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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: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 
b. Location.
Clerk's Office
719 Church Street, Suite 1300 
Nashville, TN 37203.
Documents filed in person or by mail must be filed in Nashville for the Nashville, Northeastern, and Columbia Divisions. 
Prerequisites to Filing a Complaint:
a. Complaint.
(1) Please see our local rules and our administrative practices and procedures for electronic filing for information regarding the filing of a complaint. 
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. If you are an attorney filing your complaint over the counter, you must bring a disc or CD containing your complaint and all related documents in PDF format. This is not required of pro se plaintiffs filing on paper.
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 documents with the Clerk's Office CM/ECF electronic filing system, not the Judge. Pro Se plaintiffs filing on paper should continue filing their documents at the counter or by mail. 
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 not "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 documents are being filed on paper and 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.