Circuit Court Case Files

Circuit Court handles both civil and criminal cases. Until 1891, all cases were heard in Jonesborough. In 1891, a sub-division of the court was opened to hear civil cases in Johnson City, helping take some of the case load off the Jonesborough court. Known as the Johnson City Law Court, this court functioned until 2007, when, with the opening of the new Justice Center, all court activities were moved once again to Jonesborough. For Law Court case files, see Record Group Series 3.6.

Records in this series are particularly useful in helping provide a picture of a society/community at a given period of history. Non-trial records include citizenship papers for both those seeking to become American citizens, as well as for a convicted felon to have citizenship rights restored. Among the types of cases found are those involving assault and battery, damages, debt, divorce, embezzlement, forgery land disputes, larceny, lewdness and adultery, murder, rape, robbery, tippling, and transporting liquor, among many other civil disputes and criminal actions. Among the types of documents found in the case files are bonds, correspondence, petitions, notices, bills, injunctions, complaints, subpoenas, depositions, exhibits, and writs. There are over 24,000 cases available to researchers.

Case files are arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically by the plaintiff’s surname. Case files are permanent records.

1809 – 1819 Circuit Court

1820 – 1829 Circuit Court

1830 – 1839 Circuit Court

1840 – 1849 Circuit Court

1850 – 1859 Circuit Court

1860 – 1869 Circuit Court

1870 – 1879 Circuit Court

1880 – 1889 Circuit Court

1890 – 1899 Circuit Court

1900 – 1909 Circuit Court

1910 – 1919 Circuit Court

1920 – 1929 Circuit Court

1930 – 1939 Circuit Court

1940 – 1949 Circuit Court

1950 – 1959 Circuit Court

1960-1965 Circuit Court  

Undated cases – Circuit Court