Party Bylaws

PRIVATE ACTS

OF

DEKALB COUNTY, TENNESSEE

___________________________

REVISED EDITION

___________________________

COUNTY TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE SERVICE

THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

____________________________

Original Compilation By

William C. McIntyre, Legal Specialist

Revised and Edited By

John Joseph King, Legal Specialist

September, 1984

Updated By

Elaine Turner

May, 2001

PREFACE

County government in Tennessee is a political subdivision of state government. As a

political subdivision, county government has only that authority which is delegated to it by the state.

In Tennessee, the process of delegation of power from state government to county government is

accomplished through legislative action of the general assembly, either through a general (public)

act or private act. In the case of the general act, the general assembly grants certain powers which

have general application to all or a large number of counties across the state. These general acts are

assembled and codified in the Tennessee Code Annotated which is revised and published on an

annual basis and is widely available. However, finding individual county legislation (private acts)

is not so easy since it is not published in the official code.

The presence of a large body of private legislation in this state is the result of two basic

factors. First, although the Tennessee Constitution mentions some county government offices, the

provisions of the Tennessee Constitution dealing with county government lack detail, thereby

allowing the general assembly wide latitude in county government administration. Secondly, the

Tennessee General Assembly has seen fit to enact much of the law relating to county government

on an individualized county-by-county approach. The result has been that the 95 counties in

Tennessee operate under both general laws and private acts. This body of private legislation is a

mass of separate acts, with each applying to only one or a very small group of counties. Since these

acts affect counties on an individual basis, they are not included in the Tennessee Code Annotated

but rather are published annually in separate volumes.

The result of this past method of publication of private legislation has been the accumulation

of a large portion of county law in a cumbersome mass of chronologically arranged volumes which

at last count numbered over 120 books. To further complicate matters, the older volumes have not

been reprinted, so that there are today only a handful of complete sets of the private acts in

existence. Nevertheless, scattered through these hard-to-obtain volumes is the only public record

of those laws from which Tennessee counties draw a large portion of their authority to govern and

under which they operate daily. Before the County Technical Assistance Service began compilation

of the private acts on a county-by-county basis, there was no statewide effort to organize these acts

into a body of current law easily accessible for reference by county officials and interested citizens.

It is our hope that this volume of The Private Acts of DeKalb County will provide a useful reference

for county administration in DeKalb County.

We are indebted to the DeKalb County legislative delegation for its continued support of the

County Technical Assistance Service and this compilation.

i

HOW TO USE THE PRIVATE ACTS OF DEKALB COUNTY

At least three methods can be used to locate a private act contained in this volume. The

method used will depend on the amount of information you have at the outset of your research.

First, when you have no information about any specific act but merely a general question as

to the law on a given subject, the table of contents can be used to ascertain the pages of this volume

pertaining to that particular subject area. The chapter headings found in the table of contents are

arranged alphabetically and conform to what the compiler believes to be the most commonly used

terms found in county government in Tennessee. You should note, however, that the table of

contents is general in nature and is not a word index.

A second method can be used if you already know the year and chapter number of an act in

question. The parallel reference table in the back of this volume affords a reference to the pages

containing the desired act or acts.

Finally, if you have a copy of the Tennessee Private Acts Index (The Michie Co.,

Charlottesville, VA, 1984), it can be used as a more complete word index. Upon ascertaining the

chapter and year of the private act of interest, the parallel reference table in this volume can be used

to locate the private acts.

The private acts currently in effect for the county are reprinted in this volume. When going

through this volume you will note that there are some acts noted herein which are no longer current

laws due to subsequent passage of acts which have superseded them in usage. The compiler has

described these acts which have been superseded in historical notes at the end of the chapter wherein

the current act on the subject is reprinted. Under topic headings throughout this volume, brief

summaries or references are made to general law codified in Tennessee Code Annotated that deals

with the particular topic.

The acts that are printed in full in this volume include any subsequent amendments to the act.

Although no statement is made regarding whether the amendatory act was ratified, the ratification

was checked by the compiler to insure that the amendatory act was approved locally and is in effect.

This compilation is updated through the 101st Second Session of the 2000 Tennessee General

Assembly.

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i

HOW TO USE THE PRIVATE ACTS OF DEKALB COUNTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii

CHAPTER I – ADMINISTRATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

BUDGET SYSTEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

CODES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

COUNTY ATTORNEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

COUNTY CLERK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

COUNTY EXECUTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

COUNTY LEGISLATIVE BODY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

COUNTY REGISTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

COUNTY TRUSTEE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

PURCHASING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

GENERAL REFERENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

CHAPTER II – ANIMALS AND FISH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

FENCE LAW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

GIGGING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

CHAPTER III – BOND ISSUES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

BRIDGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

BUILDINGS – MEMORIALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

DEBTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

ROADS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

SCHOOLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

CHAPTER IV – BOUNDARIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

CREATION OF COUNTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

CHAPTER V – COURT SYSTEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

BOARD OF JURY COMMISSIONERS – JURORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

CHANCERY COURT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

CLERK AND MASTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

CIRCUIT COURT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

ASSISTANTS AND CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

GENERAL SESSIONS COURT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

CREATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

SAFETY PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

JUVENILE COURT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

SECRETARIAL ASSISTANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

CHAPTER VI – EDUCATION/SCHOOLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

BOARD OF EDUCATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

SUPERINTENDENT OR DIRECTOR OF SCHOOLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

GENERAL REFERENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

CHAPTER VII – ELECTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

DEMOCRATIC PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

MULTI-PURPOSE RECREATIONAL FACILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

DISTRICTS – REAPPORTIONMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

iii

CHAPTER VIII – HEALTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

CHAPTER IX – HIGHWAYS AND ROADS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

ROAD LAW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

CHAPTER X – LAW ENFORCEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

JAILS AND PRISONERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

MILITIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

OFFENSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

FIREWORKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

SHERIFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

CHAPTER XI – TAXATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

TAX ASSESSOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

DUTIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

TAX LEVY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

GASOLINE TAX APPORTIONMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

HOTEL/MOTEL TAX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

LITIGATION TAX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

PARALLEL REFERENCE TABLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

iv

CHAPTER ONE – ADMINISTRATION

1

ADMINISTRATION

BUDGET SYSTEM

Counties in Tennessee may operate their budgeting system under one of the three optional

general laws on the subject or under the provisions of private acts or county or metropolitan

government charters. The three optional general laws dealing with budgeting are the County

Budgeting Law of 1957, the County Financial Management System of 1981 and the Local Option

Budgeting Law of 1993. If neither an optional general law nor a private act or county charter has

been adopted, the county may have established a budget committee by resolution to serve in an

advisory role to the county legislative body. Also see T.C.A. §§ 5-9-401 through 5-9-407, and

T.C.A. § 49-2-301 (school budget). Most counties are subject to a general law dealing with the

procedure for making budget amendments that is codified at T.C.A. § 5-9-407.

The County Budgeting Law of 1957 is found in title 5, chapter 12 of Tennessee Code

Annotated. It is a general law establishing procedures for the preparation and adoption of county

budgets for all county funds, activities and agencies. The County Budgeting Law of 1957 is

permissive legislation and in order to come under its provisions, counties must adopt a resolution

by 2/3 vote of the county legislative body or pass the proposal in a referendum. Section 5-13-111

of Tennessee Code Annotated specifically provides that the 1957 general law does not affect either

private acts then in existence or prevent the enactment of private legislation for Tennessee counties

creating central accounting systems, the position of budget director, or other budgeting procedures.

The County Financial Management System of 1981 is codified at T.C.A. § 5-21-101 et seq.

This law provides an optional system and methods of controlling the financial affairs of a county,

including budgeting, purchasing, and investment processes. This act is permissive in nature and can

be activated by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body, or by a majority vote in a

referendum election.

The Local Option Budgeting Law of 1993 is an optional general law located at T.C.A. §§

5-12-201 through 5-12-217. This law may be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county

legislative body. This law may be adopted and used in conjunction with the County Budgeting Law

of 1957 or the County Financial Management System of 1981, or used alone. This optional law

provides procedures for the formulation, adoption and amendment of an annual budget that includes

deadlines for action. If a county legislative body operating under this law fails to adopt a budget by

August 15, the portion of the budget prepared by the department of education goes into effect, and

similarly, the remainder of the budget as proposed by the county executive or budget committee

goes into effect.

2

ADMINISTRATION

CODES

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1967-68

CHAPTER 436

SECTION 1. Definitions. That as used in this Act, the following terms shall have the

meanings indicated;

(a) Governing Body. The Quarterly County Court, Board of Commissioners, County

Council, or other body in which the general legislative powers of a county are vested.

(b) Code. Any published compilation of rules which have been prepared by technical

trade associations or model code organizations including housing, regulating

building construction, electrical wiring, plumbing and gas installation.

SECTION 2. Adoption and Amendment of Code Reference. That the governing body of

any County may adopt or repeal a resolution which incorporates by reference the provisions of any

code or portions of any code, or any amendment thereof, properly identified as to date and source,

without setting forth the provisions of such code in full. At least three copies of such code, portion

or amendment which is incorporated by reference shall be filed in the office of the County Court

Clerk and there kept for public use, inspection and examination. The filing requirements herein

prescribed shall not be deemed to be complied with unless the required copies of such code, portion,

or amendment are filed with the Clerk for a period of ninety days before the adoption of the

resolution which incorporates such code, portion or amendment by reference. No resolution

incorporating a code, portion or amendment by reference shall be effective until published in a

newspaper having a general circulation in the County.

SECTION 3. Administration. That the adopting resolution may also incorporate by

reference the administrative provisions of any code, or may include in the adopting resolution any

suggested administrative provisions found in a code. Should a code not contain administrative

provisions, the administrative provisions of another code may be adopted by reference, or may be

adapted and included in the adopting resolution. The powers and duties of enforcing the provisions

of any code incorporated by reference may be conferred upon such officials within the existing

framework of the county government as the governing body may determine, such as, but not limited

to, officials administering zoning and planning regulations of the county.

SECTION 4. Enforcement. That the County Attorney or any official vested with the powers

of enforcing the provisions of any code incorporated by reference may, in addition to any other

remedies provided by law, institute injunction to prevent the violation of any provisions of such

code.

SECTION 5. Penalties. That the authority of this Act shall not extend to the incorporation

by reference of any penalty clause contained in a code. Any person, firm or corporation or agent

who shall violate a provision of any code incorporated by reference or fail to comply therewith or

with any of the provisions thereof, or violate a detailed statement or plans submitted and approved

thereunder, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each such person, firm or corporation or agent shall

be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or portion thereof during which any

violation of any of the provisions of a code is committed or continued, and upon conviction for any

such violation shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars.

3

SECTION 6. Applicability. That the provisions of this Act shall apply only to the

unincorporated area of a county adopting such a code resolution and to those incorporated cities and

towns within the county which do not elect, now or hereafter, to adopt their own codes regulating

the same subject areas.

SECTION 7. Validity. That if any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this Act is for any

reason held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion

of this Act.

SECTION 8. That this Act shall have no effect unless the same shall have been approved

by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Quarterly County Court of DeKalb County within sixty (60) days

after the sine die adjournment of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee for the year, 1968.

Its approval or non- approval shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of the body having

jurisdiction to approve, or disapprove, and shall be certified by him to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 9. Effect. That this Act shall be effective from and after its passage, the public

welfare requiring it.

Passed: April 2, 1968.

COMPILER’S NOTE: For State adopted codes see Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 68, Chapter

17, 18, 19 and 20.

4

ADMINISTRATION

COUNTY ATTORNEY

The office of county attorney is not a constitutional office nor is it an established office under

general law. The office of county attorney may be set up by private act. The county executive is

authorized by T.C.A. § 5-6-112 to employ counsel where there is no county attorney established by

private act or county or metropolitan government charter.

The general law at T.C.A. § 49-2-203 authorizes the board of education to employ legal

counsel to advise or represent the board. The County Uniform Highway Law authorizes county

highway departments subject to this general law (most counties) to employ legal counsel or to solicit

the use of legal counsel retained by the county to prosecute or defend litigation caused by or

necessary to the operation of the county highway department. T.C.A. § 54-7-110. There may be

other private acts which allow other governmental departments to hire attorneys.

The following act once affected the appointment, election, or office of the county attorney

in DeKalb County. This act is included for historical reference only. Also referenced below is an

act which repeals prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 29, Page 73, created the office of County Attorney, naming

P. C. Crowley to serve until September, 1932. At the regular August election of 1932, and

every two years thereafter, the office would be filled by popular election. Compensation was

set at $600 per annum, payable monthly, out of the general funds of the county. This Act

was repealed by Private Acts of 1935, Chapter 32, Page 80.

5

ADMINISTRATION

COUNTY CLERK

The county clerk, formerly the county court clerk, is a constitutional office as provided by

article VII, section I of the Constitution of Tennessee. The county clerk is popularly elected for a

term of four years. T.C.A. § 18-6-101. The bond required for county clerks is $50,000 in counties

with a population greater than 15,000 and $25,000 in counties with a population less than 15,000.

T.C.A. § 18-2-201.

Most of the duties of the county clerk are specified in the general law (public acts) codified

in Tennessee Code Annotated. The county clerk is the clerk of the county legislative body. The

clerk keeps the official record (minutes) of the legislative body. The county clerk is responsible for

the issuance of marriage licenses and pawnbrokers’ licenses. The county clerk is the collector for

a number of local and state taxes including local wheel taxes, local hotel/motel taxes, wholesale beer

tax, business taxes and vehicle registration fees. T.C.A. § 18-6-105. The clerk’s salary is

determined by T.C.A. § 8-24-102. The basic fee schedule for the county clerk is found at T.C.A.

§ 8-21-407.

The following act once affected the office of county clerk in DeKalb County. It is included

herein for historical purposes. Also referenced below is an act which repeals prior law without

providing new substantive provisions.

1. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 796, Page 2456, made it the duty of the Clerk of the County

Court to prepare and publish, twice each year, in a newspaper published in the county, a

statement showing the condition of the county’s finances as of January 1 and June 1. This

Act was repealed by Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 724.

6

ADMINISTRATION

COUNTY EXECUTIVE

All counties in Tennessee, except those with a metropolitan form of government, must have

an elected county executive who serves under that title or another appropriate name designated by

private act. T.C.A. § 5-6-101. The county executive serves a four year term.

The county executive is the chief executive officer of the county and has all of the powers

and duties formerly exercised by the county judge except judicial powers. The county executive

serves as a nonvoting, ex officio member of the county legislative body, and the county executive

or a representative of the county executive serves as a nonvoting member of all committees of the

legislative body. T.C.A. § 5-6-106. The county legislative body may elect the county executive as

its chairman. However, the county executive may refuse to serve as chairman. T.C.A. § 5-5-103.

If the county executive is not elected chairman, then the county executive may veto legislative

resolutions of the county legislative body. T.C.A. § 5-6-107.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the county executive appoints members of county

boards and commissions and county department heads. Such appointees are subject to confirmation

by the county legislative body. T.C.A. § 5-6-106(c). It is important to recognize that most boards

and department heads are provided for by general law or private act, and this residual appointive

power of the county executive may not be applicable.

The county executive is authorized to employ one or more clerical assistants as may be

necessary for the performance of his or her official duties. The county executive sets the

compensation for these clerical assistants within the amount appropriated for this purpose by the

county legislative body. T.C.A. § 5-6-116.

The references below are of acts which once applied to the office of county judge, or county

executive in DeKalb County. They are included herein for historical purposes only. Also referenced

below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1871, Chapter 133, Page 153, created the office of County Judge for DeKalb County

and Carroll County. A person, learned in the law, would be elected by the voters for an eight

year term. The Quorum Courts were abolished and their jurisdiction was transferred to the

County Judge. They would have the same jurisdiction as the Chairman of the County Court

over which they would now preside. The County Judge would be the accounting officer and

general agent of the county. The compensation was set at $5 per day during the sitting of

the Monthly and Quarterly Courts. The Quarterly Court was authorized to make additional

compensation to the Judges out of the county treasuries.

2. Acts of 1872 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 1, Page 19, amended Acts of 1871, Chapter 133, by

authorizing the County Court to elect a qualified person as a County Judge on a temporary

basis until the regular August election of 1872. The County Judge was given the same

authority to maintain order that the Circuit Judge possessed.

3. Acts of 1883, Chapter 15, Page 18, amended Acts of 1871, Chapter 133, to abolish the office

of County Judge for DeKalb County.

4. Acts of 1893, Chapter 49, Page 65, created the office of County Judge in DeKalb County.

He would be popularly elected and would serve an 8 year term. He would possess all the

jurisdiction of the Chairman of the County Court whose office was abolished. The act set

the compensation at $350 annually.

7

5. Acts of 1911, Chapter 599, Page 1800, set the compensation of the County Judge for his

services as accounting officer and financial agent of the county at $250 per annum.

6. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 301, Page 946, raised the salary of the County Judge to $1,000

per year. The County Judge was granted concurrent jurisdiction with Chancellors and

Circuit Judges to grant fiats in the Circuit and Chancery Courts.

7. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 201, Page 504, allowed the County Judge to grant fiats while

stating the Judge was not required to have any greater qualifications than required for the

office of County Judge.

8. Private Acts of 1949, Chapter 668, Page 1969, amended Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 301,

to increase the compensation of the County Judge to $2,400 per annum. The County Judge

would also serve as fiscal and purchasing agent of the county, but would not receive

additional compensation for these duties.

9. Private Acts of 1949, Chapter 669, Page 1970, stated that the compensation of the County

Judge, for his services as accounting officer and financial agent of the county, would be $900

per annum.

10. Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 547, Page 1856, amended Private Acts of 1949, Chapter 669,

to raise the compensation from $900 to $1,500 per annum.

8

ADMINISTRATION

COUNTY LEGISLATIVE BODY

Each county in Tennessee, except those with a metropolitan form of government, has a

county legislative body, which is also formally known as the board of county commissioners, or

informally known as the county commission.

The county legislative body, or board of county commissioners, is composed of not less than

nine (9) nor more than twenty-five (25) members. The board reapportions the county into districts

from which county commissioners are elected. These districts must be apportioned on the basis of

population so that each commissioner represents substantially the same number of people. No more

than three commissioners may be elected from the same district. T.C.A. § 5-1-108.

The county legislative body replaced the quarterly county court as provided in the Public

Acts of 1978, Chapter 934, T.C.A. § 5-5-101 et seq. The county commissioners are vested with all

the legislative powers and duties formerly vested in justices of the peace, but possess no judicial

powers and are not charged with any judicial functions. Under T.C.A. § 36-3-301, members of

county legislative bodies may solemnize marriages.

The following acts once applied to the quarterly court or the county legislative body of

DeKalb County and are included herein for historical purposes.

1. Acts of 1839-40, Chapter 2, Page 7, validated the Act passed on December 11, 1837, which

was never published, that created DeKalb County. The County Court was established and

given the power to nominate locations for the seat of justice. The County Court would

appoint five commissioners to purchase the land for the county seat and lay off a town.

2. Acts of 1872 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 1, Page 19, ratified all the Acts done by the Quorum Court

of DeKalb County. The County Court was empowered to elect a County Judge.

3. Acts of 1875, Chapter 42, Page 39, authorized $1.50 per diem for Justices of the Peace

attending Quarterly Court.

4. Acts of 1889, Chapter 246, Page 471, authorized mileage at the rate of five cents a mile to

Justices of the Peace attending Quarterly Court. Certain limitations were included.

5. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 631, Page 1941, amended Acts of 1875, Chapter 42, to

increase the per diem to $2.50, and Acts of 1889, Chapter 246, to allow all Justices to receive

the same rate of mileage.

6. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 341, Page 1043, raised the per diem to $3, and the mileage to

25 cents per mile for Justices of the Peace.

7. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 23, Page 58, amended Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 341, by

reducing the per diem to $2, and the mileage to five cents per mile.

8. Private Acts of 1955, Chapter 245, Page 840, would have raised the per diem to $5 and the

mileage to ten cents per mile, one way, but this Act was never ratified by the Quarterly

County Court.

9. Private Acts of 1961, Chapter 28, Page 71, would have raised the per diem to $5 and the

mileage to ten cents per mile, one way, but this Act was never ratified by the Quarterly

County Court.

9

ADMINISTRATION

COUNTY REGISTER

RECORDING OF DEEDS

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1961

CHAPTER 356

SECTION 1. That in all counties of this State having a population of not less than 10,770,

nor more than 10,800 according to the Federal Census of 1960 or any subsequent Federal Census,

any purchaser of real estate located in such County or Counties is hereby required to record in the

County Register’s Office of such County, the deed conveying such property within one year after

receipt thereof. Failure to record such deed as above provided shall constitute a misdemeanor

punishable by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $50.00.

SECTION 2. That this Act shall have no effect unless the same be approved by a two-thirds

vote of the Quarterly County Court of any County to which this Act applies. The presiding officer

of such body shall proclaim its approval or non-approval and certify the same to the Secretary of

State.

SECTION 3. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: March 17, 1961.

10

ADMINISTRATION

COUNTY REGISTER

The office of county register is a constitutional office, established by article VII, section 1

of the Constitution of Tennessee, and is regulated by the general statutes found in Tennessee Code

Annotated, title 8, chapter 13; title 10, chapter 7 (public records); title 47, chapter 9 (U.C.C. Secured

Transactions); and title 66 (real property and registration of instruments). The salary of the county

register is determined by T.C.A. § 8-24-102.

The principal duty of the county register is the registration of instruments which the law

requires to be, or allows to be, filed or recorded. These instruments include, but are not limited to:

deeds of conveyance of real estate, powers of attorney, deeds of trust, mortgages, liens, land sale

contracts, plats, leases, military discharges, and papers under the Uniform Commercial Code. The

purposes of such registrations are also varied. The records of the register’s office provide a public

record of real property ownership, liens and various other transactions that affect the public interest.

The basic fee schedule for the register is found at T.C.A. § 8-21-1001.

11

ADMINISTRATION

COUNTY TRUSTEE

The county trustee is one of the county officers established by article VII, section 1 of the

Constitution of Tennessee. The office is regulated by title 8, chapter 11 of Tennessee Code

Annotated. Duties of the county trustee regarding the collection of property taxes are codified in

Tennessee Code Annotated, title 67, chapter 5. The county trustee is elected by the qualified voters

of the county to serve a four year term. T.C.A. § 8-11-101. Upon election the trustee must take the

required oath of office and enter into a surety bond. T.C.A. § 8-11-102. For other statutes

pertaining to the many duties of the trustee as a fiscal officer, see volume 14 of the combined general

index of T.C.A. under “County Trustee”. The salary of the county trustee is set by T.C.A. §

8-24-102.

The following act once affected the office of county trustee in DeKalb County, but is no

longer operative.

1. Private Acts of 1945, Chapter 512, Page 1558, required the County Trustee to enter into a

bond in a penalty equal in amount to the County taxes to be collected for the ensuing year.

The Trustee shall pay the premiums out of the emoluments of his office.

12

ADMINISTRATION

PURCHASING

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1979

CHAPTER 63

SECTION 1. (a) A Purchasing Committee shall be established for DeKalb County. The

Purchasing Committee shall consist of four (4) regular members and two (2) transient members. The

County Judge or Executive and three (3) members of the Board of County Commissioners shall be

regular members. The superintendent of county schools and the county supervisor of public roads

shall be the transient members. A transient member shall serve on the Purchasing Committee only

when requisitions, contracts, or other matters concerning the transient member’s department are on

the agenda of a meeting of the Purchasing Committee. While serving on the Purchasing Committee,

the transient members shall be entitled to speak, vote and participate in decision making as fully as

a regular member. The Board of County Commissioners shall select three (3) of its members to

serve on the Purchasing Committee for terms to be specified by resolution of the Board of County

Commissioners, not to exceed the remainder of the members’ term on the Board of County

Commissioners. The Board of County Commissioners may by resolution, remove any of its

members serving on the Purchasing Committee. All other departments of county government shall

be represented on the purchasing committee by the County Judge or Executive, and when such judge

or executive is acting in this capacity, he shall be considered a regular member rather than a transient

member.

(b) Four (4) members of the Purchasing Committee shall constitute a quorum when the

superintendent of county schools or the county supervisor of public roads is serving as a transient

member on the Purchasing Committee, otherwise three (3) members shall constitute a quorum of

the Purchasing Committee. The assent of a majority of the members present, a quorum being

present, shall be necessary for valid approval of any requisition, contract, or other matter requiring

the approval of the Purchasing Committee. The County Judge or Executive shall serve as chairman

of the Purchasing Committee. The Purchasing Committee shall elect from among its regular

members a secretary who shall keep minutes of the actions of the committee.

(c) The heads of departments or agencies expending funds appropriated by the Board of

County Commissioners of DeKalb County shall submit requisitions to the County Judge or

Executive whenever an item or multiples of an item to be purchased or contract of services to be

executed exceeds fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500.00) in any fiscal year, except food items used by

the various departments, textbooks and library books used in the county school system and

emergency purchases made in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 of this Act.

(d) The term “item” as used in this Act shall mean all materials or services that are identical

or nearly identical in nature. The Purchasing Committee may determine, if necessary, whether

particular materials or services shall be considered as an identical or nearly identical “item”.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115.

SECTION 2. The DeKalb County Judge or Executive shall serve as purchasing agent for

all purchases approved by the Purchasing Committee of DeKalb County, and he is authorized to

issue or approve appropriate drafts or checks, provided the provisions of this Act are complied with.

The County Judge or Executive shall receive a supplemental salary in the amount of five hundred

dollars ($500.00) annually, to be paid in equal monthly installments, for his services as purchasing

agent for the DeKalb County Purchasing Committee.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115.

13

SECTION 3. Purchases or contracts for the purchase or rental of supplies, equipment, or

materials approved by the Purchasing Committee are to be executed by the County Judge or

Executive. When the cost of an item or multiples of an item to be purchased or contract for services

executed in any fiscal year is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), competitive bidding shall not

be required, nor notice or advertising required; but in making such purchases, the purchasing agent

or department head shall be diligent in securing competition among dealers, persons, or

manufacturers, who are offering such material, supplies, or equipment for sale, and the purchasing

agent or department dead shall always secure the lowest price possible with due consideration for

the quality of the item or items purchased, and in no instance shall any supplies, materials, or

equipment purchased under the authority of this Act be purchased at a price higher than the

prevailing market price for such supplies, materials or equipment. All contracts for legal services,

auditing services by certified public accountants, and similar services by professional persons or

groups of high ethical standards, shall not be based upon competitive bids, but shall be awarded on

the basis of recognized competence and integrity; provided further that bids shall not be required

for services for which the rate of price is fixed by a public authority authorized by law to fix such

rates or prices. The county may purchase materials, supplies, commodities, and equipment from any

federal, state or local governmental units or agency, without conforming to the competitive bidding

requirements of this Act.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115,

Private Acts of 1996, Chapter 157.

SECTION 4. All purchases of an item or multiples of an item to be purchased in any fiscal

year by a particular department or agency expending funds appropriated by the Board of County

Commissioners of DeKalb County exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) shall be made in

accordance with the following procedure:

(a) The purchasing agent (County Judge or Executive) shall solicit sealed bids by public

notice inserted in a newspaper of county-wide circulation five (5) days prior to the final date for

submitting bids and by posting notices on a public bulletin board in the county courthouse. The

purchasing agent shall also, when deemed necessary or desirable, solicit sealed bids by sending

requests by mail to prospective suppliers. All such notices shall include a general description of the

commodities or contractual services to be purchased or rented and shall state where bid blanks and

specifications may be obtained and the time and place for opening bids.

(b) At the time and place selected by the purchasing agent, and fixed in the advertisement

the purchasing agent shall present the sealed bids to the Purchasing Committee.

(c) The Purchasing Committee shall meet and publicly open the sealed bids at the time and

place fixed in the advertisement. Each bid, with the name and address of the bidder, shall be entered

on the record, and each bid with the names of the bidders, the amount of their bids, and the name

of the successful bidder indicated thereon, shall after the award or contract, or order, be open for

public inspection. The Purchasing Committee may accept or reject any bid or any portion of any

bid.

(d) The purchasing agent shall execute the contract or purchase order upon the approval of

the Purchasing Committee.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115,

Private Acts of 1996, Chapter 157.

SECTION 5. The Purchasing Committee shall prescribe regular purchase order forms. No

purchase order shall be issued in an amount exceeding the unexpended balance of the amount

appropriated by the Board of County Commissioners for the appropriation year in which the

purchase is made, except where the Board of County Commissioners has found and declared an

emergency impending or in existence, and has specifically authorized such excess expenditure.

14

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115.

SECTION 6. Each purchase order or contract issued or executed by the County Judge or

Executive as purchasing agent shall be evidenced by a order signed by the County Judge or

Executive, which shall give all significant details respecting such order or contract. The Purchasing

Committee shall prescribe the manner by which contracts and purchase orders shall be filed and

maintained for each department or agency expending funds appropriated by the Board of County

Commissioners of DeKalb County.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115.

SECTION 7. Upon the approval of a requisition or contract by the Purchasing Committee,

the County Judge or Executive, as purchasing agent, and as herein provided, shall forthwith arrange

for, and purchase such materials, supplies, or equipment, in conformity with the provisions of this

Act, and shall arrange for and purchase such necessary materials, supplies, and equipment when so

requested by the proper authorities as this Act provides.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115.

SECTION 8. The Purchasing Committee may authorize any department or agency of the

county government to purchase in the open market, without filing requisition or estimate, any

supplies, materials, or equipment for immediate delivery in actual emergencies arising from

unforeseen causes, including delays by contractors, delays in transportation, and unanticipated

volume of work; but such emergencies shall not include conditions arising from neglect or

indifference in anticipating normal needs. Such direct emergency purchases, however, may only

be made by department or agency heads at times when the office of the county purchasing agent is

closed. At all other times, only the county purchasing agent shall make these purchases. A report

of such emergency purchase, when made by a department or agency head, together with a record

of the competitive bids secured and upon which it was based, shall be submitted in writing to the

county purchasing agent before the close of the next working day following the date of such

purchase, by the head of the county department or agency concerned, together with a full and

complete account of the circumstances of such emergency. Such report shall be kept on file and

shall be open to public inspection.

SECTION 9. The Purchasing Committee shall review each calendar quarter all purchase

orders of each county department and any unsound purchasing practices shall be brought to the

attention of the department head. If upon subsequent review, the Purchasing Committee finds that

the department head continues in such unsound practices, the Purchasing Committee shall list these

practices in a detailed report to the Board of County Commissioners.

SECTION 10. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Purchasing Committee

may prescribe rules authorizing the heads of departments or agencies expending funds appropriated

by the Board of County Commissioners of DeKalb County to repair equipment without complying

with the provisions of Section 4 of this Act.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 115.

SECTION 11. No chief officer or buying agent of any department or agency of the county

government shall devise or draft purchase orders for any purchase for the purpose of circumventing

the provisions of this Act.

SECTION 12. The County Commissioner is authorized to create and establish by an

appropriate resolution a public works committee to be composed of three (3) members from the

county commission, the County Judge or Executive, and the chief officer of the appropriate

department of county government for the purpose of supervising, overseeing, and negotiating public

works’ contracts.

15

SECTION 13. Chapter 161 of the Private Acts of 1971, is hereby repealed.

SECTION 14. In the event any section, sentence, or part of this Act shall be held to be

unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not be held to affect or invalidate the

remainder of the Act and that it is the intent of the General Assembly that every part of this Act be

severable.

SECTION 15. This Act shall have no effect unless the same shall have been approved by

a two-third (2/3) vote of the Board of County Commissioners of DeKalb County, Tennessee. Its

approval or non-approval shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of the Board of County

Commissioners of DeKalb County and certified by him to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 16. This Act shall be effective for purposes of approval by the county legislative

body upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. For all other purposes this Act shall take

effect upon being approved as provided in Section 15 of this Act.

Passed: April 11, 1979.

16

ADMINISTRATION

PURCHASING

The laws regarding purchasing for county governments are not uniform and several options

exist. The county education department has its own purchasing law (T.C.A. § 49-2-203(A)(4)), but

this law is superseded in those counties that adopt the statutes of the optional County Financial

Management System of 1981. T.C.A. § 5-21-106 et seq. Further, in counties that have adopted the

County Purchasing Law of 1957, another optional general law, the county board of education may

or may not use the central county purchasing system depending upon the approval of the state

commissioner of education. T.C.A. § 5-14-115.

The County Uniform Highway Law, at T.C.A. § 54-7-113, provides a purchasing law for the

county highway department when purchasing for the department is not governed by private act or

when the county has not adopted either the County Purchasing Law of 1957 or the County Financial

Management System of 1981. Nevertheless, even where private acts generally govern the purchases

of the county highway department, purchases of less than $5,000 do not have to be publicly

advertised and competitively bid. The purchasing provisions of the County Uniform Highway Law

do not apply to Shelby, Davidson, Knox, and Hamilton counties.

Purchases from the general fund are governed by the County Purchasing Law of 1983,

T.C.A. § 5-14-201 et seq., unless the county operates under a county or metropolitan government

charter, or has adopted the County Financial Management System of 1981 or the County Purchasing

Law of 1957. Also, this general law does not apply to counties with private acts if the private act

provides for public advertising and competitive bidding for purchases over $5,000 or a lesser

amount.

The County Purchasing Law of 1957, found in T.C.A. §§ 5-14-101 through 5-14-116, may

be adopted by the voters in a referendum or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body.

This act is one of the three companion Fiscal Control Acts of 1957. Under this act the county

executive appoints a purchasing agent subject to the approval of the county legislative body. T.C.A.

§ 5-14-103. The purchasing agent must be qualified by training and experience to perform the

required duties. T.C.A. § 5-14-103.

The person appointed as purchasing agent must have a corporate surety bond of not less than

$10,000 nor more than $25,000. The salary is not to be in excess of other county officials as

prescribed in T.C.A. §§ 8-24-101 and 8-24-102. T.C.A. § 5-14-103(b). The director of accounts

and budgets also serves as the purchasing agent in some counties. The primary duties of the

purchasing agent are to: (1) purchase all supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services,

(2) arrange for rental of all machinery, buildings and equipment, (3) transfer materials, supplies and

equipment between county departments, and (4) supervise the central storeroom. T.C.A. § 5-14-105

et seq.

The County Financial Management System of 1981 is found in T.C.A. §§ 5-21-101 through

5-21-129. This law provides for the consolidation and establishment of a financial management

system for all county funds operated through the county trustee, including purchasing. The system

is similar in scope to the 1957 acts; however, under this act the county operates under one act rather

than three. This system must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body

or a majority of the voters in order to be effective in any county. T.C.A. § 5-21-126.

Under the County Financial Management System of 1981, a finance department is created

to administer the finances of the county and all funds handled by the county trustee, in conformity

with generally accepted principles of governmental accounting and rules and regulations established

by the state comptroller of the treasury and state commissioner of education. T.C.A. § 5-21-103.

Unlike the 1957 laws, school funds are managed under this system just like all other county funds.

17

The commissioner of education may remove the school department from the system if records are

not maintained properly and timely. T.C.A. § 5-21-124.

The County Purchasing Law of 1983, T.C.A. § 5-14-201 et seq., applies to purchases by

authorized officials using county funds, except that it does not apply to purchases from county

highway funds, county education funds, or purchases by counties that have adopted the County

Purchasing Law of 1957 or the County Financial Management System of 1981. Neither does this

act apply in counties operating under a county or metropolitan government charter. Furthermore,

the act does not apply to counties with private acts if the private act provides for public advertising

and competitive bidding for purchases in excess of $5,000 or a lesser amount as established by the

private act.

Tennessee Code Annotated § 5-14-204 requires that all purchases and leases or

lease-purchase agreements made under the County Purchasing Law of 1983 shall be made or entered

into only after public advertisement and competitive bidding, except for (1) purchases costing less

than $5,000, (2) goods or services which may not be procured by competitive means because of the

existence of a single source or because of a proprietary product, (3) supplies, materials or equipment

needed in an emergency situation, subject to reporting requirements of the county legislative body

and the county executive, (4) leases or lease-purchase agreements requiring payments of less than

$5,000 per year, and (5) fuel and fuel products purchased in the open market by governmental

bodies. County legislative bodies may lower the dollar amount required in this act and may also

adopt regulations providing procedures for implementing this act.

Counties with populations over 150,000 are authorized to make purchases under $10,000

without competitive bids or proposals, but these counties may retain their present competitive

bidding requirements or establish different limits by private act or charter provision. T.C.A. § 12-3-

1007.

County governments may use pricing discounts obtained by the National Association of

Counties (NACo) Purchasing Alliance by considering the NACo price in the same manner as a

formal bid or informal quotation under the county’s bidding laws. T.C.A. § 12-3-1008. The

Tennessee Department of General Services (TDGS) may upon request, purchase supplies and

equipment for any county. Counties, without public advertisement and competitive bidding, may

purchase under the provisions of contracts or price agreements entered into by TDGS. Also, county

governments may purchase goods, except motor vehicles, under federal General Services

Administration (GSA) contracts, to the extent permitted by federal law or regulations. T.C.A. § 12-

3-1001.

Counties are authorized to distribute and receive bids, proposals and other offers

electronically, but are prohibited from requiring small or minority owned businesses to receive or

respond electronically. T.C.A. § 12-3-704.

The following acts once affected the purchasing procedures of DeKalb County, but are no

longer operative. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new

substantive provisions.

1. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 526, Page 1542, authorized the appointment by the Quarterly

County Court of a three member Purchasing Commission, whose duty was to buy all

supplies needed by the County. They would hold office for one year and be paid $25 per

annum. This was repealed by Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 327, Page 1013.

2. Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 156, Page 679, provided that the DeKalb County Judge would

act as Purchasing Agent for the county and would have sole authority to purchase all

materials, supplies, and equipment used by the County. This Act was repealed by Private

Acts of 1971, Chapter 160, Page 654.

18

3. Private Acts of 1971, Chapter 161, Page 656, provided that the County Judge of DeKalb

County would serve as the purchasing agent for the county. The Road Supervisor and the

Superintendent of Schools had authority to purchase items of $500 or less, but for all other

county departments the County Judge was the sole purchasing agent. This Act was repealed

by Private Acts of 1979, Chapter 63, Page 281.

19

ADMINISTRATION

GENERAL REFERENCE

The administration of county government is placed, through a coordination of duties and

responsibilities, in various elected or appointed officials, plus various boards, agencies and

commissions. For general law on county administration, see Tennessee Code Annotated, title 5

(Counties) and title 8 (Public Officers and Employees). Specific subject headings in the combined

general index in volumes 14, 15, and 16 of T.C.A. may be checked for other statutes relating to

county administration. These duties are summarized in the Tennessee County Government

Handbook, a CTAS publication.

The following private or local acts constitute part of the administrative and political history

of DeKalb County but are today no longer operative because they have either been superseded,

repealed, or failed to receive local approval. Also referenced below is an act which repeals prior law

without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1843-44, Chapter 10, Page 13, attached the 141st Regiment of Tennessee Militia, in

the county of DeKalb, to the 9th Brigade. This Act was repealed by Acts of 1849-50,

Chapter 3, Page 5, and Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 205, Page 312.

2. Acts of 1849-50, Chapter 3, Page 5, attached the 141st Regiment of Tennessee Militia, in

DeKalb County, to the 8th Brigade.

3. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 126, Page 321, abolished the office of Entrytaker, placing his

duties with the office of County Surveyor.

4. Acts of 1903, Chapter 371, Page 1105, authorized DeKalb County to become a stockholder

in a railroad from Smithville to Watertown or Lebanon or Brush Creek, up to the amount of

$150,000.

5. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 574, Page 1758, authorized the Quarterly County Court to

extend the time within which the Nashville and Eastern Electric Railway Co. could construct

and put into operation a railway from Smithville to Lebanon.

6. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 620, Page 1946, required county officials to make their bonds

with a valid bonding company, and set the amount of those bonds. This Act would not apply

to incumbents in office.

20

CHAPTER II – ANIMALS AND FISH

21

ANIMALS – FISH

FENCE LAW

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1919

CHAPTER 795

SECTION 1. That in certain counties having a population of not less than 15,430 nor more

than 15,440 inhabitants, under the Federal Census of 1910, or any subsequent Federal Census,

Caney Fork River is hereby declared to be a lawful fence.

SECTION 2. That all laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act be and the same are

hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. That this Act take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: April 14, 1919.

22

ANIMALS – FISH

GIGGING

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1955

CHAPTER 408

SECTION 1. That there shall be an open season each year in DeKalb County for the gigging

of rough fish, during the months of May, between sunup and sundown, in all the streams in said

County, except Pine Creek.

SECTION 2. That “rough fish” as contemplated by this Act shall be those fish defined as

such by the State Division of Game and Fish.

SECTION 3. That all persons who gig fish under the provision of this Act shall have a valid

fishing license issued by the State.

SECTION 4. That any person violating the provision of this Act shall be guilty of a

misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $5.00 nor more than $25.00 for each such violation.

SECTION 5. That this Act take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: March 10, 1955.

23

ANIMALS – FISH

In Tennessee, the wildlife resources agency has exclusive jurisdiction of the duties and

functions formerly held by the game and fish commission or of any other law relating to the

management, protection, propagation, and conservation of wildlife, including hunting and fishing.

T.C.A. § 70-1-301. The general statutes dealing with wildlife resources are found in title 70 of the

Tennessee Code Annotated.

Stock laws or fence laws were for many years a source of bitter controversy in Tennessee

counties. The general fence law for the state is now contained in T.C.A. title 44, chapter 8.

The following is a listing of acts that at one time affected, but no longer appear to have any

effect on, hunting, fishing or animal control in DeKalb County. They are included herein for

reference purposes. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new

substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1893, Chapter 59, Page 76, made it a misdemeanor to hunt, kill or capture wild deer

in DeKalb County from December 1st to September 30th of each year.

2. Acts of 1897, Chapter 134, Page 317, made it lawful to fish in DeKalb County by seine, trap,

gig, gun, grabbing with hands or any matter, except poison or explosives, by exempting

DeKalb County from the Acts of 1895, Chapter 127, Page 256. This was repealed by Acts

of 1899, Chapter 51, Page 73.

3. Acts of 1899, Chapter 116, Page 193, exempted DeKalb County from certain provisions of

the Acts of 1895, Chapter 127, by making it lawful to catch fish with a gun, gig or by

grabbing with hands.

4. Acts of 1911, Chapter 667, Page 2055, made it lawful to fish with traps, baskets, nets or

seines in DeKalb County from May 15 to November 30, provided that the mesh of such

devices were at least 1½” apart.

5. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 627, Page 1937, created an open season for hunting quail and

partridges from November 15 to February 1. This Act was repealed by Private Acts of 1921,

Chapter 708, Page 2239.

6. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 726, Page 2258, made it lawful to fish with traps or lines

provided that their slats or meshes were at least 1½” apart and no trap occupied the width

of a stream or was placed in such a way as to prevent the free passage up the stream. The

season was from May 15 to November 30.

7. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 750, Page 2330, made it a misdemeanor for any person

knowingly to permit diseased hogs to run at large or have access to any running water or to

fail to burn immediately the corpse of a diseased hog.

8. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 36, Page 65, authorized an election to determine the will of

the voters on the question of a stock law in DeKalb County.

9. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 501, Page 1442, created a zone in which stock could not run

at large or trespass; the limits of the zone being a one-mile radius of the courthouse.

10. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 405, Page 1225, exempted DeKalb County from the provisions

of the general law (Public Acts of 1919, Chapter 61) regulating the ownership of dogs.

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11. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 708, Page 2239, set the open season on quail and squirrels in

DeKalb County from December 1st to December 31st, inclusive.

12. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 132, Page 490, authorized an election to determine the will

of the voters with reference to a stock law for DeKalb County.

13. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 240, Page 858, provided for an election on March 28, 1925

to determine the will of the voters with regard to a stock law.

14. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 471, Page 1774, was a stock law for DeKalb County which

was to take effect on May 31, 1925.

15. Private Acts of 1925 Chapter 519, Page 2010, made it lawful to use traps with slats 1½”

apart, or baskets, nets and seines with meshes 1″ apart to catch fish in DeKalb County

between May 15 and November 15.

16. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 615, Page 1929, amended Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 519,

to change the season from April 15 to November 15.

17. Private Acts of 1929, Chapter 908, Page 2636, made it unlawful for any person, group, firm

or corporation to take, ship, or transport more than fifty minnows per day out of DeKalb

County.

18. Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 528, Page 1684, made it unlawful to fish from bridges or to

kill fish by means of poison or explosives.

19. Private Acts of 1955, Chapter 407, Page 1410, set a daily bag limit of 4 squirrels during the

open season of June 10th to June 20th. A valid state hunting license was required and

possession of more than eight squirrels was unlawful. This was repealed by Private Acts of

1961, Chapter 136, Page 479.

20. Private Acts of 1955, Chapter 419, Page 1459, made it lawful to seine for rough fish during

July and August in all the streams of DeKalb County, except Pine Creek, Center Hill Lake

and Caney Fork River. The mesh of the seine could be not less than 1½ inches. This Act

was repealed by Private Acts of 1974, Chapter 332, Page 643.

21. Private Acts of 1957, Chapter 412, Page 1296, amended Private Acts of 1955, Chapter 419,

to decrease the size of the seine mesh to one inch. This Act was repealed by Private Acts

of 1974, Chapter 332, Page 643.

22. Private Acts of 1959, Chapter 314, Page 1054, was an act to protect minnows in DeKalb

County by making it unlawful to catch or possess them for purpose of sale. This Act was

repealed by Private Acts of 1974, Chapter 211, Page 178.

23. Private Acts of 1974, Chapter 384, Page 828, would have created an open season for seining

fish during July and August in all the streams of DeKalb County, except Pine Creek, Center

Hill Lake, and Caney Fork River, but this Act was not acted upon by the Quarterly County

Court and did not become effective.

25

CHAPTER III – BOND ISSUES

26

BOND ISSUES

Bond issues have been authorized by private legislation, but general law now has provisions

covering bond issues needed by counties. Most of the private legislation authorizing counties to

issue bonds, or to borrow money on short term notes, contained similar provisions. Generally, these

common provisions concerned limitations on the rate of interest to be paid, the maximum number

of years for the maturity period, and an additional tax levy for general obligation bonds, the proceeds

of which were placed in a sinking fund and used to amortize the bonds and interest over the

specified maturity period.

For many years the authority of counties to issue bonds was contained in many different

chapters of Tennessee Code Annotated. Recently, the authority to issue bonds and notes has been

consolidated in the Local Government Public Obligations Act of 1986, T.C.A. § 9-21-101 et seq.

However, the older authority to issue bonds for school purposes remains in title 49, chapter 3 of

Tennessee Code Annotated.

A listing of the acts which authorized various bond issues for DeKalb County is included

below for reference purposes, although these acts are no longer current.

BRIDGES

1. Acts of 1911, Chapter 278, Page 722, authorized a bond issue of $30,000 for bridges in

DeKalb County, with a maximum interest rate of 5% per annum, to mature serially within

thirty years. A Board of Bridge Commissioners was to be appointed to oversee construction

of bridges from these bonds. The County Court would levy an annual tax upon all taxable

property in the county sufficient to pay the interest and principal.

2. Acts of 1911, Chapter 589, Page 1779, authorized DeKalb, Putnam and Smith by a majority

vote of their respective Quarterly County Courts to each issue bonds not exceeding $6,000,

payable within thirty years, maximum interest rate of 4½% per year; for the purpose of

building a bridge across the Caney Fork River near the bridge of the Tennessee Central

Railroad Company. An appropriate tax levy was prescribed.

3. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 768, Page 2390, authorized a bond issue of up to $100,000,

maximum interest rate of 6% per year, to mature within thirty years – for the purpose of

constructing not more than six steel, concrete or wood bridges in DeKalb County at the

locations specified in the Act. A tax levy was authorized. A five member County Bridge

Commission and the County Judge would carry out the provisions of this Act.

4. Private Acts of 1931 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 82, Page 474, authorized a bond issue of up to

$20,000 for the sole purpose of repairing the bridge over the Caney Fork River at the site of

the present Holmes Creek Bridge, with a maximum interest rate of 6% per year, to mature

in not less than ten years nor more than thirty. A tax levy was authorized.

BUILDINGS – MEMORIALS

1. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 799, Page 2460, authorized a bond issue not to exceed

$100,000 for the construction and maintenance of a new courthouse in the town of

Smithville, with a maximum interest rate of 6% per annum to mature within 30 years. A tax

levy was authorized. A five member Court House Finance and Executive Committee,

appointed by the Quarterly Court, would carry out the provisions of this Act. This Act was

amended by Private Acts of 1949, Chapter 807, Page 2492, by requiring a referendum in the

City of Smithville.

2. Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 200, Page 790, authorized a bond issue by DeKalb County and

the City of Smithville of $50,000 each, maximum interest rate of 5% per year, to mature

27

within thirty years, for the purpose of constructing a joint County-City Building. DeKalb

County had the option of proceeding independently and erecting a county building.

DEBTS

1. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 105, Page 227, authorized a bond issue not to exceed $180,000

for the purpose of paying outstanding elementary school warrants, outstanding court house

warrants and outstanding pike and bridge warrants, and to pay for the erection of two bridges

now being built. Of the $180,000, $30,000 would be allocated to the school warrants and

$50,000 to court house warrants with the remainder to the bridges and bridge warrants. A

majority vote at an election for this purpose was required. A tax levy was authorized. These

bonds were to have a maximum interest rate of 6% per annum.

2. Private Acts of 1935, Chapter 183, Page 420, provided that the Finance Committee and

County Judge would be authorized to issue coupon notes for $32,000 to pay outstanding

indebtedness. These bonds were not taxable by the state or by any county or city and had

a maximum interest rate of 5%, to mature within five years. The Quarterly County Court

was empowered to levy a special property tax.

3. Private Acts of 1937, Chapter 62, Page 161, validated the issuance of $20,000 worth of

funding bonds, which had an interest rate of 3¼%, dated January 1, 1937, by the Quarterly

County Court. A tax levy was authorized.

ROADS

1. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 751, Page 2332, authorized a bond issue of not more than

$150,000, to be used for road construction, purchase, and repair along routes designated in

the Act and approved by the Tennessee State Highway Commission with a maximum

interest rate of 6% per year, to mature in not less than ten years. A tax levy was authorized.

The State would supervise the road construction. The State was required to contribute

one-half the cost before bonds could be issued.

2. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 333, Page 1198, authorized a bond issue of up to $30,000 for

the purpose of purchasing turnpikes or toll bridges for free public use. These bonds had a

maximum interest rate of 6% and were due not later than ten years from the date of their

issuance. A tax levy was authorized.

3. Private Acts of 1945, Chapter 518, Page 1574, provided for the issuance of bonds in the

amount of up to $75,000 for the improvement and construction of roads, highways and

bridges, and the erection and repair of public buildings, maximum interest rate of 4% per

annum, to mature within twenty years. A tax levy was authorized. This authorization to

issue bonds would expire on January 1, 1947.

4. Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 540, Page 1847, validated $80,000 worth of bonds issued by

the DeKalb County Quarterly Court for road purposes, dated November 1, 1952.

SCHOOLS

1. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 659, Page 2089, authorized the Smithville Special School

District to issue bonds not to exceed $55,000, maximum interest rate of 6%, payable

semi-annually, and maturing within twenty years for the purpose of acquiring additional

school lands and the erection of a new school building. A referendum was required to

approve the issuance and the County Court was empowered to levy a tax on property within

the District.

2. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 130, Page 480, authorized the Smithville School Tax District

to issue coupon bonds in an amount not exceeding $40,000 for the purpose of purchasing a

site, erecting and equipping a school building within the school district. A five member

Building Committee was created to carry out the purposes of this Act.

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3. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 202, Page 502, authorized the Smithville Special School

District to issue bonds in the sum of $12,000 to retire existing indebtedness. These bonds

had a maximum interest rate of 6% and matured within six years. A referendum was

required and provisions for a 50 cents per $100 tax levy were included.

4. Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 541, Page 1848, validated Public School Building and Library

Bonds issued by the Quarterly County Court on August 1, 1952 in the amount of $125,000.

5. Private Acts of 1957, Chapter 270, Page 805, attempted to authorize a bond issue of

$550,000 for school building and repair purposes but this was rejected by the Quarterly

County Court.

29

CHAPTER IV – BOUNDARIES

30

BOUNDARIES

CREATION OF COUNTY

ACTS OF 1839-40

CHAPTER 2

SECTION 1. That the act passed 11th day of December, 1837, established DeKalb county,

but which was not published in the book purporting to contain all of the acts passed by the General

Assembly of Tennessee during their regular session in 1837-38, is hereby declared to be in full

force, and every thing done in accordance with the provisions of said act since its passage, is

declared to be as valid and binding as if said act had been published in the book containing the acts

passed in 1837-38.

SECTION 2. Said act is in the following words, viz: “An act to establish the county of

DeKalb, in honor of Baron DeKalb, the friend of American liberty, who fell at the battle of Camden

in the war of the Revolution.”

“SECTION 1. That a new county is hereby established of parts of Cannon, Franklin, White

and Jackson counties, to be called DeKalb, in honor of Baron DeKalb, the friend of American

liberty, who fell at the battle of Camden, in the war of the Revolution.

“SECTION 2. The county of DeKalb shall be bounded as follows, viz: beginning at the

corner between Smith and Cannon counties, on the Wilson county line, near Alexandria, and running

thence south twenty-three degrees east, with the old line between Smith and Wilson counties, eight

miles to a point in said line; thence south forty-eight degrees east, eleven miles and three quarters,

to the Warren county line at John Martin’s; thence north eighty-three degrees east, seven miles to

a point twelve miles north from M’Minnville; thence south eighty degrees east, four miles and three

quarters, to Caney fork river, at the mouth of Barren creek; thence down said river with its meanders

to the mouth of Townsend’s creek; thence to an Oak on the road from Sparta to Dibrell’s ferry, four

miles from said ferry; thence north thirty-seven and a half degrees east, nine miles and three fourths,

to a point on the stage-road from Sparta to Carthage; thence north two miles, to a corner between

White and Jackson counties, on Cane creek; thence south seventy-five degrees west, sixteen miles

and a half, so as to strike the north-west corner of Cannon county, on the Caney fork river; and

thence with the line run by Thomas Durham, between Smith and Cannon counties, to the beginning.

“SECTION 3. For the due administration of justice in the said county of DeKalb, the

different courts shall be holden at the house of Barnard Richardson until the seat of justice for said

county shall be located, and a suitable house erected for that purpose. The county court shall, in the

intermediate time, have full power to adjourn the courts to such other place in the said county as they

may deem better suited for the holding of the same, and for the public convenience, and to adjourn

to the seat of justice whenever, in their judgment, the necessary arrangements are made, and all writs

and other precepts returnable to either place shall and may be returned to the place to which said

courts may have been removed by the county court aforesaid, and the said courts to be holden in and

for said county of DeKalb shall be under the same regulations and restrictions, and shall have, hold,

exercise and possess the same powers and jurisdiction as are possessed by said courts in other

counties in this state.

“SECTION 4. All civil and military officers in said county of DeKalb may hold their office,

and discharge the duties of the same, during the time for which they were elected; and should there

be vacancies in said county of DeKalb, such vacancies shall be filled as the law directs, and it shall

be the duty of the sheriff of Cannon county to hold elections to fill the same until a sheriff shall be

elected for DeKalb county; and if any civil district or districts should be divided, by the lines of the

31

said county of DeKalb passing through them, it shall and may be lawful for the county court of said

county, and the courts of the several counties from which said county has been taken, to attach the

said fractions to other districts in their respective counties, or form a district or districts of one or

more fractions, as said courts may think proper; and the said county of DeKalb shall be placed upon

an equal footing, possess equal powers and privileges, in all respects, as other counties in this State:

Provided, nothing in this act contained shall be so construed as to prevent the counties of Cannon,

Warren, White and Jackson from entering up judgments, or the sheriffs of said counties from selling

under such judgments any lands within the bounds of said county of DeKalb for taxes, cost and

charges for the present or any preceding year, nor to prevent the sheriffs of either of said counties

from collecting from the citizens of said county of DeKalb any taxes due for the present or any

preceding year.

“SECTION 5. It shall be the duty of the sheriff of Cannon county, with the power to appoint

as many deputies as may be necessary, to hold an election in all the precincts in said county of

DeKalb, on the first Friday in February next, for the election of one sheriff and all other county

officers to which other counties in this State are entitled, whose elections are required to be

submitted to the voters of the whole county; and the said officers, when elected, shall be

commissioned in the same manner, and have the same powers, duties and emoluments as other

officers of the same grade and denomination in other counties in this State.

“SECTION 6. The first term of the county court in said county shall commence on the first

Monday in March next, during which term said court shall put in nomination two or more places for

the location of the seat of justice in said county; and the sheriff of said county, by himself and

deputies, or such persons as he may appoint, shall open and hold an election between all places put

in nomination, at each precinct in each civil district, on the third Friday in April next; and it shall

be the duty of the said sheriff to advertise said election for a seat of justice, at least thirty days

previous to the day of election, in at least two public places in each civil district in said county,

which advertisement shall fully specify the places put in nomination by the county court, and if any

citizen or citizens of said county may desire the seat of justice for said county to be at any place not

put in nomination by the county court, any additional places may be put in nomination by any citizen

or citizens of said county, at any period previous to, or on the day of election; Provided, that the seat

of justice shall not be more than two and a half miles from the centre of said county. In every thing

pertaining to the opening and holding said election, the sheriff and his deputies, and all others

assisting to hold the election in each of the districts, shall conform to, and be governed by the laws

now in force, in relation to the holding of elections for members of the General Assembly of this

State; and every man shall be entitled to vote in said election who shall be, at the time of voting, a

citizen of said county of DeKalb, and twenty-one years of age. The votes polled in said election

shall be compared by the sheriff on Saturday, the next day after the election, in the presence of the

county and circuit court clerks, or any two justices of the peace for said county, at the house of

Barnard Richardson, the place designated in this act for holding courts in said county; and if it shall

appear that a majority of the votes have been given for any one place, that place shall be the county

seat. But should it appear that no one place has been voted for by a majority of all voting in the

election, then the sheriff, within thirty days thereafter, shall hold another election between the two

places which received the highest number of votes, having given at least ten days notice, by

advertisement, as required before the first election; and whenever it shall appear that a majority of

all the votes given at either election hereby authorized were in favor of one place, that place shall

be the seat of justice of said county of DeKalb, and shall be called Smithville.

“SECTION 7. At the first term of the county court after the seat of justice shall have been

established, as required by this act, it shall be the duty of the county court to appoint five

commissioners, whose duty it shall be to procure, by purchase or otherwise, at least fifty acres of

land at said county seat, for which they shall cause a deed or deeds to be made to themselves, or

their successors in office, by general warranty, and on said fifty acres of land said commissioners

shall immediately proceed to lay off a town, with as many streets and of such width as they may

deem necessary, reserving at least two acres for a public square, and a lot sufficient for building a

jail.

32

“SECTION 8. The said commissioners, appointed by the county court, shall sell the lots in

said town, on a credit of at least twelve months, first giving due notice thereof in one or more

newspaper printed in this State, and shall take bonds, with approved security, for the purchase

money, payable to themselves, and their successors in office, and shall make titles in fee simple, as

commissioners, to the respective purchasers of said lots.

“SECTION 9. The proceeds of the sales of the lots aforesaid shall be a fund in the hands of

said commissioners for defraying the expenses incurred in the purchase of the said tract of land on

which the said county seat is located, and also for defraying the expenses of erecting public

buildings.

“SECTION 10. The said commissioners shall superintend the building of the court house,

jail, and other necessary public buildings, and shall let out such buildings as the county court in said

county shall order to be built, upon such terms and conditions as the said court shall direct, and shall

take bond, with sufficient securities, from the person or persons to whom the same is let, payable

to themselves and their successors in office, in the sum of ten thousand dollars, conditioned for the

faithful performance of his or their contracts.

“SECTION 11. The said commissioners, before they enter upon the duties of their office

assigned them by this act, shall take an oath or affirmation that they will truly and faithfully execute

and perform the different duties by this act enjoined on them, according to the best of their

judgment; and moreover, shall enter into bond, with approved security, payable to the chairman of

the county court of DeKalb county, and his successors in office, in the sum of five thousand dollars,

conditioned for the due and faithful performance of the duties enjoined upon them by this act, which

bond shall be deposited in the office of the county court clerk in said county, and shall not be so

construed as to make one of the commissioners security for another.

“SECTION 12. The said commissioners shall keep a fair and regular statement of all the

monies by them received and expended; which statement, when required, shall, from time to time,

be laid before the county court. And when all the necessary public buildings are completed, the said

commissioners shall, by order of the county court, pay over all surplus money to the county trustee

for county purposes, and they shall be allowed by the county court a reasonable compensation for

their services.

“SECTION 13. The said commissioners, in laying off the town, shall also reserve as many

lots as they may deem necessary, to be given to the different religious denominations, on which to

erect houses of public worship, and also a lot for a public burying ground; and said commissioners

shall also reserve lots for a male and female academy, of such size as they may think necessary.

“SECTION 14. That the county of DeKalb be, and the same is hereby attached to the 13th

Judicial circuit, and the courts therefor shall be held by the Judge of said circuit on the first Mondays

of January, May and September of every year.

“SECTION 15. That said county of DeKalb is hereby attached to the Chancery district

composed of the county of Smith, and the courts therefor shall be holden at Carthage, as heretofore

provided.

“SECTION 16. That the said county of DeKalb shall form one regiment, and that said

regiment, in all its relations to the militia of this State, shall assume the place of the 141st regiment,

at present in Cannon county, and shall take the number of said regiment in Cannon county.

“SECTION 17. That the field officers included in said county of DeKalb, shall meet at the

house of Barnard Richardson, on the second Friday in February next, and divide said regiment into

battalions and companies, and provide for electing all officers in said regiment, where there may be

vacancies, in the manner pointed out, and as provided for by the militia laws of this State.

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“SECTION 18. That it shall be the duty of the sheriffs for the counties of Cannon, Jackson,

White and Warren, each, at the different precincts hereby stricken from his county, to open and hold

an election on the second Friday in January next, in the same manner as herein provided for the

election of a county seat for said county of DeKalb, and the votes given in each fraction of a county

taken off in the formation of said county of DeKalb shall be compared by the sheriff holding said

election, at the house of Barnard Richardson, on Saturday, the next day after said election, and if a

majority voting in each fraction shall vote in favor of being attached to and included in said county

of DeKalb, said county of DeKalb shall be considered as established; but if a majority in either

fraction shall vote against being included in said county of DeKalb, this act establishing it shall then

be void. In the formation of said county, no county from which a part may be taken shall be reduced

below its constitutional amount of territory, and the voters stricken off from White county shall vote

at Davis’, Dibrell’s, and Henry P. Burton’s.

Passed: December 11th, 1837.)”

SECTION 3. The reenacting and republication of the act above recited shall not in any way

be taken to invalidate any portion of a supplemental act or amendments to the same passed at the

last session of the General Assembly of Tennessee.

SECTION 4. That the county of DeKalb, as organized under the act above recited, and the

acts referred to, is hereby declared to be established as one of the lawful and constitutional counties

of this State, according to the provisions of this and the aforesaid acts.

34

BOUNDARIES

ACTS OF 1837-38

CHAPTER 199

SECTION 3. That the dividing line between the counties of DeKalb and White, running

north from the four mile tree, on Dibrell’s road, be so changed as to run with the line of the eighth

district to the Jackson County line, leaving all the citizens residing in said eighth district in the

county of White.

Passed: January 27, 1838.

COMPILER’S NOTE: Sections 1, 2, and 4 of this Act did not concern DeKalb County and are

not published herein.

35

BOUNDARIES

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1855-56

CHAPTER 27

SECTION 1. That the County lines between DeKalb and Putnam be so changed as to

commence where the DeKalb County line crossed the old line that divided Smith and Jackson, near

Elijah Smith’s, running north with the main direction of said old line so as to include Thomas and

Abner Harper, and on to the top of the ridge between the Buffalo Valley and Wolf Creek; then with

the main directions of said ridge to said creek just below Jesse Hale’s; thence down said creek to its

mouth; thence up the river with its meanders to the DeKalb County line, near James Jones’s.

SECTION 2. That the first section of an act, Chapter 152, passed the 14th of February, 1854,

be and the same is hereby, repealed.

SECTION 3. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage.

Passed: November 20, 1855.

36

BOUNDARIES

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1857-58

CHAPTER 129

COMPILER’S NOTE: The first seven sections of this Act did not concern DeKalb County and

are not published herein.

SECTION 8. That the county line between the counties of DeKalb and Putnam, be so

changed as to run as follows, to wit: Beginning on the line between said counties, on the top of a

large ridge, near Gordon Maxwell’s; running with said ridge, a northwest direction, to the Caney

Fork River below Joseph Mitchell’s; thence up said river to the old line; and that the territory and

citizens in said amended boundary be attached to the 16th Civil District of DeKalb county; and that

said citizens have all the rights and privileges of other citizens of said county of DeKalb. That all

the tax and revenue due from said citizens to the county of Putnam, for the year 1858, shall be paid

to the revenue collector of Putnam county: Provided, the property of said persons, included in said

portion detached from the county of Putnam and attached to the county of DeKalb, shall be given

in to the revenue Commissioner, of the county of Putnam, for and during the term of five years from

this time, and the tax thereon shall be assessed against them in the county of Putnam; and the tax

collector for said county of Putnam shall have the right to collect the same.

SECTION 9. That this act shall take effect from its passage.

Passed: March 15, 1858.

37

BOUNDARIES

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1915

CHAPTER 542

SECTION 1. That the line between White and DeKalb Counties be changed by taking from

DeKalb County and adding to White County a strip of land bounded and described as follows:

Beginning in the center of the Caney Fork River at a point where said river in its downward

flow leaves the line between said Counties, runs thence down the center of said river to a point in

the center of the river two miles below Sligo Ford, thence at right angles Easterly 350 feet to a point,

thence, southernly and parallel with the meanders of the river to a point in the present White County

line, thence Westerly 350 feet to the beginning.

SECTION 2. That this Act take effect from and after its passage the public welfare requiring

it.

Passed: May 17, 1915.

38

BOUNDARIES

The private act has often been used as a means for transferring parcels of land from one

county to another, often because the boundary lines would bisect an individual landowner’s property,

placing the landowner under the jurisdiction of two counties. This type of boundary change was

often very general in its description of the land transferred, without any metes and bounds

description. The following is a summary of acts which authorized boundary changes for DeKalb

County.

1. Acts of 1837-38, Chapter 61, Page 86, appointed Guilford Jones, the county surveyor of

Smith County, to ascertain the center of DeKalb County. This act also set his compensation,

oath, responsibilities, and provisions for another surveyor should he fail to perform his

duties.

2. Acts of 1843-44, Chapter 57, Page 58, altered the boundary line between Cannon and

DeKalb Counties as to include the dwelling house of Alfred Hancock in Cannon County.

3. Acts of 1847-48, Chapter 99, Page 149, placed the farms of John Reynolds and Jesse D.

Allen in DeKalb, taking them out of Smith County.

4. Acts of 1849-50, Chapter 139, Page 341, changed the boundaries between Smith and

DeKalb Counties to include the farms of Nicholas Smith, Andrew Vantreece, John

Robinson, and John F. Goodner in DeKalb.

5. Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 262, Page 429, made two changes in DeKalb County lines. The

boundary with Smith County was changed to include in DeKalb the dwelling houses of H.

H. Sullivan, John Corley and William H. Christian. The south boundary of J. N. Murphey’s

farm was made the dividing line between DeKalb and Warren County, thus placing the entire

farm in DeKalb County.

6. Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 304, Page 588, placed the farm of John Martin, Jr. in DeKalb

County out of Cannon County. This Act was repealed by Acts of 1853-54, Chapter 152,

Page 224, and the repealing clause was later repealed by Acts of 1855-56, Chapter 27, Page

29.

7. Acts of 1853-54, Chapter 118, Page 192, changed the boundary line between Cannon and

DeKalb counties so as to include the lands of Thomas Martin and the widow Kersey in

DeKalb County.

8. Acts of 1853-54, Chapter 181, Page 251, placed the lands of Charles Denney in the County

of White, out of DeKalb County. This was repealed by Acts of 1859-60, Chapter 211, Page

596.

9. Acts of 1855-56, Chapter 122, Section 23, Page 151, placed the residence of John Martin,

Jr., in DeKalb County, rather than in Warren County.

10. Acts of 1855-56, Chapter 165, Page 256, changed the county lines between DeKalb and

Putnam to place the lands of Bird Sexton, Willis Coggins and Loyd P. Coggins in DeKalb

County.

11. Acts of 1859-60, Chapter 196, Section 10, Page 575, changed the County line between

DeKalb and Cannon Counties, but it was repealed by Acts of 1870, Chapter 118, Page 181.

12. Acts of 1879, Chapter 61, Page 79, detached the land of J. W. Wood from Smith and DeKalb

Counties, placing it in Wilson County.

39

13. Acts of 1881, Chapter 164, Page 220, changed the boundaries between Smith and DeKalb

to include all the lands of John Rollins and Thomas Oakley in DeKalb County.

14. Acts of 1881, Chapter 165, Page 221, placed the land of Herd Cope in the County of DeKalb

out of White County.

15. Acts of 1883, Chapter 66, Page 64, detached the land of S. G. Hawkins from DeKalb County

and placed all of it in Warren County.

16. Acts of 1887, Chapter 53, Page 123, changed the line between DeKalb and Smith counties

so as to include the lands of John Rollin in the First Civil District of DeKalb.

17. Acts of 1887, Chapter 192, Page 324, changed the county lines of DeKalb and Putnam

Counties to place the portion of the lands of F. H. Smith lying in Putnam County in the 16th

Civil District of DeKalb.

18. Acts of 1887, Chapter 193, Page 325, took the land of John Eldridge out of DeKalb County

and placed them in White County.

19. Acts of 1887, Chapter 228, Page 389, removed seventeen acres of J. C. Jones’ land from

DeKalb County and placed them in Cannon.

20. Acts of 1889, Chapter 141, Page 279, changed the county line between Putnam and DeKalb

to include the lands of Capt. Purtaman Jones and that of John H. Gamer in Putnam County,

removing them from DeKalb County.

21. Acts of 1889, Chapter 264, Page 490, took the lands of F. Rigsby and William Stratten out

of White County and placed them in DeKalb County.

22. Acts of 1893, Chapter 20, Page 30, detached the lands of H. S. Gill from Smith County and

placed it in DeKalb County.

23. Acts of 1893, Chapter 73, Page 91, changed the boundary between DeKalb and Smith

Counties as described in the Act, and included the farm of H. S. Gill in DeKalb County.

24. Acts of 1897, Chapter 136, Page 322, changed the boundary lines between Warren and

DeKalb Counties so as to include the land of Mrs. Laura Northcut in DeKalb County.

25. Acts of 1897, Chapter 263, Page 578, detached the balance of the lands of C. A. Malone

from DeKalb and placed it in Smith County.

26. Acts of 1899, Chapter 143, Page 253, changed the line between Smith and DeKalb Counties

so as to include all the lands of J. M. Bates in Smith County.

27. Acts of 1899, Chapter 179, Page 354, detached the lands of William Oakley from the County

of Smith and placed them in DeKalb County.

28. Acts of 1899, Chapter 342, Page 787, placed the land of James Roller in DeKalb County, out

of Warren County.

29. Acts of 1899, Chapter 344, Page 789, changed the boundary line between Warren and

DeKalb to include all the lands of H. G. Stevens in Warren County.

30. Acts of 1903, Chapter 213, Page 464, provided that the line between Cannon and DeKalb

be changed to include all of the lands of E. T. Haley, Mrs. M. J. Turner, W. J. Vandergroft,

George Hancock, James Kirby, J. D. Vandergroft and W. R. Watson in Cannon County.

40

Acts of 1903, Chapter 387, Page 1127, was substantially identical to this Act, changing the

name Vandergroft to Vandergraft.

31. Acts of 1903, Chapter 221, Page 491, placed the land of Lycurgus Kelley in DeKalb County,

out of Smith County.

32. Acts of 1905, Chapter 36, Page 82, detached the lands of V. M. Weaver from DeKalb

County and attach them to Putnam County.

33. Acts of 1905, Chapter 88, Page 199, removed the land of J. B. Williams from the

Seventeenth Civil District of DeKalb County and attached it to the Seventh Civil District of

Smith County.

34. Acts of 1905, Chapter 95, Page 206, changed the boundaries between Smith and DeKalb

Counties to place the land of Daniel Driver in DeKalb County.

35. Acts of 1905, Chapter 156, Page 345, altered the line between Putnam and DeKalb so as to

include all of the land of Richard Herron in DeKalb County.

36. Acts of 1907, Chapter 291, Page 994, placed all the land of Jessie Pullum in Putnam County,

thereby changing the boundary with DeKalb.

37. Acts of 1907, Chapter 503, Page 1686, detached the land of W. L. Foster from Putnam

County and placed them in DeKalb County.

38. Acts of 1911, Chapter 415, Page 1156, changed the line between Wilson and DeKalb to

place all the land of J. S. Barry in Wilson County.

39. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 260, Page 967, moved the farms of Shelia Jennings, T. R.

Jennings and T. D. Fite from the Thirteenth Civil District of DeKalb to the Thirteenth Civil

District of Wilson County.

40. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 528, Page 1698, placed the lands of W. A. Huggins in Wilson

County, out of Dekalb County.

41. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 541, Page 1735, changed the county line between Putnam and

DeKalb to remove the portion of Joseph Bozarth’s land in the Thirteenth Civil District of

Putnam County and placed it in the Eighth Civil District of DeKalb County.

42. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 556, Page 1794, changed the line between the Counties of

DeKalb and Cannon so that all the land John Sadler purchased from Will Hancock in the

Tenth Civil District of Cannon was placed in the Third Civil District of DeKalb County.

43. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 558, Page 1796, detached the lands of Mrs. J. T. Qualls from

Wilson County and placed them in DeKalb County.

44. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 662, Page 2146, changed the line between the Counties of

DeKalb and Cannon to remove A. J. Smithson’s land from the Third Civil District of DeKalb

County and place it in Cannon County.

45. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 530, Page 2061, detached the lands of R. P. Kirby from the

Twenty-first Civil District of DeKalb and placed them in the Sixteenth Civil District of

Warren County.

41

46. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 82, Page 185, changed the boundary line between DeKalb and

White Counties to place the lands of F. C. Henderson in White County. Private Acts of

1927, Chapter 147, Page 321, is identical to this Act.

47. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 785, Page 2573, changed the boundary lines between DeKalb

and Wilson Counties to place the farm of Mrs. M. C. Saddler in the Thirteenth District of

Wilson.

48. Private Acts of 1929, Chapter 412, Page 1074, detached the land of Albert Ashburn from the

Eighth Civil District of DeKalb County and placed it in Putnam County.

49. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 227, Page 548, placed the lands of Grover Foutch and Andrew

M. Foutch in Wilson County, out of DeKalb County.

50. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 270, Page 649, detached from DeKalb the land of A. J.

Smithson which he purchased from Claude Lefevers and placed such land in Cannon

County.

51. Private Acts of 1935, Chapter 93, Page 208, detached the 40 acre farm of W. A. Fite from

DeKalb County and placed it in Wilson County.

52. Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 524, Page 1678, detached the farm of James Underhill from

the Fifth Civil District of DeKalb County and placed it in the Ninth Civil District of Cannon

County.

53. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 426, Page 1487, changed the county line between DeKalb and

Putnam so as to include in DeKalb the land of John Agee.

54. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 434, Page 1502, placed the entire tract of Rhoda McGuffey’s

land in Putnam County, thereby changing the boundary with DeKalb County.

55. Private Acts of 1971, Chapter 65, Page 238, detached the land of Vennie Snyder from the

Ninth Civil District of Cannon County and placed it in the Fifth Civil District of DeKalb.

Public Acts of 1972, Chapter 548, Page 297, placed the Snyder land back in Cannon County.

56. Public Acts of 1975, Chapter 161, Page 298, moved the land described in the Act which was

owned by Vennie H. Snyder and was located in the Ninth Civil District of Cannon County

out of Cannon County and into the Fifth Civil District of DeKalb County. The land

transferred consisted of 15 acres more or less. This act was repealed by Public Acts of 1976,

Chapter 422, Page 91.

57. Public Acts of 1976, Chapter 487, Page 239, transferred ten acres, more or less, as the same

was described in the act, which belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Willie Curtis, out of the Fifth Civil

District of DeKalb County and into the Ninth Civil District of Cannon County, so that all the

Curtis property would be within the boundaries of Cannon County.

58. Public Acts of 1978, Chapter 774, Page 841, detached the lands of Mr. and Mrs. Willie

Curtis from the Ninth Civil District of Cannon County and placed them in the Fifth Civil

District of DeKalb County.

59. Public Acts of 1981, Chapter 81, Page 86, altered the boundary lines between DeKalb

County and Cannon County to move about one acre of land, as the same was described, out

of the Second Civil District of DeKalb County and attaching the same to the Fourth Civil

District of Cannon County.

42

CHAPTER V – COURT SYSTEM

43

COURT SYSTEM

BOARD OF JURY COMMISSIONERS – JURORS

All private acts creating county boards of jury commissioners were repealed by § 22-2-201

of Tennessee Code Annotated, except in Davidson, Knox and Hamilton counties. The general

statutes dealing with jurors and juries can be found in T.C.A. title 22. County boards of jury

commissioners are described in T.C.A. § 22-2-201, and the qualifications of a juror are listed in

T.C.A. § 22-1-101.

The following acts once affected jurors or boards of jury commissioners in DeKalb County,

but are no longer operative. Also referenced below is an act which repeals prior law without

providing new substantive provisions.

1. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 605, Page 1931, was the first act creating a Board of Jury

Commissioners for DeKalb County. A three member Board would be appointed by the

Circuit Judge for a one year term. The Board would select jurors from the tax books of the

county.

2. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 800, Page 2464, set the compensation of jurors at $2.50 per

day. This was amended by Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 340, Page 1042, to raise the

compensation of jurors to $3 per day plus mileage at the rate of $.05 per mile.

3. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 366, Page 1129, provided that the Quarterly County Court

would appoint the jurors to serve at the next succeeding Court.

4. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 218, Page 727, created a Board of Jury Commissioners for

DeKalb County. A three member Board would be appointed by the Circuit Judge for a two

year term.

5. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 171, Page 587, provided that the County Court would appoint

the jurors who served in Circuit Court and that no person could be appointed who had served

in the past two years.

6. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 641, Page 2405, exempted DeKalb County from the general

law provision regarding the appointment of grand jury foremen by Criminal and Circuit

Judges having criminal jurisdiction.

7. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 200, Page 510, provided that the Circuit Court Clerk would

select the names from each civil district from which the names would be drawn by a

blindfolded person to form the necessary jurors.

8. Private Acts of 1931 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 69, Page 454, set the daily compensation of jurors

at two dollars per day served.

9. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 575, Page 1386, authorized the County Judge to appoint a

three member Jury Commission who would supervise the selection of jurors in DeKalb

County for a period of two years. This was repealed by Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 534,

Page 1853.

10. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 533, Page 1842, created a three member Board of Jury

Commissioners, appointed by the County Judge, to hold office for two years. The Board

would select from the tax rolls, five men, one from each civil district in the county. A child

would draw from the selected names 40 names to serve as jurors.

44

COMPILER’S NOTE: This Act was of questionable validity as DeKalb County did not fall into

the enumerated population class.

COURT SYSTEM

CHANCERY COURT

DeKalb County, under the provisions of § 16-2-506 of Tennessee Code Annotated, is part

of the 13th Judicial District. The general law on chancery courts is found in Title 16, Chapter 11

of Tennessee Code Annotated, and Title 17 applies to judges and chancellors.

The following acts form an outline of the development of equity jurisdiction in DeKalb

County, although they no longer have the force of law since they have either been superseded by

general law, repealed, or failed to receive local ratification.

1. Acts of 1839-40, Chapter 2, Page 11, in establishing DeKalb County attached the county to

the Chancery district composed of Smith County. The court would be held at Carthage.

2. Acts of 1839-40, Chapter 66, Section 2, Page 149, provided that the citizens of DeKalb

County could file their bills in chancery or be sued in the Chancery Courts at Carthage or

McMinnville.

3. Acts of 1843-44, Chapter 151, Page 178, established a Chancery Court in DeKalb County

which would be held in the court house in Smithville on the third Mondays of March and

September.

4. Acts of 1853-54, Chapter 123, Page 195, set the term of the DeKalb County Chancery Court

for the fourth Monday in March and September, at Smithville.

5. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 88, Page 96, set the times for holding Chancery Courts throughout

the State. In the Fourth Division, which contained DeKalb County, court would be held on

Thursdays after the third Monday of March and September, at Smithville.

6. Acts of 1859-60, Chapter 116, Page 397, changed the time for holding Chancery Court at

Smithville to the third Mondays in March and September.

7. Acts of 1885 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 20, Page 96, placed DeKalb County in the Fifth Chancery

Division and set the dates for holding court on the third Mondays in February and August.

8. Acts of 1891 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 11, Page 28, changed the time for holding Chancery Court

in the Fifth Chancery Division. DeKalb County would hold court on the first Tuesday after

the second Mondays in February and August.

9. Acts of 1897, Chapter 294, Page 616, changed the time of holding Chancery Court to the

second Monday after the fourth Monday in April and October.

10. Acts of 1903, Chapter 97, Page 177, changed the times for holding Chancery Court in the

Fourth Chancery Division. DeKalb County, which was now in the Fourth Division, would

hold court on the second Monday in May and fourth Monday in November.

11. Acts of 1905, Chapter 120, Page 259, changed the times for holding Chancery Court in the

Fourth Chancery Division. DeKalb County remained on the second Monday in May and

fourth Monday in November.

45

12. Acts of 1911, Chapter 507, Page 1505, changed the times for holding Chancery Court in the

Fourth Chancery Division. DeKalb County remained on the second Monday in May and the

fourth Monday in November.

46

COURT SYSTEM

CHANCERY COURT

CLERK AND MASTER

The office of clerk and master of the chancery court is covered by title 18, chapter 5 of

Tennessee Code Annotated and mentioned in article VI, section 13 of the Constitution of Tennessee,

which provides that the clerk and master will be appointed by the chancellor. The salary of the clerk

and master is regulated by T.C.A. § 8-24-102.

The basic fee schedule for clerks of court, including the clerk and master, is found at T.C.A.

§ 8-21-401. Tennessee Code Annotated § 16-16-203 provides the authority for the clerks and

masters who are serving as the clerks of probate courts to accomplish a variety of clerical and

judicial acts involving the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

The reference below contains an act which once applied to the clerk and master in DeKalb

County.

1. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 590, Page 1808, set the salary of the Clerk and Master at

$1,000 per year with the provision that if the fees of his office did not amount to this sum,

the county would pay the difference. If the fees exceeded the salary, they would be retained

by the Clerk and Master.

47

COURT SYSTEM

CIRCUIT COURT

The circuit court is the traditional trial level “law” court (as opposed to equity court) with

broad civil and criminal law jurisdiction. Traditionally, the circuit courts (the “law” courts) applied

the common law (case law) and the statutory law. The circuit courts continue to act as law courts,

but Tennessee’s statutory law has given the circuit courts concurrent jurisdiction with the chancery

courts in most civil matters. Circuit courts exercise criminal law jurisdiction as well as civil law

jurisdiction in most counties in Tennessee, but in some counties a separate criminal court has been

established.

DeKalb County, by general law found in § 16-2-506 of Tennessee Code Annotated, is part

of the 13th judicial district. Title 16, chapter 10 of Tennessee Code Annotated contains the general

law applicable to the circuit court. Judges and chancellors are covered by title 17 of Tennessee Code

Annotated.

The following acts were once applicable to the circuit court of DeKalb County but now have

no effect, having been repealed, superseded, or having failed to win local approval.

1. Acts of 1837-38, Chapter 116, Page 181, set the time of holding Circuit Court in DeKalb

County on the second Mondays of April, August and December. DeKalb County was made

a part of the Thirteenth Circuit.

2. Acts of 1839-40, Chapter 2, Page 7, which re-enacted the establishment of DeKalb County,

placed DeKalb County in the 13th Judicial Circuit which would hold court on the first

Mondays of January, May and September.

3. Acts of 1839-40, Chapter 21, Page 42, attached DeKalb County to the Fourth Judicial

Circuit, with court to be held on the second Mondays in April, August and December.

4. Acts of 1841-42, Chapter 8, Page 5, provided that Circuit Court in DeKalb County be held

on the first Mondays in April, August and December.

5. Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 82, Page 148, changed the time for holding Circuit Court to the

first Mondays in February, June and October.

6. Acts of 1849-50, Chapter 213, Page 418, provided that the Circuit Court in DeKalb County

be held on the third Mondays in April, August and December. The Circuit Court would be

held by the Judge of the Criminal Court of Davidson County. DeKalb County would remain

part of the 4th Solicitorial District.

7. Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 40, Page 43, provided that the Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit

rather than the Judge of the Criminal Court of Davidson County should conduct Circuit

Court in DeKalb County.

8. Acts of 1872 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 15, Page 37, set the time for holding court in DeKalb

County on the second Mondays of March, July and November. DeKalb County was now

part of the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

9. Acts of 1877, Chapter 116, Page 138, changed the time of the November term of Circuit

Court from the second Monday to the first Monday of that month.

10. Acts of 1879, Chapter 130, Page 168, set the time for holding Circuit Court of DeKalb

County on the second Mondays of March, July and November.

48

11. Acts of 1885 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 20, Page 96, placed DeKalb County in the Sixth Judicial

Circuit, with court to meet on the first Tuesdays after the second Mondays in March, July

and November. This was amended by Acts of 1887, Chapter 8, Page 67, to provide that

Circuit Court meet on the third Mondays in March, July and November.

12. Acts of 1889, Chapter 214, Page 431, changed the time for holding Circuit Court in DeKalb

County to the second Monday in March and November.

13. Acts of 1891, Chapter 208, Page 417, set the meeting time of Circuit Court on the second

Mondays of March, July and November, so as to provide for three Circuit Courts in DeKalb

County.

14. Acts of 1895, Chapter 97, Page 161, changed the time for holding Circuit Court to the third

Mondays in March, July and November.

15. Acts of 1903, Chapter 580, Page 1544, provided that Circuit Court in DeKalb County was

to be held on the first Tuesdays after the second Mondays in March, July and November.

DeKalb County was now part of the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

16. Acts of 1905, Chapter 269, Page 573, set the time for Circuit Court meeting on the first

Tuesdays after the second Mondays in April, August and November.

49

COURT SYSTEM

CIRCUIT COURT

CLERK

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1980

CHAPTER 190

SECTION 1. The Clerk of the Circuit Court of DeKalb County shall serve as Clerk for the

Juvenile Court of DeKalb County. Such Clerk shall maintain a separate docket, a separate book and

separate files for the Juvenile Court of DeKalb County. Such Clerk shall be vested with the

authority and powers and shall perform all duties and functions necessary and incidental to serving

as Clerk of the Juvenile Court of DeKalb County. The additional duties and functions imposed shall

not be construed to entitle the Circuit Court Clerk to additional compensation.

SECTION 2. All other Private Acts, or portions thereof, which conflict with the provisions

of this Act, are hereby expressly repealed, in whole or in part.

SECTION 3. This Act shall have no effect unless it is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote

of the county legislative body of DeKalb County. Its approval or nonapproval shall be proclaimed

by the presiding officer of the DeKalb County legislative body and certified by him to the Secretary

of State.

SECTION 4. For the purpose of approving or rejecting the provisions of this Act, it shall

be effective upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. For all other purposes, it shall

become effective upon being approved as provided in Section 3.

Passed: February 14, 1980.

50

COURT SYSTEM

CIRCUIT COURT

CLERK

The office of circuit court clerk is governed by the general statutes found in Tennessee Code

Annotated, title 18, chapter 4. The salary of this office is set by T.C.A. § 8-24-102.

The following acts have no current effect, but once applied to the DeKalb County Circuit

Court Clerk. They were repealed, superseded, or never received local approval. Also referenced

below is an act which repeals prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1911, Chapter 626, Page 1906, set the salary of the Circuit Court Clerk at $1,000 per

year with the County to pay the difference between this sum and a lesser amount collected

in fees. Any fees in excess of the salary could be retained by the Clerk.

2. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 691, Page 2252, provided that the Circuit Court Clerk receive

all the fees from their office with additional compensation from the County, if necessary, to

make a total of $1,000 per year. This Act was repealed by Private Acts of 1933, Chapter

273, Page 652.

51

COURT SYSTEM

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL

ASSISTANTS AND CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS

The office of district attorney general, including assistant district attorneys and criminal

investigators, is covered by title 8, chapter 7 of Tennessee Code Annotated. Section 16-2-506 of

T.C.A. establishes the judicial districts of the trial courts and establishes the number of assistant

district attorneys general and criminal investigators in each judicial district. According to T.C.A.

§ 16-2-506, DeKalb County is in the 13th judicial district. Secretarial assistance to district attorneys

is authorized, but subject to the approval of the executive director of the district attorneys general

conference, the comptroller of the treasury, and the commissioner of finance and administration.

T.C.A. § 8-26-101(2)(G) – (1)(K).

The following acts once affecting DeKalb County are no longer in effect but are listed here

for historical purposes.

1. Public Acts of 1975, Chapter 221, Public Acts of 1976, Chapter 510, and Public Acts of

1978, Chapter 768, created additional positions for assistant district attorneys general and

criminal investigators for the Seventh Judicial Circuit. DeKalb County is now part of the

Thirteenth Judicial Circuit according to T.C.A. 16-2-506, which also provides the number

of judges, assistant district attorneys general and investigators for the district.

52

COURT SYSTEM

GENERAL SESSIONS COURT

CREATION

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1949

CHAPTER 727

SECTION 1. That there is hereby created and established a Court in and for DeKalb County,

Tennessee, which shall be designated Court of General Sessions of DeKalb County, Tennessee.

Said County shall provide a courtroom in the Town of Smithville, Tennessee, dockets,

furnishings and necessary supplies for the equipment and maintenance of said Court, and pay for

same out of the general funds of said County.

The Judge of the Court of General Sessions of DeKalb County, Tennessee, shall hold said

Court in the courtroom so provided; and in his discretion the Judge of said Court may hold Court

at such other places in said County and as often as is necessary to expedite the business of the Court.

SECTION 2. That the Court of General Sessions of DeKalb County, Tennessee, shall be and

is hereby vested with all of the jurisdiction and shall exercise all of the authority conferred by the

General Assembly of Tennessee upon Justices of the Peace in civil and criminal cases, suits and

actions; and the Justices of the Peace of said County are hereby divested of all such jurisdiction and

authority, but any Justice of the Peace of said County may issue criminal and search warrants against

and accept appearance bonds from any person charged with an offense in said County and shall be

entitled to the legal fee authorized for said service under the Code of Tennessee. But all process

issued by Justices of the Peace shall be returnable to the Court of General Sessions of DeKalb

County, Tennessee.

The authority of said Justices of the Peace of DeKalb County, Tennessee, in their capacity

as members of the Quarterly County Court or in the performance of the rites of matrimony, is in no

wise affected by this Act.

SECTION 3. That before the issuance of any warrant in any civil case, the plaintiff shall

secure the costs by executing a cost bond with good security in a sum not less than $25.00, or by

making a cash cost deposit of not less than $5.00 or more than $25.00, or shall take the oath

prescribed for poor persons, and on motion, the Court may increase the amount of such bond or

deposit.

SECTION 4. That the rules of pleading and practice, form of writs and process and stay of

and appeals from judgments in civil cases of said Court shall be the same as of Justices of the Peace.

SECTION 5. That when any defendant is brought before the Court of General Sessions of

DeKalb County, Tennessee, charged with any crime or misdemeanor, it shall be the mandatory duty

of the Judge of said Court to inform said defendant of his constitutional rights, and to advise him as

to his right to employ and be represented by counsel and his right to make a statement or decline to

make any statement, and to aid said defendant, insofar as it is necessary and reasonable, in

contacting counsel and relatives or friends, and in procuring the attendance of his witnesses.

COMPILER’S NOTE: There was no Section 6 in the original act.

53

SECTION 7. That the Court of General Sessions for DeKalb County, Tennessee, is hereby

vested with jurisdiction to try and determine and render final judgment in all misdemeanor cases

brought before said court by warrant or information wherein the person charged with such

misdemeanor offenses enters a plea of guilty or requests a trial upon the merits, and expressly

waives an indictment, presentment and a Grand Jury investigation, and a jury trial. In such cases

the trial shall proceed before the Judge and without a jury. The final judgment of such Court may

be appealed to the Circuit Court of DeKalb County, where such appeal shall be tried by a Judge of

such Court without a jury, and without indictment or presentment.

That the jurisdiction of said Court shall be limited to that of a Justice of the Peace as now

prescribed and fixed by law. Said Court shall not have authority to hear or entertain any matter

beyond the scope or jurisdiction of a Justice of the Peace.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 502.

SECTION 8. That it shall be the mandatory duty of the Judge of the Court of General

Sessions when a defendant is brought before such Court upon arraignment or trial, to advise such

defendant of his constitutional right to the aid of counsel, the right to be tried only upon presentment

or indictment by a Grand Jury, the right to make a statement in reference to the accusation or the

right to waive such statement, and the right to a trial by jury. Upon the defendant agreeing in

writing to waive the right to be put to trial only by presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury and

the right to be tried by a jury of his peers, such Court may proceed to hear and determine said case

as is provided in Section 7 hereof. Said waiver shall be written or attached to the warrant

substantially in words and figures as follows:

The defendant ____________________ pleads__________________guilty to the offense

of _______________________and waives his right to be tried only by indictment or presentment

preferred by a Grand Jury and likewise waives trial by a jury of his peers.

__________________________________

SECTION 9. That no warrant or information charging a person with an offense against the

laws of the State shall be delivered to any peace officer for the arrest of such persons, except those

issued by a Justice of the Peace as provided for in this Act, until after an entry in the Criminal

Docket has been made by the Clerk, or the Judge, showing the names of the person or persons

accused, the prosecutor, the officer to whom delivered, and his signature upon said docket showing

receipt of such process. All of such warrants, information, dockets and other records of said Court

of General Sessions shall be available to the District Attorney General for any legal purpose.

SECTION 10. That there shall be one Judge for said Court, and he shall be a resident of

DeKalb County, Tennessee, and shall take the same oath as that prescribed for Circuit Judges and

Chancellors. Nothing contained in this Act is to be construed as preventing the Judge of the Court

of General Sessions, if a lawyer, from practicing in other Courts, but he may not appear as counsel

in cases arising in his own Court.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1963, Chapter 83.

SECTION 11. That the compensation of the Judge of the Court of General Sessions of

DeKalb County shall be Twenty Four Hundred ($2400.00) Dollars per annum, payable in equal

monthly installments. Said salary shall be paid out of the general funds of the said County.

The salary of said Judge shall be paid from the fees reserved by law to the Judge of said

Court.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 502.

54

COMPILER’S NOTE: This section has been affected by the general law.

SECTION 12. That for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, R. R.

Fredeking of Smithville, Tennessee, is hereby appointed the first Judge of said Court and he shall

serve until the next regular August election, 1950, at which time his successor shall be elected for

a term of four years from and after September 1, 1950, and every eight years there- after. Said

Judge shall take the same oath of office as other Judges of the Courts in the State as provided for by

the Constitution.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 502.

SECTION 13. That if the Judge of said Court fails to attend, cannot preside in a pending

case or for any reason hold Court, a majority of the attorneys present in such court may elect one

of their number, who has the qualifications of such Judge, and when elected he shall take the same

oath and have the same authority as the regular Judge of said Court, to hold the Court and perform

all of the duties of such Judge for the occasion.

SECTION 14. That in the case of vacancy for any cause, the Governor shall have the power

to appoint some qualified person to fill such vacancy until the first day of September following the

next biennial August election occurring more than thirty days after the vacancy occurs, or until his

successor is qualified.

SECTION 15. That the Clerk of the Circuit Court of said County shall act as Clerk of the

General Sessions Court and when acting as Clerk of said Court shall be designated “Clerk of the

Court of General Sessions of DeKalb County, Tennessee.” The Clerk of said Court shall receive as

compensation for his services an amount not to exceed the sum of $720.00 per annum, payable

monthly out of the fees, commissions and emoluments of said Court. All fees in excess of $60.00

per month, or $720.00 per annum, shall be paid into the General Fund of said County. Provided,

however, in order for said Clerk to receive his full compensation hereunder the fees, commissions

and emoluments of said Court must be sufficient to pay the same.

The fees to be collected by the Clerk of this Court shall be the same as collected by the

Justices of the Peace under Section 10707 of the Code of Tennessee.

Provided further, however, in the event said Clerk has not received his full compensation for

the year but has paid into the General Fund of the County certain funds in excess of the amount to

which he would be entitled to in any one month, said County shall refund to said Clerk such funds

as to allow him his full compensation or part thereof.

The Clerk of said Court and his deputies shall have concurrent authority with the Judge

thereof to issue warrants and other processes and writs, other than those which the law requires shall

be issued only by a judicial officer.

Before entering upon the duties of his office the clerk of said General Sessions Court (Circuit

Court Clerk) shall execute a good and solvent bond in the penal sum of Five Thousand ($5,000.00)

Dollars and upon his failure to execute such bond, to be approved by the General Sessions Judge,

or to otherwise qualify for said office the Judge of the General Sessions Court is authorized and

empowered to name and appoint some other and satisfactory person to perform the duties of the

Clerk of General Sessions Court, and upon his appointment and qualifications, by executing the

bond and otherwise qualifying, the person so named and appointed shall be vested with all the

powers and authority now vested in the General Sessions Court Clerk.

SECTION 16. That separate dockets shall be kept in said Court for civil and criminal cases.

Upon the civil dockets shall be entered the style of each case, the date of issuance of the warrant or

process, and the return of the process, in brief form, action of the Court on the case, both

interlocutory and final orders, judgments, executions, garnishments, lists of the fees of the Court,

55

the Sheriff his deputies constables game wardens and State highway patrolmen for their services fees

of witnesses for attendance et cetera and credits for payments upon judgment and upon the costs.

All cases shall be indexed and the dockets shall be substantially in the form of those of Justices of

the Peace.

The Criminal Docket shall be kept in like manner.

SECTION 17. That the Sheriff of said County, or any deputy sheriff or constable thereof,

shall serve legal process, writs and papers issued from said Court with the same authority as

provided by law in regard to Justices of the Peace Courts.

SECTION 18. That this Act shall in no wise impair the right, title or interest of any Justice

of the Peace of said County to any unpaid fees or funds in which he had a right or interest, in any

proceedings, judgment or suit, whether said cause is disposed of or pending when this Act becomes

effective.

SECTION 19. That all of the official dockets, records and papers in cases that are

undisposed of or pending in the offices of Justices of the Peace of said County at the time this Act

becomes effective shall be delivered to said Court of General Sessions. The official dockets, records

and papers in possession of Justices of the Peace of said County in cases that have been completed

shall be turned over to said County, as provided by law.

SECTION 20. That said Court shall have authority to hear and determine all undisposed of

cases arising in the courts of Justices of the Peace of said County as if such cases had originated in

said Court of General Sessions.

SECTION 21. That none of the provisions contained in this Act shall be construed to

prohibit the Judge of the Court of General Sessions of DeKalb County, Tennessee, from practicing

law in the Chancery Courts, Circuit Courts, County Courts, and Appellate Courts of the State of

Tennessee, except in cases having their origin in said Court of General Sessions of DeKalb County,

Tennessee.

SECTION 22. That the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee expressly declares that

each section, subsection, paragraph and provision of this Act is severable, and that should any

portion of this Act be held unconstitutional or invalid, the same shall not affect the remainder of this

Act, but such unconstitutional or invalid portion shall be elided, and the General Assembly of the

State of Tennessee declares that it would have enacted this Act with such unconstitutional or invalid

portions elided therefrom.

SECTION 23. That this Act shall take effect from and after April 15, 1949, the public

welfare requiring it.

Passed: April 13, 1949.

56

COURT SYSTEM

GENERAL SESSIONS COURT

SAFETY PROGRAM

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1989

CHAPTER 121

SECTION 1. There is hereby created in DeKalb County a court of General Sessions Court

administered safety program. The court administered safety program shall include but not be limited

to a traffic school.

SECTION 2. The Judge of the Court of General Sessions is authorized and empowered to

oversee the administration of the court administered safety program. There shall be established such

financial accounts as are necessary to administer this program. Complete books and records of all

fees received and all expenditures made shall be kept monthly.

SECTION 3. There is established a fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for persons to enroll in the

traffic school. Fees shall be collected by the DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk or deputy clerk and

paid directly to the county general fund within the time provided by statute. Such fees may be

increased by resolution of the county commission.

SECTION 4. A budget for the court administered safety program shall be compiled annually

and submitted to the budget and finance committee and the county commission for approval at the

appropriate time.

SECTION 5. All funds collected pursuant to this act shall be allocated to the court

administered safety program and may only be expended for purposes reasonably related to the

effectuation of this act.

SECTION 6. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or

circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the

act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the

provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

SECTION 7. This act shall have no effect unless it is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote

of the legislative body of DeKalb County. Its approval or nonapproval shall be proclaimed by the

presiding officer of the legislative body and certified by him to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 8. For the purpose of approving or rejecting the provisions of this act, it shall be

effective upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. For all other purposes, it shall

become effective and retroactive to June 1, 1989.

Passed: May 25, 1989.

57

COURT SYSTEM

GENERAL SESSIONS COURT

The general statutes on courts of general sessions are found in title 16, chapter 15 of

Tennessee Code Annotated. The purpose of this general law is to create a statewide system of

general sessions courts, but T.C.A. § 16-15-501(c) expressly provides that counties may create

general sessions courts by private act, giving them both the jurisdiction and powers conferred by

general law and such further jurisdiction and power as each county may require. The salary of the

general sessions judge is governed by T.C.A. § 16-15-5003. The compensation received by the

general sessions court clerk is set by T.C.A. § 8-24-102.

58

COURT SYSTEM

JUVENILE COURT

The Juvenile Court Restructure Act of 1982, as amended, is codified in Tennessee Code

Annotated §§ 37-1-201 through 37-1-214. Its purpose is to provide adequate juvenile court services

in every county. Tennessee Code Annotated § 37-1-203 provides that the general sessions courts

shall exercise juvenile court jurisdiction except in counties or municipalities wherein juvenile courts

are specially provided for by law.

Special juvenile courts may be created by law (private act) to exercise juvenile court

jurisdiction in a county or in contiguous counties. Counties must provide funding for such special

juvenile courts. T.C.A. § 37-1-205.

Clerks of general sessions courts are required to maintain separate minutes, dockets, and

records for all juvenile matters in those counties in which the general sessions court is also the

juvenile court. T.C.A. § 37-1-210. The clerk of a special juvenile court is a duly elected clerk of

another court in the county designated by resolution of the county legislative body, except where

a duly elected clerk is provided by law (private act or charter). Clerks of the special juvenile courts

are given the same duties, authority and obligations provided for clerks of other courts of record.

T.C.A. § 37-1-211.

Tennessee Code Annotated § 37-1-159 provides that the juvenile court shall be a court of

record. Any appeal from final disposition of a case, except the transfer of a child to be dealt with

as an adult under T.C.A. § 37-1-134, may be made to the circuit court for a trial de novo.

59

COURT SYSTEM

SECRETARIAL ASSISTANCE

Secretarial assistance to judges and chancellors is now provided on the basis of need by the

administrative director of the courts, under the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated § 17-1-401.

Their salaries are set by the administrative director of the courts and the commissioner of finance

and administration with the approval of the chief justice of the supreme court, under T.C.A. §

17-1-402. The general law provisions are now the sole authority for providing secretarial assistance

to trial judges and chancellors.

60

CHAPTER VI – EDUCATION/SCHOOLS

61

EDUCATION – SCHOOLS

BOARD OF EDUCATION

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1937

CHAPTER 616

SECTION 1. That this Act shall apply to all counties of the State of Tennessee having a

population of not less than 14,540 and not more than 14,560 according to the Federal Census of

1940 of any subsequent Federal Census.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 536.

SECTION 2. That there is hereby created a Board of Education in all counties to which this

Act applies, to be composed of seven (7) members, one (1) from each of the Districts or Zones as

set out and provided in Section 4, of Chapter 616, Private Acts of 1937. The five (5) members of

the Board shall be residents and citizens of his or her respective Districts or Zone. One (1) of the

members shall be a bona fide resident and citizen of the Town of Smithville and one (1) shall be a

bona fide resident and citizen of the Town of Alexandria. The seven (7) members shall be qualified

voters of the County above the age of Twenty-One (21) years and each shall possess a practical

education.

That the two (2) members of the Board coming from within the municipalities shall be

elected by the qualified voters of the County at the General Election in August, 1946 for a term of

two (2) years and until their successors are elected and qualified. Thereafter the said two (2)

members shall be elected at the General Election by the qualified voters of the County-at-large in

August, 1948 and every four years thereafter for a term of four (4) years and until their successors

are elected and qualified. Said two (2) members shall take office on September 1st following their

election.

That the two (2) members of the Board coming from the Towns of Smithville and Alexandria

shall have all the powers, be entitled to the same compensation and perform the same services, have

a part in the deliberations of the Board, entitled to a vote equal to and with the five (5) members of

the Board elected from the Districts or Zones as now constituted and as is provided by Chapter 616,

Private Acts of 1937, as amended.

That nothing herein shall effect the term of office in the five (5) members of the Board as

now constituted, and they and each of them shall hold their office as is now provided by Chapter

616, Private Acts of 1937 as amended.

That until September 1, 1946 and until their successors are elected and qualified, the

following citizens and residents of the County who possess all of the qualifications as provided for

herein, are designated as the two (2) members from the two (2) municipalities for the County Board

of Education, to wit: L. H. Givens and Rob Roy.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 536,

Private Acts of 1945, Chapter 515.

SECTION 3. That until September 1, 1938, and until their successors are elected and

qualified, as hereinafter stated, the following citizens and residents of the respective educational

districts or zones are hereby designated as members of said County Board of Education, to-wit:

62

In educational district or zone No. 1, Mrs. E. L. Puckett, Mrs. Sallie Love, and Mrs. S. S.

Lafener, No. 2, C. D. House, Hobart Christian, and W. W. Nixon, No. 3, Chas. F. Dearman, O. E.

Yeargain, and Toy J. Fuson, No. 4, Jim Grady Reynolds, Pitt Rowland, and Frank Truett and No.

5, John Robert Turner, Bud Williams, and Wilson Hobson.

At the regular August Election in 1942 there shall be elected a Board of Education of five

members, one from each of the zones hereinafter provided for. Said members of the County Board

of Education shall take office on September 1, 1942, and serve for a term of two years, and until

their successors are duly elected and qualified. Thereafter at the regular August Election for County

Officers every four years there shall be elected a County Board of Education, one member from each

zone, who shall serve for a term of four years and until their successors are duly elected and

qualified. The voters in each district or zone qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly

shall be entitled to vote in such district for one person who shall be a resident of such district or

zone.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 311,

Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 536.

SECTION 4. That the following districts shall constitute the districts or zones under this

Act, to-wit:

The first District or Zone shall be composed of the 8, 14, 7, 18, 23, and 25 Civil District of

the county to which this Act applies, said districts as they are now laid off; that districts or zone No.

2 shall consist of Civil Districts, Nos. 10, 15, 16, 17, and 22; that the third district or zone shall

consist of Civil District Nos. 5, 6, 9, and 21; that the fourth district or zone shall consist of Civil

Districts 11, 12, 13, 19, and 1; and the fifth district or zone shall consist of Civil Districts Nos. 2,

3, 4, 20, and 24. This Act applies to the Civil Districts as now laid out, or as may hereafter be

changed.

SECTION 5. That within twenty days (20) after the passage of this Act said members of said

board shall meet at the courthouse in the county to which this Act applies, and organize by the

election of one member of the Board as Chairman, who shall preside at all meetings of the board,

and a majority of the members of said board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of

business, and no matter shall be passed upon or contracts made unless a majority of the board vote

in the affirmative on such questions. Each member of the board shall qualify by taking an oath to

faithfully and impartially perform the duties of the office, and shall be inducted into office by the

County Judge. The members of the board shall also elect one member as vice chairman and one

member as assistant secretary.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1974, Chapter 238,

Private Acts of 1977, Chapter 61.

SECTION 6. That the County Superintendent of Public Instruction is hereby designated

Secretary of said Board, who shall keep an accurate minute of

all transactions of said board, and shall keep complete records of the actions of the board.

That all warrants drawn on the school fund of the county to which this Act applies shall be

signed by the Chairman of the Board and the Secretary.

Upon the temporary absence or incompetence of the Chairman and/or the Secretary of the

Board and upon majority vote of the Board, the Vice Chairman and the Assistant Secretary may act

in the capacity of the Chairman and the Secretary, respectively.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1974, Chapter 238.

63

SECTION 7. That said Board of Education shall meet at the County seat of the Counties to

which this Act applies at such times as it may deem necessary, or upon call of the Chairman for the

transaction of any and all business of the Board, but no oftener, and shall receive for their

compensation, fifteen dollars ($15.00) per meeting and ten cents per mile one way as their

compensation, except the Chairman of the Board shall receive a salary of twenty-five dollars

($25.00) per meeting, for twelve (12) regular meetings, out of the general school funds of the

county. Provided that the members of said Board shall be paid per diem and mileage only for twelve

(12) regular meetings per year and special meetings called at the request of the County

Superintendent of Education.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 311,

Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 536,

Private Acts of 1976, Chapter 232,

Private Acts of 1977, Chapter 55.

SECTION 8. That said Board of Education of any county to which this act applies, shall

have supervision and control of all the public schools of the county, both elementary and high

schools, and of all other schools maintained in whole or in part by public funds, and they shall select

all teachers for said schools and fix their salaries, and make necessary written contracts with all

teachers for their services. They shall have power to discharge any and all teachers for inefficiency,

inattention, or neglect of duty, or any immoral conduct, on notice in writing to such teacher or

teachers, and only then after a public hearing of the charges brought against such teacher. The

County Superintendent shall have the power and it shall be his duty to discharge any teacher found

to be guilty of drunkenness or immoral conduct, and any teacher so discharged shall not be

reinstated except by the affirmative vote of at least twelve members of the County Board of

Education. Said board shall have power to acquire and hold all school property, either by purchase

or gift, to purchase school lands and equipment, and to erect, repair and maintain all suitable

buildings necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, and to purchase all

supplies, equipment required by said schools.

Said Board shall also, in addition to the powers and duties herein fixed and imposed on said

board, perform all duties now required by the General Educational Bill of the State of Tennessee,

or any that may be enacted, affecting the school system of the State of Tennessee. Said board shall

have the exclusive possession and control of all public school property in the county to which this

Act applies, both real and personal, now or hereafter belonging to or in the custody of the Board of

Education of the respective counties.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 311.

SECTION 9. That said Board of Education herein created shall have power to enter into

contract in writing for the erection, purchase, repair, preservation and maintenance of all school

property, including buildings, and grounds, it being the intention of this Act to confer all necessary

power and authority on said board to carry out the provisions of this Act and of the general laws

applying to public schools or the funds thereof.

SECTION 10. That the Board of Education, with the assistance and help of the County

Superintendent, shall report their budget for school purpose to the County Quarterly Court, and shall

keep their expenditures within said budget so adopted by the County Court, and within the funds

allotted by the State of Tennessee, and raised by taxation in the counties to which this Act applies,

the funds deprived from and allotted by the State of Tennessee to the respective counties of the State

to be paid to the county to which this Act applies, as to other counties of the State.

SECTION 11. That in the event the board shall employ any teacher who is unable by reason

of inattention to duty, or inefficiency, or lack of other necessary qualification to maintain a

reasonable attendance, and if the attendance shall fall below an average of ten for two weeks, unless

caused by epidemic, or other unusual conditions, the board shall have the right to remove said

64

teacher and place another in his or her place and this section shall be deemed as written into every

contract with a teacher hereafter made by said board.

SECTION 12. That said Board shall elect all principals, supervisors, teachers, attendant

officers, janitors, care takers, transportation officers, and all other employees of said Board, and fix

their salaries or compensation, and make written contracts with all said employees, which shall be

signed by the party or parties with which it is made, and by the Chairman and Secretary of the

Board, and no one shall begin teaching until the contract is executed, and the County Superintendent

shall recommend to the County Board of Education, Supervisors, Teachers, Clerical Assistants, and

other employees in the County Schools, provided that this Act shall in nowise affect the powers,

duties and responsibilities of the County Superintendent as now prescribed by the General Statutes

of the State of Tennessee, it being the intention of this Amendment that the powers, duties and

responsibilities of the County Superintendent and the powers, duties and responsibilities of the

County Board of Education shall be in all respects in conformity with the general laws of the State

of Tennessee unless in this Act otherwise provided.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 311,

Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 536,

Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 315.

SECTION 13. That said board shall keep all school buildings in the county insured against

fire and lightning in some reliable fire insurance company or companies, and shall pay the premiums

out of the funds belonging to the county.

SECTION 14. That said Board of Education shall cause a scholastic enumeration of the

pupils in the county, and for the respective districts or zones, every two years as now provided by

law, and shall pay the compensation of said enumerators out of the general school funds.

SECTION 15. That said board shall provide itself with all necessary record books, warrant

books, and other records and stationery and equipment as may be necessary for the faithful carrying

out of the provisions of this Act.

SECTION 16. That in addition to the duties imposed upon said board by the provisions of

this Act, they shall perform all the duties enjoined upon them by general laws of the State of

Tennessee as to public schools, or that shall be hereafter prescribed by laws passed by the General

Assembly.

SECTION 17. That if any section of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional, it shall not

effect any other section of the Act.

SECTION 18. That all laws, and parts of laws, in conflict with this Act, be and the same are

hereby repealed, and this Act take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare requiring it.

Passed: May 18, 1937.

65

EDUCATION – SCHOOLS

BOARD OF EDUCATION

General statutes regulating county boards of education and elementary and secondary

education in the public schools may be found in T.C.A. title 49, chapters 1 through 6. Public Acts

of 1992, Chapter 535, the Education Improvement Act of 1991, substantially revised many aspects

of the education statutes. County boards of education are mandated to be popularly elected. The

county legislative bodies, from July 1, 1992, were given authority to establish districts for county

board of education members by resolution instead of having to rely on private acts for

reapportionment. The new education general law provides for board members to be elected to

staggered four-year terms.

Members of county boards of education must have a high school diploma or general

education equivalent. However, a few counties are purported to be excluded by narrow population

exception. Board members who fail to participate in state sponsored training are subject to removal

by the commissioner of education. T.C.A. § 49-2-202.

The following acts once affected the board of education in DeKalb County but are no longer

operative.

1. Acts of 1909, Chapter 302, Page 1101, established a County Board of Education composed

of one member from each civil district, the Judge or Chairman of the County Court, and the

County Superintendent of Public Instruction. This Act was amended by Acts of 1911,

Chapter 100, Page 241, to make the provisions of the 1909 Act apply only to DeKalb

County.

2. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 41, Page 122, amended Acts of 1909, Chapter 302, to add a

representative from the Town of Alexandria to the County Board of Education.

3. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 466, Page 1472, amended Acts of 1909, Chapter 302, to add

a representative from the Smithville Special School District to the County Board of

Education.

4. Public Acts of 1975, Chapter 161, Page 596, provided that the Board of Education would

meet at the county seat at such times as were necessary, or where called by the Chairman for

which meetings the members would be paid $15 each, plus ten cents per mile for travel one

way. The Chairman of the Board would be paid the same mileage and $25 per meeting. All

meetings being limited to 16 per year for which compensation would be paid. This Act was

rejected by the DeKalb Quarterly Court and consequently never became effective.

66

EDUCATION – SCHOOLS

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1945

CHAPTER 514

SECTION 1. That hereafter the County Superintendent of Public Instruction in all counties

having a population of not more than 14,600 and not less than 14,550 according to the Federal

Census of 1940, or any subsequent Federal Census, shall be elected by the qualified voters of such

counties at the regular election to be held in August, 1946, and every four (4) years there-after. That

at all future elections by popular vote the term of office of Superintendent shall begin on September

1st following his or her election and shall continue for four (4) years and until his or her successor

shall have been elected and qualified.

SECTION 2. That until September 1, 1946 and until his successor is elected and qualified,

M. M. Harney is hereby appointed as County Superintendent of Public Instruction, he now

possessing all of the appropriate qualifications to serve as County Superintendent of Public

Instruction, and he shall be subject to all of the provisions set forth and hereinafter provided. The

said Harney and his successor shall execute a good and solvent bond in the sum of Five Thousand

($5,000.00) Dollars, conditioned upon his faithful performance of the office created hereunder, and

he and his successor shall take an oath to faithfully discharge the duties of said office, the same to

be filed with the Clerk of the County Court.

SECTION 3. (Deleted by Private Acts of 1947, Chapter 408, Page 1665.)

SECTION 4. (Deleted by Private Acts of 1947, Chapter 408, Page 1665.)

SECTION 5. (Deleted by Private Acts of 1951, Chapter 281, Page 750.)

SECTION 6. (Deleted by Private Acts of 1947, Chapter 408, Page 1665.)

SECTION 7. (Deleted by Private Acts of 1947, Chapter 408, Page 1665.)

SECTION 8. That all Acts or parts of Acts, General or Special, so far as they are

inconsistent with this Act, be, and the same are hereby repealed.

SECTION 9. That if any Section, provision or sentence of this Act be held to be

unconstitutional or invalid, the same shall not affect the validity of this Act as a whole or any part

thereof other than the part so held to be unconstitutional or invalid.

SECTION 10. That if in the event by death or resignation, or removal from office, of the

Superintendent of Public Instruction, during the term for which he is elected, then the Quarterly

County Court will fill said vacancy for the unexpired term until the first regular August Election

thereafter.

SECTION 11. That this Act take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: February 27, 1945.

67

EDUCATION – SCHOOLS

SUPERINTENDENT OR DIRECTOR OF SCHOOLS

Under the Education Improvement Act of 1991, the office of superintendent of public

instruction (county superintendent of education) has been phased out. Replacing the superintendent

is a director of schools, who is an employee of the county board of education; however, the

continued use of the title superintendent is permitted. The director of schools may be employed

under a written contract of up to four years duration. The duties of the director of schools are

enumerated in T.C.A. § 49-2-301(f).

68

EDUCATION – SCHOOLS

GENERAL REFERENCE

The general state statutes regulating education are found in title 49 of Tennessee Code

Annotated. Of particular interest to county officials are chapter 2 (Local Administration); chapter

3 (Finances); chapter 6, part 20 (School Property); chapter 6, part 3 (Elementary and Middle

Schools); and chapter 6, part 4 (Junior and Senior High Schools).

The following acts constitute part of the administrative and political heritage of the

educational structure of DeKalb County but are no longer operative since they have either been

superseded, repealed, or failed to receive local approval. Also referenced below are acts which

repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1837-38, Chapter 298, Page 435, incorporated Fulton Academy in DeKalb County,

named its Board of Trustees and prescribed their powers.

2. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 113, Page 284, incorporated the Turner M. Lawrence College at

Alexandria, in DeKalb County. Mr. Lawrence had constructed the building and desired to

donate it to the public.

3. Acts of 1899, Chapter 192, Page 378, divided DeKalb County into independent school

districts and provided for the election of three free school directors from each district for a

one year term.

4. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 227, Page 897, created a special school district out of the

Second Civil District and parts of the Third and Thirteenth Civil Districts of DeKalb County,

to be known as the “Liberty High School District.” An elected five member Board of School

Trustees would govern schools in the District. This Act was repealed by Private Acts of

1923, Chapter 285, Page 901.

5. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 293, Page 1050, created the Smithville Special School District

out of parts of the Ninth Civil District. An elected five member Board of School Trustees

would govern schools in the District. This was amended by Private Acts of 1917, Chapter

785, Page 2455, to provide that taxes derived from the property and polls of Negroes in that

school district be used exclusively for the Negro school. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 478,

Page 1343, amended the original act to provide that the Smithville Special School District

be governed by a Board of High School Directors to be appointed by the Quarterly County

Court for a two year term. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 479, Page 1345, removed the farm

of W. B. Tramel from the district. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 76, Page 177, repealed

Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 293.

6. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 499, Page 1618, provided for the establishment and

maintenance of two county high schools in DeKalb County, to be open to every pupil in the

County and directed by a High School Board of Education. Three members of the Board

each would be from the Smithville and Liberty Special School Districts.

7. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 523, Page 1691, created the Cottage Home School District No.

45, out of parts Wilson and DeKalb Counties.

8. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 677, Page 2071, created the Dowelltown Special School

District out of the 20th Civil District of DeKalb County. An elected, five member, Board

of Trustees would govern the schools in the district. This Act was repealed by Private Acts

of 1931, Chapter 580, Page 1577.

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9. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 502, Page 1444, amended the general law found in Acts of

1899, Chapter 279, to provide that DeKalb County maintain three county high schools. One

school to be at the county seat and the others in the next two largest towns. A six member

Board, elected by the County Court, would govern these schools.

10. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 590, Page 1727, created the Four Corner School District out

of a portion of the Thirteenth Civil District and certain lands from the Liberty High School

District. A four member Board of Directors would be elected biennially. The Board of

Directors was authorized to levy a property tax.

11. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 666, Page 2021, created a seven member Board of Rural

School Administration, giving it power and control of all schools in DeKalb County,

exclusive of those in special school districts. The Quarterly Court was instructed to divide

the county into five school districts. One member would be selected from each district, with

two seats being at-large. The County Board of Education would continue to exist but would

have advisory power only. This board was amended by Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 633,

Page 2006, and was abolished by Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 477, Page 1425, which

provided for the appointment of three District School Commissioners from each Civil

District by the County Superintendent of Public Instruction until successors could be elected

for two year terms at the regular August election.

12. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 750, Page 2325, created a special and independent school

district out of part of the Twentieth Civil District of DeKalb County to be known as the

Doweltown High School District. A five member Board of School Trustees, elected for

three year terms, would govern the schools of the district. The district would have

representation on the County Board of Education.

13. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 76, Page 177, created the Smithville School Taxing District,

an independent school district, out of part of the Ninth Civil District of DeKalb County. An

elected five member Board of Trustees would govern the schools in the district. Private Acts

of 1925, Chapter 674, Page 2497, raised the authorized taxing limit from twenty to thirty

cents per hundred dollars valuation. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 386, Page 698, abolished

the Smithville Special School District.

14. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 285, Page 901, created a special and independent school

taxing district out of the Second, Nineteenth, and part of the Third and Thirteenth Civil

Districts of DeKalb County. A five member Board of Trustees would be elected for two

year terms to govern the schools in the district. A thirty cent per $100 valuation tax was

authorized. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 664, Page 2472, raised the tax limit to forty cents.

Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 385, Page 965, abolished the Liberty Special School District.

15. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 287, Page 915, created the Laurel Hill Special School District

out of the Sixteenth and part of the Eighteenth Civil District of DeKalb County. A three

member Board of Trustees, elected for two year terms, would govern the schools of the

district.

16. Private Acts of 1929, Chapter 910, Page 2639, authorized the Trustees of the Smithville

Special School District, the Dowelltown Special School District, the Liberty Special School

District and the Alexandria City Corporation to sell or lease their school buildings and

property to DeKalb County. The Quarterly County Court was empowered to levy a tax to

pay for the rent or purchase of the buildings.

17. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 48, Page 121, provided for the maintenance of at least two

four-year high schools in DeKalb County, one near Smithville and one near Liberty. Control

of the schools would be vested in the County Board of Eduction. This measure was

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amended by Private Acts of 1937, Chapter 837, Page 2483, to required three, four-year, high

schools.

18. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 35, Page 90, created a five member County Board of School

Supervisors and divided the county into five zones, each comprising the civil districts

enumerated in the Act. The Board would have authority over all public schools in the

county. The County Board of Education was abolished. This Act was repealed by Private

Acts of 1937, Chapter 617, Page 1933.

19. Private Acts of 1945, Chapter 596, Page 1821, authorized the County Board of Education

to appoint a secretary for the County Board of Education and for the Superintendent of

Public Instruction. A salary of up to $840 per annum was authorized. This Act was repealed

by Private Acts of 1947, Chapter 409, Page 1666.

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CHAPTER VII – ELECTIONS

72

ELECTIONS

DEMOCRATIC PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1949

CHAPTER 771

SECTION 1. That there is hereby created and established in DeKalb County, Tennessee, a

Democratic Party Executive Committee, consisting of forty (40) members, to be elected along with,

and on the same ballot, as the State Democratic Primary Election is held in August, 1972, and each

two (2) years thereafter, from the nineteen voting precincts in DeKalb County, Tennessee, the

designation of the precincts, and the number of Executive Committeemen or Committeewomen to

be elected from each precinct being as follows:

NO. OF COMMITTEEMEN

PRECINCT OR COMMITTEEWOMEN

Alexandria 3

Temperance Hall 2

Wolf Creek 1

Liberty 2

Pea Ridge 1

Dowelltown 2

Snow Hill 2

Frazier’s Nursery 3

Cherry Hill 1

Rock Castle 1

Smithville (Courthouse) 4

Johnson’s Chapel 1

Indian Mound 1

Smithville (Elementary School) 5

Belk 2

Jefferson 1

Keltonburg 2

Blue Springs 2

Smithville (College Street) 4

Said committeemen or committeewomen shall qualify to have their names placed upon the

official ballot in the said August, 1972 election by filing a petition in the time, and manner, as

provided by general law for candidates to qualify in the State Primary Elections to be held in August

of 1972, and succeeding state elections, and each of said committeemen and/or committeewomen

shall serve for a period of two (2) years from September 1, 1972, and until their successors are

elected. Each subsequent election for a two-year period shall be held each two years in the same

way and manner as the first election hereinbefore provided, and qualifications, and the way and

manner of qualifying to run as candidates in said election, shall likewise be the same as for the first

two-year period.

The members of the Democratic Party Executive Committee who are now serving under the

provisions of Chapter No. 771 of the Private Acts of 1949 shall continue to hold office, and serve

in this capacity, until September 1, 1972, following the August, 1972 election of new members

under this Act, and/or until the new members are duly qualified.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1972, Chapter 374.

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SECTION 2. That said Democratic Party Executive Committee shall be the general

governing and controlling body for the management of the party affairs of the Democratic party

within said County, and shall be vested with all the powers and operated with all the duties now

prescribed by law for such Democratic Executive Committees.

SECTION 3. That the members of said Democratic Party Executive Committee shall receive

no compensation for their services and a majority of said members shall constitute a quorum for the

transaction of business. Said Committee shall have power and authority to elect the officers of said

party, by a majority vote, at any regular or special meeting under the usual procedure.

SECTION 4. That all meetings of said Democratic Party Executive Committee may be held

at any time upon a petition signed by at least five members of said Committee, requesting a special

meeting. Any vacancy caused by death, resignation or failure to serve shall be filled by the

remaining members of said Committee by selection of a party from the District in which said

vacancy exists. In the event any members of said Committee removes himself from the District from

which he is elected, his office shall become vacant upon his removal and the remaining members

of said Committee shall fill said vacancy.

SECTION 5. In the event any vacancy occurs in the office of Chairman or Vice-Chairman

of the Democratic Party in said County or the office of Secretary or Vice-Secretary, the said vacancy

may be filled by special session of the Democratic Party Executive Committee, and said person

appointed to fill said vacancy shall serve until the next regular meeting of the Democratic Party

Executive Committee.

SECTION 6. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: April 13, 1949.

74

ELECTIONS

MULTI-PURPOSE RECREATIONAL FACILITY

PRIVATE ACTS OF 2000

CHAPTER 111

SECTION 1. The County Legislative Body of DeKalb County may direct the county

election commission to place the following questions on the ballot for the general election on

November 7, 2000 to be submitted to the voters of DeKalb County, Tennessee, for the purpose of

determining the will and wishes of a majority of qualified voters of DeKalb County, participating

in such election on the question of whether or not the county should construct a multi-purpose

recreational facility:

(1) Do you support plans to construct a multi-purpose recreational facility for DeKalb

County using public funds?

YES______ NO______

(2) Would you support an increase in the county property tax rate if it were necessary

in order to fund the construction of the proposed recreational facility?

YES______ NO______

Any such referendum shall be advisory and nonbinding.

SECTION 2. The planning committee of DeKalb County is directed to perform a study and

enter the approximate cost of the project to construct a multi-purpose recreational facility in the

minutes of such committee’s meetings. The planning committee is further directed to publish such

cost of the project in a newspaper of general circulation in DeKalb County once a week for four (4)

consecutive weeks prior to the November general election.

SECTION 3. This act shall have no effect unless it is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote

of the Legislative Body of DeKalb County. Its approval or nonapproval shall be proclaimed by the

presiding officer of DeKalb County and certified to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 4. For the purpose of approving or rejecting the provisions of this act, it shall be

effective upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. For all other purposes, it shall

become effective as provided in Section 3.

Passed: May 15, 2000.

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ELECTIONS

DISTRICTS – REAPPORTIONMENT

The general provisions concerning county organization are found in title 5, chapter 1 of

Tennessee Code Annotated. Section 5-1-101 enumerates the counties and § 5-1-108 deals with the

apportionment of the county legislative bodies into a maximum of twenty-five county commissioner

districts within each county that is not under a metropolitan government charter. Under T.C.A. §

5-1-111, the county legislative bodies must make necessary district boundary changes or completely

redistrict a county so that the members represent substantially equal populations based on the most

recent federal census at least every ten years. Upon application of any citizen affected, the chancery

court of such county has original jurisdiction to review and amend the apportionment or to order an

apportionment where none has been made.

Maps and legal descriptions of the boundaries of the county commissioner districts may be

found in one of the following offices: County clerk, the county election commission, the state

coordinator of elections, secretary of state, and the division of local government, office of the

comptroller of the treasury.

Civil districts by that name are no longer used as district boundaries for election of

legislative body members. These civil district boundaries have been left undisturbed as they existed

prior to the first reapportionment of the quarterly county courts for real property record-keeping

purposes only. T.C.A. § 5-1-112.

76

ELECTIONS

Elections in Tennessee are now governed by the general statutes found in Tennessee Code

Annotated title 2, chapters 1 through 19. Of particular interest to county officials is chapter 12,

which covers the county election commission. The employment of administrator of elections and

deputies by the county election commission is authorized by T.C.A. § 2-12-201. Tennessee Code

Annotated, Section 2-12-208 sets a minimum salary for certified administrators of elections based

on a percentage of the assessor’s salary, and provides for certification tests, state contribution to each

certified administrator’s salary and other budget requirements.

Title 3, chapter 1 of Tennessee Code Annotated reapportions the state into senatorial and

representative districts for the general assembly. Tennessee Code Annotated § 3-1-102 places

DeKalb County in the 15th state senatorial district (along with Clay, Jackson, Macon, Pickett,

Putnam, Smith, Trousdale, and White Counties), while T.C.A. § 3-1-103 places it in the 40th

representative district. DeKalb County is part of the 6th U.S. congressional district, under the

provisions of T.C.A. § 2-16-103.

The following is a listing of acts for DeKalb County which affected the elective process, but

which have been superseded or repealed. They are listed here for historical and reference purposes.

Also referenced below is an act which repeals prior law without providing new substantive

provisions.

1. Acts of 1847-48, Chapter 111, Page 168, provided that on the second Monday in February,

1848 and each following year, the Sheriff of DeKalb County should hold and supervise an

election in Alexandria for the purpose of electing town officers.

2. Acts of 1849-50, Chapter 1, Page 1, was passed in order to remedy some confusion as to

when elections for county officials should be held in DeKalb County. It provided that

elections should be held as they were in other counties of the state.

3. Acts of 1893, Chapter 67, Page 83, provided for redistricting and divided DeKalb County

into five civil districts. This was repealed by Acts of 1897, Chapter 218, Page 519.

4. Acts of 1905, Chapter 170, Page 364, established the Twenty-Third Civil District of DeKalb

County and provided that two Justices of the Peace be elected from that district.

5. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 525, Page 1541, made the general registration and election law

of the state not applicable to DeKalb County.

6. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 355, Page 1241, amended the general law regulating absentee

voting as it applied to DeKalb County.

7. Private Acts of 1945, Chapter 513, Page 1561, provided that in all primary, general, and

special elections, the polls in the Ninth Civil District of DeKalb County should remain open

until 5:00 p.m.

8. Private Acts of 1947, Chapter 795, Page 3243, authorized the Quarterly County Court of

DeKalb County to attach and detach Civil Districts Nos. 10, 18 and 26 by proper resolution

and attach them to other Civil Districts.

9. Private Acts of 1961, Chapter 111, Page 395, provided that primary elections for county

offices, if held, would be held by the County Primary Election Commissioners and provided

that the costs of such elections were to be paid by the political parties. This was superseded

by general law found in T.C.A. 2-12-109 (Expenses of county election commission) and

2-13-203 (Methods of nominations for other offices).

77

CHAPTER VIII – HEALTH

78

HEALTH

COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1919

CHAPTER 670

SECTION 1. That hereafter in counties having a population of not less than 15,430 and not

more than 15,440 inhabitants according to the Federal Census of 1910 or any subsequent Federal

Census it shall be the duty of the county health officer to open and maintain an office in the county

site and shall post or have posted on the windows or doors thereof, in conspicuous letters, his name,

followed by the words “County Health Officer” and it shall be his duty, upon the relation or

complaint of two or more citizens of said county, alleging or suggesting the presence of dangerous,

contagious or communicable diseases in any community within said county; to visit the scene or

place of such contagion within twenty-four hours after such information has been communicated to

him and if same is found to be true, to treat or dispose of same as is now provided for by law.

SECTION 2. That failure or refusal of any health officer to comply with the provisions of

this Act shall be punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars and not less than twenty-five

dollars within the discretion of the court, upon the indictment and conviction of same.

SECTION 3. That this Act take effect from and after January 1, 1920, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: April 14, 1919.

79

HEALTH

For the general statutes relating to health, see Tennessee Code Annotated title 68, with

particular reference to chapter 2 (Local Health Services). Chapter 2 provides for the creation of

county and district health departments, boards of health, and cooperation between counties and cities

in the establishment of such departments and boards. It also details the operation and financing of

local health services. See volumes 14, 15 and 16 (Combined General Index) of T.C.A. for reference

to statutes on specific health topics.

80

CHAPTER IX – HIGHWAYS AND ROADS

81

HIGHWAYS – ROADS

ROAD LAW

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1945

CHAPTER 511

SECTION 1. That in Counties of this State having a population of not more than 14,600 and

not less than 14,550, according to the Federal Census of 1940, or any subsequent Federal Census,

such County shall constitute one entire District to be in charge of a Road Supervisor who shall be

the principal executive official thereof. At the August election, 1946, and biennially thereafter, there

shall be elected by the qualified voters of the Counties to which this Act applies, some capable,

experienced man as Supervisor of Roads who shall hold office for a period of four (4) years from

September 1st next following his election and until his successor shall be elected and qualified.

Upon assuming the office said Road Supervisor shall take oath to fairly and faithfully discharge the

duties of his office and shall execute a bond in a sum not to exceed Five Thousand ($5,000.00)

Dollars, the amount thereof to be fixed by the County Judge or Chairman and also approved by the

County Judge and Chairman. The Road Supervisor shall be paid a salary of nine thousand five

hundred dollars ($9,500) a year, payable in equal monthly installments out of the county road fund.

The said Road Supervisor shall also be entitled to maintain and have for his use a pick-up truck

belonging to the County and entitled to the necessary gasoline and oil for the use of his duties as

Road Supervisor. The Road Supervisor is authorized to employ a Secretary and Bookkeeper and

to fix the salary for such position, which shall be paid in equal monthly installments out of the

county road fund. Until September 1, 1946, Wilson Hobsen, a citizen and resident of DeKalb

County, one of the counties coming within the Supervision of this Act, who possesses the

qualifications to be Supervisor of said roads, is hereby appointed as Road Supervisor, and he shall

hold said office until his successor is duly elected and qualified.

The County Judge of said county is hereby designated as Chairman of Roads for said County,

and as such, the Chairman of Roads is hereby authorized and directed to approve all work, repair,

construction and maintenance of any of the roads in said County before any of said construction,

maintenance or repair on said roads is performed. The Chairman of Roads shall receive the sum of

Six Hundred ($600.00) Dollars per annum, payable monthly out of the County Highway Funds, in

addition to all other compensation which he now receives.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1949, Chapter 808,

Private Acts of 1951, Chapter 107,

Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 503,

Private Acts of 1957, Chapter 350,

Private Acts of 1957, Chapter 390,

Private Acts of 1973, Chapter 92.

SECTION 2. That it shall be the duty of the Supervisor in Counties to which this Act

applies, to efficiently construct, maintain and operate the road system in such Counties; and it shall

be his duty as early as weather conditions permit and funds available will allow, to begin the work

of maintenance and repair of the roads in his County and to continue the same as long as necessary

and permitted by available funds. Said Road Supervisor shall have full and complete authority to

employ all necessary skilled mechanics, assistant supervisors, timekeepers, and labor as he may

deem necessary, but the compensation payable to those employed shall not exceed the compensation

paid by the State Highway Department in Counties coming within the provisions of this Act for

similar services. Said Supervisor shall keep a record in his office of the hours of labor worked by

each person so employed by him and for the purpose of paying such persons for labor and services

performed. He shall keep a detailed account of all expenditures made and will issue warrants drawn

82

upon the Road Fund of said County for all labor employed and for all expenditures made, and will

issue warrants drawn upon the Road Fund of the County for same, which warrants shall be drawn

on the County Trustee but no warrant will be valid or become a charge against the County unless

the same is countersigned in advance of presentation for payment by the County Judge or Chairman

of the Counties to which this Act applies. No warrant shall be issued for any labor or for the

purchase of any materials unless there are funds to meet said warrant upon presentation for payment

to the Trustee of the County. Any Road Supervisor who issues any warrant for the payment of any

labor or makes any expenditure without said funds being available for the payment of said warrant,

or any Supervisor who issues any fraudulent warrant, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon

conviction shall be fined not less than Ten ($10.00) Dollars nor more than Fifty ($50.00) Dollars and

imprisoned for not less than sixty (60) days nor more than six (6) months in the County Jail and shall

also be subject to removal from office.

That all items including supplies, materials or road machinery purchased under the

provisions of this Act shall be purchased in accordance and in conformity with the provisions of

Chapter 156 of the Private Acts of 1943.

The County Road Supervisor herein named and his successor shall make and file with the

County Judge a full and complete report of all disbursements made during the preceding quarter.

The Supervisor here named shall, on or before April 1, 1945, file with the County Judge a full and

complete inventory showing all materials taken into his possession as Road Supervisor and the

amount of all funds coming into his hands as Supervisor. The said Supervisor shall also show in

said inventory and report the indebtedness against the Road Department or County at the time he

assumed office. The inventory and report made by the Supervisor appointed and the reports

hereinafter made quarterly will be preserved by the County Judge as a part of his official record and

the same will be available for inspection by any interested citizen of the County under such rules

and regulations as the County Judge may prescribe.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1951, Chapter 107.

SECTION 3. That all applications to open, discontinue and change roads shall be made to

the Road Supervisor and in addition thereto, such Supervisor, with the approval of the County Judge

in writing, shall have power to do the same. For the purpose of more effectively making practicable

such changes in the roads, the County, acting through the Supervisor, shall have and possess the

power of eminent domain which shall be exercised in the following manner:

Whenever the Road Supervisor and by the approval of the County Judge shall be of the

opinion that a change or alteration in the present system of roads shall be necessary, he shall give

notice to the landowner affected of the location of such proposed change and of the date upon which

a jury of view will be summoned to view the proposed change and to award damages. He shall

likewise file a copy of such notice in writing with the Sheriff of Counties to which this Act applies

and thereupon the Sheriff shall appoint a jury of view of five (5) members to go upon and examine

the premises and to assess the damages occasioned to the landowner by such change. The award

of such jury of view shall be made in writing and filed with the County Court Clerk and all damages

and costs awarded under this Act shall be and become a charge against the general funds of Counties

to which this Act applies. Any person aggrieved by the action of the jury of view herein provided

may within ten (10) days after the filing of said report by the jury of view with the County Court

Clerk, appeal therefrom to the next term of the County Court of said County by giving security or

executing the pauper’s oath as required by law; and from the action of the Quarterly County Court

an appeal lies to the next term of the Circuit Court of said County, either party being entitled to get

a jury upon his or her application at the hearing in such Circuit Court.

In addition to the right to condemn land for the purpose of changes in existing roads, such

County is given the power of eminent domain with respect to borrow pits, gravel pits, sand banks,

and other material deemed necessary as essential in the construction of roads. The procedure in case

of condemnation thereof shall be the same as that provided above; but nothing herein shall deny to

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such County the right to proceed to condemn such property under the procedure now provided by

the General Statutes of Tennessee for the exercise of eminent domain of public corporations, the

procedure herein provided being merely alternative rather than exclusive. The Road Supervisor

herein named shall have and exercise full and complete control over all bridges forming a part of

the County Highway System and such bridges shall be treated as a part of the road system for the

purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. That the Legislature hereby declares that the provisions of this Act are

severable and if any part thereof be unconstitutional, the Legislature expressly declares that it would

have enacted this Act with such unconstitutional Section elided therefrom; and that all laws and

parts of laws in conflict herewith, be and the same are hereby repealed.

SECTION 5. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: February 27, 1945.

84

HIGHWAYS – ROADS

General law on highways and roads can be found in title 54 of Tennessee Code Annotated.

In 1974, the general assembly enacted the “County Uniform Highway Law,” which has had a

substantial effect on road law in Tennessee’s counties. Found in title 54, chapter 7 of Tennessee

Code Annotated, the County Uniform Highway Law applies to most counties in the state. The

counties with a population in excess of 200,000 (Shelby, Davidson, Knox and Hamilton) are

excluded from this law.

The County Uniform Highway Law deals extensively with the position of “Chief

Administrative Officer” of the county road department. The chief administrative officer is defined

in T.C.A. § 54-7-103 as a county road superintendent, county road supervisor, county engineer,

director of public works, or any similar elected or appointed official. The qualifications of the chief

administrative officer are set out in T.C.A. § 54-7-104. The qualifications of candidates for elected

and appointed offices are reviewed by the Tennessee highway officials certification board.

Qualified candidates for popular election are certified by this board to the state coordinator of

elections who forwards this certification to the county election commission. T.C.A. § 54-7-104(a).

The term of office is set at four years by T.C.A. § 54-7-105, and the minimum salary of the

chief administrative officer is set by T.C.A. § 8-24-102. T.C.A. § 54-7-106. The bond of the chief

administrative officer is now set at $100,000 by T.C.A. § 54-7-108.

Most of the duties of the chief administrative officer are specified in T.C.A. § 54-7-109.

This section names the chief administrative officer as the head of the county highway department

and gives this officer general control over the road system and the personnel employed by the county

road department. However, in those counties with popularly elected highway commissions

(provided by private act), the general policy decisions over the highway system remain with the

elected highway commission. The chief administrative officer annually submits a county road list

which includes a summary of all changes approved the previous year by the county legislative body

and the reason for the change, and makes recommendations to the county legislative body

respecting proposed changes to the county road list and the classification of roads. T.C.A. § 54-10-

103.

The County Uniform Highway Law also gives the chief administrative officer authority to

employ legal counsel (T.C.A. § 54-7-110), requires the preparation of an annual plan for road

improvement (T.C.A. 54-7-111), and provides for the supervision and control of all equipment and

materials owned by the county highway department (T.C.A. § 54-7-112).

The use of county equipment or materials for private purposes is prohibited by T.C.A. § 54-

7-202. Any personal financial interest in the purchase of any supplies, machinery, materials or

equipment by any chief administrative officer, county highway commissioner, member of the county

governing body, or any employee of the county highway department is expressly forbidden by

T.C.A. § 54-7-203.

The following is a listing of acts which once had some effect upon the county road system

in DeKalb County, but which are no longer operative. Also referenced below are acts which repeal

prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1909, Chapter 271, Page 933, was a general road law for DeKalb County. It

provided that the Quarterly County Court would elect for a two year term a Road

Commissioner from each Civil District (road district) of the county, to have supervision over

the roads in his District. Road Overseers were to be appointed by each Road Commissioner

to supervise road duty to which all male residents of the county between the ages of

twenty-one and fifty-five were subject. A County Road Commissioner, appointed by the

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County Court, was to have general supervision of the District Commissioners and

Overseers. Procedures for opening and closing roads were enumerated.

2. Acts of 1911, Chapter 116, Page 276, was also a general road law for DeKalb County, with

provisions similar to those in the 1909 Act.

3. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 492, Page 1400, placed control of the roads in a Road

Commission of three members, who were to be appointed by the Quarterly County Court

biennially. Public bridges remained under the control of the County Court. The

Commission would appoint District Commissioners who would appoint Road Overseers.

This Act was repealed by Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 364, Page 1111.

4. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 364, Page 1111, provided for the election by the Quarterly

County Court of a three member Central Road Commission. They would have general

supervision over the changing, opening and closing of public roads, and control the

expenditures of the central fund. The Central Road Commission would elect a Road

Commissioner for each Civil District who would in turn select a Road Overseer. This Act

was amended by Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 550, Page 2078, to provide provisions for

persons failing to report for road duty and to authorize the Central Road Commission to

expend central road funds for making bridge repairs.

5. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 711, Page 2246, required every person over 21 years old

owning a wagon and team to work on the district roads, as they were designated to do so by

their District’s Justice of the Peace.

6. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 883, Page 2703, set the toll rates which could be charged

automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and trailers by persons or corporations operating a turnpike

in DeKalb County.

7. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 458, Page 1373, created a Central Road Commission for

DeKalb County of five members, to have supervision of the construction and maintenance

of all county roads and of the funds to be expended for these roads. The County Court Clerk

would be an ex-officio member and serve as Secretary.

8. Private Acts of 1927, Chapter 613, Page 1922, created a Bridge Committee of seven

members to have control over the location and construction of all county bridges in DeKalb

County.

9. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 207, Page 518, created a Department of County Roads for

DeKalb County. The control and management of the Department would be vested in a five

member County Road Commission and a County Road Supervisor. Commission members

would be elected by the County Court and the Road Supervisor would be elected by the

Commission.

10. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 558, Page 1487, created a Department of County Roads,

headed by a County Road Commission of five members, who would appoint a County Road

Supervisor. The County was divided into five zones and the voters would elect one member

from each zone for a two year term. A constitutional challenge to this Act was rejected by

the Tennessee Supreme Court in Loring v. McGinness, 44 SW²d 314 (1931), and the Act

was repealed by Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 11, Page 27.

11. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 45, Page 126, established a County Highway Department and

created a Central Highway Commission of three members elected by the voters, one member

from each of the three zones into which the county was divided. The office of District

Supervisor was established in each civil district who would be elected for a two year term

86

by the voters of the district. This Act was repealed by Private Acts of 1937, Chapter 179,

Page 516.

12. Private Acts of 1937, Chapter 222, Page 709, created a three member County Road

Commission who would serve a two year term. It divided the county into three road

districts, provided for the election of Road Commissioners from each District, gave the

Commission power to employ a County Road Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor, as well

as foremen and employers. It had the power of condemnation and could appoint as many

road foremen as may be necessary. This Act was repealed by Private Acts of 1939, Chapter

174, Page 468.

13. Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 194, Page 589, divided the county into five road districts, with

a member of the County Road Commission elected from each District, such Commission to

have complete control over the road system of the county. They were empowered to employ

a County Road Supervisor to supervise the construction of roads and the other employees

of the county highway department. This Act was amended by Private Acts of 1939, Chapter

484, Page 1545; Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 353, Page 1245; Private Acts of 1943,

Chapter 316, Page 1130; and repealed by Private Acts of 1945, Chapter 516, Page 1571.

14. There were three attempted amendments to the current road law, Private Acts of 1945,

Chapter 511, Page 1553, which were rejected or not acted upon by the Quarterly County

Court. All of these dealt with the salary of the County Road Supervisor. These acts are

Private Acts of 1955, Chapter 246, Page 841, Private Acts of 1965, Chapter 136, Page 494,

and Private Acts of 1970, Chapter 200, Page 810.

87

CHAPTER X – LAW ENFORCEMENT

88

LAW ENFORCEMENT

JAILS AND PRISONERS

The general law on jails and prisoners can be found in Tennessee Code Annotated title 41.

Of particular interest to county officials are chapter 2 (County Workhouse), chapter 4 (Jails and

Jailers), and chapter 8 (County Correctional Incentives Act). For the state law on jailers fees, see

T.C.A. §§ 8-26-105 and 41-8-106. 1999 Public Chapter 190 authorizes two or more counties to

enter into an interlocal agreement providing for a jail and/or workhouse to serve the contracting

counties. Each county that is a party to an interlocal agreement for a jointly operated jail would no

longer be required to maintain a separate jail.

89

LAW ENFORCEMENT

MILITIA

For many years during the early portion of Tennessee’s history, the county units of the state

militia were a vital part of the peace keeping and law enforcement arm of the state, being subject to

call when certain conditions existed.

90

OFFENSES

FIREWORKS

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1939

CHAPTER 365

SECTION 1. That in all counties of the State of Tennessee having a population of not less

than 14,200 and not more than 14,300 inhabitants, according to the Federal Census of 1930 or any

subsequent Federal Census, no person, firm or corporation shall have, keep, store, use, manufacture,

sell, handle or transport within the limits of said county, any pyrotechnics; and the word

“Pyrotechnics” whenever used in this Act shall be held to mean any sparkler, squib, rocket, fire

cracker, roman candle or fireworks.

Provided, however, nothing in this Act shall be held to apply to the possession or use of

signaling devices by railroads, vessels, and others requiring them, and that nothing in this Act shall

be held to apply to the possession, sale or use of normal stocks of flashlight compositions by

photographers or dealers in photostatic supplies; and,

Provided, further, nothing in this Act shall be held to apply to the possession, sale, or use of

ammunition, of fire arms, of blasting powder or dynamite, or other explosives used or to be used for

commercial purposes.

SECTION 2. That the County Trustee of any said county may, upon due application, issue

a permit to a properly qualified person for giving a Pyrotechnic display of fire works in the public

parks or other places within the said county. Such permits shall impose such restrictions as in the

opinion of the County Trustee of said County may be necessary to properly safeguard life and

property in each case, and the holder of such a permit shall be entitled to store, use, or transport

Pyrotechnics in strict accordance with the terms of said permit, this Act to the contrary

notwithstanding.

SECTION 3. That any violation of any provision of this Act shall be deemed a misdemeanor

and the offender shall upon conviction be fined not less than Five or more than Five Hundred

Dollars for every such violation.

SECTION 4. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: February 25, 1939.

91

LAW ENFORCEMENT

OFFENSES

Some counties in Tennessee have made various activities illegal within their boundaries by

the enactment of private legislation. Some of these were billiard playing, operating dance halls,

shooting fireworks, and things of a similar nature.

92

LAW ENFORCEMENT

SHERIFF

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1949

CHAPTER 693

SECTION 1. That in addition to the regular duties now prescribed by law, it shall be the

additional duty of the Sheriff of DeKalb County, Tennessee, to patrol all roads and highways in said

County regularly and on account of this additional duty he shall receive the sum of $2,400.00 per

annum, payable in equal monthly installments, out of the General Fund of said County. This

compensation shall be in addition to that which he now receives as Sheriff. In the event said Sheriff

fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this Act, he shall forfeit all compensation as

provided for under this Act. Provided, however, that the aforesaid compensation shall be in lieu of

all ex officio fees allowed by the Quarterly County Court of DeKalb County and whatever ex officio

fees that may now or hereafter be allowed by said Quarterly Court same shall be a credit on the

Twenty-Four Hundred ($2,400.00) Dollar compensation hereby fixed.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1951, Chapter 134.

SECTION 2. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: April 7, 1949.

93

LAW ENFORCEMENT

SHERIFF

The office of sheriff is one of the county offices established by article VII, section 1 of the

Constitution of Tennessee, and it is regulated by the general statutes found in title 8, chapter 8 of

Tennessee Code Annotated. The qualifications for the office of sheriff are more stringent than for

most county offices. These qualifications are detailed in T.C.A. § 8-8-102. Many of the duties of

the sheriff are specified in T.C.A. § 8-8-201. The sheriff’s salary is determined by T.C.A. §§

8-24-102 . The statutes authorizing the sheriff to petition the court with criminal jurisdiction for the

employment of deputies and assistants and the setting of salaries for deputies and assistants are

found in T.C.A. § 8-20-101 et seq. Also, the sheriff may appoint such personnel as may be

provided for in the budget adopted for the sheriff’s department. T.C.A. § 8-20-120. For additional

statutes relating to the sheriff, refer to the combined general index of Tennessee Code Annotated,

volumes 14, 15, and 16, under specific topics relating to law enforcement, county jails and

workhouses.

The following acts have no current effect but are included here for reference purposes since

they once applied to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. Also referenced below is an act which

repeals prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1847-48, Chapter 111, Page 168, directed the Sheriff of DeKalb County to annually

open and hold an election for electing officers of the Town of Alexandria. This provision

was amended by Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 39, Page 56, to remove any penalty against the

Sheriff for not holding the required election.

2. Private Acts of 1919, Chapter 794, Page 2453, set the salary of the Sheriff at a minimum of

$2,000 per year, provided that the fees from his office were not equal to or in excess of that

amount. This was repealed by Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 365, Page 1128.

3. Private Acts of 1949, Chapter 442, Page 1185, authorized the Quarterly County Court to

appropriate $1,200 per year for a special deputy sheriff.

94

CHAPTER XI – TAXATION

95

TAXATION

TAX ASSESSOR

DUTIES

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1949

CHAPTER 667

SECTION 1. That it shall be the duty of the Tax Assessor of DeKalb County, Tennessee,

to keep an accurate account of all real estate transfers placed on record in the County Register’s

office, and make the records in his office conform and comply with the real estate transfers as

reflected in the Register’s office. It being the intent and purpose of this Act that the records in the

Tax Assessor’s office shall at all times be current with realty transfers of property in said County.

It shall be the further duty of the said Tax Assessor to check the records of the realty transfers in the

County Register’s office at least twice a month.

That the tax books and records of the Tax Assessor shall at all times be kept and remain in

the County Trustee’s office in order that the same may be available for inspection by the public.

That for the period beginning January 10th and until the 1st day of May of each year, it shall

be the further duty of the Tax Assessor or his designated representatives to be present at the County

Trustee’s office during regular office hours on each Saturday during this period in order that he may

be contacted or consulted by any property owners of said County.

SECTION 2. That for the additional duties imposed hereunder said Tax Assessor shall

receive the sum of $500.00 per annum, payable in equal quarterly installments out of the General

Fund of the County. This compensation shall be in addition to the compensation which he now

receives as Tax Assessor. However, it being the further intent and purpose of the Legislature that

should said Tax Assessor fail or refuse to comply with the provisions of this Act, he shall forfeit all

compensation as provided for hereunder.

SECTION 3. That this Act shall take effect from and after April 15, 1949, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: April 7, 1949.

96

TAXATION

TAX ASSESSOR

DUTIES

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1961

CHAPTER 29

SECTION 1. That the County Register of the County of DeKalb, State of Tennessee, shall

not record any deed conveying real estate, in said County unless same bears the stamp of the Tax

Assessor of said County, certifying that said Tax Assessor has copied the names of the vendor and

vendees in said deed of conveyance for the purpose of making proper corrections on his roll of

assessments.

SECTION 2. That it shall be the duty of the Tax Assessor of DeKalb County to be available

during office hours. It shall be the further duty of the Tax Assessor to stamp or to cause to be

stamped all deeds presented to him, with a stamp showing that he has copied the name of the vendor

and vendee in said deed or conveyance for the purpose of making proper corrections on his roll of

assessments. It shall be the duty of the Tax Assessor to correct his tax rolls in all such cases so that

the tax rolls of DeKalb County will be kept up to date and will show the correct owners of real estate

to the end that property may be assessed in the name of the true owners thereof. Failure of the Tax

Assessor of DeKalb County to comply with the provisions of this Act shall constitute misconduct

in office and subject him to removal from office under Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 8-2701,

et sequa.

SECTION 3. That this Act shall have no effect unless the same shall have been approved

by a two-thirds vote of the Quarterly County Court of DeKalb County, Tennessee. Its approval or

disapproval shall be proclaimed by the Judge of the Quarterly County Court of DeKalb County,

Tennessee, and shall be certified by him to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 4. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: February 7, 1961.

97

TAXATION

ASSESSOR OF PROPERTY

The assessor of property is a constitutional officer provided for in article VII, section 1 of

the Constitution of Tennessee to be elected by the qualified voters for a term of four years. For

general law on the office of county assessor of property, see Tennessee Code Annotated title 67,

chapter 1, part 5.

The salary of the assessor is set by the county legislative body in accordance with T.C.A. §

67-1-508 at an amount not less than the salary provided for the assessor by T.C.A. § 8-24-102. Also,

T.C.A. § 67-1-508 provides that any assessor of property who has been trained and designated as

a “Certified Assessment Evaluator” will be paid additional compensation by the state. Further, any

assessor of property who has earned the title of “Tennessee Certified Assessor” or “Residential

Evaluation Specialist” will be paid additional compensation by the state. The assessor is authorized

by T.C.A. § 67-1-506 to appoint a deputy assessor for each 4,500 parcels of property over and above

the first 4,500 parcels.

98

TAXATION

TAX LEVY

GASOLINE TAX APPORTIONMENT

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1945

CHAPTER 601

SECTION 1. That out of the Two-Cent Gasoline Tax fund now received by DeKalb County

from the State of Tennessee that one-twelfth of said Fund paid to the Trustee of said County for the

year 1945 shall be paid by said Trustee to the Governing Bodies of Smithville and Alexandria, two

Municipalities in said County, on the following basis to-wit: Smithville, eighty (80%) per cent of

one-twelfth (1/12) and Alexandria, twenty (20%) percent of the one-twelfth (1/12).

SECTION 2. That for the year 1945 and for each year thereafter the Trustee of the County

will take as a basis of arriving at the one-twelfth (1/12) of the Gasoline Fund going to the said

Municipalities the sum received by the County from the State for the preceding year and shall set

up on the books of the Trustee’s Office one-twelfth (1/12) of said sum for the year 1945 and for each

year thereafter and pay the same as herein provided to the governing Bodies of Smithville and

Alexandria.

SECTION 3. That the Governing Bodies of said Municipalities shall each year lay out and

designate the streets, roads and bridges within said Municipalities where said Fund shall be

expended and the Governing Bodies of said Municipalities will cause to be made a record of all

funds received under the provisions of this Act, same to be opened to inspection to any party

interested.

SECTION 4. That the Trustee of DeKalb County will make the division of this fund as

herein provided and pay the same over to the Municipalities on or before June 1st of each year, first

payment shall be made on or before June 1, 1945.

SECTION 5. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: March 2, 1945.

99

TAXATION

HOTEL/MOTEL TAX

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1995

CHAPTER 118

SECTION 1. As used in this act unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Clerk” means the County Clerk of DeKalb County, Tennessee.

(2) “Consideration” means the consideration charged, whether or not received, for the

occupancy in a hotel valued in money whether to be received in money, goods, labor or otherwise,

including all receipts, cash, credits, property and services of any kind or nature without any

deduction therefrom whatsoever. Nothing in this definition shall be construed to imply that

consideration is charged when the space provided to the person is complimentary from the operator

and no consideration is charged to or received from any person.

(3) “County” means DeKalb County, Tennessee.

(4) “Hotel” means any structure or space, or any portion thereof, which is occupied or

intended or designed for occupancy by transients for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes, and

includes any hotel, inn, tourist camp, tourist court, tourist cabin, motel or any place in which rooms,

lodgings or accommodations are furnished to transients for a consideration.

(5) “Occupancy” means the use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any

room, lodgings or accommodations in any hotel.

(6) “Operator” means the person operating the hotel whether as owner, lessee or otherwise.

(7) “Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club,

fraternal organization, joint stock company, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver,

trustee, syndicate, governmental unit other than the United States or any of its agencies, or any other

group or combination acting as a unit.

(8) “Transient” means any person who exercises occupancy or is entitled to occupancy for

any rooms, lodgings or accommodations in a hotel for a period of less than thirty (30) continuous

days.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1996, Chapter 142.

SECTION 2. The legislative body of DeKalb County is authorized to levy a privilege tax

upon the privilege of occupancy in any hotel of each transient in the amount of five percent (5%)

of the consideration charged by the operator. Such tax is a privilege tax upon the transient

occupying such room and is to be collected as provided in this act.

SECTION 3. The proceeds received by the county from the tax shall be designated and used

for the General Fund.

SECTION 4. Such tax shall be added by each and every operator to each invoice prepared

by the operator for the occupancy of the hotel and given directly or transmitted to the transient.

Such tax shall be collected by such operator from the transient and remitted to the county clerk as

provided in Section 5.

100

When a person has maintained occupancy for thirty (30) continuous days, that person shall

receive from the operator a refund or credit for the tax previously collected or charged and the

operator shall receive credit for the amount of such tax if previously paid or reported to the county.

SECTION 5.

(a) The tax levied shall be remitted by all operators who lease, rent or charge for any rooms,

lodgings, spaces or accommodations in hotels within the county to the clerk or such other officer

as may by resolution be charged with the duty of collection thereof, such tax to be remitted to such

officer not later than the twentieth (20th) day of each month for the preceding month. The operator

is required to collect the tax from the transient at the time of the presentation of the invoice for such

occupancy as may be the custom of the operator, and if credit is granted by the operator to the

transient, then the obligation to the county entitled to such tax shall be that of the operator.

(b) For the purpose of compensating the operator for remitting the tax levied by this act, the

operator shall be allowed two percent (2%) of the amount of the tax due and remitted to the clerk

in the form of a deduction in submitting the report and paying the amount due by such operator,

provided the amount due was not delinquent at the time of payment.

SECTION 6. The clerk, or other authorized collector of the tax, shall be responsible for the

collection of such tax and shall place the proceeds of such tax in accounts for the purposes stated

herein. A monthly tax return shall be filed under oath with the clerk by the operator with such

number of copies thereof as the clerk may reasonably require for the collection of such tax. The

report of the operator shall include such facts and information as may be deemed reasonable for the

verification of the tax due. The form of such report shall be developed by the clerk and approved

by the County Legislative Body prior to use. The clerk shall audit each operator in the county at

least once a year and shall report on the audits made on a quarterly basis to the County Legislative

Body.

The County Legislative Body is authorized to adopt resolutions to provide reasonable rules

and regulations for the implementation of the provisions of this act, including the form for such

reports.

SECTION 7. No operator of a hotel shall advertise or state in any manner, whether directly

or indirectly, that the tax or any part thereof will be assumed or absorbed by the operator or that it

will not be added to the rent, or that if added, any part will be refunded.

SECTION 8. Taxes collected by an operator which are not remitted to the clerk on or before

the due dates are delinquent. An operator is liable for interest on such delinquent taxes from the due

date at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum, and is liable for an additional penalty of one

percent (1%) for each month or fraction thereof such taxes are delinquent. Such interest and penalty

shall become a part of the tax herein required to be remitted. Each occurrence of willful refusal of

an operator to collect or remit the tax or willful refusal of a transient to pay the tax imposed is

unlawful and shall be punishable by a civil penalty not in excess of fifty dollars ($50.00).

SECTION 9. It is the duty of every operator liable for the collection and payment to the

county of any tax imposed by this act to keep and preserve for a period of three (3) years all records

necessary to determine the amount of tax due and payable to the county. The clerk has the right to

inspect such records at all reasonable times.

SECTION 10. The clerk in administering and enforcing the provisions of this act has as

additional powers, those powers and duties with respect to collecting taxes as provided in Title 67

of Tennessee Code Annotated or otherwise provided by law.

For services in administering and enforcing the provisions of this act, the clerk is entitled to

retain as a commission five percent (5%) of the taxes collected.

101

Upon any claim of illegal assessment and collection, the taxpayer has the remedies provided

in Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 67. It is the intent of this act that the provisions of law which

apply to the recovery of state taxes illegally assessed and collected shall also apply to the tax levied

under the authority of this act. The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 67-1-707,

shall be applicable to adjustments and refunds of such tax.

With respect to the adjustment and settlement with taxpayers, all errors of county taxes

collected by the clerk under authority of this act shall be refunded by the clerk.

SECTION 11. The proceeds of the tax authorized by this act shall be allocated to and placed

in the General Fund of DeKalb County to be used for the purposes stated in Section 3 of this act.

SECTION 12. The tax levied pursuant to the provisions of this act shall only apply in

accordance with the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 67-4-1425.

SECTION 13. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or

circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the

act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the

provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

SECTION 14. This act shall have no effect unless it is approved by a two thirds (2/3) vote

of the County Legislative Body of DeKalb County. Its approval or nonapproval shall be proclaimed

by the presiding officer of the County Legislative Body and shall be certified by such presiding

officer to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 15. For the purpose of approving or rejecting the provisions of this act, it shall

be effective upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. For all other purposes, this act

shall take effect upon being approved as provided in Section 14.

Passed: May 18, 1995.

102

TAXATION

TAX LEVY

LITIGATION TAX

PRIVATE ACTS OF 1971

CHAPTER 162

SECTION 1. That a litigation tax of Five Dollars ($5.00) shall be taxed as part of the costs

in all civil and criminal actions in the General Sessions Court, the Circuit Court and the Chancery

Court of DeKalb County, Tennessee.

As amended by: Private Acts of 1978, Chapter 239.

SECTION 2. That the said Clerks of the said Courts will collect the said litigation tax and

pay same into a separate fund, which is to be designated as the “Court House and Jail Maintenance

Repair Fund”, to be used exclusively for the purpose of maintenance and repair of the Court House

and Jail.

SECTION 3. That all expenditures made from the said Fund are to be made by the

Purchasing Agent, upon the authorization of the Quarterly County Court.

SECTION 4. That this Act shall have no effect unless the same shall have been approved

by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the County Court of DeKalb County, Tennessee, on or before the next

regular meeting of such County Court occurring more than thirty (30) days after its approval by the

Chief Executive of the State. Its approval or non-approval shall be proclaimed by the presiding

officer of the body having jurisdiction to approve or the reverse, and shall be certified by him to the

Secretary of State.

SECTION 5. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare

requiring it.

Passed: May 17, 1971.

103

TAXATION

Most of the general law on taxation can be found in title 67 of Tennessee Code Annotated.

The chief revenue source for county government is the ad valorem tax on real and personal property.

The statutes dealing with the county property tax, including assessment, levy, collection, and

enforcement, are found in title 67, chapter 5. Assessments are reviewed by the county board of

equalization, which is covered by title 67, chapter 5, part 14. Another large source of county

revenue is the local option sales tax. The authority for the local option sales tax is codified at T.C.A.

title 67, chapter 6, part 7. While the property tax may be levied by the county legislative body alone,

the local sales tax must be approved by the qualified voters in a referendum. Other general law

granting taxing authority for counties may be found in other sections of the code. These may be

found through use of the combined general index to the Tennessee Code Annotated. In some areas

private acts may be used for authority to levy a tax at the county level. The revenue sources

available to county governments, and the authority for such taxes and fees either in general law or

private acts, are summarized in the CTAS publication County Revenue Manual.

The following is a listing of acts pertaining to taxation in DeKalb County which are no

longer effective. Also referenced below is an act which repeals prior law without providing new

substantive provisions.

1. Private Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 129, Section 8, Page 324, required citizens of DeKalb

County in a section removed by this Act from Putnam County to list and pay taxes in Putnam

County for the next five years. This was repealed by Acts of 1859-60, Chapter 121, Page

401.

2. Private Acts of 1921, Chapter 218, Page 697, set the salary of the Tax Assessor at $1,000 per

year.

3. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 791, Page 2832, amended Acts of 1907, Chapter 602, which

provided for more equitable assessment of taxes, by making it applicable to DeKalb County.

4. Private Acts of 1989, Chapter 74, authorized the county legislative body to levy a hotelmotel

tax. This act did not receive local approval and therefore did not become law.

104

PARALLEL REFERENCE TABLE

105

PARALLEL REFERENCE TABLE

YEAR ACT CHAPTER PAGE

1837-38 Acts 61 39

1837-38 Acts 116 47

1837-38 Acts 199 35

1837-38 Acts 298 68

1839-40 Acts 2 9,31,45,47

1839-40 Acts 21 47

1839-40 Acts 66 45

1841-42 Acts 8 47

1843-44 Acts 10 20

1843-44 Acts 57 39

1843-44 Acts 151 45

1845-46 Acts 82 47

1845-46 Acts 205 20

1847-48 Acts 99 39

1847-48 Acts 111 76,93

1849-50 Acts 1 76

1849-50 Acts 3 20

1849-50 Acts 139 39

1849-50 Acts 213 47

1851-52 Acts 40 47

1851-52 Acts 262 39

1851-52 Acts 304 39

1853-54 Acts 118 39

1853-54 Acts 123 45

1853-54 Acts 152 36,39

1853-54 Acts 181 39

1855-56 Private 27 36,39

1855-56 Acts 122 39

1855-56 Acts 165 39

1857-58 Acts 39 93

1857-58 Acts 88 45

1857-58 Acts 113 68

1857-58 Acts 126 20

1857-58 Private 129 37,103

1859-60 Acts 116 45

1859-60 Acts 121 103

1859-60 Acts 196 39

1859-60 Acts 211 39

1870 Acts 118 39

1871 Acts 133 7

1872 Acts (Ex. Sess.) 1 7,9

1872 Acts (Ex. Sess.) 15 47

1875 Acts 42 9

1877 Acts 116 47

1879 Acts 61 39

1879 Acts 130 47

1881 Acts 164 40

1881 Acts 165 40

1883 Acts 15 7

1883 Acts 66 40

1885 Acts (Ex. Sess.) 20 45,48

106

YEAR ACT CHAPTER PAGE

1887 Acts 8 48

1887 Acts 53 40

1887 Acts 192 40

1887 Acts 193 40

1887 Acts 228 40

1889 Acts 141 40

1889 Acts 214 48

1889 Acts 246 9

1889 Acts 264 40

1891 Acts (Ex. Sess.) 11 45

1891 Acts 208 48

1893 Acts 20 40

1893 Acts 49 7

1893 Acts 59 24

1893 Acts 67 76

1893 Acts 73 40

1895 Acts 97 48

1895 Acts 127 24

1897 Acts 134 24

1897 Acts 136 40

1897 Acts 218 76

1897 Acts 263 40

1897 Acts 294 45

1899 Acts 51 24

1899 Acts 116 24

1899 Acts 143 40

1899 Acts 179 40

1899 Acts 192 68

1899 Acts 279 69

1899 Acts 342 40

1899 Acts 344 40

1903 Acts 97 45

1903 Acts 213 40

1903 Acts 221 41

1903 Acts 371 20

1903 Acts 387 41

1903 Acts 580 48

1905 Acts 36 41

1905 Acts 88 41

1905 Acts 95 41

1905 Acts 120 45

1905 Acts 156 41

1905 Acts 170 76

1905 Acts 269 48

1907 Acts 291 41

1907 Acts 503 41

1907 Acts 602 103

1909 Acts 271 84

1909 Acts 302 65

1911 Acts 100 65

1911 Acts 116 85

1911 Acts 278 27

1911 Acts 415 41

107

YEAR ACT CHAPTER PAGE

1911 Acts 507 45

1911 Acts 589 27

1911 Acts 599 8

1911 Acts 626 50

1911 Acts 667 24

1915 Private 41 65

1915 Private 227 68

1915 Private 260 41

1915 Private 293 68

1915 Private 499 68

1915 Private 523 68

1915 Private 528 41

1915 Private 541 41

1915 Private 542 38

1915 Private 556 41

1915 Private 558 41

1915 Private 605 44

1915 Private 662 41

1917 Private 466 65

1917 Private 574 20

1917 Private 590 46

1917 Private 627 24

1917 Private 631 9

1917 Private 677 68

1917 Private 726 24

1917 Private 750 24

1917 Private 785 68

1919 Private 36 24

1919 Private 478 68

1919 Private 479 68

1919 Private 492 85

1919 Private 501 24

1919 Private 502 69

1919 Private 525 76

1919 Private 526 18

1919 Private 590 69

1919 Private 666 69

1919 Private 670 78

1919 Private 750 69

1919 Private 751 28

1919 Private 768 27

1919 Private 794 93

1919 Private 795 22

1919 Private 796 6

1919 Private 799 27

1919 Private 800 44

1919 Public 61 24

1921 Private 218 103

1921 Private 301 8

1921 Private 327 18

1921 Private 340 44

1921 Private 341 9

1921 Private 364 85

108

YEAR ACT CHAPTER PAGE

1921 Private 365 93

1921 Private 366 44

1921 Private 405 24

1921 Private 477 69

1921 Private 633 69

1921 Private 659 28

1921 Private 708 24,25

1921 Private 711 85

1921 Private 724 6

1921 Private 883 85

1923 Private 23 9

1923 Private 76 68,69

1923 Private 130 28

1923 Private 132 25

1923 Private 218 44

1923 Private 285 68,69

1923 Private 287 69

1923 Private 355 76

1923 Private 550 85

1925 Private 171 44

1925 Private 240 25

1925 Private 333 28

1925 Private 471 25

1925 Private 519 25

1925 Private 530 41

1925 Private 641 44

1925 Private 664 69

1925 Private 674 69

1925 Private 791 103

1927 Private 82 42

1927 Private 105 28

1927 Private 147 42

1927 Private 200 44

1927 Private 458 85

1927 Private 613 85

1927 Private 615 25

1927 Private 620 20

1927 Private 691 50

1927 Private 785 42

1929 Private 412 42

1929 Private 908 25

1929 Private 910 69

1931 Private 29 5

1931 Private 48 69

1931 Private (Ex. Sess.) 69 44

1931 Private (Ex. Sess.) 82 27

1931 Private 202 29

1931 Private 207 85

1931 Private 385 69

1931 Private 386 69

1931 Private 558 85

1931 Private 580 68

1933 Private 11 85

109

YEAR ACT CHAPTER PAGE

1933 Private 35 70

1933 Private 45 85

1933 Private 201 8

1933 Private 227 42

1933 Private 270 42

1933 Private 273 50

1933 Private 575 44

1935 Private 32 5

1935 Private 93 42

1935 Private 183 28

1937 Private 62 28

1937 Private 179 85

1937 Private 222 86

1937 Private 616 61

1937 Private 617 70

1937 Private 837 69

1939 Private 174 86

1939 Private 194 86

1939 Private 311 62,63,64

1939 Private 365 90

1939 Private 484 86

1939 Private 524 42

1939 Private 528 25

1941 Private 426 42

1941 Private 434 42

1941 Private 533 44

1941 Private 534 44

1941 Private 536 61,62,63,64

1943 Private 156 18,82

1943 Private 200 27

1943 Private 315 64

1943 Private 316 86

1943 Private 353 86

1945 Private 511 81,86

1945 Private 512 12

1945 Private 513 76

1945 Private 514 66

1945 Private 515 61

1945 Private 516 86

1945 Private 518 28

1945 Private 596 70

1945 Private 601 98

1947 Private 408 66

1947 Private 409 70

1947 Private 795 76

1949 Private 442 93

1949 Private 667 95

1949 Private 668 8

1949 Private 669 8

1949 Private 693 92

1949 Private 727 52

1949 Private 771 72

1949 Private 807 27

110

YEAR ACT CHAPTER PAGE

1949 Private 808 81

1951 Private 107 81,82

1951 Private 134 92

1951 Private 281 66

1953 Private 502 53,54

1953 Private 503 81

1953 Private 540 28

1953 Private 541 29

1953 Private 547 8

1955 Private 245 9

1955 Private 246 86

1955 Private 407 25

1955 Private 408 23

1955 Private 419 25

1957 Private 270 29

1957 Private 350 81

1957 Private 390 81

1957 Private 412 25

1959 Private 314 25

1961 Private 28 9

1961 Private 29 96

1961 Private 111 76

1961 Private 136 25

1961 Private 356 10

1963 Private 83 53

1965 Private 136 86

1967-68 Private 436 3

1970 Private 200 86

1971 Private 65 42

1971 Private 160 18

1971 Private 161 15,19

1971 Private 162 102

1972 Private 374 72

1972 Public 548 42

1973 Private 92 81

1974 Private 211 25

1974 Private 238 62

1974 Private 332 25

1974 Private 384 25

1975 Public 161 42,65

1975 Public 221 51

1976 Private 232 63

1976 Public 422 42

1976 Public 487 42

1976 Public 510 51

1977 Private 55 63

1977 Private 61 62

1978 Private 239 102

1978 Public 768 51

1978 Public 774 42

1978 Public 934 9

1979 Private 63 13,19

1979 Private 115 13,14,15

111

YEAR ACT CHAPTER PAGE

1980 Private 190 49

1981 Public 81 42

1989 Private 74 103

1989 Private 121 56

1992 Public 535 65

1995 Private 118 99

1996 Private 142 99

1996 Private 157 14

1999 Public 190 88

2000 Private 111 74

112

The University of Tennessee does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion,

national origin, age, disability, or veteran status in provision of educational programs and

services or employment opportunities and benefits. This policy extends to both employment

by and admission to The University.

The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education

programs and activities pursuant to the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of

1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of

1973, and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Inquiries and charges of violation concerning Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, ADA, or the Age

Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) or any of the other above referenced policies

should be directed to the Office of Diversity Resources (DRES), 2110 Terrance Avenue,

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498 (V/TTY available) or (865) 974-

2440. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator

at the Office of Human Resources, 600 Henley Street, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4125.