COOKEVILLE CITY COURT INFORMATION NOTICE
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN (Including dates, times, and locations) IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE PER EXECUTIVE AND SUPREME COURT ORDERS DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Court Location and Appearance date: The Cookeville City Court is located at 45 E. Broad Street, in Cookeville. Your Court appearance date is shown on the face of the citation you received.
Payments to Court: Moving traffic citations can be satisfied without appearing in court. You may do so prior to your court date by making payment in person during normal business hours, or by mail to the City Court Clerk’s office at 45 E. Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501. If you elect to satisfy your moving traffic citation before your court date, the violation will be entered on your driving record by the Tennessee Department of Safety. You may avoid entry of the moving violation on your driving record by attending a defensive driving school as described below. For information on your fine and Court cost amounts, see the face page of your citation or contact the City Court Clerk’s office at 931-520-5254.
Defensive Driving School: You must appear in Court in person on your scheduled Court date to request school attendance. If you wish to keep the moving traffic violation conviction off your record (this only applies to moving violations such as speeding, traffic signals, failure to yield, use of phone or texting while driving, etc.), you may complete a defensive driving course at a State certified school in person or online. A list of state certified schools is available on-line at www.tn.gov/safety then enter “defensive driving schools” in the search box, or you may request one at your scheduled court appearance date. You will not be eligible to attend a driving school or online course if you have attended one within the 12-month period immediately prior to your current citation, or, if you are the holder of a Commercial Driver’s License. If you are eligible for driving school but cannot pay the fine and costs due to your Indigency, you must appear in Court on your Court date and the Judge will explain the indigency determination process. The City of Cookeville police department offers a defensive driving school at a cost of $35.00. You may also attend any of the other State certified schools but you will be required to make your own arrangements to do so and you must pay that school directly for the cost of the school, and obtain from the school a Certificate of Attendance and return it to the Cookeville City Court before your case will be dismissed. The other school providers may or may not provide an indigency determination process. The cost of the listed schools may vary significantly. Regardless of which school you elect to complete, you will still be required to pay the Cookeville City Court costs in the amount of $100 dollars directly to the Cookeville City Court unless a determination of indigency has been made.
Indigency Notice: The Cookeville City Court has adopted a policy that failure to pay Court fines and costs will not result in the suspension of your driving privileges if you are determined by the Court to be financially unable to pay those fines and costs because of Indigency. If you wish to plead guilty but believe you are financially unable to pay the fines and costs, you may request an Indigency hearing at your Court appearance. You will need to complete a Certificate of Indigency that will be provided to you, and the Court will make a determination of your Indigency. If you plead “Not Guilty” but are found “Guilty” at your hearing, you may request an Indigency determination following the hearing. A Certificate of Indigency is available from the City Court Clerk’s office at 45 E Broad Street, Cookeville Tennessee. If you do not consider yourself Indigent, but you are currently unable to pay your fine and costs, you may request a Payment Plan for payment of your fine and costs. If your request is granted, but you fail to comply with the Payment Plan, the state of Tennessee will be notified of your failure and your license may be suspended by the State.
Required Court Appearances: Except for moving traffic citations (which may be paid prior to court as described above in the Section titled “Payments to Court”), all other citations require personal appearance in Court on the date shown on the face of your citation.
Request for Trial: If you wish to plead “Not Guilty” and have a trial, you must call the City Court Clerk prior to your Court date and ask the clerk to set your trial for the trial docket. You do not have to come to Court on your original Court date if your case has been set for trial on the trial docket by the Clerk. The telephone number is (931) 520-5254. The trial docket is set on the last Tuesday of each month at 10:00 AM. You may bring witnesses to testify on your behalf. If you need subpoenas, you must notify the court not less than two weeks prior to the Court date so the subpoenas can be issued and served. You may bring pictures, drawings, or diagrams. You may hire an Attorney, but it is not required.
Continuances: If you cannot attend Court on the date set forth on the front page of your citation, you may be allowed (1) continuance. You must call (931) 520-5254 at least three (3) days prior to the court date shown on the front page of your citation if you require a continuance due to a scheduling conflict. Medical and family emergencies will be handled on a case by case basis.
Failure to Appear: Failure to appear in Court or satisfy a citation may result in suspension of your driving privileges by the Tennessee Dept of safety.
Proof of Insurance: You must appear in Court on your scheduled Court date. You will be asked to show proof that you had a valid liability insurance policy at the time your citation was issued. If you had a valid liability policy at the time the citation was issued your case will be dismissed. If you did not have a valid liability policy at the time of your citation, you will owe $163.75 at the Cookeville City Court. In addition, the State of Tennessee will be notified of the violation, and you will receive instructions from the state on additional requirements you must meet to avoid a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.