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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 37 Juveniles

Chapter 1 Juvenile Courts and Proceedings

Part 1 General Provisions

37-1-103. Exclusive original jurisdiction.

(a) The juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction of the following proceedings, which are governed by this part:

(1) Proceedings in which a child is alleged to be delinquent, unruly or dependent and neglected, or to have committed a juvenile traffic offense as defined in § 37-1-146;

(2) Proceedings arising under §§ 37-1-141 - 37-1-144;

(3) Proceedings arising under § 37-1-137 for the purposes of termination of a home placement;

(4) Prosecutions under § 37-1-412, unless the case is bound over to the grand jury by the juvenile court or the defendant is originally charged with a greater offense of which violation of § 37-1-412 is a lesser included offense;

(5) Proceedings arising under § 49-5-5209(e); and

(6) Proceedings in which a parent or legal guardian is alleged to have violated parental responsibilities pursuant to § 37-1-174.

(b) The juvenile court also has exclusive original jurisdiction of the following proceedings, which are governed by the laws relating thereto without regard to the other provisions of this part:

(1) Proceedings to obtain judicial consent to employment, or enlistment in the armed services of a child, if consent is required by law;

(2) Proceedings under the Interstate Compact for Juveniles, compiled as chapter 4, part 1 of this title; and

(3) Proceedings under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, compiled as chapter 4, part 2 of this title.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d), when jurisdiction has been acquired under this part, such jurisdiction shall continue until the case has been dismissed, or until the custody determination is transferred to another juvenile, circuit, chancery or general sessions court exercising domestic relations jurisdiction, or until a petition for adoption is filed regarding the child in question as set out in § 36-1-116(f). A juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction to the extent needed to complete any reviews or permanency hearings for children in foster care as may be mandated by federal or state law. This subsection (c) does not establish concurrent jurisdiction for any other court to hear juvenile cases, but permits courts exercising domestic relations jurisdiction to make custody determinations in accordance with this part.

(d) (1) A juvenile court in any county of this state shall have temporary jurisdiction to issue temporary orders pursuant to this section upon a petition on behalf of a child present or residing in that county. Upon being informed that a proceeding pertaining to the same child has been commenced in or a determination pertaining to the same child has been made by a court of a county having prior jurisdiction under this part; provided, that the court having temporary jurisdiction shall immediately notify and attempt to communicate with the court having original jurisdiction regarding the status of the child before issuing any temporary order hereunder, the courts shall coordinate with one another to resolve any jurisdictional issues, protect the best interests of the child, and determine the duration of any order entered by a court pursuant to this section.

(2) A court shall have temporary jurisdiction pursuant to this subsection (d) only in a neglect, dependency or abuse proceeding, a termination of parental rights proceeding or an order of protection pursuant to title 36, pertaining to the child whose matter is before the court when the court determines it is necessary to protect the best interests of that child by action of that court.

(3) Upon notice that a proceeding pertaining to the child has been commenced in a court in a county having prior jurisdiction under this part or upon notice that there is a previous determination pertaining to the child that is entitled to be enforced under this part:

(A) The court exercising temporary jurisdiction shall attempt to communicate with the prior court having jurisdiction and resolve jurisdictional issues and determine whether jurisdiction should transfer to the court exercising temporary jurisdiction;

(B) If jurisdiction is not transferred to the court exercising temporary jurisdiction, the orders of the court exercising temporary jurisdiction shall remain in force and effect until an order is obtained from the court having prior jurisdiction regarding the child;

(C) If jurisdiction is not transferred to the court exercising temporary jurisdiction, the court exercising temporary jurisdiction under this part, either upon motion by a party or on its own, shall enter an order specifying the period of time that the court considers adequate to allow the parties to resume the proceeding in the court having prior jurisdiction under this part; and

(D) If jurisdiction is transferred to the court exercising temporary jurisdiction, all matters thereafter pertaining to the child shall be within the jurisdiction of that court.

(e) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, transfers under this section shall be at the sole discretion of the juvenile court. In all other cases, jurisdiction shall continue until a person is no longer a child as defined in § 37-1-102.

(f) The court is authorized to require any parent or legal guardian of a child within the jurisdiction of the court to participate in any counseling or treatment program the court may deem appropriate and in the best interest of the child.

Acts 1970, ch. 600, § 3; 1971, ch. 189, §§ 1, 2; 1975, ch. 326, § 2; 1977, ch. 482, § 2; 1979, ch. 96, § 1; 1981, ch. 120, § 2; 1981, ch. 316, § 2; 1981, ch. 348, § 1; 1981, ch. 488, § 11; T.C.A., § 37-203; Acts 1989, ch. 278, § 44; 1994, ch. 811, § 1; 1994, ch. 929, § 3; 1995, ch. 532, § 7; 1996, ch. 675, § 16; 1996, ch. 1079, § 85; 1997, ch. 465, § 1; 2001, ch. 297, § 1; 2003, ch. 333, § 1; 2009, ch. 335, § 1; 2011, ch. 485, §§ 1, 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2001, ch. 297, § 5 provided that the act shall apply to any case pending or filed on or after July 1, 2001. Any custody order that has been entered by a court exercising domestic relations jurisdiction and that is not the subject of or eligible for appeal on July 1, 2001, shall be valid and is hereby declared to be in full compliance with the laws of this state.

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