Nashville Magistrates Using Summonses for Domestic Violence Suspects

Some domestic violence suspects in Nashville are no longer being arrested, being ordered to stay away from victims or being subjected to 12-hour “cooling off” periods, the Tennessean reports. The reason, according to the paper, is a change in state law that went into effect on July 1, which has led judicial commissioners to begin issuing court summonses instead of warrants to domestic violence suspects. It is unclear who is responsible for the shift in how the suspects are being managed. A spokesman for the commissioners blamed the new law. The legislator who wrote the law says the magistrates are not following it properly. Meanwhile, prosecutors warn that victims may be in danger as there are no meaningful consequences for ignoring a summons.