Smyrna Driving Force of Elections as Residents Decide to Continue or End their Criminal Courts

Feb 23, 2024 at 11:35 am by WGNS News


Rutherford County, TN - The Town of Smyrna, the sole municipality in Rutherford County to preside over criminal court cases within its limits, is contemplating a significant change. However, Smyrna residents will have to vote yes or no to continue or end criminal court proceedings in Smyrna... That was Election Administrator Alan Farley.


Smyrna's unique position as the sole municipality overseeing criminal court cases within its jurisdiction contrasts with neighboring areas like Murfreesboro, Eagleville, and La Vergne, where such cases are adjudicated by the Rutherford County General Sessions Court in Murfreesboro. Those in favor of the change claim the potential shift would not only save Smyrna taxpayers up to $900,000 annually, but also address concerns regarding the logistical challenges and liabilities associated with Smyrna Police officers transporting defendants between the county jail in Murfreesboro and the Smyrna General Sessions Court.

Deciding on the future of criminal cases being heard before a judge in Smyrna is a decision that Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed says is up to the residents...

If the proposed amendment garners a “Yes” vote from Smyrna citizens, criminal proceedings for offenses committed within the town's boundaries would be redirected to the Rutherford County Courts in Murfreesboro.

Those in favor of the change claim it will streamline processes and alleviate burdens on Smyrna law enforcement. They highlight that any savings will be handed to the Rutherford County Courts as added costs. Those costs would be covered by a broader tax base to include all of Rutherford County, as opposed to Smyrna only.

While voter turnout county wide has been low, Smyrna residents have been keen on casting their ballot for or against the continuation of a criminal court... Farley confirmed the final date to early vote is Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Election Day will be on Tuesday, March 5th between the hours of 7 AM and 7 PM.

Yes or No Vote: If the charter is amended by voting YES, then the criminal court cases from Smyrna will be transferred to the Rutherford County courts in Murfreesboro. If the voter casts a NO vote, then Smyrna will continue to oversee criminal cases that originated from offenses within the Smyrna town limits in their courtroom. Click HERE to see the section of the ballot that focuses on the courts in Smyrna, TN.



Get details on the courts in Smyrna by visiting


Early Voting: Feb. 14-27, 2024: The only early voting location where you can vote between 7AM and 7PM is at the Election Commission (South side of the Murfreesboro square). Hours of operation are M-F from 7AM to 7PM, Sat. 8AM to noon. All other Early Voting locations are open M-F 10AM to 6PM and Sat. 8AM to noon.

  1. Murfreesboro SportsCom (2310 Memorial Blvd | Murfreesboro)

  2. Rutherford County Election Commission Annex (426 E Vine Street | Murfreesboro)

  3. Lane Agri-Park Livestock Pavilion (315 John R. Rice Blvd | Murfreesboro)

  4. Middle Tennessee Assoc of Realtors (311 Butler Drive | Murfreesboro)

  5. World Outreach Church - Leadership Park (1921 New Salem Hwy | Murfreesboro)

  6. Smyrna City Hall (315 S Lowry Street | Smyrna)

  7. Grace Church – Smyrna (1004 Hazelwood Drive, Smyrna)

  8. La Vergne Multi-Purpose Building (5093 Murfreesboro Rd | La Vergne

Election Day: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 (7AM to 7PM) Remember, Rutherford County residents can vote at the VOTE CENTER that is closest to them (in Rutherford County) when they choose to cast their ballot. 


Sections: News Smyrna News