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 U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funding with Metro Action Commission’s (MAC) HOPE (Housing, Opportunity, Partnership & Employment ) Program or CARES Grant relief money. These funds are to assist eligible tenants in paying arrearages to landlords and avoid possible eviction.
Click here for the HOPE Program: https://www.nashville.gov/Metro-Action-Commission.aspx
**UPDATE POSTED BY Judge Rachel L. Bell: 7/28/2021
The CDC moratorium was set to expire on August 1, 2021 however, we received authority that the four states within the Sixth Circuit, including Tennessee, are no longer bound by the moratorium as of Friday, July 26, 2021.
Now, with the expiration of the CDC moratorium and new developments with the COVID-19 pandemic we are seeing an uptick in landlords filing eviction actions. It is imperative that tenants show up for their court dates to avoid a default judgement for eviction and start their HOPE application. After they start their HOPE application the tenant needs to fill out the L.E.G.A.C.Y HRDC application. Bring this information to eviction court in Courtroom 1A or Courtroom 1B and present this to the judge. The judge will review this information and see if the landlord will agree for your case to be transferred to the HRDC docket which is on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. If your case is in fact transferred to HRDC you will be assigned a MAC/HRDC Housing Court Navigator the day of and will be set an appointment to meet with them within 3-5 business days and they will be your case manager during the process.
- HOW TO CHECK IF I HAVE A PENDING EVICTION WITH THE COURT: To check to see if you have a pending eviction/detainer matter please call the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office at 615-862-5195.
- I NEED LEGAL ADVICE: If you need legal assistance please contact the Legal Aid Society at 615-244-6610.
- L.E.G.A.C.Y. HRDC application click here: https://gscourt.nashville.gov/about-us/judges/division-viii-judge-rachel-l-bell/l-e-g-a-c-y-tenant-landlord-participant-registration/
- HOPE program application with MAC click here: https://www.nashville.gov/Metro-Action-Commission.aspx
Tuesday, July 27, 2021- Press Release- White House Eviction Prevention Summit/Webinar features L.E.G.A.CY. Housing Resource Diversionary Court.
To watch the White House Eviction Prevention Summit/Webinar click the link here
Monday, February 8, 2021 Press Release- New Housing Resource Diversionary Court & Program to streamline resolution of 1,800 pending eviction cases
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-
Every Tuesday with a 4 Stage process:
Stage 1 –
1:30 p.m. – Initial Court Appearance transferred from Eviction Court from Courtroom 1A or 1B
* Mandatory court appearance with Judge Bell
* Tenant and Landlord will meet with the HRDC/MAC Housing Court Navigator assigned to your case and get updates on the HOPE application.
Stage 2 –
2:30 p.m. – 2nd phase and status check (may skip to Stage 3 or 4)
* If needed and will be determined by Judge Bell
Stage 3 –
3:30 p.m. – Pending settlement and payment
* Mandatory court appearance with Judge Bell set to review the stipulation agreement with the HRDC/MAC – HOPE application and payment status.
Stage 4 –
3:30 p.m. Review hearing set to ensure the stipulation agreement has been honored.
*If needed and will be determined by Judge Bel
After a case has reached resolve and the financial assistance has been received the case will be dismissed. Judge Bell will enter an order that will be issued and given to the tenant for their records so that there will be no eviction on their record as they move forward with their lives.
- ** 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 Team. Return court slips must be given by the court clerk that is in Courtroom 1A or 1B to properly transfer the case to HRDC. This court slip cannot be filled out by HRDC staff or attorneys. This must be filled out by the court clerk to ensure the case is docketed correctly and in the correct courtroom. To check on the date and time of your HRDC docketed case please call 615-862-5195.
- At any time, the landlord or tenant may OPT OUT and have their case transferred back to eviction court in Courtroom 1A or 1B. Entry into HRDC is voluntary not mandated. However, if the case is transferred back to eviction court and subsequentially settled by dismissal or non-suit the order will be transferred to Judge Bell to sign to ensure the tenant receives a copy for their records.
- If you need ADA Accommodations, please contact the General Sessions Court Administrative Office at 615-862-5199.
- Licensed Attorneys with the State of TN that are in good standing with the TN Board of Professional Responsibility along with licensed Rule 31 Mediators are able to appear during the HRDC dockets virtually by requesting the zoom link from the HRDC Program Manager. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the link; instructions and approval by Judge Bell to attend court virtually.
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