2010 Tennessee Code
Title 24 - Evidence And Witnesses
Chapter 1 - Witnesses and Privileged Communications
Part 2 - Privileged Communications
24-1-201 - Husband and wife.

24-1-201. Husband and wife.

(a)  In either a civil or criminal proceeding, no married person has privilege to refuse to take the witness stand solely because that person's spouse is a party to the proceeding.

(b)  In a civil proceeding, confidential communications between married persons are privileged and inadmissible if either spouse objects. This communications privilege shall not apply to proceedings between spouses or to proceedings concerning abuse of one (1) of the spouses or abuse of a minor in the custody of or under the dominion and control of either spouse, including, but not limited to, proceedings arising under title 36, chapter 1, part 1; title 37, chapter 1, parts 1, 4 and 6; title 37, chapter 2, part 4; and title 71, chapter 6, part 1. This confidential communications privilege shall not apply to any insured's obligations under a contract of insurance in civil proceedings.

(c)  (1)  In a criminal proceeding a marital confidential communication shall be privileged if:

          (A)  The communications originated in a confidence that they will not be disclosed;

          (B)  The element of confidentiality is essential to the full and satisfactory maintenance of the relation between the parties;

          (C)  The relation must be one which, in the opinion of the community, ought to be sedulously fostered; and

          (D)  The injury to the relation by disclosure of the communications outweighs the benefit gained for the correct disposal of litigation.

     (2)  Upon a finding that a marital communication is privileged, it shall be inadmissible if either spouse objects. Such communication privileges shall not apply to proceedings concerning abuse of one (1) of the spouses or abuse of a minor in the custody of or under the dominion and control of either spouse, including, but not limited to proceedings arising under title 37, chapter 1, parts 1 and 4; title 37, chapter 2, part 4; and title 71, chapter 6, part 1.

[Acts 1867-1868, ch. 75, § 1; 1868-1869, ch. 7, § 1; 1869-1870, ch. 19, § 2; 1869-1870, ch. 78; 1879, ch. 200, § 1; Shan., § 5596; Code 1932, § 9777; Acts 1949, ch. 55, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 9777; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 24-103; Acts 1995, ch. 53, § 1; 2000, ch. 831, §§ 1, 2.]  

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