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Paternity Testing Information for the State of Tennessee (TN)

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The Tennessee Statute

24-7-112. Tests to determine parentage

(3) In any civil or criminal proceedings pursuant to this section, the tests ordered shall be conducted by an accredited laboratory. In the case of genetic tests, and at such time as the secretary of health and human services designates accreditation entities which acknowledge the reliability of types of genetic tests used in the establishment of paternity, such genetic tests shall be of the type which are generally acknowledged as reliable by accreditation entities designated by the secretary, and the genetic tests shall be performed by a laboratory approved by such a designated accreditation entity.

 

(4) The results of such tests and comparisons which are ordered pursuant to this section, including the statistical likelihood of the alleged parent's parentage, if available, may be admitted into evidence as provided in subsection (b).

 

(b) Upon receiving the results of the tests and comparisons conducted pursuant to subsection (a), the court shall proceed as follows:

 

(1) (A) Either party may request an additional parentage test upon the advanced payment of the costs of the additional parentage test. If the additional tests are requested by the department of human services, its contractors or any state agency, the costs of such additional tests shall be paid for upon being billed for such by the testing agent and may be recovered by those entities in any parentage proceeding from the person established as parent of the child.

 

(B) (i) If the results of the first test exclude paternity and the second test also exclude paternity, or, if the initial test results are negative on the issue of paternity establishment and no second test is requested, this shall be conclusive evidence of non-paternity and the action shall be dismissed.

 

(ii) If the results of the first test establish paternity and the second test again establishes a positive statistical probability of parentage as described in subdivision (b)(2)(B) or (C), the positive test results with the greater positive probability of parentage shall be definitive for purposes of the application of the appropriate evidentiary standards relative to the presumptions and the defenses available in subdivision (b)(2).

 

(iii) If the results of the second test are different from the first test in their outcome relative to the exclusion or establishment of paternity, the court, or the department in appropriate cases, may order a third test, or the court may make a determination between the accuracy of the previous two (2) tests for purposes of determining paternity.

 

(C) The results of any tests which may exclude a person as the father shall not preclude the initiation of a new paternity action involving another putative father or by a putative father against a mother to establish his paternity.

 

(2) (A) In any proceeding where the paternity of an individual is at issue, the written report of blood, genetic, or DNA test results by the testing agent concerning the paternity is admissible without the need for any foundation testimony or other proof of the authenticity or accuracy of the test unless a written objection is filed with the court and served upon all parties thirty (30) days prior to the date of the hearing. For purposes of this section, service shall be deemed made upon the date of mailing.

 

(B) A rebuttable presumption of the paternity of an individual is established by blood, genetic, or DNA testing showing a statistical probability of paternity of that individual at ninety-five percent (95%) or greater. In such event, the case shall be tried before the court without a jury regarding the issue of paternity without the evidentiary limitations of subdivision (b)(2)(C).

 

(C) When the results of blood, genetic or DNA tests show a statistical probability that a man is the father of the child in question by a statistical probability of ninety-nine (99%) or greater, the putative father may only attempt to rebut his paternity of the child by filing a motion with the tribunal and establishing upon clear and convincing evidence one (1) or more of only the following circumstances:

 

(i) The putative father had undergone a medical sterilization procedure prior to the probable period of conception, or other medical evidence demonstrates that he was medically incapable of conceiving a child during the probable period of conception;

 

(ii) That the putative father had no access to the child's mother during the probable period of conception;

 

(iii) That the putative father has, or had, an identical twin who had sexual relations with the child's mother during the probable period of conception; or

 

(iv) The putative father presents evidence in the form of an affidavit that another man has engaged in sexual relations with the mother of the child in question during the period of probable conception. In this case, the court shall order genetic testing of that other man in conformity with this section. The results of that genetic test must indicate that the other man has a statistical probability of paternity of ninety-five (95%) or greater to establish an effective defense pursuant to this subdivision.

 

(D) (i) If, after test results showing a statistical probability of ninety-nine (99%) or greater, the putative father is able to show by clear and convincing evidence to the court that one (1) of the enumerated defenses in subdivision (b)(2)(C) is present, the matter shall be set for trial before the court without a jury.

 

(ii) If the putative father does not raise one (1) of the enumerated defenses in subdivision (b)(2)(C) or does not establish by clear and convincing evidence that one (1) of the enumerated defenses in subdivision (b)(2)(C) is present after test results showing a statistical probability of paternity of ninety-nine (99%) or greater, the court shall, upon motion by the other party, establish that individual as the father of the child in question, and shall order child support as required by the provisions of title 36, chapter 5.


This information is provided for reference only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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