Skip to main content

Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)

Law Enforcement Records

Reference Number: MTAS-440
Reviewed Date: 06/24/2022

While law enforcement records are generally open to public inspection, exceptions have been enacted to safeguard certain law enforcement records. Some of the exceptions include:

  • Tenn. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(2) which provides that all records related to an ongoing criminal investigation or prosecution may be maintained as confidential until the conclusion of the criminal action. Tennessean v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, 485 S.W. 3d 857 (Tenn. 2016) and Schneider v. City of Jackson, 226 S.W. 3d 332 (Tenn. 2007).
  • T.C.A. § 10-7-504(t) provides that when a minor is the victim of a criminal offense, the minor’s name, unless a parent or guardian waives confidentiality of the name, home, work and electronic mail address, telephone numbers, Social Security number, any photo or video depiction of the minor, and whether the defendant is related to the minor, unless the relationship is an essential element of the offense, is confidential.
  • T.C.A. § 10-7-504(u) makes the recordings from body-worn cameras that capture minors inside of a child care agency, as defined in § 71-3-501, child care program, as defined in § 49-1-1102, preschool, nursery school or school that serves any grades from K-12, the inside of a facility licensed under Title 33 or Title 68, or the interior of a private residence that is not being investigated as part of a crime scene confidential.
  • T.C.A. § 37-1-154 makes the law enforcement records related to a juvenile whose case will be prosecuted in juvenile court confidential.