The Difference Between A Restraining Order & Order of Protection

In Tennessee there are two options when it comes to seeking protection from physical abuse, threats or harassment. They are both similar in whom they protect but each have different requirements. Both orders are issued by the court and civil in nature, but violations are punished as criminal contempt of court. An order of protection orders the abuser to cease all contact of any kind with the victim for a period of one year. This includes phone calls, text messages, emails, and any form of social media or through a third party. In most cases this order is filed to

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Boundary Line Disputes

Whether you own an empty lot or a home in a residential neighborhood, chances are your land adjoins land that’s owned by another individual, business, or corporation. Because boundary lines aren’t always precise—and because both property owners may have different views of where their property lines begin and end—conflicts can occur when one property owner builds a fence, cuts down or plants trees, or alters the land in some way. Settling boundary line disputes can be difficult unless there is clear evidence showing where each property owner’s land begins and ends, and many cases must be resolved in court. Hodge

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Recent TN Supreme Court Cases Could Impact Police Justification for DUI Stops

Tennessee police officers and state troopers have a duty to keep state roads safe by stopping vehicles when they suspect drivers are under the influence of alcohol. In 2000, State v. Binette, a TN Supreme Court Case, ruled that police officers may “initiate a brief, investigatory traffic stop” if they suspect that a driver is committing a criminal offense or is about to commit a criminal offense. However, that case also ruled that minor driving errors, like slight weaving in a lane of travel, should not constitute a valid reason for a police officer to stop a motorist. This has

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What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection (also referred to as an OP) is type of restraining order issued by a court that’s designed to primarily protect people from domestic violence.  To file an order of protection you must be related to, have lived with, or been in a romantic relationship with the other person.  However there are exceptions for stalking and sexual assault and no relationship is required between the parties in those instances.  If you do not meet these requirements but still feel that you need protection you may be entitled to a restraining order instead of an order of protection. 

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How Is Child Support Determined in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, all courts and state officials must adhere to the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines when determining the amount of child support to be awarded. These guidelines include using a streamlined system and a Basic Child Support Order (BCSO) calculation worksheet, which considers a number of unique factors when determining child support payments. How do the BCSO worksheet and calculator work? The Tennessee Department of Human Services’ website offers automated tools that are meant to simplify the process of calculating child support orders under the State’s Child Support Guidelines. The department offers both a downloadable Child Support Worksheet (spreadsheet) as

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Understanding Builder’s Warranties & Construction Defects

Buying or building a new home in East Tennessee should be an exciting time for you and your family. But after you move into your new home, you may realize that not everything is as it seems. You may notice cosmetic issues, such as poorly installed flooring, or something more serious, such as structural problems or faulty wiring. Not only are you not getting what you paid for—a well-built home—but the value of your home has most likely been affected as well. And depending on the type of construction defect in your home, you and your family might be living

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Tennessee Drivers & DUI Ignition Interlock Device Requirements

As lawyers with years of experience handling DUI cases, we’re often asked about ignition interlock devices, or car breathalyzers. Here, you’ll find the most common questions we’re asked—including how they work, the typical cost, and more. What’s an ignition interlock device? An ignition interlock device, or car breathalyzer, connects a vehicle’s ignition system to a breath-alcohol analyzer. To operate the device, a driver blows into a sensor that measures the alcohol in his or her breath and only allows the driver to start the vehicle if his or her breath-alcohol level is below the set point. The device also takes

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Understanding East Tennessee Car Accidents

The number of people living in Maryville and the rest of East Tennessee continues to rise, and, coupled with lower gas prices and a steady job market, our roads will become busier than ever before. This also means as more drivers hit the road, your chances of being involved in a car accident may increase as well. In 2014 alone, there were 2,942 traffic accidents in Blount County, which resulted in 23 fatalities. And according to a recent report from the National Safety Council (NSC), motor-vehicle deaths were up 14 percent in first six months of 2015 with nearly 19,000

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Common Tennessee Divorce Myths

We’ve helped hundreds of people in East Tennessee through their divorces, which means we also understand the many preconceived notions and misconceptions people have when it comes to the divorce process. Below is a list of some of the most common divorce myths we hear and the truth behind them. MYTH #1: You are allowed to deny visitation if the other parent fails to pay child support. Child support and visitation rights are not connected to one another. If the noncustodial parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent must go to court to resolve the matter. If you

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