General Sessions Court -- History

History of Metropolitan General Sessions Court
of Nashville-Davidson County

The General Sessions Courts were organized in 1937 to replace the courts of justices of the peace, culminating a three-year crusade to do so by the Nashville Bar & Library Association. The reorganization expanded previously limited jurisdiction to include all cases of forcible entry and detainer involving the collection of rent and eviction, as well as the recovery of property damages. It also encompassed writ of possession and summons in cases involving notes of up to $10,000 (now $15,000) and misdemeanor cases wherein the defendant waived the right of a jury.

In 1971, voters approved a lower court reform bill consolidating the General Sessions Courts with the Metropolitan Courts, which had three divisions. Cases involving Metropolitan ordinance and traffic violations were incorporated and placed under the blanket jurisdiction of the court.

Phenomenal caseload growth in the past quarter century--especially in
the area of criminal offenses--precipitated the creation of two additional divisions of the court, which came into existence in 1998, bringing to eleven the number of elected judges on the court.

Former General Sessions Court Judges

Judge Part/Division Date Term Began
Frank Wade Part I 03/15/37
N. Trigg More Part II 03/15/37
John L. Draper Part III 03/15/37
Brown Taylor Part I 08/24/38
Henry F. Todd Part II 10/01/46
Dennis Summers Part VIII 06/06/55
Allen R. Cornelius Part II 09/01/58
John T. Boone Part III 10/20/60
Andrew Doyle Part VII 09/24/62
Joe C. Loser Part I 09/01/66
Edward Gale Robinson Part II 08/03/68
Adolpho A. Birch, Jr. Part I 04/08/69
Leslie Mondelli Part VI 08/21/72
Robert C. Murphy Part IV 04/06/73
J. Randall Wyatt Part V 09/01/74
Robert E. L. Sutton Part I 10/02/78
Donald Washburn Part IX 12/01/65
Hamilton Gayden, Jr. Part VII 11/17/74
John T. Nixon Part VII 10/02/78
Barbara Haynes Division I 09/01/82
H. Phillip Sadler Division II 09/01/90
Penny Harrington Division IV 09/01/90
Mark J. Fishburn Division II 09/01/98
Andrei Ellen Lee Division II 10/05/2003
William J. Faimon Division III 06/08/1982
John P. Brown Division V 09/01/1982
Bench and Bar II, 2003 by: David C. Rutherford
General Sessions Court Administratorís Office

General Sessions Court
of Metro Nashville & Davidson County

© Copyright 2012