Tennessee

 
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The Laws That Should Protect Our Children

Current Civil SOL in a nutshell

SOL vs. perp: +1 year from majority = Age 19
SOL vs. employer: +1 year from majority = Age 19

Majority Tolling: √ Age 18
Discovery Tolling: √ + 3 years

Statutory Language:

(a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Child sexual abuse” means any act set out in § 37-1-602(a)(3), that occurred when the victim was a minor;

(2) “Discovery” means when the injured person becomes aware that the injury or illness was caused by child sexual abuse. Discovery that the injury or illness was caused by child sexual abuse shall not be deemed to have occurred solely by virtue of the injured person’s awareness, knowledge, or memory of the acts of abuse;

(3) “Injury or illness” means either a physical injury or illness or a psychological injury or illness; and

(4) “Minor” means a person under eighteen (18) years of age.

(b) Notwithstanding § 28-3-104, a civil action for an injury or illness based on child sexual abuse that occurred when the injured person was a minor, but was not discovered at the time of the abuse, shall be brought within three (3) years from the time of discovery of the abuse by the injured person.

(c) A person bringing an action under this section need not establish or prove:

(1) Which act in a series of continuing child sexual abuse incidents by the alleged perpetrator caused the injury or illness complained of, but may compute the date of discovery from the date of discovery of the last act by the same alleged perpetrator which is part of a common scheme or pattern of child sexual abuse; or

(2) That the injured person psychologically repressed the memory of the facts upon which the claim is predicated.

(d) In an action brought under this section, the knowledge of a parent or guardian shall not be imputed to a minor.

(e) Notwithstanding subsection (b), in no event shall an action under this section be brought against the alleged perpetrator of the child sexual abuse or against the estate of such alleged perpetrator after the perpetrator’s death later than twenty-five (25) years from the date the child becomes eighteen (18) years of age. If the action is brought more than one (1) year from the date the injured person attains the age of majority, the injured person must offer admissible and credible evidence corroborating the claim of abuse by the alleged perpetrator.

SOL: + 1 year from majority or narrow (inquiry notice/knowledge of injury) discovery, all claims

  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104 (1) “Actions for libel, for injuries to the person, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, breach of marriage promise”

TOLLING

  1. Majority, yes 18.

a. Tenn. Code. Ann. § 28-1-106 (“If the person entitled to commence an action is, at the time the cause of action accrued, either under the age of eighteen (18) years, or of unsound mind, such person, or such person’s representatives and privies, as the case may be, may commence the action, after the removal of such disability, within the time of limitation for the particular cause of action, unless it exceeds three (3) years, and in that case within three (3) years from the removal of such disability.”)

  1. Discovery:

a. C.S. v. Diocese of Nashville, No. M2007-02076-COA-R3-CV, 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 582, *9, 2008 WL 4426891 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 30, 2008) (“Under Tennessee law, the discovery rule requires that “the statue of limitations begins to run when the injury occurs or when the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered that he or she has a right of action.” Doe v. Coffee County Bd. of Educ., 852 S.W.2d 899, 904 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992) (emphasis added). Thus, the discovery rule tolls the statute when the plaintiff is without means reasonably necessary to discover his claim. However, the discovery rule will toll the statute only when “the plaintiff has no knowledge at all that a wrong has occurred.” Id. Consequently, when a plaintiff knows he is injured and who caused his injury, as a matter of law, he has discovered his cause of action, and its statute of limitations begins to run. Id.”).

  1. Redwing v. Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of Memphis, 363 S.W.3d 436, 459, 2012 Tenn. LEXIS 143, 54-55 (Tenn. 2012) (“Under the current discovery rule, a cause of action accrues and the statute of limitations begins to run not only when the plaintiff has actual knowledge of a claim, but also when the plaintiff has actual knowledge of “facts sufficient to put a reasonable person on notice that he [or she] has suffered an injury as a result of wrongful conduct.” Carvell v. Bottoms, 900 S.W.2d 23, 29 (Tenn. 1995) (quoting Roe v. Jefferson, 875 S.W.2d 653, 657 (Tenn. 1994)). This latter circumstance is variously referred to as “constructive notice”14 or “inquiry notice.”15 Quoting the Iowa Supreme Court, we have explained that inquiry notice “charges a plaintiff with knowledge of those facts that a reasonable investigation would have disclosed. . . . [O]nce a plaintiff gains information sufficient to alert a reasonable person of the need to investigate ‘the injury,’ the limitation period begins to run.” Sherrill v. Souder, 325 S.W.3d at 593 n.7 (quoting Rathje v. Mercy Hosp., 745 N.W.2d 443, 461 (Iowa 2008)); see also Diamond v. Davis, 680 A.2d 364, 372 (D.C. 1996) (defining inquiry notice as the “notice which a plaintiff would have possessed after due investigation”).

Current Criminal SOL in a nutshell

No later than 25 years after the victim’s 18th birthday for most sexual offenses against minors.

No later than 15 years after the victim’s 18th birthday for violations on or after 7/1/2013 for trafficking a person for a commercial sex act or solicitation of a minor to observe sexual conduct.

No later than 10 years after the victim’s 18th birthday for violations on or after 7/1/2013 for patronizing prostitution or promoting prostitution

None for felonies carrying death penalty or life imprisonment for crimes committed since 1989. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-2-101 (a). +25 years from majority for most CSA-related crimes committed on or after June 20, 2006. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-2-101 (h).

For most crimes committed between July 1, 1997 and June 19, 2006, the latter of either the victim’s 21st birthday or +15 years from commission for a Class A felony, +8 years from commission for a Class B felony, +4 years from commission for class C and D felonies. Unless punishable by life imprisonment or death, then None.

For most crimes committed between November 1, 1989 and June 30, 1997 the latter of the date victim attains majority or +4 years from commission of crime. Unless punishable by life imprisonment or death, then None.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-2-101 (a) A person may be prosecuted, tried and punished for an offense punishable with death or by imprisonment in the penitentiary during life, at any time after the offense is committed.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-2-101 (b) Prosecution for a felony offense shall begin within:

(1) Fifteen (15) years for a Class A felony;

(2) Eight (8) years for a Class B felony;

(3) Four (4) years for a Class C or Class D felony; and

(4) Two (2) years for a Class E felony.

Age of Majority: 18. See, Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-1-106.
Age of Consent: 18. See, Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-506.

Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: 16 (under 16 with judicial consent).
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18.
See, Tenn. Code. Ann. §§ 36-3-105, 36-3-106, 36-3-107.


Medical Neglect Statute

CIVIL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

N/A

CRIMINAL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

N/A


Religous Liberty Statute

Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk

Current Law: TENN. CODE ANN. § 4-1-407 (2009)

Enacted: July 1, 2009

4-1-407. PRESERVATION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. (a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Demonstrates” means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion under the standard of clear and convincing evidence; (2) “Exercise of religion” means the exercise of religion under article I, § 3 of the Constitution of Tennessee and the first amendment to the United States Constitution; (3) “Fraudulent claim” means a claim that is dishonest in fact or that is made principally for a patently improper purpose, such as to harass the opposing party; (4) “Frivolous claim” means a claim that completely lacks merit under existing law and cannot be supported by a good faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law; (5) “Government entity” means any branch, department, agency, commission or instrumentality of state government, any official or other person acting under color of state law or any political subdivision of the state; (6) “Prevails” means to obtain “prevailing party” status as defined by courts construing the federal Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Awards Act of 1976, codified in 42 U.S.C. § 1988; and (7) “Substantially burden” means to inhibit or curtail religiously motivated practice. (b) Except as provided in subsection (c), no government entity shall substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.

(c) No government entity shall substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion unless it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is:

(1) Essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. (d) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to:

(A) Authorize any government entity to burden any religious belief; or (B) Affect, interpret or in any way address those portions of article I, § 3 of the Constitution of Tennessee and the first amendment to the United States Constitution that prohibit laws respecting the establishment of religion. (2) Nothing in this section shall create or preclude a right of any religious organization to receive funding or other assistance from a government or of any person to receive government funding for a religious activity. (e) A person whose religious exercise has been burdened by government in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may obtain such declaratory relief, monetary damages as may properly be awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction, or both declaratory relief and monetary damages. A person who prevails in any proceeding to enforce this section against a government entity may recover the person’s reasonable costs and attorney’s fees. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by general rules of law that establish standing. This subsection (e) relating to attorney’s fees shall not apply to criminal prosecutions.

(f) Any person found by a court with jurisdiction over the action to have abused the protections of this section by filing a frivolous or fraudulent claim may be assessed the government entity’s court costs, if any, and may be enjoined from filing further claims under this section without leave of court.