Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 29: Remedies and Special Proceedings

Chapter 13: Criminal Injuries Compensation

Part 1: General Provisions

TCA 29-13-111: Manner of payment -- Exemption from execution or attachment.

(a) Upon acceptance of a settlement offer by a claimant or receipt of an order by the commission, the division shall, without further authorization, and subject to available funds, pay the claimant the amount, and in the manner determined appropriate. Such payment shall be made from the fund as set forth in SC 29-13-116.

(b) All payments shall be made in a lump sum, except for those claims involving death or protracted disability, for which periodic payment of compensation may be awarded for the loss of earnings or support.

(c) If the claimant is a minor, or is incompetent, payment shall be ordered to a relative or legal guardian. In such situations, the payee shall submit a plan for the disbursement of all funds for the benefit of the claimant as will best promote the interest of the claimant. Such plan shall be submitted at the time a claim for compensation is filed. Thereafter, should the payee choose to alter or amend the terms of the plan, the payee shall file a petition with the division setting out the nature of the proposed amendment or alteration and the reasons therefor. If the division determines that the requested amendment or alteration is in the best interest of the claimant, the division is authorized to approve such amendment or alteration. If the division is unable to make such a determination, the petition shall be submitted to the commission for its consideration. In the event the payee attempts to alter or amend the terms of the plan without filing such petition, the payee is liable for all amounts expended contrary to the provisions of the approved plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the division or the commission has the discretion to turn over compensation awarded to a minor to the juvenile court pursuant to part 3 of this chapter, to be placed in an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the minor.

(d) (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this part to the contrary, if the claimant has outstanding health care, funeral or burial expenses resulting from the injury or death which was the basis of the claim and if any compensation remains after making provision for the payment of all other eligible losses and expenses to the claimant, the division or commission may, in their discretion, make the remaining compensation payable to the health care or funeral provider.

(2) Where multiple health care or funeral providers exist and the remaining compensation is inadequate to pay the entire indebtedness, the division or commission may divide the remaining compensation equally among the providers or, in the division or commission's discretion, apportion the remaining compensation among the providers in accordance with the claimant's instructions.

(3) Nothing in this subsection (d) shall be construed to increase the maximum amount that may otherwise be awarded under SC 29-13-107(7).

(e) (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (e)(2) and (3), no award pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to execution or attachment other than for expenses resulting from the injury or death which is the basis of the claim.

(2) If any claimant is entitled to direct compensation pursuant to this chapter and is in arrears with regard to child support payments, the department of human services shall, without further order by the court, attach a lien to any award of compensation such child support obligor receives from the criminal injuries compensation funds in order to satisfy such arrearage; however, a lien shall not apply to awards made by the division directly to service providers pursuant to subsection (d). The division shall periodically notify the department of human services of claims that have been filed. Upon notice from the division, it shall be the department of human services' responsibility to then notify the division of a lien attaching to a claim for payment of child support arrearage. This subsection (e) shall be effective for decisions made on or after July 1, 2012.

(3) If any minor claimant is entitled to direct compensation pursuant to this chapter and a trust fund has been established for the minor claimant in accordance with part 3 of this chapter, the juvenile court clerk may, without further order of the court, withhold any funds within the trust for the purpose of paying court costs, fines, fees, or restitutions resulting from the minor beneficiary's actions pending in juvenile court.

History: Acts 1976, ch. 736, SC 11; T.C.A., SCSC 23-3511, 23-35-111; Acts 1986, ch. 911, SC 3; 1987, ch. 110, SC 2; 1989, ch. 129, SCSC 17-19; 1993, ch. 494, SCSC 11, 21; 1995, ch. 490, SC 1; 2008, ch. 1043, SC 5; 2012, ch. 894, SC 1; 2013, ch. 324, SC 2.