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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

37-1-154. Law enforcement records - Inspection limited - Exceptions for certain violent offenders.

(a) Unless a charge of delinquency is transferred for criminal prosecution under § 37-1-134, the interest of national security requires or the court otherwise orders in the interest of the child, the law enforcement records and files shall not be open to public inspection or their contents disclosed to the public; but inspection of the records and files is permitted by:

(1) A juvenile court having the child before it in any proceeding;

(2) Counsel for a party to the proceeding;

(3) The officers of public institutions or agencies to whom the child is committed;

(4) Law enforcement officers of other jurisdictions when necessary for the discharge of their official duties; and

(5) A court in which such child is convicted of a criminal offense for the purpose of a presentence report or other dispositional proceeding, or by officials of penal institutions and other penal facilities to which such child is committed, or by a parole board in considering such child's parole or discharge or in exercising supervision over such child.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), petitions and orders of the court in a delinquency proceeding under this part shall be opened to public inspection and their content subject to disclosure to the public if:

(1) The juvenile is fourteen (14) years of age or older at the time of the alleged act; and

(2) The conduct constituting the delinquent act, if committed by an adult, would constitute first degree murder, second degree murder, rape, aggravated rape, rape of a child, aggravated robbery, especially aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping or especially aggravated kidnapping.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if a court file or record contains any documents other than petitions and orders, including, but not limited to, a medical report, psychological evaluation or any other document, such document or record shall remain confidential.

(d) (1) Except as otherwise permitted in this section, it is an offense for a person to intentionally disclose or disseminate to the public the law enforcement records concerning a charge of delinquency, including the child's name and address.

(2) A violation of this subsection (d) shall be punished as criminal contempt of court as otherwise authorized by law.

(e) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, where notice is required under § 49-6-3051, an abstract of the appropriate adjudication contained in the court file or record shall be made and provided to the parent, guardian, or other custodian of the juvenile, including the department, and this abstract shall be presented to the school in which the juvenile is, or may be, enrolled, in compliance with § 49-6-3051.

Acts 1970, ch. 600, § 52; T.C.A., § 37-252; Acts 1994, ch. 998, § 1; 1999, ch. 366, § 2; 2003, ch. 238, § 3; 2005, ch. 265, § 5.

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