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Carlyn Addison

Criminal Court
Division V


201 Poplar Avenue
Criminal Justice Center
6th Floor
Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Judge Carlyn L. Addison grew up in both Birmingham, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from Xavier University of New Orleans, where she majored in English & minored in Theology. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For seven years, Addison served as an Assistant Shelby County Public Defender until, now retired, Judge Larry Potter appointed her as Staff Attorney & Environmental Court Referee. Judge Addison was the first African-American appointed to serve as Referee in Environmental Court.


Under the leadership of Bishop Charles H. M. Patterson, Sr., she faithfully attends Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ.  She is a member of the Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges, Master member of the Leo Bearman, Sr. American Inn of Court, Memphis Bar Association, the National Association of Women Judges, Joshua Learning Tree Parent Board & a staunch supporter of the Herb Kosten Foundation supporting those affected by Pancreatic Cancer in loving memory of her Mother-in-Love State Representative Lois M. DeBerry,.

Since 2015, she had been committed to our children and their families as a Memphis & Shelby County Juvenile Court Magistrate Judge. Each day, she presided over cases involving delinquency, truancy, foster care, child abuse, neglect and coparenting matters.  

Duly elected on August 4, 2022, she is the presiding Judge in Criminal Court Division 5 which specializes in Intimate Partner Violence. 

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