Founder and Presiding Judge Rachel L. Bell started the RESTORE Re-entry Court for Returning Citizens shortly after taking the bench in 2012. The Music City Community Court (MCCC) joined the TDOT Adopt-A-Highway program in 2013, committing to a portion of Highway 41A (Clarksville Pike) from Athens Way in Metro Center to the corner of Ashland City Highway establishing the Judge Rachel L. Bell Beautification Project. In 2014, Judge Bell partnered with Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry to create the Restoration Expungement/Legal Clinic & Resource Fair, which brings the opportunity for record expungement into the community. The next year, Judge Bell added the General Sessions Pro Se Indigency Docket to the MCCC’s roster, helping people that qualify take care of the debt that comes with the court process. Most recently, the Music City Community Court has added a social worker to its ranks, who is connecting many of the people that come through our programs to whatever services and programs would be most helpful to them, from GED classes and utility assistance to job placement and financial literacy. Scroll down to learn more about any of these programs.

Community Service Work Return Docket

Our Community Service Work Return Docket partners with TDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway Program, DCSO’s Steering Clear, and the Metro Beautification and Environment Commission to offer participants four (4) hours of credit for court ordered community service work. Since this is one the Music City Community Court’s dockets, participants get their credit immediately and do not have to return to the downtown courthouse to show proof. Click here to sign up for our next project. 

Restoration Expungement/Legal Clinic & Resource Fair

The Restoration Expungement/Legal Clinic & Resource Fair assists participants who want to clear their criminal record by helping them file expungements for eligible cases. We do this by bringing the judicial system out into the community on selected Saturdays throughout the year. In addition to Judge Bell and the Music City Community Court, Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry also brings his staff to help participants navigate the expungement process. Pro bono attorneys are also on site to review participants’ criminal record and discuss different avenues they can take after their records have been expunged. The Resource Fair brings out vendors that provide job opportunities, counseling services, education opportunities, and much more. Click here to sign up for our next clinic. 

Pro Se Indigency Motion Docket

The indigency docket offers past defendants the opportunity to petition the court to have their court costs, fines, and fees waived. The petitioner must meet the United States Department of Health & Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines that are used to determine Public Defender eligibility. After being declared indigent at one of these dockets, citizens can proceed with getting their records expunged, their driver’s license reinstated, their voting rights restored, and easier access to housing and employment. To sign up for our next docket, contact the Criminal Court Clerk Compliance Department at 615-880-3838 or on the 2nd floor of the Justice A. A. Birch Building (Rm 2120). 

Social Work

At all of our dockets, we offer the opportunity to connect with our staff social worker. The Music City Community Court works with many organizations throughout Nashville that provide job training, employment, medical and dental services, mental health services, food boxes, toiletries,