What if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?
Maybe. Federal law and Tennessee state law clearly say that an out of state protection order does not need to be registered in order to be enforced. As long as the protection order appears real to the law enforcement officer, it should be enforced.1
However, when the protection order is registered, Tennessee courts, dispatchers and law enforcement officers can easily check that the order is valid (real), which may make the process of enforcement quicker and easier.2
Note: If the protection order is from one of the Project Passport states, it should be easier for the sheriff or officer to recognize it as a valid (real) order, and it may be less important for your order to be registered. For more information on the Project Passport states, see Do I need anything special to get my protection order enforced in another state?
If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Tennessee. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in Tennessee, go to our TN Advocates and Shelters page.
1 TN ST § 36-3-622(b)(1)
2 TN ST § 36-3-622(e)