In most counties (and all under 200,000 population) the legislative body may appoint one or more people to serve as judicial commissioners whose duties include, but are not limited to:
- Issuing arrest and search warrants upon a finding of probable cause;
- Issuing mittimus following compliance with lawful procedures;
- Appointing attorneys for indigent defendants;
- Setting and approving bonds and the release on recognizance of defendants; and
- Issuance of injunctions and other appropriate orders in cases of alleged domestic violence.
A judicial commissioner appointed by the county legislative body is considered a county officer and serves a fixed term set by the county legislative body, but the term may not be longer than four years. Judicial commissioners are compensated from the county's general fund in an amount determined by the legislative body. All fees collected by judicial commissioners must be paid to the county general fund. T.C.A. § 40-1-111. No search warrant, arrest warrant or mittimus may be issued by an official whose compensation is contingent in any manner upon the issuance or nonissuance of such warrants or mittimus. T.C.A. § 40-5-106.