“Domestic Abuse” means committing abuse against a victim. A “Domestic Abuse Victim” is any person who falls within the following categories:
(A) Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
(B) Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
(C) Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship. As used herein, “dating” and “dated” do not include fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context;
(D) Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
(E) Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
(F) Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in subdivisions (5)(A)-(E);
In Tennessee, the definition of “Abuse” is inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on an adult or minor by other than accidental means, placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm, physical restraint, malicious damage to the personal property of the abused party, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by an adult or minor, or placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the adult or minor.
Any Domestic Abuse Victim, stalking victim or sexual assault victim who has been subjected to, threatened with, or placed in fear of, domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault, may seek a relief under this part by filing a sworn petition alleging domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault by the respondent.
Upon the filing of a petition under this part, the courts may immediately, for good cause shown, issue an ex parte order of protection. An immediate and present danger of abuse to the petitioner shall constitute good cause for purposes of this section.
Within fifteen (15) days of service of such order on the respondent, a hearing will be held, at which time the court shall either dissolve any ex parte order that has been issued, or if the petitioner has proved the allegation of domestic abuse, stalking or sexual assault by a preponderance of the evidence, extend the order of protection for a definite period of time, not to exceed one (1) year.
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