Tennessee law clearly limits who can take out an order of protection in Tennessee. One critical question is who can take out an order of protection. Tennessee Code Annotated 36-3-601 (5) defines who is a domestic abuse victim.
A domestic abuse victim includes the following;
- Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
- Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
- Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or had a sexual relationship;
- Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
- Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage or adult or minor children of a person in a relationship set out above.
There are two other categories that do not require a relationship. First, stalking does not require a special relationship. Second, a victim of a sexual assault does not require a relationship as well.
Our office has been defending petitions for orders of protection for years. Orders of Protection often involves a domestic violence charge. Here is a link to the order of protection process. One of the first things we investigate is whether the relationship exists pursuant to the order of protection statute. Just today we discovered an ex parte order of protection was issued without meeting the definition of the statute. In some cases folks may violate the terms of the ex parte order of protection, defining these types of charges involve attacking the order of protection.
Feel free to contact our office to discuss your options if you have been served with an order of protection.