Destruction of and Tampering with Governmental Records

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Pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-16-504, it is unlawful for any person to:

  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.

A violation of this section is a Class E felony.  T.C.A. § 39-16-504(b).  See State v. Chumbley, 2007 WL 1774250 (Tenn.Crim.App. 2007) (jail administrator convicted of official misconduct and destruction of and tampering with governmental records).  See also Op. Tenn. Atty. Gen. 03-057 (May 1, 2003) (if a register of deeds determines that a recorded deed was not entitled to registration, the register is not authorized to remove the recorded deed but may record an instrument stating that the deed in question was not entitled to registration).