Tennessee Bill That Increases Protection For Victims Of Stalking And Harassment Passes Out Of Committee And Heads To Senate Floor

Image: Nikki Goeser testifies before the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

A proposed law that would provide lifetime protection for victims of stalking and harassment passed by roll call vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

All nine members of the committee, led by Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10), voted unanimously to send the bill to the full Senate floor for a final vote.

Sponsored by Senator Paul Rose (R-Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton Counties-District 32) Senate Bill 1699 (SB1699) expands eligibility for filing petitions to obtain lifetime orders of protection that includes victims of aggravated stalking, especially aggravated stalking, and felony harassment.

As guest speaker Nikki Goeser testified,victims of stalking and harassment are currently required to renew orders of protection annually with the courts which ends up continually retraumatizing victims.

Goeser appeared before lawmakers three years ago when the Tennessee General Assembly was considering the original lifetime orders of protection bill which became state law on July 1st, 2021.

Goeser’s husband Ben was brutally murdered in front of her by her stalker who continued to harass her from prison using the United States Postal Service. The first Tennessean to obtain a lifetime order of protection against her felony stalker thanks to the 2021 law, Goeser stated yesterday that he will be released in 2030.

The companion House Bill 1645 (HB1645) sponsored by Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44) has already passed the House floor in a vote earlier this legislative session. 

If the bill passes in the Senate as well and becomes law, it would take effect immediately according to an amendment on the bill.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. 

You can reach Paula at paula@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

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