It Aint Over Till It’s Over… Save Home Studios Lawsuit Makes It to TN Supreme Court!

Edit: The court hearing went great! Now we wait for the ruling…

New Home Business Occupancy Ordinance:

In July 2020 Music City finally made home studios and other home businesses legal. The Metro Council voted to adopt a d new version of the home business bill that would allow residents to serve customers at their homes. For businesses like home recording studios, this was a huge win since recording a local musician with a microphone requires inviting that artist over to the home studio to work. And this of course applies to all sorts of home businesses like piano lessons, hair styling, braiding, school tutoring, etc. We need customers to make a living.

But the win in 2020 didn’t come without a caveat… Metro Council included a provision called a sunset clause that would cause the bill to expire three years later unless they vote to keep the law active in January 2023. If the council votes yes to continue the new law in 2023 then it will become a permanent law and home Nashville residents will be able to continue to work from home if they choose. But if the council votes no in 2023 then the new home business ordinance will expire and will revert back to the original law which will make home recording studios and other home businesses illegal again in Music City.

Our Lawsuit Against Nashville Metro:

In 2017 I filed a lawsuit against Nashville Metro (with co-plaintiff Pat Raynor, a semi-retired self-employed hairdresser, and the help of The Institute For Justice, and The Beacon Center of TN) to defend our constitutional right to work from our home. We lost our first hearing in the Chancery Court of Nashville.

Because the new home business law passed in 2020 but set to expire in 2023 only created a temporary solution for residents of Nashville, we chose to continue our lawsuit beyond the local Chancery court, and take it all the way to the top. Next, we went to the TN Appellate courts where the judge once again ruled in favor of Metro disregarding the indisputable facts that we have a right to work from home especially when we cause no harm to our neighbors. But we have finally made it all the way to the top!

On January 26 our case will be heard by the TN Supreme Court which means that they consider our case to be worthy of a new hearing and that the previous judgments are up for debate. This is a huge opportunity for me and for all of Nashville to support themselves at a time when it’s critical for anyone to be able to work from home if they wish.

Wish us luck and a compelling argument!


Lij Shaw

Fox 17 did a nice news piece on this:

If you would like to watch the court hearing live please join us at this link: Livestream: Elijah “Lij” Shaw Et Al. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County – YouTube