Reference Number: 
CTAS-1197

Records and documents of proceedings in a court of record can only be destroyed after a judge has issued an order authorizing their destruction.[1]  Regardless of who approves it however, the law explicitly prohibits the destruction of any original process in a civil action or criminal proceeding.[2] Records pertaining to mortgages and deeds of trust on personal property and chattel mortgages can only be destroyed after the term of the mortgage has expired and all conditions have been met and the register approves the destruction of the record.[3]  Finally, no record of a county office or a court of record can be destroyed if the county official or judge who has custody of the record objects to its destruction.[4]  Court case files commonly contain material that is rich in historical and genealogical significance. If the county has an archive or is considering establishing one, these records are excellent candidates to be preserved for their historical value.




            [1]  T.C.A. § 18-1-202.

            [2]  T.C.A. § 10-7-404(c).

            [3]  T.C.A. § 10-7-412.

            [4]  T.C.A. § 10-7-404.