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Tennessee House Bill 434 creates lifetime orders of protection for victims of violent crimes

Legislation protecting victims of violent crimes passed the House Civil Justice Committee last Wednesday. House Bill 434 creates a lifetime order of protection to prohibit communication between an offender and their victim.

House Republican Leaders partnered with Nikki Goeser, a victim of stalking, to create this legislation. Goeser’s stalker shot and killed her husband, Ben, in front of her in a crowded restaurant in 2009. Her stalker has been behind bars serving time for second-degree murder, but he has continually attempted to contact Goeser, sending her letters from prison.

Offenders that violate the order could receive up to a Class A misdemeanor, ensuring that these penalties will tack significant time onto ongoing sentences. The legislation is retroactive, so persons who have previously been victimized can receive lifelong orders of protection. This bill also permits service of ex parte orders of protection for up to one year from issuance.

House Bill 434 will be heard in the House Calendar & Rules Committee this week

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