Warrant & Criminal Summons Screening

  • The Magistrate holds open court for private citizens to request criminal prosecutions each Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Fourth (4th) Sessions Courtroom.
  • The Magistrate will consider private citizen requests for prosecutions and determine whether a criminal charge is appropriate.
  • A representative from the District Attorney’s Office is available to discuss any potential case.
  • NOTE:  The citizen must bring a copy of the incident report from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office or the Knoxville Police Department for the Magistrate to consider prosecution.


  • For Emergency Situations, Please Dial 911
  • Cases referred to warrant screening require the same level of proof as does any other case in obtaining criminal process. The following requirements must be met:
    1. An Incident Report must be filed with the law enforcement agency handling your case;
    2. The offense must be a misdemeanor. On all felony offenses warrants must be obtained by a law enforcement officer;
    3. The suspect must be named and identified;
    4. Witnesses or other evidence must corroborate the allegation. If you have any of the following information, please provide it to the Officer, Detective, or Investigator assigned to your case:
      • All witnesses’ names, addresses, phone numbers
      • All photos of injuries or property involved
      • All documents related to your incident, including medical records
      • Video surveillance, text messages, or other electronic media related to your incident
      • Any other information that will assist in prosecution.
  • Knox County Sheriff’s Office (Incident occurred in Knox County), Phone: 865.215.2243
  • Knoxville Police Department (Incident occurred within the City of Knoxville), Phone: 865.215.7000
  • Remember that there are other options to help resolve your situation without filing criminal charges. If you have one of the following situations, contact the appropriate organization below before attending Warrant Screening:

  • Community Mediation Center (For Neighbor, Landlord/Tenant, & Family/Friend Non-Domestic Violence Related Disputes)
    912 S. Gay Street. Suite L300 Knoxville, TN 37902, Phone: 865.594.1879
  • Legal Aid of East Tennessee (For Restraining Orders & Orders of Protection)
    502 S. Gay Street, Suite 404 Knoxville, TN 37902, Phone: 865.637.0484
  • Knoxville Bar Association Lawyer Referral & Information Service (For General Legal Advice & Filing Civil Lawsuits for Pain & Suffering, Loss of Work, etc.)
    505 Main Street, Suite 50 Knoxville, TN 37902, Phone: 865.522.7501