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Legal Information: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
November 27, 2023

What protections can I get in a protection order?

A temporary protection order can do any or all of the following:

  • order the abuser to stop committing or threatening to commit domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a minor, or a human trafficking offense against you or your minor children;
  • order the abuser not to call you, or otherwise contact you or communicate with you, directly or indirectly;
  • order the abuser not to come near you;
  • direct the abuser to immediately and temporarily leave the home shared with you, until your hearing for the protection order;
  • give you custody of an animal that belongs to you, the abuser, or a child living in the home;
  • if the judge decides that continuing to live in the place you rent may put your or your children’s life, health, or safety at risk, and you breach a lease or rental agreement, the judge can order the abuser to reimburse you for all costs, expenses, and fees associated with breaking the lease; and
  • order your cell phone company (“wireless service provider”) to transfer to you any wireless telephone number where you or your children are the primary users if the account is not in your name. Note: You would be responsible for paying the bill for those numbers.1

An extended protection order can:

  • give you​ all of the protections listed above; and
  • in addition:
    • give you possession of the home, specifically allowing you back in the home if you had left;
    • order the abuser to leave the home;
    • direct the abuser to provide suitable alternative housing for you when the abuser is the sole owner or lessee of the home;
    • award temporary custody or temporary visitation rights of any minor children born to, or adopted by, you and the abuser;
    • award financial support to you if you and the abuser are married;
    • award financial support to anyone else who the abuser has an obligation to support, such as any children you have together;
    • direct the abuser to attend available counseling programs that address violence and control issues or substance abuse problems;2
    • direct the abuser to get rid of all firearms in his/her possession within 48 hours by giving them to a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, selling them, or disposing of them in any other legal way. In addition, the order of protection will include language warning the abuser that s/he is prohibited from possessing firearms while the order of protection is in effect.3

1 TN ST §§ 36-3-606(a); 36-3-621(a)
2 TN ST § 36-3-606(b)
3 TN ST § 36-3-625(a)(2), (b)(1)