Can i go to jail for not showing up to court?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Johnson City, TN

i got a detainer summons from my previous land lord for unpaid rent its in general sessions court cant they take me to jail if i dont go

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen Alan Sauer

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. I assume you are talking about a forcible eviction and detainer warrant (FED). That is an eviction. The landlord is suing you to get possession of the property and collect unpaid rent and damages. If you don't go to court they will take a judgement against you and be awarded possession of the property. That judgement may also include attorney's fees and court costs. They can then garnish your paycheck or seize your assets to satisfy the judgement. But it's a civil judgement and they can't send you to jail for it.

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  2. Vernon Michael Kurtz

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . No you can't be placed in jail for missing court on a detainer, although a default judgment could be granted or Judge could issue a show cause requiring you to be in court and then when you fail to show an attachment would be issued for you to be "brought" in front of the court.

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  3. Michael R. Cardinale


    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . If you are ordered to be in court pursuant to a subpoena or court order, you could risk suffering sanctions from an contempt motion. It would suggest not avoiding court, nothing good typically comes from ignoring the court.

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