Knowledgebase-Solicitation Roadblocks


Information Product

Title:Solicitation Roadblocks
Summary:MTAS was asked whether the new law on solicitation roadblocks immunizes municipalities from accidents occurring as a result of solicitation roadblocks.
Original Author:Hemsley, Sid
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:06/22/93
Last Reviewed on::05/18/2017
Subject:Governmental tort liability; Solicitations--Charitable organizations--Tennessee; Liability; Traffic--Laws and regulations
Type:Legal Opinion
Legal Opinion:

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: June 22, 1993

Your question is, does the new law on solicitation roadblocks immunize municipalities from accidents occurring as a result of solicitation roadblocks?
The answer is yes.

Tennessee Code Annotated, 39-17-307 makes it an offense to obstruct a highway, street, etc. Public Acts 1993, Chapter 148 amended that statute to permit solicitation roadblocks by charitable organizations under certain conditions outlined in the Act, including obtaining a permit from the administrative head of the local law enforcement agency.

But paragraph (d)(3) of the law also provides that, "No liability for any accident or occurrence which arises from such solicitations shall attach to the sheriff or government involved in issuing the permit, but shall be borne solely by the organization obtaining the permit." That section appears to completely immunize municipal governments from accidents arising from solicitation roadblocks.

Conceivably, that language might be in conflict with provisions of the Tennessee Tort Liability Act, specifically sections 29-20-203 and 29-20-205. However, that is not likely given the language of those provisions and the judicial interpretations given to them.

Sincerely,

Sidney D. Hemsley
Senior Law Consultant
SDH/

Please remember that these legal opinions were written based on the facts of a given city at a certain time. The laws referenced in any opinion may have changed or may not be applicable to your city or circumstances.

Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information contained in this database.