The state trial courts were divided into thirty-one judicial districts in 1984. T.C.A. 16-2-506. Chancery Courts exist within some but not all of the districts. Each judicial district selects a presiding judge who assigns cases to reduce delays, distributes the workload equitably and promotes the orderly and efficient administration of justice in the district. T.C.A. 16-2-509.
The 1984 redistricting bill abolished the "terms of court." The minutes of the court remain open continuously. T.C.A. 16-2-510. Court is held at times set by the Chancellors as needed to dispose of the court’s business. T.C.A. 16-2-510.
Chancery Court judges (Chancellors) are elected for an eight-year term by the voters of the district or circuit to which they are assigned. TENN. CONST. Art. VI, 4. A Chancellor must be: (1) thirty years old; (2) a Tennessee resident for five years; (3) a resident of the district or circuit for one year, TENN. CONST. VI, 4; (4) licensed to practice law in Tennessee; and (5) eligible under the general standards to hold public office. T.C.A. 17-1-106, 8-18-101.
To facilitate the handling of cases, any Chancellor may exercise by interchange, appointment or designation the jurisdiction of any trial court other than to which he was elected or appointed. T.C.A. 16-2-502.