Article II. Prehearing Procedures


Rule 20: Responsive Pleadings and Motions.


A written answer to a petition shall not be required. Motions made before or during a hearing and responses to motions shall be governed by local rules.

Advisory Commission Comments [2012].

Effective July 1, 2012, the Supreme Court adopted Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, governing motions seeking disqualification or recusal of a judge. Section 1 of Rule 10B provides a procedural framework for determining when the judge of a court of record should not preside over the case. In summary, Section 1 provides for the filing of a motion for disqualification or recusal and also provides for the judge’s prompt ruling on the motion. Section 2 of Rule 10B governs appeals from the denial of such motions, and it provides that such appeals may be effected either by filing an interlocutory appeal as of right authorized by the rule or by raising the disqualification or recusal issue in an appeal as of right at the conclusion of the case. Under Section 2.01, those two methods of appeal are “the exclusive methods for seeking appellate review of any issue concerning the trial court’s ruling on a motion filed pursuant to this Rule.” (Emphasis added.) As a result, “neither Tenn. R. App. P. 9 nor Tenn. R. App. P. 10 may be used to seek an interlocutory or extraordinary appeal by permission concerning the judge’s ruling on such a motion.” Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, Explanatory Comment to Section 2.

The Explanatory Comment to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, § 1 notes that juvenile courts are courts of record and that juvenile court judges therefore are included within Section 1 of the Rule.  Section 4 of Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, however, governs motions for disqualification of judicial officers other than a judge of a court of record (e.g., magistrates, referees, and masters).

Attorneys or self-represented litigants should consult Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B concerning the procedure for filing motions seeking the disqualification or recusal of a juvenile court judge or other judicial officer and for appealing from a denial of such a motion.

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