(Straw) Hats off to Tennessee, the One State in the Nation That Has a Provision for Expunging a Bogus Restraining Order

Posted on January 24, 2015


“TCA 40-32-101(a)(5) All public records concerning an order of protection [ex-parte, exparte] authorized by title 36, chapter 3, part 6, which was successfully defended and denied by the court following a hearing conducted pursuant to § 36-3-605, shall, upon petition by that person to the court denying the order, be removed and destroyed without cost to the person.”

 —Wikpedia, “Expungement in the United States” (Tennessee)

A woman wrote this week desperate to learn how to seal or expunge the record of a temporary restraining order petitioned against her in California. The order was rejected by the judge, but she’s concerned about the potential ramifications of a lingering record to both her and her children.

Not unduly.

In trying to discover what recourse might be available to her to have the record zapped, I chanced upon the Tennessee statute highlighted in the epigraph. It appears to be the only one of its kind in the country.

Ironically, I’ve also been in correspondence with a gutsy Tennessee woman, Betty Krachey, who was issued a protection order by her boyfriend a few months ago that was dismissed by the court but whose reported fraudulence so outraged Betty that she’s been vigorously petitioning her state to “hold false accusers accountable.”

I wrote to Betty about the Tennessee provision for expunging the record yesterday. I told her I only hoped knowledge of it wouldn’t dull her fervor to inspire change. She says no way.

The order of protection that was served on me was dropped when we went to court. BUT I know a lot of people (all men but me) that this has happened to whose were not dropped and are still on their records. I want something done to my ex for filing this false report against me, and I want to get the law changed to hold anyone who does this accountable for trying to ruin someone’s life. (I know it’s mostly women who file these false reports!) A friend of mine’s ex-wife did this to him, and I remember when the police came to serve him (at my store, while he was having breakfast). He was telling everyone it wasn’t true and he never laid a hand on her.  No one believed him. I remember thinking he must have done something or the cops wouldn’t be serving him papers to leave his home. I know better now, and I know how people think of the ones this is done to.

For its being more legally evolved than the rest of the nation, hats off to Tennessee—and, as I quipped to Betty, I didn’t think people there even wore shoes.

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*Betty quipped back, “And most of the people out here DON’T wear shoes…or teeth!!!!”