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Legal Information: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

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October 6, 2020

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, or sexual assault against you or your minor children;
  • order the abuser not to call you, contact or otherwise 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;
  • direct the care, custody, or control of any animal of either party or of a child living in the home either to you or to an appropriate animal foster situation (it cannot be given to the abuser);
  • direct the abuser to reimburse you for all costs, expenses, and fees if you breach a lease or rental agreement if the judge decides that continuing to live in the place you rent may put your life, health, or safety at risk (or that of your children). However, this cannot be interpreted as a change in the terms, liability, or parties of the lease or rental agreement; 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 and order the abuser to leave the home (and allow you back in the home if you had left);
    • 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) and other persons 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)