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Monday, November 24, 2008

Pretrial Discovery under the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure in General Sessions Court

Everyone knows that the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply in general session court, right? In fact, subject to three exceptions, Rule 1 says they do not apply. See Tenn. R. Civ. P. 1 (stating that the rules shall not apply to general sessions courts). But is there ever an occasion when the rules do apply, even if one of the three exceptions listed in Rule 1 aren't operative? The answer is yes. Discovery under Rules 26-34 and 36-37 may be had if a motion is filed and granted, to wit:

24-9-102. General sessions cases. —

(a) Discovery pursuant to Rules 26-37 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, excluding physical and mental examinations under Rule 35 of such rules, may be taken in all civil cases pending in the courts of general sessions in the discretion of the court after motion showing both good cause and exceptional circumstances and pursuant to an order describing the extent and conditions of such discovery.

(b) Depositions of custodians of hospital and medical records may be taken in all cases pending before the judges of the courts of general sessions, under the same rules, regulations, and restrictions as in cases pending in the courts of record.

[Acts 1986, ch. 750, § 1; 1988, ch. 943, § 1.]
Hope this helps. Good luck!

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