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