• (a) It is unlawful for any person to:

    • Terms Used In Tennessee Code 39-16-504

      • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
      • Government: means the state or any political subdivision of the state, and includes any branch or agency of the state, a county, municipality or other political subdivision. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106
      • Governmental record: means anything:

        • (A) Belonging to, received or kept by the government for information. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106

        • Obtain: includes , but is not limited to, the taking, carrying away or the sale, conveyance or transfer of title to or interest in or possession of property, and includes, but is not limited to, conduct known as larceny, larceny by trick, larceny by conversion, embezzlement, extortion or obtaining property by false pretenses. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106
        • Person: includes the singular and the plural and means and includes any individual, firm, partnership, copartnership, association, corporation, governmental subdivision or agency, or other organization or other legal entity, or any agent or servant thereof. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106
        • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in a perceivable form. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
        • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

      (1) Knowingly make a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;

    • (2) Make, present, or use any record, document or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it will be taken as a genuine governmental record; or

    • (3) Intentionally and unlawfully destroy, conceal, remove or otherwise impair the verity, legibility or availability of a governmental record.

  • (b) A violation of this section is a Class E felony.

  • (c)

    • (1) Upon notification from any public official having custody of government records, including those created by municipal, county or state government agencies, that records have been unlawfully removed from a government records office, appropriate legal action may be taken by the city attorney, county attorney or attorney general, as the case may be, to obtain a warrant for possession of any public records which have been unlawfully transferred or removed in violation of this section.

    • (2) The records shall be returned to the office of origin immediately after safeguards are established to prevent further recurrence of unlawful transfer or removal.