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Legal Information: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 27, 2023

What is the legal definition of neglect and aggravated neglect?

Neglect includes when a caregiver:

  • fails to provide care needed for your physical health, including:
    • food;
    • water;
    • clothing;
    • medicine;
    • shelter;
    • medical services/medical treatment plan;
    • basic hygiene;
    • reasonable supervision for your well-being; or
    • other care you may need;1
  • does not make a reasonable effort to protect you from neglect or financial exploitation by others;2
  • leaves you alone when there is a reasonable likelihood that physical harm will occur (abandonment);3 or
  • knowingly and unreasonably restricts your movement (confinement), which can include:
    • keeping you in a locked room;
    • separating you from your living space;
    • using restraining devices on you; or
    • giving you unnecessary medication or too much medication.4

When a caregiver neglects you in a way that causes serious physical harm or bodily injury, it is known as aggravated neglect.5

1 Tenn. Code § 39-15-501(8)(A)(i)
2 Tenn. Code § 39-15-501(8)(A)(ii)
3 Tenn. Code § 39-15-501(1), (8)(A)(iii)
4 Tenn. Code § 39-15-501(5), (8)(A)(iv)
5 Tenn. Code § 39-15-508