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Tennessee Protective Orders Laws

Note: If you are the victim of domestic violence, have been threatened with violence, or otherwise feel as if you or your family members are in danger, call 911 or your local police department.

The Basics of Tennessee Protective Order Laws

Protective orders, also called "orders of protection" or "restraining orders," are issued by judges and require a named individual to stay a certain distance away from the person filing for protection. Typically these are temporary, but may be extended or even made permanent in some situations. Protective orders are issued in instances of abuse, threats, stalking, or other situations that cause someone to fear for their safety. Usually, these are issued in relation to domestic violence cases.

In Tennessee, protective orders remain effective for one year, but may be modified as the court sees fit. Tennessee courts allow victims of abuse by present or former adult family or household members to apply for protective orders. If you are concerned that your abuser may be armed or has threatened you with gun violence, you may ask the judge to write a provision into the order that he/she may not buy or possess a gun for the duration of the protective order.

Learn more about Tennessee's protective order laws in the following section. See FindLaw's Domestic Violence section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section 36-3-601, et seq.
Activity Addressed by Order Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling or provide suitable alternate housing; regarding minors: temporary custody, visitations, support; counseling
Duration of Order Protective order effective for 1 year, or court of divorce action modifies or dissolves it
Penalty for a Violation of Order Civil or criminal contempt: civil penalty of $50
Who May Apply for Order Victim of abuse by present or former adult family or household member, if filed by a minor then a parent or guardian signature needed
Can Fees Be Waived? Determined at hearing
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement Copy to local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over area where petitioner resides
Civil Liability for Violation of Order Yes, contempt of court

Note: State laws are constantly changing. While FindLaw makes every effort to keep these pages current, you may want to contact a Tennessee criminal defense attorney or a Tennessee domestic violence lawyer, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

What is the Penalty for Violating a Protective Order in Tennessee?

Anyone who violates the terms of a protective order may be charged with contempt, and the judge may issue any of the following penalties or actions:

  • Civil penalty of $50
  • Bond of at least $2,500 for the duration of the order
  • Possible incarceration

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