The citizens suing to have Robert Arnold removed as Rutherford County sheriff first want a judge to temporarily oust him without pay.
Lawyers on both sides went before special judge William Young in a Nashville court on Tuesday.
Arnold, who's currently in a Kentucky federal detention center, was not present. He'll remain there until his corruption trial begins in February.
However, he's still sheriff and is collecting a $10,000 paycheck each month.
Attorney Michelle Blaylock-Houser, who represents the citizens suing Arnold, asked the judge to suspend Arnold's powers and take away his paycheck while the ouster suit is pending.
Meanwhile, Arnold's attorney Tom Dundon said it's unfair to have a hearing his client cannot attend because he's in jail.
Chancellor Young said he will make a ruling on the suspension at a hearing next Tuesday.
Legal experts said it's possible he could suspend Arnold as sheriff, but it's unlikely he can take away Arnold's pay while he awaits trial.
Arnold was scheduled to be in federal court on Wednesday for a hearing to argue that his pre-trial release should be restored and that he be released from federal detention.