Circuit Court History
In 1809, when the superior courts of law and equity were abolished, circuit courts were established in their stead, invested with all of their powers and jurisdiction, both at common law and equity.
The circuit courts derive their name from their jurisdiction over several counties, making up a particular district, or circuit, created by the legislature. Both population and distance played a part in the formation of a particular circuit. The judges, in holding the terms of these courts in years past, “rode the circuits.”
The general jurisdiction of the circuit courts is fixed by statue and is as follows:
"The circuit court is a court of general jurisdiction and the judge thereof shall administer right and justice according to law, in all cases where the jurisdiction is not conferred upon another tribunal. (Section 16-501, Tennessee Code Annotated)