Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick. Please note that:
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Normally you would have needed to file for the continuance in advance of the hearing today. Since that did not happen, the best you can do now is to try to get one orally. When the judge calls your case, introduce yourself to the judge and explain that you would like to move for a continuance of today's hearing and briefly state the grounds for doing so [ such as I would like time to hire a lawyer, for example].
You get to the court early or look on line for the court's local rules regarding continuances. See example here.
RULE 29. CONTINUANCES IN CIVIL CASES Cases may be continued by agreement only on approval of the court. Application for a continuance of any case set for trial must be made five (5) calendar days in advance of the day the case is set for trial and must be 32 supported by an affidavit filed with the clerk of the court giving grounds for seeking a continuance. Unless required by exigent circumstances, counsel shall not apply for a continuance except upon motion. Notice to all counsel and any pro se litigants shall be given as required by Tenn. R. Civ. P. 6.04, 6.05, or in such manner as to provide reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard to all parties. Normally, the absence of a witness will be grounds for a continuance where the subpoena for a local witness was issued ten (10) days or more before the date of trial, or fifteen (15) days or more before the date of trial where the witness is out of the county, however, each application for a continuance is subject to the discretion of the court. When an application for a continuance is based upon the illness of a party or a material witness, said application must be accompanied by a written statement of a physician specifying the type of illness, whether or not the illness is of a temporary or permanent nature, and whether or not such person is physically able to appear in court without endangering his or her health. When application for a continuance is based upon the fact that a material witness cannot be found, an affidavit must be filed giving the name of said witness or witnesses, what evidence is expected to be proved by said witness or witnesses, and what effort has been made to locate said witness or witnesses. If a case is continued or settled, each attorney who has had subpoenas issued for witnesses is responsible for notifying said witnesses not to appear and is ordered by the court to do so. Failure to comply could result in costs being assessed against the party failing to do so. If a case is continued, a new trial date will be ordered by the court for a date certain. Such resetting shall normally be made at the time the motion for continuance is granted.