Circuit Court 16th Judicial Dist Division 3


505 Rutherford County Judicial Building
20 Public Square North
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

Phone: (615) 898-8074
Fax: (615) 898-8013

Welcome to Circuit Court, Division III

Serving the Citizens of Rutherford and Cannon Counties

M. Keith Siskin, Judge

- This Week in Circuit Court -

The Administrative Judge for November 23-27 is Chancellor Wilson.

Monday 11/23:

9:00 AM: Chancery Docket

Tuesday 11/24:

9:00 AM: Circuit Docket

Wednesday 11/25:

9:00 AM: Chancery Docket

Thursday 11/26:


Friday 11/27:


- Legal News & Announcements -

New Local Rules for Bondsmen in 16th Judicial District Adopted:

As of November 18, 2015, new Local Rules for Bondsmen have been adopted.  These rules apply in all of the Courts of the 16th Judicial District.

Supreme Court Ruling Modifies Summary Judgment Standard in Tennessee:

The Tennessee Supreme Court has returned to a summary judgment standard consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in an Opinion released on October 26, 2015 in Rye, et al. v. Women's Care Center of Memphis, MPLLC, et al., a Memphis health care liability case. The most recent case that governed summary judgment practice in Tennessee was Hannan v. Alltel Publishing Co., issued in 2008. Over the years, the Hannan decision has been widely criticized and the Court noted that it “has functioned in practice to frustrate the purposes for which summary judgment was intended.”  In its ruling, the Court overruled Hannan and returned to a summary judgment standard consistent with cases that have interpreted Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The Court acknowledged that the “standard articulated in Hannan was unworkable and inconsistent with the history and text of Tennessee Rule 56.” Recently-retired Justice Gary Wade wrote an Opinion dissenting in part, in which he expressed his concern that the Court's decision effectively side-stepped the issue of whether the Tennessee General Assembly violated the Separation of Powers doctrine by enacting a statute (TCA Sec. 20-16-101) in 2011 which purported to overrule Hannan.

Chief Justice Sharon Lee Speaks to Local Groups in Murfreesboro:

On October 20, 2015, Tennessee Chief Justice Sharon Lee spoke at an event jointly sponsored by the Murfreesboro Downtown Barristers' Lions Club and the League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro.  The Chief Justice spoke on the topic of politics and the judiciary, expressing her view that politics has no place in the courtroom, because Judges do not make policy; rather, the Courts must follow the Constitution.  Additionally, the Chief Justice lamented the low voter turnout in America, noting that the recent Mayoral elections in Memphis and Nashville brought out less than 30% of vegistered voters.

Chief Justice Sharon Lee

Tennessee Supreme Court Rules that Void Judgments May be Enforced in Exceptional Circumstances:

In Turner v. Turner, an Opinion released on October 21, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that a party may not always be entitled to relief from a void judgment.  Specifically, the Court held that relief from a void judgment should be denied if the following exceptional circumstances exist: “(1) [t]he party seeking relief, after having had actual notice of the judgment, manifested an intention to treat the judgment as valid; and (2) [g]ranting the relief would impair another person’s substantial interest of reliance on the judgment.”

Tennessee Supreme Court Vacates Circuit Court's Ruling Finding Statutory Caps on Damages to be Unconstitutional:

In Clark, et al. v. Cain, et al., an Opinion released on October 16, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court has vacated a ruling by the Circuit Court for Hamilton County that found a State law putting a cap on certain personal injury damages was unconstitutional.  In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court held that the Circuit Court's decision regarding the constitutionality of the damages cap was premature, and remanded the case to the Circuit Court for the trial to be concluded, to see whether the jury decides to award damages to the Plaintiffs in excess of the statutory cap.

Cannon County Clerk & Master Nathan Nichols Announces New Office Hours :

Beginning on November 2, 2015, the Cannon County Clerk & Master's office will be open for business as follows:*

     MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY, & FRIDAY: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
     WEDNESDAY:  8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


*Hours may vary occasionally based on staffing considerations; however, we will not open later than 8:00 a.m. or close earlier than 4:00 p.m. (Wednesdays 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.).




- The Court and the Community -

Judge Siskin recently sponsored a group of local attorneys for admission to the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Pictured, from left to right, are Bert McCarter, Travis Lampley, Judge J.S. Daniel, Sonya Wright, Barbara Marie Penland-LaFevers, Judge Siskin, Lisa Bell, Thomas Parkerson, Stan Bennett, and Kirk Catron.  Photograph taken in East Conference Room of United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.

* * * * *

Judge Siskin recently spoke to a pack of local Cub Scouts about the Court system.

- Courtroom Assignments for Judges -

The Trial Judges of the Sixteenth Judicial District hold Court in the following courtrooms:

Judge J. Mark Rogers Room 210
Chancellor Howard W. Wilson Room 306
Judge Royce Taylor Room 411
Judge David Bragg Room 419
Judge M. Keith Siskin Room 507

Please Note: The Circuit Judges regularly hear Chancery cases by interchange, and the Chancellor regularly hears Circuit cases by interchange.  Occasionally, the Judges swap courtrooms depending upon the size of their dockets.  Please check with the Clerk's Office [Chancery - (615) 898-7860; Circuit Civil - (615) 898-7820; Circuit Criminal - (615) 898-7812] to make sure you know where to go for your hearing!

For the latest docketing announcements and news from the Court: @TNCourt16JD

Image of Circuit Courtroom