About the Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals judges are (seated from left), David R. Farmer, Patricia J. Cottrell, Charles D. Susano, Jr., Alan E. Highers, John Westley McClarty; (standing from left) J. Steven Stafford, Richard H. Dinkins, Thomas R. Frierson, II, Andy D. Bennett, Frank G. Clement, D. Michael Swiney, and Holly M. Kirby.
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Created by the General Assembly in 1925, the Court of Appeals hears appeals in civil—or non-criminal—cases from trial courts and certain state boards and commissions. The court has 12 members who sit in panels of three. The panels meet monthly in Jackson, Knoxville and Nashville. When necessary, the court may meet in alternate locations.
All decisions made by the Court of Appeals may be appealed, by permission, to the Tennessee Supreme Court. As in all three appellate courts, Court of Appeals hearings do not include witnesses, juries or testimonies. Instead, attorneys may present oral and written arguments.
Judges of the Court of Appeals are elected on a “retain-replace” ballot every eight years. As in the other appellate courts, Court of Appeals judges must be evaluated every eight years. Results of the evaluations are published in newspapers across the state, to help voters decide whether the judges should be retained.