Rule 101. Title of Rules — Scope — Purpose and Construction

Rule 101. Title of Rules — Scope — Purpose and Construction

(a)   Title. These rules shall be known and cited as the Tennessee Rules of Juvenile Practice and Procedure.

(b)  Scope.  These rules apply to delinquent, unruly, and dependent and neglect proceedings.

(c)  Exclusions.

(1)  Traffic offenses are governed by T.C.A. § 37-1-146.

(2)  Surrenders of parental rights are governed by T.C.A. §§ 36-1-111 and 112.

(3)  The Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern the following

(A)  termination of parental rights pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-1-113;

(B)  parentage pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-2-301, et seq;

(C)  guardianship and mental health commitment involving children;

(D)  child custody proceedings under T.C.A. §§ 36-6-101, et seq., 36-6-201, et seq., and 37-1-104(a)(2) and (e);

(E)  grandparent visitation proceedings pursuant to T.C.A. § 36-6-306; and

(F)  civil contempt pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 29-9-104 and 105.

(4)  The procedures employed in general sessions court under the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure shall govern the following proceedings:

(A)  child abuse prosecutions, pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 37-1-412 and 39-15-401;

(B)  nonsupport of children pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-15-101, et. seq.;

(C)  contributing to the delinquency or unruly behavior of a child, pursuant to T.C.A. § 37-1-156;

(D)  contributing to the dependency and neglect of a child, pursuant to T.C.A. § 37-1-157;

(E)  offenses involving adultsarising under T.C.A. § 49-6-3001, et. seq.; and

(F)  criminal contempt pursuant to T.C.A. § 29-9-102.

(5)  The Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court shall govern proceedings under T.C.A. §§ 37-10-303 and 304.

(d)  Purpose and Construction.  These rules are designed to implement the purposes of the juvenile court as expressed in T.C.A. § 37-1-101 by providing speedy and inexpensive procedures for the hearing of juvenile cases that assure fairness and equity and that protect the rights and interests of all parties; by promoting uniformity in practice and procedure; and by providing guidance to judges, magistrates, attorneys, parties, youth services and probation officers, and others participating in the juvenile court.

Advisory Commission Comments.

These rules are promulgated pursuant to statutory authority granting rule-making power to the Supreme Court. They are intended to provide a simple and practical means of operating in juvenile court in a manner which will adequately implement the law.

These rules are not comprehensive. For example, they do not provide specific procedures for proceedings for the transfer between Tennessee and another state of children found to be delinquent, unruly, or dependent and neglected, for disposition as provided in T.C.A. §§ 37-1-141 — 37-1-144; nor do they deal with proceedings under the Interstate Juvenile Compact as found at T.C.A. §§ 37-4-101 — 37-4-106; with proceedings under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children as found at T.C.A. §§ 37-4-201, 37-4-202; with proceedings in which children seek to obtain judicial consent to marriage, employment, or enlistment in the armed services; nor with special medical proceedings pursuant to T.C.A. § 33-8-301, et. seq. It is intended that these rules be applied in every instance in which they address the procedure involved. If they do not expressly or by clear implication relate to the procedure in question, then existing law is to be applied.

The Commission recommends that local juvenile courts adopt their own written rules consistent with these rules and with relevant statutory and case law, to cover particular circumstances not presently addressed by these rules. Examples of areas which might be addressed by local rules are suggested in the comments to these rules.

Rule 1.01(c) identifies the proceedings not covered by these rules and denotes the statutes or rules that are applicable to each type of proceeding.

The 2016 amendments revised and re-ordered the rules, dividing them into four sections: (1) general, (2) delinquent and unruly, (3) dependent and neglected, and (4) foster care.