ARTICLE XI
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
   SECTION 11.01.  JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT. The judicial department of the Town shall be established and administered in the following manner.
   SECTION 11.02.  NUMBER OF JUDGES.  The Town shall have one town judge until the board may, by ordinance, increase the number of judges.
   SECTION 11.03.  QUALIFICATIONS AND TERM.  All persons serving as town judge shall be licensed to practice law in the courts of the state of Tennessee and shall meet the qualifications established by Article V, Section 4 of the Tennessee Constitution, to wit: They shall be thirty (30) years of age, shall before their election have been a resident of the state of Tennessee for five (5) years and of the Town for one (1) year and shall be elected by the qualified voters of the Town for a term of service of eight (8) years, (i) except for certain instances in which a person may be appointed as town judge for a term which shall expire after the next applicable regular August general election and (ii) except for any initial term of elected service which may be shorter, all as provided hereinafter.
   SECTION 11.04.  JURISDICTION AND POWERS.  The jurisdiction of the town judge shall extend to the trial of all offenses against the ordinances of the Town and, concurrently with the Court of General Sessions of Shelby County, Tennessee, for violation of the criminal laws of the state. Costs in trials of offenses against the ordinances of the Town shall be provided by ordinance. Costs in other matters shall be as established under general laws of the state of Tennessee. The town judge shall have the power to: levy fines, penalties, and costs, to issue all necessary process, to administer oaths, and to maintain order, including the power to punish for contempt by fine or confinement not exceeding the limits provided by general laws.
   SECTION 11.05.  BAIL. The bail of persons arrested and awaiting trials and persons appealing the decision of a town judge shall be fixed by the town judge and upon such security as in his discretion he deems necessary or as otherwise may be provided by ordinance or general law.
   SECTION 11.06.  SEPARATION OF POWERS.  The town judge shall be the exclusive judge of the law and facts in every case before the court and no official or employee of the Town shall attempt to influence his decision except through pertinent facts presented in court.
   SECTION 11.07.  POPULAR ELECTION OF JUDGE(S). The popular election of the town judge is hereby chosen and all town judges shall be popularly elected, subject to the provisions for initial appointments as provided for herein and appointments to fill any vacancy.
   SECTION 11.08.  TERMS; ELECTION PROCEDURE.  The town judge elected at present shall remain in office through the term for which he was elected. Thereafter, the term of office of a town judge shall be eight (8) years. All subsequent elections for town judge pursuant to this charter and general laws shall be held in accordance with Article VII, Section 5 of the Tennessee Constitution and the general law.
   SECTION 11.09.  VACANCIES.  A vacancy in the office of the town judge shall be filled by appointment of the board. The person appointed, however, may serve only until the next regular August general election. At such election, a person shall be elected to serve any unexpired term if the full term of his successor is not to be filled at such election. In the temporary absence of a town judge, a qualified person shall be appointed by the board or appointed pursuant to the statutes and general law of the state of Tennessee to serve until the return of the presiding judge.
   SECTION 11.10.  COMPENSATION.  The salary and any other benefits relating to the office of all town judges shall be established by the board by ordinance thirty (30) days prior to the qualification date for the town judge’s election for the next term of office and shall not be increased nor diminished during any such term. The salary for the town judge elected at present shall remain at twenty-five thousand three hundred dollars ($25,300) annually until changed in accordance with the foregoing. The salary shall be paid monthly from the general fund of the Town. In addition, as part of the compensation relating to the office of town judge, a town judge, if otherwise eligible for coverage under the health and medical benefits plan of the Town, shall be afforded the same coverage under such plans, at the expense of the Town, as is generally afforded to the other employees of the Town.
   SECTION 11.11.  RECORDS; DOCKETS; CITY COURT CLERK. The Town does not elect, as permitted by the laws of the state of Tennessee, to require the city court clerk to be elected. The town administrator shall have the duty of maintaining all records of the city court in accordance with applicable laws. The town administrator may employ on behalf of the Town a person to assist him in this function and such person shall be designated as the city court clerk. The board shall require the proper maintenance of the docket of the city court and other records of the court. Subject to the general law and the authority of the town judge, the board shall fix the regular time for holding court.