A new year means new laws. Below are five new Tennessee laws to be aware of. These laws are effective January 1st, 2024.
James Dustin Samples Act, Abrial’s Law, & Senate Bill 0814 | Five New Tennessee Laws
Senate Bill 0856 (aka the “James ‘Dusitn’ Samples Act”):
This new act of legislation will enact a grant program. This program will cover the cost of employers that provide workers’ compensation for firefighters. Allowing them to seek help with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This act is named after James ‘Dustin’ Samples, a firefighter from Cleveland, Tennessee. Sadly, James took his own life after battling PTSD.
Legislature Passes Cell Phone Access Law in Domestic Violence Cases
On April 3, 2018, the TN legislature officially passed House Bill 2033. This law allows victims of domestic abuse to request a court grant access to the victim’s cell phone plan. Even if they are not the account holder. The passing of this cell phone access law is paramount in assisting domestic violence victims.
Rep. Jim Coley introduced the bill. It allows a victim of domestic violence to ask the issuing court to direct the victim’s phone company to transfer billing responsibility and account rights to the victim. Even when that victim is not the account holder. The victim may ask for such an order when initially seeking an Order of Protection or when making a separate request of the court.
January 1, 2018, brings in the new year and new laws as passed by the Tennessee Legislature. It’s a new year, new laws.
Barber, Bus Drivers & Alarms
Barbers may now perform their services in a residence. Before 2018, barbers could only render their services in a residence for a person who was ill. However, barbers must possess a residential barber certificate to work in or out of a home.
A few changes take effect regarding school bus drivers. Beginning in 2018, school bus drivers must be at least twenty-five years old, and all new bus drivers must complete a training program before transporting any children. The changes also create a transportation supervisor program for monitoring and supervising local and charter school transportation.
Homeowners Alarm Contracts
Homeowners may cancel alarm contracts for periods longer than two (2) years upon giving thirty (30) days’ notice to an alarm company if the homeowner has to sell their home for medical reasons. However, the cancellation must come after the initial two (2) year period, and the cancellation must include a letter from the homeowner’s treating physician explaining that the house must be sold and the alarm system canceled due to medical reasons.
Handguns, Headlights, & Cell Phones
Individuals seeking handgun carry permits may be exempted from the firing range qualification component if they have proof they passed small arms qualification or combat pistol training in any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
For motor vehicles, headlights must be either white or amber. It seems most standard passenger vehicles will comply with this law. However, drivers may not modify their vehicle headlights to colors other than white or amber.
Hand Held Phone Usage in Cars
Most importantly, 2018 brings new penalties for cell phone usage in school zones. Drivers using or talking on a handheld cell phone in a marked school zone when flashers are operating can be prosecuted for a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $50 fine.
Learn more information about the new laws taking effect January 1, 2018.
If you have a legal issue, contact the attorneys at Kane & Crowell Family Law Center at (615) 784-4800.
On July 1, 2017, the state of Tennessee enacted several new laws. Do any of the new laws affect you?
The state increased penalties for convicted felons in possession of a gun. The offense can be increased, depending on their previous felony.
Retroactive child support is now limited to the past five years of child support. Unless the court finds good cause to make an exception.
The illegal use of a telecommunication device is a new offense. Watch what you do on your cell phone!
Don’t publicly release the residential address of a police officer. It’s a Class B Misdemeanor if negligent and a Class A Misdemeanor if intentional.
Property owners can put purple paint on their trees to serve as a no trespassing sign.
Understanding and staying informed about the state law is essential for every citizen of Tennessee. Keeping up to date on Tennessee law ensures you can navigate the complexities of the legal system and make informed decisions.
Here are some ways you can stay informed about new TN laws.
Local Bar Associations: Connect with local bar associations like the Tennessee Bar Association (https://www.tba.org/) to access legal resources and stay informed about recent developments. Bar associations often host events, seminars, and conferences that provide insights into changes in Tennessee law.
Official State Resources: The Tennessee state government provides information through official websites. The Tennessee General Assembly’s website (https://www.capitol.tn.gov/) is an excellent resource for finding the state’s constitution, statutes, and other legislative information.
Legal Blogs and News Outlets: Stay current with legal news and analysis through reputable legal blogs and news outlets. Websites like the Tennessee Bar Journal (https://www.tba.org/journal) and local newspapers cover legal developments and provide insights into how laws impact the community. Subscribe to newsletters or RSS feeds to receive regular updates.
Community Legal Clinics: Community legal clinics and workshops organized by legal aid organizations, law schools, or local bar associations. These events provide an opportunity to learn about specific legal issues, ask questions, and receive guidance. Check local event listings and community centers for information on upcoming legal clinics.
Social Media and Online Forums: Follow legal professionals, organizations, and government agencies on social media platforms. Many legal experts share insights, articles, and updates on these platforms. Online forums and discussion groups can also be valuable resources for asking questions and engaging in conversations.
Staying informed about Tennessee law is a continuous process requiring a multifaceted approach. Utilizing official state resources, legal databases, local bar associations, news outlets, educational programs, community events, a trusted attorney, and online platforms will help you build a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape. By staying informed, you empower yourself to make informed decisions, advocate for your rights, and contribute positively to your community.