One thing to check is if the courthouse where they did file has an online submission area. Here in AZ the court has a website you can file papers through, thus making it so you don't have to actually show up in person, and in your case, TN.
Along with everything else suggested above, I would be trying to see their court documents online, start preparing an response and have it ready so that if/when they do catch up to you, you can simply send off your response. I know if you are out of state here in AZ, you get extra days to respond as well.
This may just be different because it's TN, but how come there is already a court date? Here in AZ, you get a summons, have X # of days to file your answer THEN a court date is set. Have they already done something to try to show you failed to "answer" and get the court date set?
Okay just to clarify on this:
1. This is a small rural court. The docket isn't even online.
2. Tennessee court proceedings do not allow you to file anything before the first court case. You just show up on that day and deny or settle. Filing answers and such beforehand does not skirt your responsibility of showing up on the scheduled date. They just stamp things and put them in your file but you have to be there physically on your day (even if it's only to get a new court date) or else you get a judgment.
3. If you can't be there, the court will not reschedule unless you were served too close to the trial date (less than a week). In order to reschedule you have to call the attorney. And since my dad got a DJ because an attorney told him he rescheduled and did not, I am very hesitant of this.
Since my DV letter included election of arb, I would think that if they refile after this case that I have them on a violation. If I'm not served before June 6, they must refile the case. They can't get an extension. It is dismissed and they have to refile. Am I right on that?
Basically my issue is I can't be in TN June 6 and the best way I see of making sure I don't have to be is not being served and then letting them mess up. If they try to refile with election of arb, I will then sue FDCPA (even if I have to in TN) and get them that way.