Juvenile Court

Local Rules of Practice for City of Bristol Tennessee Juvenile Court

The Bristol Juvenile Court is established under Chapter 10 of the City Charter. The court has authority to hear matters concerning children under 18 years of age residing within the City of Bristol, Tennessee and children under 18 years of age that commit violations of law within the city. The Juvenile Court Judge hears cases pertaining to:

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Child support
  • Delinquency
  • Parentage
  • Some cases involving adults such as contributing to the unruly or delinquent behavior of minors
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Traffic
  • Unruly behavior, which includes truancy and curfew violations
  • Visitation


Services provided by the Juvenile Court include, but are not limited to:

  • Adolescent Activity Groups
  • Alcohol and Drug Education Classes
  • Attendance Review Committee
  • Better Choices Program
  • Counseling
  • Foster Care Review Boards
  • Probation Supervision
  • Teen Court
  • Youth Driving School

About the Judge


Judge Kennedy was born and raised in Bristol, Tennessee. He attended Bristol, Tennessee High School and East Tennessee State University. The Judge graduated college in 1976 with a B.S. degree and was a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He was then accepted to Memphis State University’s law school program where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi fraternity and graduated with his J.D. in 1979.

Legal Qualifications

Judge Kennedy was admitted in 1979 to practice law in all Tennessee State Courts and was also admitted to the United States Federal District Courts for the Eastern District of Tennessee. He is member of both Bristol and Tennessee Bar Associations.

Additional Experience

Judge Kennedy is presently Board Counsel for the Bristol Tennessee-Virginia Association of Realtors and Chairman of the Sullivan County Health, Educational and Housing Facilities Board. In the past, he has also served as:

  • Bristol Tennessee Bar Association President and Treasurer
  • President of Theater Bristol Board of Directors
  • Coach, Judge and Scorer for area High School Students’ Mock Trial Competitions
  • Speaker at Career Days for both Vance Middle and Tennessee High Schools

An elected Juvenile Court Clerk supports the court and is elected for a 4 year term of office. Ms. Rebecca Akard serves as Juvenile Court Clerk. Staff is managed by Youth Services Manager Kevin Allison.