Información Legal: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

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Actualizada: 
9 de noviembre de 2021

Where can I file for protection under this law?

You should file in the county where the violence or threat against you happened.1 If the abuser (respondent) is not a resident of Tennessee, however, you should file in the county where your workplace is located regardless of whether this is where the violence or threat happened.2

1 TN ST § 20-14-103(a)
2 TN ST § 20-14-103(b)

What are the necessary steps to file for a temporary restraining order and an injunction and how long do they last?

A court case starts when you or your employer (the petitioner) file a petition with the court seeking an injunction. If you want a temporary restraining order as well, you or your employer will need to file an affidavit along with this petition and appear in front of the judge the same day. Then the judge will decide whether to issue the temporary restraining order. A temporary restraining order issued under this law can last for up to 15 days.1

The abuser (respondent) must then be personally served with a copy of the petition, the notice of the hearing, and the temporary restraining order if it was granted.2 A hearing on whether an injunction should be issued will be held within 10 days of the date you file your petition. If the judge believes that the respondent committed the unlawful violence or credible threat of violence alleged in your petition, an injunction can be issued for up to three years.3

The court will expect the petitioner or the petitioner’s attorney to deliver a copy of any order issued, whether a temporary restraining order or an injunction issued after the hearing, to the local law enforcement agencies of your choosing by the end of the day the order is issued. This is required so that law enforcement officers will know that the order exists and what it says if they respond to reports of violence or a credible threat of violence at your workplace in the future.4

1 TN ST § 20-14-104
2 TN ST § 20-14-106
3 TN ST § 20-14-105
4 TN ST § 20-14-107

What do I have to prove to qualify for a temporary restraining order? What protections will it include?

In order to qualify for a temporary restraining order (TRO), you must include an affidavit with your petition that shows these three things:

  1. you suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence carried out by the respondent;
  2. you or your employer will be harmed if the injunction is not granted; and
  3. if you are the employer who is filing the petition, you must confirm that you have conducted a “reasonable investigation” into the underlying facts that are alleged in your petition.1

If the judge issues the TRO, it will order the respondent not to commit further unlawful violence or threats of violence at the workplace.2

1 TN ST § 20-14-104
2 TN ST § 20-14-102

What do I have to prove to get a final injunction? What protections will it include?

A hearing for the final injunction will usually take place within 10 to thirty days after the initial petition is filed. Before the hearing, the respondent has the option to file a response that explains, excuses, justifies, or denies the alleged unlawful violence or credible threat of violence. At the hearing, the judge will hear testimony and evidence from both parties. If the judge believes there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the respondent committed unlawful violence or made a credible threat of violence, the judge will grant the injunction.1

The final injunction will order the respondent not to commit further acts of unlawful violence or threats of violence in any of the following places:

  • at the workplace; and
  • at any location while the employee or employer is acting within the course and scope of employment.1

​1 TN ST § 20-14-105

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