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Tennessee offers 2 types of protection orders – Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs) and Extended Protection Orders (EPOs) — that have different functions. TPOs are short-term orders that protect the victim while they are waiting for an EPO. A TPO can be granted “ex parte,” or without prior notice to the abuser and without them being there in court. TPOs usually last 15 days or until the hearing for the EPO, and they are usually granted if a judge believes you are in immediate and present danger of abuse.
EPOs are issued after a scheduled court hearing where both parties will appear and tell their sides of the story. EPOs usually last up to 1 year and can be extended year by year. If the abuser was convicted of committing a felony against you related to assault, false imprisonment, or kidnapping, you may be able to obtain lifetime protection.
A temporary order can include some or all of the following terms:
- order the abuser to stop committing or threatening to commit domestic abuse 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 a certain distance near you;
- direct the abuser to leave your shared home, at least until your EPO hearing;
- grant custody of any pet or child in the home to you or to an appropriate foster situation;
- order your cell phone company to transfer to you any wireless phone number where you or your children are the primary users (if the account is not in your name).
An extended order can provide all the above protections of a temporary order as well as:
- give you possession of the home;
- order the abuser to leave the home;
- direct the abuser to provide suitable alternative housing for you if they own the home;
- award temporary custody or visitation of your minor children;
- award financial support to you (if you and the abuser are married) and/or your children;
- direct the abuser to attend counseling programs for violence and control issues or substance abuse;
- direct the abuser to relinquish their firearms and prohibit them from possessing guns while the order is in effect.
Do not hesitate to get started on your petition for protection if you are in danger of domestic abuse. Our attorneys at Stacey and Ballew can help you navigate the process step by step, from filling out the required paperwork to preparing for the court hearing. Let us shoulder the legal burden while you focus on your physical and mental health.
Who Can Get an Order of Protection?
You can seek a protection order for domestic abuse if the abuser is related to you in one of the following ways:
- you are spouses or ex-spouses;
- you live with or used to live with them;
- you are dating or used to date;
- you have or used to have a sexual relationship with them;
- you are related by blood or adoption; or
- you are/were related by marriage.
Schedule a free initial consultation with Stacey and Ballew online for more information on how we can help you and your children obtain legal protection.