Andrew FarmerChris ToddFeaturedharassmentHB1645House Bill 1645LegislationLifetime Order of Protection Billlifetime orders of protectionStalkingState NewsTennesseeTennessee General AssemblyTennessee House of RepresentativesWilliam Lamberth

Increased Protection For Victims Of Stalking, Harassment Bill Moves To Tennessee House Floor

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The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

A bill that would provide lifetime protection for victims of stalking and harassment was passed by the Civil Justice Committee on Wednesday and will be scheduled to be heard on the House Floor.

House Bill 1645 (HB1645), sponsored by State Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44), “expands the eligibility for filing a petition to obtain a lifetime order of protection to include victims of aggravated stalking, especially aggravated stalking, and felony harassment.”

This bill, as briefly explained before the vote by the bill’s sponsor, William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44,) would allow for lifetime orders of protection to be available to victims rather than requiring them to go back to court to renew the order annually.

Additionally, an amendment was filed by Representative Chris Todd (R-Madison County-District 73) to expedite implementation of the legislation if passed. The amendment did make the bill.

It was asked that a definition be given of the crimes that would apply in this case. Legal defined each of the terms for the committee.

House Bill 1645 passed the House Civil Justice Committee, chaired by State Representative Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville-District 17), by a voice vote with ayes prevailing. The bill will move to the Calendar and Rules Committee to be scheduled to be heard on the House floor.

No committee members requested to be recorded as voting against the bill, although Farmer did remind them at the start of the meeting that they could see the clerk if they wished to be recorded as a no vote.

Because Chairman Farmer chose to use a voice vote to hide the voting records of committee members from public scrutiny, we can only assume Farmer supports HB1645 and is responsible for its passage. Chairman Farmer could have used a transparent roll call vote, but opted for a voice vote to shield committee members and himself from accountability and, in this case, responsibility for the passage of a conservative bill’s passage out of the committee.

According to a statement made by Representative Jody Barrett (R-Dickson-District 69) on the Mill Creek View Tennessee Podcast, all a legislator has to do in order to have their voice vote recorded is give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to the clerk. This means that it is very easy for legislators to put their vote on the record and create transparency with their constituents if they choose to.

We will continue to follow this bill as it works its way through the legislative process and report any and all updates on its progress.

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