2010 Tennessee Code
Title 24 - Evidence And Witnesses
Chapter 1 - Witnesses and Privileged Communications
Part 2 - Privileged Communications
24-1-208 - Persons gathering information for publication or broadcast Disclosure.

24-1-208. Persons gathering information for publication or broadcast Disclosure.

(a)  A person engaged in gathering information for publication or broadcast connected with or employed by the news media or press, or who is independently engaged in gathering information for publication or broadcast, shall not be required by a court, a grand jury, the general assembly, or any administrative body, to disclose before the general assembly or any Tennessee court, grand jury, agency, department, or commission any information or the source of any information procured for publication or broadcast.

(b)  Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to the source of any allegedly defamatory information in any case where the defendant in a civil action for defamation asserts a defense based on the source of such information.

(c)  (1)  Any person seeking information or the source thereof protected under this section may apply for an order divesting such protection. Such application shall be made to the judge of the court having jurisdiction over the hearing, action or other proceeding in which the information sought is pending.

     (2)  The application shall be granted only if the court after hearing the parties determines that the person seeking the information has shown by clear and convincing evidence that:

          (A)  There is probable cause to believe that the person from whom the information is sought has information which is clearly relevant to a specific probable violation of law;

          (B)  The person has demonstrated that the information sought cannot reasonably be obtained by alternative means; and

          (C)  The person has demonstrated a compelling and overriding public interest of the people of the state of Tennessee in the information.

     (3)  (A)  Any order of the trial court may be appealed to the court of appeals in the same manner as other civil cases. The court of appeals shall make an independent determination of the applicability of the standards in this subsection to the facts in the record and shall not accord a presumption of correctness to the trial court's findings.

          (B)  The execution of or any proceeding to enforce a judgment divesting the protection of this section shall be stayed pending appeal upon the timely filing of a notice of appeal in accordance with Rule 3 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the appeal shall be expedited upon the docket of the court of appeals upon the application of either party.

          (C)  Any order of the court of appeals may be appealed to the supreme court of Tennessee as provided by law.

[Acts 1973, ch. 27, §§ 1-3; T.C.A, § 24-11324-115; Acts 1988, ch. 803, §§ 1, 2.]  

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