Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 

Full Explanation to Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 

Introduction

Generally, civil procedure is laid down rules adopted and followed by people in the prosecution of civil proceedings in the court. It  can emphatically be said that Civil procedure is rules that are meant to guide the way civil matters are entertained in the court. It guides both the filing of the civil suit and the general proceeding in the court.

Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure provides the rules that are followed Tennessee State Courts while entertaining civil actions. These rules guide the way the aggrieved parties are expected to approach the court while filing their suit for damages. They are also meant to secure just and speedy determination of civil suits in the state court.

Civil Actions in Tennessee are usually commenced by filing of complaint by the plaintiff as against the Defendant. The Plaintiff is the person who maintains civil action in the court for damages. While the Defendant is the person sued in the court for compensation.

A civil action in the Tennessee can most specifically be divided into the following stages:

pleading stage:

This the stage where the parties file their pleadings and it is on this stage that the parties can be adjudged to have joined issue.

Discovery stage:

This is only applicable if either of the parities have something or evidence that they want to inquire about, either from the opposing counsel or through other means. So, it is not in all civil actions in Tennessee that this stage will be observed by the parties.

Trial Stage:

This is where the parties are expected to present their case before the court. In the trial stage, the plaintiff shall be expected to open his case first, call on all his witness and to then close the case.

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During this stage when the plaintiff is done closing his case, the Defendant shall be expected to open his defence, call on his witness and to also close his defence. This stage will then lead them to the final stage, which is the Judgment stage. At the trial stage, a party may demand for trial by jury.

Judgement stage:

This is the stage that the presiding judex is expected to give his final verdict over the issues between the parties. The judgment may include a decree or an order upon which an appeal is permissible

It shall be imperative to note that in line with the Rule 4, it is overtly enunciated that once a complaint is filed, the court clerk will issue the required summons to the defendant(s).

Pleadings in Tennessee courts are made up of the followings:

  1. Complaint: This is meant to be filed by the Plaintiff.
  2. Answer to Complaint: This may be filed by the Defendant.
  3. Counter Claim: This May be filed by the Defendant.
  4. Reply to Counterclaim: To be filed by the Plaintiff as against Counterclaim.
  5. Cross Claim: This may be filed by the Plaintiff when he is done replying the Counterclaim of the Defendant.
  6. Answer to cross claim: The Defendant shall be expected to file this in opposition to the plaintiff cross claim.
  7. Third party complaint and answer to third party complaint: Desirable parties that are not joined in the suit can decide to join as either defendant or plaintiff in the suit. So, the third party complaint is the court document through which the Third party can apply to be joined in a civil suit.

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In accordance to the Tennessee rules of civil rules, the complaint must be filed by the aggrieved party in person. This entail that civil action is meant to be instituted in the court by the person who is aggrieved. However, there is also some exceptions to this general rules.

The law also provided for those persons that are legally incapacitated and that cannot sue by themselves, it provides that they can sue through other parties. For instance, an Infant cannot sue by himself instead he is meant to sue through his Guardian ad litem or next Friend. The same thing is also applicable to a Lunatic. A lunatic cannot maintain a civil action in accordance to the civil rules but he can sue through his Guardian ad litem or next friend.

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