Section 1.01. Purpose. The Tennessee judicial system should be accessible to all litigants including those unable to pay for the assistance of counsel. As one means of increasing access to the Tennessee judicial system, the Court is providing greater resources for self-represented litigants, lawyers, and court personnel by approving forms that shall be universally acceptable as legally sufficient in all Tennessee courts. It is not the intent of this rule to mandate the use of court-approved forms; rather, the intent is to ensure that court-approved forms are accepted for filing by all Tennessee courts when litigants or attorneys choose to use them.
Section 1.02. Definitions.
(a) “Court-approved forms” means any and all forms adopted by the Tennessee Supreme Court pursuant to this rule.
(b) “Universally acceptable as legally sufficient” means that Tennessee courts must accept for filing any court-approved forms submitted by a litigant or litigant's attorney, subject to the limitation stated in section 1.04.
Section 1.03. Use of Court-Approved Forms. Any form approved by the Supreme Court pursuant to this rule shall be deemed universally acceptable as legally sufficient for filing in the Tennessee courts. The foregoing sentence, however, does not limit the court’s authority to adjudicate the legal efficacy of the contents of the filing under the applicable rules of procedure and any other pertinent law. Litigants and attorneys are encouraged to use court-approved forms; however, the use of court-approved forms is not mandatory.
Section 1.04. Alteration of Court-Approved Forms. If a court-approved form is altered beyond mere completion of the form, the altered form shall no longer be considered a court-approved form or universally acceptable as legally sufficient as those terms are used in this rule. If a court-approved form is altered beyond mere completion of the form, the words “Approved by the Tennessee Supreme Court” shall be removed from the altered form.
Section 1.05. Updating Court-Approved Forms. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall be responsible for maintaining and updating court-approved forms. Additionally, court-approved forms shall be posted on the website of the Tennessee State Courts as “Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 52 Court-Approved Forms”.
Adopted by order filed July 27, 2011.