Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Masthead
Civil Warrants

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Phone: (423) 209-7000
After Hours / Non-Emergency: 423-622-0022
Emergency: Dial 911

Civil Warrants

Constitutionally, the sheriff of each county is responsible for carrying out the service of civil warrants within each county of jurisdiction. Personnel assigned as civil warrant servers execute and return to the courts the civil warrant which, is directed to the sheriff for service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is civil warrants?

A. A civil warrant has been defined as “the means of compelling a defendant in an action to appear in court, or a means whereby a court compels compliance with is demands” (Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th edition) Simply, a warrant is an order of the court directing that an action be done.

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Q. How can I get civil warrants issued?

A. Civil warrants in Hamilton County must be issued by one of the three civil courts, the forms for the type of warrant requested must be completed and presented to the clerk of the court. If the court grants the request the warrant will be issued.

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Q. Where do I go to file a civil warrant?

A. There are three courts concerned with civil warrants in Hamilton County. Each court is described herein:

General Session Court, Civil Division - General Sessions is a small claims court with a $15,000 maximum limit. The majority of cases filed in Sessions Court are delinquent accounts, evictions (detainer & writ of possession), recovery of personal property, contract agreements, damage or personal injury, executions by garnishment or levy, subpoenas and numerous other actions relating to small claims.

The Clerks Office is located in the Hamilton County Courts Building, First Floor, 600 Market Street, (423) 209-7630.

Circuit Court (Court of Record) - Civil actions issued from Circuit Court include Domestic Relations (divorce, restraining order, custody orders, show cause orders, body attachment, order of protection etc), lawsuits relating to personal injury, damage to real or personal property, malpractice, mental health, attachment of real or personal property, execution by garnishment or levy and all other related matters.

The Clerk’s Office is located in the Hamilton County Courthouse, Fifth Floor, 625 Georgia Avenue, (423) 209-6700.

Chancery Court (Court of Record) -The warrants generated from this court parallels that of Circuit Court. In addition to those listed, Chancery Court also handles all probate matters, conservator and guardianship cases plus mental health, adoptions, and the sale of real property for back taxes.

The Clerk & Master Office is located in the Hamilton County Courthouse, Third Floor, 625 Georgia Avenue, (423) 209-6600.

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Q. How much does it cost to file a lawsuit?

A. Costs vary depending on the type of warrant and the number of defendants. Fees for warrants are paid directly to the courts.

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Q. Do I need a lawyer to file a lawsuit?

A. No, but remember that many lawsuits require legal ability that the lay person may not possess.

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Q. If I don't use an attorney how do I file warrants?

A. Pro Se (which means you are filing for yourself).

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Q. Can I get help in filling a lawsuit?

A. If you need assistance in filing your warrant, help is available in each clerk’s office, however the clerk does not give legal advice.

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Q. If I do file a lawsuit how do I get it delivered to the defendant(s) so that I may go to court?

A. When the warrant is filed it is sent to the Sheriff’s Civil Warrants Unit for serving. The warrant is personally served to the defendant(s), the return of service completed, and warrant returned to the issuing court. The clerk will notify you of your court date.

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Note: If you require legal assistance it is suggested that you consult with your attorney. The clerk of the court, nor the sheriff, can provide legal assistance or legal advice.

Contact Information

Nathan Bates
Civil Warrants Manager
6125 Preservation Drive
Chattanooga, TN 37416
Phone: (423) 209-8970

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Phone: (423) 209-7000