeze your accounts and seize any money in your account up to the amount that you owe. The bank account can be almost any type of account (e.g. savings, checking, etc). It should be noted that a bank levy can
occur quite frequently and it is not a one-time event. A creditor can request a bank levy as many times as he or she would like to until the debt is paid off.

Counter Complaints ($82.00)

A claim by a defendant opposing the claim of the plaintiff and seeking some relief from the plaintiff for the defendant. This action is filed in the same manner as a civil warrant.

Detainer Warrants ($134.25)

Used by a plaintiff in order to regain possession of his/her real property from a defendant, usually one who has failed to pay rent. In order to file this warrant you must have served the defendant with a 30 notice (if they rent by the month) or a lO-day notice (if they rent by the week) to vacate the property. If possession is given the plaintiff, it is effective 10 days from the date of judgment. A second court date will be set for damages.

Writ of possession ($65.00)

This action directs the Sheriff to take possession of the property from the defendant and return it to the plaintiff, provided that the plaintiff is present to take possession. The officer is to serve the writ, much like a writ of restitution, on the defendant to ensure the peaceful transfer of possession of the real property to the plaintiff. This writ must be completed within 30 days of the date of issue.

Replevin/Action to recover personal property ($134.25)

This action is a legal procedure for claiming the right to have personal property returned from the possession of one who had less right to hold it than the plaintiff. A replevin is intended to restore the property itself to the person entitled to possession.

Garnishment/Property ($65.00)

Judgment can be satisfied by seizing real property.

Ancillary ($82.00)

Action when a plaintiff wins a judgment for a specified sum of money against a defendant in an action. The defendant refuses to pay the judgment. The plaintiff begins another proceeding for a writ of attachment so that the judgment will be satisfied by the sale of the defendant's property seized under the writ. The attachment proceeding is ancillary, or subordinate, to the suit.

Scira Facis ($62.00)

Summons to court showing why someone failed to complied with court orders. It is used most often when employers fail to respond to a garnishment on an employee.

Slow Pay ($25.00)

Basically you are filing a motion with the judge to allow installment payments instead of having the full amount of garnishment taken from your check. All you do is fill out a simple motion form and file it. If the plaintiff disagrees to the terms of the motion then a court date is set and a judge will look it over, and if he thinks it's justified he will set installment payments. The garnishment order is placed on hold, and if you fail to make payments the plaintiff can reinstate the garnishment.

Appeals ($25.00)

Once a judgment is entered, and either party does not agree with the Judge's decision they can file an appeal in Circuit Court within ten days. This requires an appeal bond, and an attorney to sign the appeal bond, or two property owners to sign. If they do not have a surety the party appealing the case must either put up the amount of judgment or $500 plus $207.50 to Circuit Court. The Sessions Court file is then transferred to Circuit Court and dealt with in that court.

Act of Congress/3 way certification ($10.00)

Once a judgment is entered it can be varied three ways, a judge, and a clerk. This is used in instances where a judgment needs to be domesticated to another state.

Secretary of State ($20.00)

If a defendant resides in another state, a plaintiff can notice the defendant of the court date by sending the warrant through the Secretary of State. Commissioner of Insurance ($15.00) -If a plaintiff is filing a complaint against an insurance company, it is important to also serve the Commissioner of lnsurance in this type of case.

Certified Copy ($10.00)

Once a judgment is entered, a copy of the warrant can be obtained through the clerk's office. The copy will need to be certified by a clerk in order to place a lien against property owned by the defendant.

Copies ($ .50 per page)

If you need a copy of anything out of a court file you will be required to show a picture ID to confirm that you are a party to the case. If you are not a party to the case you will not be able to acquire a copy. Attorneys may also request copies from files. Anything filed by the Department of Children Services will not be available for copies through our office; they may be obtained through DCS.

Subpoena ($29.50)

A court, legislative body, individual, or Administrative Agency uses a subpoena to compel an individual to appear before it at a specified time to give testimony. An individual who receives a subpoena but fails to appear may be charged with Contempt of court and subjected to civil or criminal penalties

Order of Protection ($174.25)

The definition of an Order of Protection is an order put in place by a Judge to protect the petitioner from any and all contact with the respondent in the case. A petition is completed as the first step in this process. A Judge reviews the petition and either approved for process or denied due to not meeting the qualifications. The qualifications for an Order of Protection are domestic violence or assault, sexual assault or stalking. If the petition is approved, a court date is assigned and all parties are notified. When coming in our office for an Order of Protection you must bring an address for the person that you are taking it out against in order to fill out the paperwork. There is no cost for an Order of Protection up front, but once it is approved and goes to court the Judge will decide and order who will pay for the Order.

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