Boards and Commissions

Claims Commission

The Commission adjudicates claims involving state employee workers' compensation and alleged negligence by state officials or agencies

The Commission adjudicates claims involving state employee workers' compensation and alleged negligence
by state officials or agencies.

Lady Justice

Examples of claims the Commission adjudicates include negligent care, custody, or control of persons, personal property, or animals; professional malpractice; negligent operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle; and dangerous conditions on state-maintained highways or state controlled real property.

These claims are payable from the Risk Management Fund. Damages are limited to $300,000 per claimant and $1,000,000 per occurrence. The Claims Commission also adjudicates contract claims involving the State. A full list of the areas over which the Claims Commission has jurisdiction can be found in T.C.A. 9-8-307.

In addition, the Commission determines eligibility of Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund claims that are transferred or appealed from Treasury Department's Division of Claims and Risk Management.

gavel and law books

How to file an Appeal to the Claims Commission

To file an appeal complete the appropriate appeal form and mail the ORIGINAL completed form to the address listed. Appeals are not accepted electronically or by fax.

Any appeal not properly completed will be returned and will not be considered filed until re-submitted. Once your appeal is received and filed in the Clerk’s office, you will be notified of the Division assigned and the Commissioner’s name and address.

Appeal a decision by Criminal Injuries Compensation Program Appeal decision by the Division of Claims and Risk Management Pro Se Handbook - Representing Yourself in the Claims Commission

How to utilize the Claims Commission eFILE portal

Once you have filed an appeal to the Claims Commission, if you wish to file additional documents to support your appeal, or if you have been asked by a Claims Commissioner to provide a specific item, please follow these instructions:

  • Always include the claim number
  • Only use 8 ½ X 11 (letter size) paper
  • File ALL original documents with the Clerk’s Office, electronically at Claims Commision eFILE
  • Report any change of address and/or phone number to the Clerk’s Office

co-workers working on laptop and documents

Claims Commission Jurisdiction

The Tennessee Claims Commission is the Tribunal (Court) that decides the claims that are either transferred or appealed from Treasury's Division of Claims and Risk Management.

The Claims Commission has jurisdiction over the following types of claims:

  • State employee workers' compensation
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund application appeals
  • Alleged negligence by state officials or agencies, such as: negligent care, custody, or control of persons, personal property, or animals; professional malpractice; negligent operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle; and dangerous conditions on state-maintained highways or state controlled real property (T.C.A.9-8-307)
  • Denial of a Charitable Gaming Application*

judge's gavel

the treasury department's division of claims and risk management is responsible for paying all claims. all claims where an award for damages occurs are made payable from the risk management fund. damages are limited to $300,000 per claimant and $1,000,000 per occurrence.

Public Meeting Notice

Any individuals with disabilities who wish to participate in these proceedings should contact the Claims Commission Clerk’s office to discuss any auxiliary aids or services needed to facilitate such participation. Such contact may be in person, by writing, telephonically, or otherwise, and should be made no less than two (2) days prior to the scheduled meeting date, to allow time for the Treasury Department to provide such aid or service. The Clerk’s office address and telephone number are 13th Floor, Andrew Jackson State Office Building, 502 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN  37243, (615) 741-0741.

Tennessee Claims Commissioners

Claims Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly. In addition, the Commissioners must be residents of Tennessee for more than five years, must have been residents of their respective grand divisions for more than one year, must have practiced law for more than one year, and must not maintain a private law practice.

Tennessee counties map with regions separated

James Hamilton III

James A Hamilton III—Commissioner, Dyersburg, TN

James A. Hamilton III was born in Kenton, Tennessee, in 1956 and grew up in Trenton, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1978 with a BS in Political Science. He received his JD Degree from the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University in 1981. From 1982 until his appointment as Commissioner of Claims for the Western Division Hamilton had a general civil practice with the law firm of Jones, Hamilton & Lay, PLC in Dyersburg. Hamilton has been a member of various civic and professional organizations. He has served as Co-Chairman of the McIver's Grant Public Library Board and a Director of First South Bank Advisory Board.

Hamilton previously served as a member of the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. He is a Fellow in the Tennessee Bar Foundation. Hamilton is licensed to practice by the Tennessee Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Mr. Hamilton and his wife, Becky J. Hamilton, make their home in Dyersburg, Tennessee.

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James Haltom—Commissioner, Nashville, TN

James A. Haltom is originally from North Carolina and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following his graduation from UNC, he served as a public school teacher with the Teach for America program in rural Mississippi. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Haltom was called into active duty military service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he served as a combat platoon leader. Following his active military service, he graduated with honors from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he served as President of the Law School Student Body and was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal. Thereafter he commenced his legal practice in Nashville with the law firm of Burr Forman and most recently was a partner with the national law firm of Nelson Mullins.

Mr. Haltom is licensed to practice law by the Tennessee Supreme Court and Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and all Federal and Bankruptcy Courts in Tennessee and Kentucky. Mr. Haltom has served as a board member of various civic and professional organizations, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Middle Tennessee, the Andrew Jackson Foundation, and Operation Stand Down Tennessee. In addition, he currently serves as a Major in the Tennessee Army National Guard and is a graduate of the U.S Army’s Command and General Staff College. Mr. Haltom and his wife, Claire Cowart Haltom, reside in Nashville, Tennessee.

William Young

William A. Young—Commissioner, Knoxville, TN

William A. (Bill) Young, after growing up in Chattanooga, attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville where he graduated with a BA Degree in Economics. Upon completing his undergraduate education, he moved to Knoxville where he has lived continuously since 1972. He received his JD Degree from The University of Tennessee College of Law in 1975. Thereafter, he has continuously been in the private practice of law and has been a partner/member of the O’Neil, Parker & Williamson law firm since 1985.

He is licensed to practice law by the Tennessee Supreme Court, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Tennessee and the Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals. His law practice over the years has consisted of the representation of clients in general civil litigation. Additionally, for the past twenty years he has served as a general civil mediator in multiple disputes. He was appointed Commissioner of Claims for the Eastern Grand Division of Tennessee effective July 1, 2017. Mr. Young and his wife, Cindy, have a grown son, William, Jr., who resides in Shelby County.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click any of the following questions to view the answer.

Subpoenas may be obtained from the Clerk's office. The following information is needed: 1. Claimant's Name. 2. Division to which the Claim has been assigned. 3. Claim Number. 4. Number of subpoenas required. Subpoenas are issued blank. The attorney/claimant may serve the subpoena or have the sheriff's department serve them. The Clerk does not serve subpoenas. If a subpoena is not for the hearing in the matter, it may be necessary to modify the text.

No. Request and allow time for subpoenas to be sent to you through the U.S. Postal Service. (Request subpoenas at least two weeks before a hearing.)

You may request copies by calling, faxing, or writing to the Clerk's office. There is a charge of 15 cents per page for each standard 8 x 11 or 8 x 14 black and white copy produced and postage per the Schedule of Reasonable Charges for Copies of Public Records. The Clerk's office will notify you of the amount due and it must be paid prior to any documents being released. Mail checks or money orders payable to: TN Claims Commission Clerk's Office Paula Merrifield, Clerk 502 Deaderick Street Nashville, TN 37243

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m., Central Standard

Statute and Rules

The statues that authorize the Claims Commission and specify its role with respect to the claims process and the Criminal Injury Compensation Fund include:

  • Authorizing legislation for the Claims Commission: Tennessee Code Annotated sections 9-8-301 through 9-8-310
  • Filing claims against the State: Tennessee Code Annotated sections 9-8-402 through 9-8-404
  • • Criminal Injury Compensation Fund: Tennessee Code Annotated sections 29-13-101 through 29-13-411

The Claims Commission follows the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedures and the Tennessee Rules of Evidence. In addition, you may obtain a copy of our local rules.

state flag in front of TN courthouse

The Tennessee Department of Treasury administers its programs free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, and accommodations are made for individuals with limited English Proficiency. Any person alleging discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in the administration of any Treasury programs subject to Title VI, has a right to file a complaint to the State of Tennessee Treasury Department within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. Complaints are directed to the Human Resources Title VI Coordinator. Treasury Human Resources, 14th Floor, Andrew Jackson Building 502 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN 37243

Contact Us

Have questions about the Claims Commission?  We're here to help!

 (615) 741-0741

Mailing Address

Claims Commission
Andrew Jackson Building
502 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0248