Filing Information

How and When to File Papers in Office of Clerk:

On July 5, 2005, this Court adopted mandatory electronic filing for attorneys.  Please see our Administrative Practices & Procedures for Electronic Case Filing, provided under the CM/ECF menu on this website, for information on electronic filing. 

a. Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

b. Location.

Nashville Clerk's Office
801 Broadway, Room 800
Nashville, TN 37203.
Documents filed in person or by mail must be filed in Nashville for the Nashville, Northeastern, and Columbia Divisions.

c. After Hours Filing:

(1) An outside depository located at the 9th Avenue entrance to the U.S. Courthouse is available anytime. Documents will be retrieved at 8:00 a.m. each working day and stamped "filed" as of the date of the last business day.

(2) The Clerk (and deputy clerks) will accept papers for filing at home after hours. Call before 4:30 p.m. to make arrangements as needed.

Prerequisites to Filing a Complaint:

a. Complaint.

(1) File an original and 1 copy for the record, one copy for each defendant, and a copy for opposing counsel.

(2) Use 8-1/2 x 11 size paper (not legal size).

b. Summons.

(1) Prepare an original and 2 copies of the summons for each defendant.  The Clerk will issue the original and one copy of the summons for each defendant to you, and will file one copy in the record.

(2) File the return with one of the issued summons after completing the Return of Service on the back page. If serving a defendant by certified mail, attach the "green card" to the back of the summons.

c. If the defendant waives service under Rule 4(d), no summons is necessary.

d. Civil Cover Sheet: Only an original cover sheet is needed.  No copies are required.

e. Filing Fee:  Plaintiffs in civil actions must pay a $400.00 civil filing fee or submit a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP).

f. Disc or CD containing documents in PDF format.

Service (or Waiver of Service):

a. See Rule 4, Fed. R. Civ. P.; Rule 4, Tenn. R. Civ. P.

b. The Marshal does not serve process unless the plaintiff is proceeding IFP or is otherwise ordered by the Court.

Other Pleadings and Papers:

a. Unless the Judge otherwise directs, file all papers with the Clerk's Office, not the Judge.

b. Absent exceptional circumstances, do not direct papers personally to the Judge or the Clerk.

c. File only pleadings, motions, and responses.  Do not file letters.

d. Proposed orders and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law are stamped "received."  They are not stamped "filed," and are not docketed until signed by the Court.

e. Put the Judge's (and Magistrate Judge's name, if appropriate) on all documents filed.

f. Briefs and/or affidavits are required when the law and/or the facts are relied on. Local Rule 7.01(a).

g. A Statement of Material Facts with citations to the record is required when filing a motion for summary judgment. See Local Rule 56.01.

h. Proposed orders are optional when a motion is filed.

i. If copies of documents stamped "filed" are requested, enclose an extra copy of the document and, if sent by mail, a stamped, pre-addressed envelope with instructions to the Clerk to return the stamped copy.

Note: Should there be any differences between these procedures and the Local Rules, the Local Rules control.