Founder & Presiding Judge, Rachel L. Bell, shared, “This diversionary court and program was developed to assist the tenant and landlord with a streamlined way to navigate the current pandemic, particularly those whose income was affected directly by COVID-19 resulting in the inability to receive or pay rent. As a former Real Estate Attorney representing both Tenants and Landlords, I know all too well the sense of urgency for this court and the present need in this space.
The L.E.G.A.C.Y. Housing Resource Diversionary Court & Program (Housing Resource Diversionary Court) will provide tools to support and foster mutual trust between landlords and tenants while seeking CARES Grant relief money. These funds are to assist eligible tenants in paying arrearages to landlords and avoid possible eviction.”
“The Clerk’s office is prepared to assist Landlords and Tenants in resolving Detainer Actions,” said Circuit Court Clerk Richard Rooker. “The Housing Resource Diversionary Court will assist in resolving non-payment of rent matters and this is great for both parties. Judge Bell is preparing a virtual platform that will utilize CaseLink and other Clerk’s office technology to upload documents and sign orders electronically.”
“Additionally, the Housing Resource Diversionary Court Program Team in partnership with the McGruder Center, Catholic Charities, United Way and the Meharry Bridges to success programs will focus on the use of individualized justice and case management,” said Judge Bell. “The program will empower tenants through several phases which include financial literacy, budgeting, access to job readiness training, workforce development and employment assistance. The goal is to connect tenants to community based agencies that help them maintain safe housing, progress to marketplace rent and ultimately move into homeownership,” said Alisha Haddock, Director for McGruder Center. ** This program is optional to tenants.
I. Housing Resource Diversionary Court – (HRDC)
a. TENANT OR LANDLORD APPLICATION FOR PARTICIPANT REGISTRATION:
To register for the HRDC please submit an application by clicking the link below:
b. PRO BONO ATTY OR RULE 31 MEDIATOR REGISTRATION:
If you are interested in volunteering and assisting the HRDC with Rule 31 Mediation or a Pro Bono Attorney representation of Tenants or Landlords to sign non-payment of rent stipulation agreements, please register by clicking the link below:
c. LOOKING FOR RESOURCES TO SEEK ASSISTANCE NOW?
If you are experiencing a need that absolutely can’t wait please call the United Way, 211 Help Line. The 211 Help Line is a 24/7, 365-day information and referral help line that provides individuals in need with help in times of crisis and beyond. The 211 Help Line is staffed by trained specialists and supports a database of more than 10,000 health and human services programs.
Looking for other assistance, click this link below for:
- Rent & Utility Assistance
- Financial Assistance
- Food Assistance
- Unemployment Services
- Tornado Relief Assistance
- And much, much more !!
II. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA– (NON-PAYMENT OF RENT CASES ONLY)
Tenants or Landlords must be able to exhibit and show proof that their income has been affected by COVID-19 and the ability to pay or receive rent was associated with the pandemic.
III. HOUSING RESOURCE DIVERSIONARY COURT FORMS–
Please click the buttons below to access the forms
IV. WHAT DAYS AND TIMES ARE COURT- (VIRTUAL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)
Every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m.
- The first court docket will be Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
- ** Accepted cases into the HRDC are set on the docket by the General Sessions Civil Court Clerk, Richard Rooker at the direction of Judge Rachel L. Bell and the HRDC.
- All cases will receive a letter with a court order to schedule mediation to resolve the case first pursuant to the TN Administrative Office of the Courts – Alternative Dispute Resolution Plan to assist courts facing a backlog of civil cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The plan creates a process that will make mediation more available to civil litigants as a means of providing a quicker, less expensive, and potentially more satisfying alternative to continuing litigation in a case without impairing the quality of justice or the right to a trial.
- After the case has been set for mediation the court clerk will be notified.
- Once mediation is concluded the court clerk will receive the mediation agreement or notice the matter was not successfully mediated.
- All mediated cases will be set on a VIRTUAL DOCKET within 15 days for a status hearing. At this time we will determine if the matter has been settled or if the case needs to be set on a General Sessions Court IND docket until the Eviction Moratorium has been lifted. Currently, the Eviction Moratorium is in place until March 31, 2021. Once the Eviction Moratorium is lifted the Plaintiff/Landlord will need to notify the clerk to put the matter on a docket and set for trial.
- If your case has been set on a VIRTUAL DOCKET you will receive a ZOOM or CISCO WEBEX LINK within 7 business days prior to court.
- If you are not able to participate VIRTUALLY and need other arrangements to be made, please call the General Sessions Civil Court Clerk’s Office at 615-862-5195.
- If you need ADA Accommodations, please contact the General Sessions Court Administrative Office at 615-862-5199.
V. L.E.G.A.C.Y. HOUSING RESOURCE DIVERSIONARY COURT/PROGRAM
PHASES – Tenant or Participant must opt in
This program is optional for Tenants to participate in. Tenants do not need to have a pending case in court or be facing eviction. Any individual that wants to work with the program must apply to be a candidate. If you are interested click this link below:
PHASE 1– PLANNING – (60 days) * Certificate of Completion given for each Phase
- Case Manager assigned and assessment to recognize the acute crisis (i.e. housing, employment); developing an individualized plan with financial wellness & literacy.
PHASE 2– RELATIONSHIP – (60 days) * Certificate of Completion given for each Phase
- Setting personal goals; establish better relationship with housing & employment situation; work to eliminate debt with credit score repair training; improve knowledge of housing/home ownership rights & responsibilities.
PHASE 3– MAINTAINANCE – (60 days) * Certificate of Completion given for each Phase
- Create positive neighborhood networks and build trust with the community; maintain self-care routine; establish positive lifestyle activities; maintain housing & employment.
PHASE 4– STABILITY – (60 days) * Certificate of Completion given for each Phase
- Build independence & financial stability; establish stable living environment and develop positive relationships with and in the community.
PHASE 5– JOURNEY ** (Individualized Time-Frame towards Home-Ownership)
- Program designed to assist the L.E.G.A.C.Y. HRDC/P participant with steps to move to from marginalized living towards market place rent and first – time home ownership, thereby creating a LEGACY. The participant will receive first time home owner classes with mentorship and guidance in collaboration with other providers and resources to ensure sustainability and individual success.)
VI. WHAT TO EXPECT–
- Individualized Case Management & Mentorship-
- Identifying the need for education, job training and employment service providers;
- Identifying the need for adequate housing;
- Identifying access to affordable food options;
- Identifying access to affordable health care;
- Identifying the need for access to alcohol and drug recovery service providers;
- Identifying the need for mental health care service providers and treatment;
- Identifying the need to connect community based services & providers (i.e., housing, driver’s license/reinstatement, childcare, child support and or child care);
- Secure Housing;
- Secure Livable Wage Job;
- Secure Trade/Skill;
- Secure GED or assistance in pursuit of higher education;
- Life Skills and Financial Wellness Classes
- Record Expungement assistance.
- Review if any criminal court cost fines and fees can be waived.
- Assistance with restoring any rights that may have been terminated.
VII. MUSIC CITY COMMUNITY COURT LOCATION–
The Music City Community Court is located inside the
Bordeaux North Community Justice Center
ADDRESS: McGruder Family Resource Center, RM 23,
2013 25th Ave. North, Nashville, TN 37208