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General Info F.A.Q.

Answers

Q. How do I obtain a copy of an offense or accident report?

A. Accident and offense reports may be obtained at the located at 601 Walnut Street floor 1b. The phone number is 423-209-7111. Note: Make sure report was completed by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. There are over seven other law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction in different areas of Hamilton County.

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Q. How do I find out about organizing a neighborhood watch program?

A. Neighborhood Watch programs are provided as a service by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Patrol Services. Shannon Wilson may be contacted at 423-893-3503 ext 235.

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Q. How do I find out about the status of my case?

A. Property crimes under $500.00 are generally handled by (423) 209-8900. Violent crime and property crimes over $500.00 are forwarded to (423) 209-8940. You may contact these divisions and request information regarding your case.

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Q. How do I find out about civil process scheduled to be served?

A. The Civil Process Division may be contacted at 423-209-7160 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.

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Q. How do I find out information regarding inmates at the Hamilton County Jail?

A. The Hamilton County Jail can be contacted at (423) 209-7050 (24) hours a day, (7) days a week. The Jail is located at 601 Walnut Street across from the City/County Courts Building.

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Q. How do I apply for employment with Hamilton County Sheriff's Office?

A. All applications must be submitted through the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Personnel Division. For information regarding currently available positions you may contact Carole Miller at (423) 209-7014. Further information regarding minimal applicant requirements and available positions may be located on our employment page.

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Q. What is civil process?

A. Process 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 it's demands” (Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th edition) Simply, process is an order of the court directing that an action be done.

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Q. How can I get civil process issued?

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

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

A. There are three courts concerned with civil process 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, eviction process (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, Walnut Street, (423) 209-6700.

Chancery Court (Court of Record) The process 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 process, adoptions, and the sale of real property for back taxes.

The Clerk & Master Office is located in the Hamilton County Courthouse, Third Floor, Walnut Street, (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 process and the number of defendants. Fees for process 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 process?

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 process, 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 process is filed it is sent to the Sheriff’s Civil Process Division for serving. The process is personally served to the defendant(s), the return of service completed, process returned to the issuing court. The clerk will notify you of your court date.

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.

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Q. What do I do if I am a victim of burglary or a property related crime?

A. Investigative services attempts to respond with patrol to as many burglaries as possible. The documentation process may include photographs, a check for latent prints and a written narrative regarding condition of crime scene. While this is an important process, there are other factors even more important in the probability of your case being solved. It has been our experience that most cases are solved through the tracking of property (serial numbers), word of mouth, citizen observations, and yes, many times the suspicions of the victim. Many times your first impression is accurate; so do not hesitate to inform investigating officers of any possible suspects.

While a check for latent prints may be conducted, things in the real world do not operate like they do on TV. The type, location and texture of surfaces many times rule out any possibility of identifiable prints. Further, prints may be of no value if a friend or relative has committed the crime. If they have lawfully been on the premises there is a justifiable reason for their prints being at scene. For these reasons we are trained to look for ideal surfaces in which there is a high probability perpetrator has touched. Unfortunately at this time the amount of time taken to analyze prints is approximately (6) months. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducts the examination of prints on a priority level with those obtained in violent crime scenes being first in priority.

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Q. What can I do to increase the probability of my case being solved?

A. We recommend that you:

1. Talk to neighbors, friends, family members and co-workers regarding your case.

2. Provide a detailed description of items taken to investigator, especially any possibly serial numbers.

3. Search for and if missing, cancel any checks, credit cards, debit cards and cellular phones (Ask providers to notify you if items are fraudulently used).

4. Check with vendors for serial numbers of items that may have extended warranties.

5. Relay any hunches or suspicions to the investigator assigned to your case.

6. Don't rule out friends, relatives and acquaintances, on average they account for possibly 45% of our reported crimes.

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Q. Who can I contact if I am a victim of domestic violence?

A. If you are a victim, we are here to help you. Domestic Violence is considered a serious crime by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Four (4) Investigators in the Crimes Against Persons Unit have received specialized training in this area and are also instructors in the field of Domestic Violence.

The safety of victims and children is our greatest concern. We realize that danger increases when victims attempt to leave an abusive relationship.

For more information on domestic violence, visit our domestic violence page.

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