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How to Be a Justice of the Peace in Tennessee

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A Justice of the Peace is now known as a General Sessions judge in Tennessee. General Sessions judge is a title given to a judge in the Tennessee court system who has jurisdiction over specific types of court cases only. These cases do not normally include criminal or felony offense cases. "Traffic violations, misdemeanors, small-claims cases, and pretrial hearings constitute the bulk of the work of these judges", according to the United States Department of Labor.

Obtain a college degree. A four year college degree is necessary for admission to law school, although the degree may be in any number of different fields.

Gain admission to, and complete, an accredited school of law. All General Sessions judges must be licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee, so you must complete law school and then pass the bar exam to run for this position.

Make sure that you meet the state qualifications for the office of General Sessions judge. In addition to being a lawyer in the state of Tennessee, you must be at least 30 years old to run for General Sessions judge, and must have lived in the state of Tennessee as a resident for a minimum of five years, and within the circuit or district where you are running for election for at least one year prior to election.

File the necessary papers to run for election. A person who is running for the position of General Sessions Judge will need to file an Affidavit of Identity and Affidavit of Constitutional Qualification with the state of Tennessee to qualify for inclusion in the next election. Elections for General Sessions judges are held every eight years, and the position is entirely selected by the populace.

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