Bill That Could Criminalize Tennessee Parents Based on Anonymous Allegations Passes in Senate, Heads To House Committee

Image: Senator Paul Bailey asks for passage of SB1319 on Senate floor. Image Credit:

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

A bill that could criminalize Tennessee parents based on anonymous allegations of abuse or neglect was passed on the Senate floor yesterday by a vote of 29-0. 

Senate Bill 1319 (SB1319) is sponsored by Sen. Paul Bailey (R-Sparta-District 15) and its corresponding House Bill, HB1109 is sponsored by Rep. Ron Travis (R-Dayton-District 31). 

Under this legislation, parents could be charged with a felony for failure to turn over their child to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS). This may sound reasonable, but the bill goes on to essentially relieve DCS of having to properly notify parents with a removal order. 

The bill text even states it is not defensible that “the person harboring or hiding the child has not been served with an actual copy of a protective custody order or emergency custody order.”

However, during the Senate session on March 30th, Sen. Bailey introduced SB1319 by saying that it simply “clarifies current statute and will state that a person who harbors or hides a child that has been knowingly placed in the custody of The Department of Children’s Services is guilty of custodial interference.” 

HB1109 on the other hand, has been scheduled for consideration by the full House Criminal Justice Committee on April 4th, 2023. 

If you wish to voice your opinion on this legislation, we urge you to contact the representatives on the committee using the contact information below.

Rep. Bud Hulsey (R) (Chair) – – (615) 741-2886

Rep. John Gillespie (R) (Vice-Chair) – – (615) 741-8201

Rep. Scotty Campbell (R) – – (615) 741-2050

Rep. Michele Carringer (R) – – (615) 741-1721

Rep. Elaine Davis (R) – – (615) 741-2287

Rep. Clay Doggett (R) – – (615) 741-7476

Rep. Andrew Farmer (R) – – (615) 741-4419

Rep. Monty Fritts (R) – – (615) 741-7658

Rep. Ronnie Glynn (D) – – (615) 741-2043

Rep. G.A. Hardaway (D) – – (615) 741-5625

Rep. Dan Howell (R) – – (615) 741-7799

Rep. Gloria Johnson (D) – – (615) 741-2031

Rep. William Lamberth (R) – – (615) 741-1980

Rep. Debra Moody (R) – – (615) 741-3774

Rep. Lowell Russell (R) – – (615) 741-3736

Rep. Paul Sherrell (R) – – (615) 741-1963

Rep. Joe Towns, Jr. (D) – – (615) 741-2189

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at

4 thoughts on “Bill That Could Criminalize Tennessee Parents Based on Anonymous Allegations Passes in Senate, Heads To House Committee

  • March 31, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    This article should be read by all the politicians

  • March 31, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    The only problem with the bill is that some people will falsely accuse someone of a act they did not committ. This is proven true thru out the years. We have seen it many times. How do you protect people from these accusations if not true.

  • April 2, 2023 at 1:43 am

    We should never give DCS any more power. They are not capable of handling it well. The social workers are as sick as some of the kids. They are a bureaucracy, not a social agency.


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