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Legal Information: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 27, 2023

What types of protection orders are there? How long do they last?

In Tennessee, there are two types of protection orders.

Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs)
Temporary protection orders can be issued for “good cause,” which usually means that the judge believes that there is an immediate and present danger of abuse. Temporary protection orders are short-term orders that are designed to protect you until you are issued an extended protection order. The order can be granted ex parte, which means that the order is issued without prior notice to the abuser and without him/her being there in court. You can ask for a temporary protection order at the same time as you ask for an extended protection order. A temporary protection order lasts 15 days, or until the full hearing for your extended protection order.1

Extended Protection Orders (EPOs)
Extended protection orders are issued after a full court hearing where both sides have the opportunity to appear in court. And extended protection order lasts up to one year and can be extended for one-year periods.2 It’s possible, however, that you can get a lifetime order of protection if the abuser was convicted of committing a felony crime against you related to assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or sexual assault that is listed in Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, or Part 5 of the Tennessee Code.3

1 TN ST § 36-3-605(a), (b)
2 TN ST §§ 36-3-605(b); 36-3-608(a)
3 TN ST § 36-3-627(a)(1), (e)