CHAPTER NO. 1087

HOUSE BILL NO. 3349

By Representative Chumney

Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 3336

By Senator Harper

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 36, Chapter 6, relative to parental rights.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 36, Chapter 6, is amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated part:

(a) Except when the juvenile court or other appropriate court finds it not to be in the best interests of the affected child, upon petition by a non-custodial, biological parent for whom parental rights have not been terminated, the court shall grant the following parental rights:

(1) The right to unimpeded telephone conversations with the child at least twice a week at reasonable times and for reasonable durations;

(2) The right to send mail to the child which the custodial parent or guardian shall not open or censor;

(3) The right to receive notice and relevant information as soon as practicable but within twenty-four (24) hours of any event of hospitalization, major illness or death of the child;

(4) The right to receive directly from the child's school, (upon written request which includes a current mailing address and upon payment of reasonable costs of duplication), copies of the child's report cards, attendance records, names of teachers, class schedules, standardized test scores and any other records customarily made available to parents;

(5) The right to receive copies of the child's medical records directly from the child's doctor or other health care provider, (upon written request which contains a current mailing address and upon payment of reasonable costs of duplication);

(6) The right to be free of unwarranted derogatory remarks about the non-custodial, biological parent, or such parent's family, made by the custodial parent or guardian to or in the presence of the child;

(7) Any of the foregoing rights may be denied in whole or in part by the court upon a showing that such denial is in the best interests of the child.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.

PASSED:

May 1, 1998

APPROVED this 19th day of May 1998