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Questions Answered by Paul E. Tennison
1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for Texas on
Q: 17 yr old daughter returned home from the military as she is being held against her will and without parental consent
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 3, 2019

This question is unclear, I do not understand what you are asking here.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Ohio on
Q: Can you sue if your photograph is aired on tv and you're accused of a crime you didnt commit?

Recently a documentary was filmed and aired on the Investigation Discovery Channel which is owned by Discovery Incorporated. This documentary was about a murder in my hometown. At one point a woman is being interviewed and they show a picture on the screen with a man's image highlighted and the... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 3, 2019

I recommend your friend consults with an attorney. If the woman did not have any reason to believe he was actually the murderer and claimed that he was, that could be a reckless or intentional misrepresentation on her part. Defamation is a state law issue that is different in every state so ensure... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: Can a landlord ask for a NONREFUNDABLE security deposit prior to signing a lease agreement?

Can a landlord tell you they will be keeping your security deposit when/before you sign a lease agreement?

Before signing a one-year lease for a condo, the landlord says we must pay a security deposit equal to a full month's rent, but that this security deposit will be non-refundable.... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 3, 2019

No. Under the Tennessee Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the security deposit is refundable.

Landlords cannot deposit security deposits in the same accounts that contain any of the landlord’s personal assets.

The landlord must return either part or all of the security...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Abusive ex re-opening custody case

A judge found my ex abusive of our children during his visitations with them and issued a restraining order and court-ordered therapy. The case was closed. It's two years later and my ex is re-opening the case. What is the process? My oldest is 11 and wants nothing to do with the visits. She has... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 2, 2019

If a Judge made a finding of fact that your ex was abusive, then your ex should have quite an uphill battle in convincing any Court that he is rehabilitated enough to have visitation at any point in the future. I recommend you consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can homeowners request to look at the proxy’s that was filed from new election.

I counted votes with reality company board hired. President now had several proxy’s that looked fishy. They verified their own proxy’s. Our board is a bit shady and now to have the same president and treasurer to stay on board. We have requested financial reports with receipts and have gotten... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 2, 2019

You may want to consult with an attorney. HOA cases are not easy to win as a plaintiff. This is because the legal standard that applies usually favors whatever action the HOA takes. There are limits to this deference to the HOA though. Outright fraud may be actionable. The facts here that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a civilian be banned from an Army Reserve building without any documentation? Who has the legal right to ban them?

My coworkers husband was just banned from entering the building by our chain of command.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 1, 2019

I believe the answer to this question is yes. The commander of the building has that authority to not allow people in the military building. I am unaware of any requirement for documentation.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Tennessee on
Q: My 20/25lb dog was recently attacked by a 83lb Border Collie, I had my dog leashed but the Collie was not leashed.

Border Collie was not up to date on vaccines. I was thrown backwards & being snatched around like a rag doll & I'm having severe spasms in my neck and Spine. What are my rights?

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 1, 2019

If you were attacked by the dog, the owner may be liable for your injuries. There are more facts that would need to be determined in this instance. Dogs generally are not seen as inherently dangerous animals. Thus, many jurisdictions follow the one free bite rule. Do you know who owned the border... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is income used to determine child support obligation based on wages at the time the divorce was filed?

My wife filed for divorce several months ago and I will be starting a new job with a substantially higher salary next month. I was wondering which salary would be used to calculate things like alimony and child support. I know in some other states it is based on the income at the time of filing, is... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 1, 2019

Based on my experience, Tennessee courts use the most recent income information at the time of calculation. Not the salary at the time of filing. Good luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I request an more in depth investigation be done on my father suspicious suicide?

His death was ruled a suicide immediately, however, there are a lot of factors that do not add up. Murder was thrown around a lot by family members and friends, but nothing was fully invested. The process moved very quickly and he was buried before anything more than a basic autopsy was conducted.... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 1, 2019

You may absolutely request more investigation be done. Your best way to go about doing this is likely to contact the local police supervisors of the county where your Father died or speak with the DA of that County. As your Father has already been buried, it is likely that the local authorities... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized for Tennessee on
Q: Can I move in with my 17 year old bf who is gonna be turning 18 next year in march and with his mom when I turn 18

His mom says she would take care of me

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 1, 2019

You should be able to legally. Once you turn 18, you are no longer a child under Tennessee law and may choose where you wish to live.

If you have a good relationship with your parents/guardians you should be careful in how you go about this to preserve that relationship if possible. Good...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Does this firm deal with contesting wills?

My mother passed away Oct. ‘17 and her brother forced her to write up a new will for him to inherit everything. She was suffering from severe dementia at the time and was not mentally there for the new will to be truly trusted. The most important issue is that what he inherited was not hers at... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 12, 2019

From your description it sounds like you need to consult with an attorney. There are numerous law firms that handle Estate and Probate work in Tennessee. Is your Mother's case still active in Probate? Based on what you are saying here, you should likely contest the will. If your mother was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Military Law and Social Security for Georgia on
Q: What rights does my daughter have if injured during Army BCT (Georgia NG)? NG is trying to discharge her.

My daughter was injured last summer, 3 days from Army BCT graduation. She suffered 3 hip/pelvic fractures, was sent home to REFRAD. She was scheduled to go back this week and the CT scan showed that one fracture is still not healed. We are waiting to get more details from the specialist. Her RSP... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 11, 2019

As far as her rights to continue her basic training, that is a question for her RSP leadership and not really a legal question. If she has until June 2020 to finish her basic training then her leadership should do the right thing and give her more time to heal before going back. However, they may... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: If I file for a custody modification. Will I be responsible for ex-wife’s attorney and my own?

My ex-wife received primary custody of my son during our divorce 9 years . Then,last year, she indicated she was getting married and leaving the jurisdiction. My son indicated he did not want to go and I didn’t agree for him to leave either. She left anyway and my son stayed with me. Although... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 11, 2019

Tennessee follows the American rule for attorney fees. This means that ordinarily each side is responsible for paying their own attorney. There are only 2 exceptions to this rule: contractual basis or statutory basis. I am unaware of a statutory basis for fees in custody modification cases. Your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law for Tennessee on
Q: Does a juvenile have right to privacy to their cell phone. If the cell phone was purchased by the parents.

Who would have to give consent to search the phone? The parents who bought it or the child who uses it?

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 6, 2019

There may be a reasonable expectation of privacy for a juvenile using a cell phone. I do not think there are enough facts here for me to fully answer this question. For example, where does this question arise? At school, home, police involvement? Each of those situations may have different law that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: What steps do I need to take to prove I am a fit parent?

Me and my child’s father have split up. He has approached me with wanting to go to court and or mediation because he doesn’t feel I am giving him enough time with our son. He has had him around some people who are not safe and that I do not trust I have asked him not to but he continues to do... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 6, 2019

If you and the father were not married when the child was born, then he currently has no rights to see the child unless he goes to court. Tennessee is what is commonly referred to as a “Mother’s state”. This simply means that when children are born out of wedlock, the father has no rights to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Would I have to allow my son's father unsupervised visitation if we were to split up? We are Not married

We are Not married and do not live together. Our son will be 2 in August and I am pregnant with our second. I would not mind meeting with him in a public place or going to his home with him and being present while he visits with our son. I just have a lot of concerns about allowing our son to go... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 6, 2019

The short answer is without a court order, you do not have to allow the father to spend any time with your children.

Tennessee is what is commonly referred to as a “Mother’s state”. This simply means that when children are born out of wedlock, the father has no rights to parent the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I live in Tennessee and the non custodial parent resides in Mississippi. How can he be served if he can't be located.

I keep getting told that the state of Mississippi is having trouble finding him. So my question is how can he get served?

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 6, 2019

You could hire a private process server to track him down and serve him. You would have to pay the process server. My firm has worked with Rhino Surveillance in the past and found them quite professional and reliable. https://rhinosurveillance.com

Good luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: I posted an accurate account of my visit with an orthopedist in TN in a review, and the dr. is now threatening to sue me

Two months ago I saw this doctor for the first time. The doctor refused to look at my MRI and refused to consider the possibility of a torn deltoid. He ridiculed me for suggesting this was a possibility and had his nurse help him find a metaphor for how silly it was to expect him to look at my MRI.... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 5, 2019

If your review was accurate, he does not have a good case. The truth is a 100% defense to defamation due to the First Amendment right to free speech.

However, there is an important distinction here, even if he doesn't have a case, he can still sue you. At that point you will have to defend...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My husband just discovered he is not the father of his 9 year old through a private DNA lab test resulting 0%

He has believed he was the father and signed the birth certificate. His relationship with the child's mother was a on again off again relationship and they also had another child 2 years prior. The first child is 99.9% probabibility his. Father is now married and has a child with me. The mother of... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 5, 2019

From this description of the facts, it sounds like your biggest problem currently is safety as this woman is threatening you and your family. If you are scared for your safety or your families the first step is to call the police and report the threats and/or file for an order of protection. If an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Tennessee on
Q: I am the homeowner x boyfriend needs to go he wont. Owes his half of all may Bills. Now its June. Its my house
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 5, 2019

You may want to consider consulting with an attorney to discuss in more detail. If you own the home and never signed a lease agreement then arguably your ex-boyfriend was a guest and can be required to leave by you at any time. You may want to write him a letter that specifies what he owes you and... Read more »

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