Gov. Lee Signs Bill Into Law That Could Criminalize Parents Based On Anonymous Allegations Of Abuse Or Neglect

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

Legislation to make it a criminal offense for families to hide children outside of the state when that child is in custody of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) was officially signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on April 28th, 2023. 

Since DCS is not required to verify the credibility of anonymous sources making accusations of child abuse or neglect, this legislation could possibly make it easier to criminalize parents who have not committed such an offense. 

Not only will this legislation allow parents to be charged with a felony offense for failure to turn their child over to the state, it also looks to relieve DCS of having to properly notify parents about removal orders with the bill text stating that it is not a defense 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.”

The primary concern here is that the bill seems to do away with basic due process, which gives a person the right to know about accusations made against them and allows them the ability to defend themselves in court.

Senate Bill 1319 (SB1319) was sponsored by Sen. Paul Bailey (R-Sparta-District 15) and passed in the Senate by a 28-1 vote back in March. Its companion, House Bill 1109 (HB1109), was sponsored by Rep. Ron Travis (R-Dayton-District 31) and passed in the House with a 74-17 vote on April 13th.

After both legislative bodies passed the bill, it was sent over to the Governor’s Office on April 19th and Gov. Lee chose to sign it into law on Friday of last week. 

As head of the executive branch, Gov. Lee is fully capable of sending a bill back to the legislature by utilizing his veto power. The legislature may then overrule or concede to the governor’s veto.

Even if Gov. Lee did not want to use his veto power, he could have chosen not to sign the bill if he didn’t agree with it. 

In Tennessee, if a governor does agree with a piece of legislation but does not want to veto it, he or she may allow the bill to become law without their signature by letting the bill sit in the Governor’s Office for a period of ten days. 

Once all of the bills that were passed during this year’s legislative session have officially been made law, the Governor’s Office will send the bills over to the Secretary of State’s Office where they will stay from that point forward.

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

7 thoughts on “Gov. Lee Signs Bill Into Law That Could Criminalize Parents Based On Anonymous Allegations Of Abuse Or Neglect

  • May 2, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    First, Lee wants to red-flag our guns, then our parents??

  • May 2, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    So if the neighbor gets pissed off at me, he calls Child Services and instantly all my rights are gone. What the hell is wrong with these people. It’ll never stand up in court but taxpayer money will, as usual, be used against us. It’s no wonder he wants to “red flag” our guns.

  • May 2, 2023 at 9:51 pm

    Lee and most legislators are lucifer’s disgusting RINOs.

  • May 3, 2023 at 9:15 am

    I see massive due process lawsuits in our future

  • May 3, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    CPS are notorious for child trafficking.
    Conspiracy Of Silence / The Franklin Cover-up

  • May 4, 2023 at 12:52 am

    What happened to our rule of law in this state and country. RHINOS AND DEMOCRATS just keep trampling on our rights.

    Innocent until proven guilty!
    Now it’s, guilty until proven innocent.

  • May 4, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    This goes against the law in the Bible. Lee claims he is a christian and then signs this bill. Let me remind him of what the Bible says.

    Deuteronomy 19:15-21 NIV
    One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If a malicious witness takes to the stand to accuse someone of a crime, the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in the office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony a fellow Israelite, then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the party. You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

    So as one can see being accused by one person really isn’t sufficient. To be accused by an anonymous source is totally insufficient. I for one, think we definitely need to get back to Biblical principles. America has become corrupt, lawless and lost its morality. It’s time we get on our knees and pray to God for repentance for America.
    In God we trust not government or man.
    Have a blessed day.


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