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Legal Information: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
November 27, 2023

Who can file for an elderly or vulnerable adult protection order?

If you are an elderly adult or vulnerable adult who has experienced abuse, you can file the petition yourself.1 In addition, the following people can file on your behalf if they have personal knowledge of the abuse and it would be too burdensome for you to come to court or you are not mentally capable of filing (you lack “capacity to consent”):

  • your relative;
  • a conservator, meaning someone appointed by a judge to manage your finances and daily decisions;
  • an agent of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability;
  • any agency or “assignee” of any of the above people; or
  • an attorney ad litem, which is someone appointed by a judge to investigate the abuse and make a recommendation to the court in your best interests.2

Note: A law enforcement officer can request an ex parte order on your behalf if all of the following are true:

  • s/he responds to an incident involving you;
  • s/he believes you are in immediate danger of abuse; and
  • you agree to the officer filing on your behalf or you do not have the legal ability to agree (capacity to consent) to legal proceedings.3

The officer does not have to arrest the abuser to request an order on your behalf, and the officer can file at any time of the day or night.4

1 Tenn. Code § 71-6-124(a)(1)(C)
2 Tenn. Code § 71-6-124(a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B)
3 Tenn. Code § 71-6-124(a)(1)(D)(i)
4 Tenn. Code § 71-6-124(a)(1)(D)(ii)