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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 28, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David C. Veazey, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anna Lois Long.

Attorneys 2:

Jay Underwood, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sammy Lee Brown.

Judge(s): SUSANO

Anna Lois Long (“petitioner”) obtained an ex parte order of protection against Sammy Lee Brown (“respondent”), the man with whom she had lived for approximately 27 years. Following a hearing, the trial court entered a mutual order of protection for a period of one year. Petitioner argues on appeal that the trial court erred in making the order of protection mutual and that the order was unlawful because it did not comport with the requirements of the governing statutory scheme, Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-601 et seq. (2010). We hold that the trial court erred when it made the order of protection mutual in view of the fact the respondent did not seek an order of protection. The order should be modified so as to be directed only against respondent. We further hold that the trial court’s order should also be modified to include “the statement of the maximum penalty that may be imposed pursuant to § 36-3-610 for violating [the] order” as required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-606(c). We conclude that the court’s order in all other respects satisfies the statutory requirements governing an order of protection. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment as modified.