Thanks to some very famous people who had serious stalkers back in the 1990s all states have some for of anti-stalking laws.

Anti-stalking laws are in place to address the specific crimes of stalking and the related crimes that often come up.

However, due to the manipulative, deceptive nature of stalking prosecuting stalking cases is very difficult even in states with more stringent anti-stalking laws. In some cases, prosecuting for a related crime may be easier than prosecuting for stalking, depending on how clear the legislation is where you live.

Legal Action and Legal Statutes for Stalking Cases

In states where the anti-stalking laws are more lenient, meaning the penalties are misdemeanors versus felonies or have shorter sentences it may be even tougher to get any prosecutions out of your case.

In either scenario, whether you reside in a state with stringent anti-stalking laws or lenient anti-stalking laws there is a good change your stalker will be guilt of other crimes that can be treated separately from the stalking issue.

Some of these other crimes include:

  • burglary
  • theft
  • vandalism
  • trespassing
  • harrasment
  • identity theft
  • assault
  • assault with intent to harm
  • attempted murder

Each one of these carries their own burden of proof requirements, sentencing and legal processes necessary to successfully navigate the legal system to result in a conviction of your stalker.

What we have done is put together the research we have found on all the 50 states with some pretty pictures, links and resources to help you to be armed with information you will need to take your case the next step with your stalker.

For example:

Say you have a stalker that hacks into your home network on a regular basis. You may data that shows this you may not. You may have assistance from your ISP or they may get all sketchy on you and deny anything for fear of liability reasons or not. have some images, you may not.

You may even get pictures or video of them doing this. My point is, if the burden of proof is not beyond a doubt that it is a specific person, you may be facing an impossible case for stalking.

However, if you have pictures of people in the act of any related crime such as: vandalism, attempted burglary, or burglary you may have a case for those crimes but not necessarily for the stalking.

Be strategic in your thinking. Know what battles to pick. Pick a strategy to win…  something.

Anti-Stalking Laws in the Northeast

This is the first article in a series which walks through the anti-stalking laws in all 50 states. We are starting with the southern states and will work our way through the rest.

There are both civil and criminal anti-stalking laws. Stalking is illegal in all 50 states but the legal remedies are different in all states. Some states only have civil measures against stalking.

Some states have both and additional legal measures to address stalking and related crimes.

This is LONG but worthwhile if you need the information. Here are easy navigation links to find your state quickly.

Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont

Here is the Breakdown for the Southeast. *Data and Legal information comes from the stalking section of the victimsofcrime.org web site.*

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181c. Stalking in the first degree: Class D felony. (2012)

(a) A person is guilty of stalking in the first degree when such person commits stalking in the second degree as provided in section 53a-181d, as amended by this act, and (1) such person has previously been convicted of a violation of section 53a-181d, as amended by this act, or (2) such conduct violates a court order in effect at the time of the offense, or (3) the other person is under sixteen years of age.

(b) Stalking in the first degree is a class D felony.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181d. Stalking in the second degree: Class A misdemeanor. (2012)

(a) For the purposes of this section, “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which a person directly, indirectly or through a third party, by any action, method, device or means, including, but not limited to, electronic or social media, (1) follows, lies in wait for, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, harasses, communicates with or sends unwanted gifts to, a person, or (2) interferes with a person’s property, and “emotional distress” means significant mental or psychological suffering or distress that may or may not require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(b) A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when:

(1) Such person knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for such person’s physical safety or the physical safety of a third person; or

(2) Such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear that such person’s employment, business or career is threatened, where (A) such conduct consists of the actor telephoning to, appearing at or initiating communication or contact at such other person’s place of employment or business, provided the actor was previously and clearly informed to cease such conduct, and (B) such conduct does not consist of constitutionally protected activity.

(c) Stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181e. Stalking in the third degree: Class B misdemeanor. (1995)

(a) A person is guilty of stalking in the third degree when such person recklessly causes another person to reasonably (1) fear for his or her physical safety, or (2) suffer emotional distress, as defined in section 53a-181d, as amended by this act, by wilfully and repeatedly following or lying in wait for such other person.

(b) Stalking in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor.

Sec. 53a-181f. Electronic stalking: Class B misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of electronic stalking when such person recklessly causes another person to reasonably fear for his or her physical safety by willfully and repeatedly using a global positioning system or similar electronic monitoring system to remotely determine or track the position or movement of such other person.

(b) Electronic stalking is a class B misdemeanor.

Delaware

11 Del. C. § 1312. Stalking; class G felony, class F felony, class C felony. (2008)

(a) A person is guilty of stalking when the person knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person and that conduct would cause a reasonable person to:

(1) Fear physical injury to himself or herself or that of another person; or

(2) Suffer other significant mental anguish or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(b) A violation of subsection (a) of this section is a class G felony.

(c) Stalking is a class F felony if a person is guilty of stalking and 1 or more of the following exists:

(1) The person is age 21 or older and the victim is under the age of 14; or

(2) The person violated any order prohibiting contact with the victim; or

(3) The victim is age 62 years of age or older; or

(4) The course of conduct includes a threat of death or threat of serious physical injury to the victim, or to another person; or

(5) The person causes physical injury to the victim.

(d) Stalking is a class C felony if the person is guilty of stalking and 1 or more of the following exists:

(1) The person possesses a deadly weapon during any act; or

(2) The person causes serious physical injury to the victim.

(e) Definitions. — The following terms shall have the following meaning as used in this section:

(1) “Course of conduct” means 3 or more separate incidents, including, but not limited to, acts in which the person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveys, threatens, or communicates to or about another, or interferes with, jeopardizes, damages, or disrupts another’s daily activities, property, employment, business, career, education, or medical care. A conviction is not required for any predicate act relied upon to establish a course of conduct. A conviction for any predicate act relied upon to establish a course of conduct does not preclude prosecution under this section. Prosecution under this section does not preclude prosecution under any other section of the Code.

(2) “A reasonable person” means a reasonable person in the victim’s circumstances.

(f) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of § 4205 of this title, any person who commits the crime of stalking by engaging in a course of conduct which includes any act or acts which have previously been prohibited by a then-existing court order or sentence shall receive a minimum sentence of 6 months incarceration at Level V. The first 6 months of said period of incarceration shall not be subject to suspension.

(g) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of § 4205 of this title, any person who is convicted of stalking within 5 years of a prior conviction of stalking shall receive a minimum sentence of 1 year incarceration at Level V. The first year of said period of incarceration shall not be subject to suspension.

(h) In any prosecution under this law, it shall not be a defense that the perpetrator was not given actual notice that the course of conduct was unwanted; or that the perpetrator did not intend to cause the victim fear or other emotional distress.

(i) In any prosecution under this section, it is an affirmative defense that the person charged was engaged in lawful picketing.

(j) This section shall not apply to conduct which occurs in furtherance of legitimate activities of law-enforcement, private investigators, security officers or private detectives as those activities are defined in Chapter 13 of Title 24.

District of Columbia

D.C. Code § 22-3131. Legislative Intent. (was § 22-501) (2009)

(a) The Council finds that stalking is a serious problem in this city and nationwide. Stalking involves severe intrusions on the victim’s personal privacy and autonomy. It is a crime that can have a long-lasting impact on the victim’s quality of life, and creates risks to the security and safety of the victim and others, even in the absence of express threats of physical harm. Stalking conduct often becomes increasingly violent over time. The Council recognizes the dangerous nature of stalking as well as the strong connections between stalking and domestic violence and between stalking and sexual assault. Therefore, the Council enacts this law to encourage effective intervention by the criminal justice system before stalking escalates into behavior that has even more serious or lethal consequences.

(b) The Council enacts this stalking statute to permit the criminal justice system to hold stalkers accountable for a wide range of acts, communications, and conduct. The Council recognizes that stalking includes, but is not limited to, a pattern of following or monitoring the victim, or committing violent or intimidating acts against the victim, regardless of the means.

D.C. Code § 22-3132. Definitions. (was § 22-502) (2009)

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Any device” means electronic, mechanical, digital or any other equipment, including: a camera, spycam, computer, spyware, microphone, audio or video recorder, global positioning system, electronic monitoring system, listening device, night-vision goggles, binoculars, telescope, or spyglass.

(2) “Any means” includes the use of a telephone, mail, delivery service, e-mail, website, or other method of communication or any device.

(3) “Communicating” means using oral or written language, photographs, pictures, signs, symbols, gestures, or other acts or objects that are intended to convey a message.

(4) “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(5) “Financial injury” means the monetary costs, debts, or obligations incurred as a result of the stalking by the specific individual, member of the specific individual’s household, a person whose safety is threatened by the stalking, or a person who is financially responsible for the specific individual and includes:

(A) The costs of replacing or repairing any property that was taken or damaged;

(B) The costs of clearing the specific individual’s name or his or her credit, criminal, or any other official record;

(C) Medical bills;

(D) Relocation expenses;

(E) Lost employment or wages; and

(F) Attorney’s fees.

(6) “Personal identifying information” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 22-3227.01 (3).

(7) “Specific individual” or “individual” means the victim or alleged victim of stalking.

(8) “To engage in a course of conduct” means directly or indirectly, or through one or more third persons, in person or by any means, on 2 or more occasions, to:

(A) Follow, monitor, place under surveillance, threaten, or communicate to or about another individual;

(B) Interfere with, damage, take, or unlawfully enter an individual’s real or personal property or threaten or attempt to do so; or

(C) Use another individual’s personal identifying information.

D.C. Code § 22-3133. Stalking. (was § 22-503) (2009)

(a) It is unlawful for a person to purposefully engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual:

(1) With the intent to cause that individual to:

(A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

(B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

(C) Suffer emotional distress;

(2) That the person knows would cause that individual reasonably to:

(A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

(B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

(C) Suffer emotional distress; or

(3) That the person should have known would cause a reasonable person in the individual’s circumstances to:

(A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;

(B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or

(C) Suffer emotional distress.

(b) This section does not apply to constitutionally protected activity.

(c) Where a single act is of a continuing nature, each 24-hour period constitutes a separate occasion.

(d) The conduct on each of the occasions need not be the same as it is on the others.

D.C. Code § 22-3132. Penalties. (was § 22-504) (2009)

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a person who violates § 22-3133 shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned for not more than 12 months, or both.

(b) A person who violates § 22-3133 shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, if the person:

(1) At the time, was subject to a court, parole, or supervised release order prohibiting contact with the specific individual;

(2) Has one prior conviction in any jurisdiction of stalking any person within the previous 10 years;

(3) At the time, was at least 4 years older than the specific individual and the specific individual was less than 18 years of age; or

(4) Caused more than $ 2,500 in financial injury

(c) A person who violates § 22-3133 shall be fined not more than $25,000, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the person has 2 or more prior convictions in any jurisdiction for stalking any person, at lease one of which was for a jury demandable offense.

(d) A person shall not be sentenced consecutively for stalking and identify theft based on the same act or course of conduct.

D.C.Code § 22-3135. Jurisdiction. (was 22-50) (2009)

(a) An offense shall be deemed to be committed in the District of Columbia if the conduct on at least one occasion was initiated in the District of Columbia or had an effect on the specific individual in the District of Columbia.

(b) A communication shall be deemed to be committed in the District of Columbia if it is made or received in the District of Columbia or, if the specific individual lives in the District of Columbia, it can be electronically accessed in the District of Columbia.

Maine

17-A M.R. § 210-A. Stalking. (2009)

1. A person is guilty of stalking if:

A. The actor intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at or concerning a specific person that would cause a reasonable person:

(1) To suffer serious inconvenience or emotional distress;

(2) To fear bodily injury or to fear bodily injury to a close relation;

(3) To fear death or to fear the death of a close relation;

(4) To fear damage or destruction to or tampering with property; or

(5) To fear injury to or the death of an animal owned by or in the possession and control of that specific person.

Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or

B. Deleted. Laws 2001, c. 383, § 12, eff. Jan. 31, 2003.

C. The actor violates paragraph A and has one or more prior convictions in this State or another jurisdiction. Notwithstanding section 2, subsection 3-B, as used in this paragraph, “another jurisdiction” also includes any Indian tribe. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime. In determining the sentence for a violation of this paragraph the court shall impose a sentencing alternative pursuant to section 1152 that includes a term of imprisonment. In determining the basic term of imprisonment as the first step in the sentencing process, the court shall select a term of at least one year. For the purposes of this paragraph, “prior conviction” means a conviction for a violation of this section; Title 5, section 4659; Title 15, section 321; former Title 19, section 769; Title 19-A, section 4011; Title 22, section 4036; any other temporary, emergency, interim or final protective order; an order of a tribal court of the Passamaquoddy Tribe or the Penobscot Nation; any similar order issued by any court of the United States or of any other state, territory, commonwealth or tribe; or a court-approved consent agreement. Section 9-A governs the use of prior convictions when determining a sentence;

D. The actor violates paragraph A and the course of conduct is directed at or concerning 2 or more specific persons that are members of an identifiable group.

Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime; or

E. The actor violates paragraph C and at least one prior conviction was for a violation of paragraph D.
Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime. In determining the sentence for a violation of this paragraph the court shall impose a sentencing alternative pursuant to section 1152 that includes a term of imprisonment. In determining the basic term of imprisonment as the first step in the sentencing process, the court shall select a term of at least 2 years.

2. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Course of conduct” means 2 or more acts, including but not limited to acts in which the actor, by any action, method, device or means, directly or indirectly follows, monitors, tracks, observes, surveils, threatens, harasses or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property. “Course of conduct” also includes, but is not limited to, threats implied by conduct and gaining unauthorized access to personal, medical, financial or other identifying or confidential information.

B. “Close relation” means a current or former spouse or domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, stepchild, stepparent, grandparent, any person who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior 6 months regularly resided in the household or any person with a significant personal or professional relationship.

C. Deleted. Laws 2007, c. 685, §1

D. “Emotional distress” means mental or emotional suffering of the person being stalked as evidenced by anxiety, fear, torment or apprehension that may or may not result in a physical manifestation of emotional distress or a mental health diagnosis.

E. “Serious inconvenience” means that a person significantly modifies that person’s actions or routines in an attempt to avoid the actor or because of the actor’s course of conduct. “Serious inconvenience” includes, but is not limited to, changing a phone number, changing an electronic mail address, moving from an established residence, changing daily routines, changing routes to and from work, changing employment or work schedule or losing time from work or a job.

3. REPEALED. Laws 2001, c. 383, §156 (AFF); 2001, c. 383, §13

Massachusetts

17-A M.R. § 210-A. Stalking. (2009)

1. A person is guilty of stalking if:

A. The actor intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at or concerning a specific person that would cause a reasonable person:

(1) To suffer serious inconvenience or emotional distress;

(2) To fear bodily injury or to fear bodily injury to a close relation;

(3) To fear death or to fear the death of a close relation;

(4) To fear damage or destruction to or tampering with property; or

(5) To fear injury to or the death of an animal owned by or in the possession and control of that specific person.

Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or

B. Deleted. Laws 2001, c. 383, § 12, eff. Jan. 31, 2003.

C. The actor violates paragraph A and has one or more prior convictions in this State or another jurisdiction. Notwithstanding section 2, subsection 3-B, as used in this paragraph, “another jurisdiction” also includes any Indian tribe. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime. In determining the sentence for a violation of this paragraph the court shall impose a sentencing alternative pursuant to section 1152 that includes a term of imprisonment. In determining the basic term of imprisonment as the first step in the sentencing process, the court shall select a term of at least one year. For the purposes of this paragraph, “prior conviction” means a conviction for a violation of this section; Title 5, section 4659; Title 15, section 321; former Title 19, section 769; Title 19-A, section 4011; Title 22, section 4036; any other temporary, emergency, interim or final protective order; an order of a tribal court of the Passamaquoddy Tribe or the Penobscot Nation; any similar order issued by any court of the United States or of any other state, territory, commonwealth or tribe; or a court-approved consent agreement. Section 9-A governs the use of prior convictions when determining a sentence;

D. The actor violates paragraph A and the course of conduct is directed at or concerning 2 or more specific persons that are members of an identifiable group.

Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime; or

E. The actor violates paragraph C and at least one prior conviction was for a violation of paragraph D.
Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime. In determining the sentence for a violation of this paragraph the court shall impose a sentencing alternative pursuant to section 1152 that includes a term of imprisonment. In determining the basic term of imprisonment as the first step in the sentencing process, the court shall select a term of at least 2 years.
2. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Course of conduct” means 2 or more acts, including but not limited to acts in which the actor, by any action, method, device or means, directly or indirectly follows, monitors, tracks, observes, surveils, threatens, harasses or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property. “Course of conduct” also includes, but is not limited to, threats implied by conduct and gaining unauthorized access to personal, medical, financial or other identifying or confidential information.

B. “Close relation” means a current or former spouse or domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, stepchild, stepparent, grandparent, any person who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior 6 months regularly resided in the household or any person with a significant personal or professional relationship.

C. Deleted. Laws 2007, c. 685, §1

D. “Emotional distress” means mental or emotional suffering of the person being stalked as evidenced by anxiety, fear, torment or apprehension that may or may not result in a physical manifestation of emotional distress or a mental health diagnosis.

E. “Serious inconvenience” means that a person significantly modifies that person’s actions or routines in an attempt to avoid the actor or because of the actor’s course of conduct. “Serious inconvenience” includes, but is not limited to, changing a phone number, changing an electronic mail address, moving from an established residence, changing daily routines, changing routes to and from work, changing employment or work schedule or losing time from work or a job.

3. REPEALED. Laws 2001, c. 383, §156 (AFF); 2001, c. 383, §13

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 633:3-a. Stalking. (2006)

I. A person commits the offense of stalking if such person:

(a) Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly engages in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of that person’s immediate family, and the person is actually placed in such fear;

(b) Purposely or knowingly engages in a course of conduct targeted at a specific individual, which the actor knows will place that individual in fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of that individual’s immediate family; or

(c) After being served with, or otherwise provided notice of, a protective order pursuant to RSA 173-B, RSA 458:16, or paragraph III-a of this section, or an order pursuant to RSA 597:2 that prohibits contact with a specific individual, purposely, knowingly, or recklessly engages in a single act of conduct that both violates the provisions of the order and is listed in paragraph II(a).

II. As used in this section:

(a) “Course of conduct” means 2 or more acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. A course of conduct shall not include constitutionally protected activity, nor shall it include conduct that was necessary to accomplish a legitimate purpose independent of making contact with the targeted person. A course of conduct may include, but not be limited to, any of the following acts or a combination thereof:

(1) Threatening the safety of the targeted person or an immediate family member.

(2) Following, approaching, or confronting that person, or a member of that person’s immediate family.

(3) Appearing in close proximity to, or entering the person’s residence, place of employment, school, or other place where the person can be found, or the residence, place of employment or school of a member of that person’s immediate family.

(4) Causing damage to the person’s residence or property or that of a member of the person’s immediate family.

(5) Placing an object on the person’s property, either directly or through a third person, or that of an immediate family member.

(6) Causing injury to that person’s pet, or to a pet belonging to a member of that person’s immediate family.

(7) Any act of communication, as defined in RSA 644:4, II.

(b) “Immediate family” means father, mother, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, spouse, or grandparent of the targeted person, any person residing in the household of the targeted person, or any person involved in an intimate relationship with the targeted person.

III. [Repealed.]

III-a. A person who has been the victim of stalking as defined in this section may seek relief by filing a civil petition in the district court or the superior court in the county or district where the plaintiff or defendant resides. Upon a showing of stalking by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall grant such relief as is necessary to bring about a cessation of stalking. The types of relief that may be granted, the procedures and burdens of proof to be applied in such proceedings, the methods of notice, service, and enforcement of such orders, and the penalties for violation thereof shall be the same as those set forth in RSA 173-B.

III-b. The minority of a plaintiff or defendant shall not preclude the court from issuing protective orders under this section.

III-c. Any order under this section shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year, but may be extended by order of the court upon a motion by the plaintiff, showing good cause, with notice to the defendant, for one year after the expiration of the first order and thereafter each extension may be for up to 5 years, upon the request of the plaintiff and at the discretion of the court. The court shall review the order, and each renewal thereof and shall grant such relief as may be necessary to provide for the safety and well-being of the plaintiff. A defendant shall have the right to a hearing on the extension of any order under this paragraph to be held within 30 days of the extension. The court shall state in writing, at the respondent’s request, its reason or reasons for granting the extension. The court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce and collect the financial support obligation which accrued prior to the expiration of the protective order.

III-d.
(a) A protective order issued pursuant to this section, RSA 173-B:4, or RSA 173-B:5 shall not be construed to prohibit an attorney, or any person acting on the attorney’s behalf, who is representing the defendant in an action brought under this chapter, or in any criminal proceeding concerning the abuse alleged under this chapter, from contacting the plaintiff for a legitimate purpose within the scope of the civil or criminal proceeding; provided, that the attorney or person acting on behalf of the attorney: identifies himself or herself as a representative of the defendant; acknowledges the existence of the protective order and informs the plaintiff that he or she has no obligation to speak; terminates contact with the plaintiff if the plaintiff expresses an unwillingness to talk; and ensures that any personal contact with the plaintiff occurs outside of the defendant’s presence, unless the court has modified the protective order to permit such contact.

(b) A no-contact provision in a protective order issued pursuant to this section shall not be construed to:
(1) Prevent contact between counsel for represented parties; or

(2) Prevent a party from appearing at a scheduled court or administrative hearing; or

(3) Prevent a defendant or defendant’s counsel from sending the plaintiff copies of any legal pleadings filed in court relating to the domestic violence petition or related civil or criminal matters.

(c) A violation of this paragraph may result in a finding of contempt of court.

IV. In any complaint, information, or indictment brought for the enforcement of any provision of this statute, it shall not be necessary to negate any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption contained herein and the burden of proof of any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption shall be upon the defendant.

V. Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person that the officer has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section when the offense occurred within 12 hours, regardless of whether the crime occurred in the presence of the officer. A law enforcement officer shall arrest a person when he has probable cause to believe a violation of the provisions of this section has occurred within the last 12 hours when the offense involves a violation of a protective order issued pursuant to RSA 173-B, RSA 458:16, or paragraph III-a of this section.

VI.
(a) Any person convicted of a violation of this section and who has one or more prior stalking convictions in this state or another state when the second or subsequent offense occurs within 7 years following the date of the first or prior offense shall be guilty of a class B felony.

(b) In all other cases, any person who is convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

VII. If any provision or application of this section or the application thereof to a person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this section which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this section are severable.

<[Paragraph VIII effective January 1, 2018; see also paragraph VIII set out below.]>

VIII. Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Stalking–Domestic Violence.”

<[Paragraph VIII effective January 1, 2018; see also paragraph VIII set out above.]>

VIII.

(a) Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Stalking–Domestic Violence.”

(b) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall levy a fine of $50 for each conviction recorded as “stalking-domestic violence” under this paragraph. The court shall not reduce or suspend any sentence or the payment of any fine imposed under this paragraph and no fine imposed under this paragraph shall be subject to an additional penalty assessment. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine on the date imposed, the court may defer payment or order periodic payments thereof. The clerk shall forward all fines collected under this paragraph to the department of health and human services for the purposes of RSA 173-B:15. The provisions of RSA 618:8 and RSA 618:9 shall not apply to a fine imposed under this paragraph.

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. § 2C:12-10. Definitions; stalking designated a crime; degrees. (2009)

a. As used in this act:

(1) “Course of conduct” means repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person; directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, following, monitoring, observing, surveilling, threatening, or communicating to or about, a person, or interfering with a person’s property; repeatedly committing harassment against a person; or repeatedly conveying, or causing to be conveyed, verbal or written threats or threats conveyed by any other means of communication or threats implied by conduct or a combination thereof directed at or toward a person.

(2) “Repeatedly” means on two or more occasions.

(3) “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or distress.

(4) “Cause a reasonable person to fear” means to cause fear which a reasonable victim, similarly situated, would have under the circumstances.

b. A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.

c. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking in violation of an existing court order prohibiting the behavior.

d. A person who commits a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

e. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.

f. This act shall not apply to conduct which occurs during organized group picketing.
Amendment Note:
2009 amendment, by Chapter 28, in a.(1), inserted “directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, following, monitoring, observing, surveilling, threatening, or communicating to or about, a person, or interfering with a person’s property; repeatedly committing harassment against a person”, added present a.(3) and a.(4), and deleted former a.(3), which read: “‘Immediate family’ means a spouse, parent, child, sibling or any other person who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household”; and in b., substituted “to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress” for “to fear bodily injury to himself or a member of his immediate family or to fear the death of himself or a member of his immediate family.”

N.J. Stat. § 2C:12-10.1.Conviction for stalking, permanent restraining order. (2010)

a. A judgment of conviction for stalking shall operate as an application for a permanent restraining order limiting the contact of the defendant and the victim who was stalked.

b. A hearing shall be held on the application for a permanent restraining order at the time of the verdict or plea of guilty unless the victim requests otherwise. This hearing shall be in Superior Court. A permanent restraining order may grant the following specific relief:

(1) An order restraining the defendant from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim and requiring the defendant to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the victim.

(2) An order restraining the defendant from making contact with the victim, including an order forbidding the defendant from personally or through an agent initiating any communication likely to cause annoyance or alarm including, but not limited to, personal, written, or telephone contact, or contact via electronic device, with the victim, the victim’s employers, employees, or fellow workers, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the victim. As used in this paragraph, “communication” shall have the same meaning as defined in subsection q. of N.J.S.2C:1-14.

c. The permanent restraining order entered by the court subsequent to a conviction for stalking as provided in this act may be dissolved upon the application of the stalking victim to the court which granted the order.

d. Notice of permanent restraining orders issued pursuant to this act shall be sent by the clerk of the court or other person designated by the court to the appropriate chiefs of police, members of the State Police and any other appropriate law enforcement agency or court.

e. Any permanent restraining order issued pursuant to this act shall be in effect throughout the State, and shall be enforced by all law enforcement officers.

f. A violation by the defendant of an order issued pursuant to this act shall constitute an offense under subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:29-9 and each order shall so state. Violations of these orders may be enforced in a civil or criminal action initiated by the stalking victim or by the court, on its own motion, pursuant to applicable court rules. Nothing in this act shall preclude the filing of a criminal complaint for stalking based on the same act which is the basis for the violation of the permanent restraining order.

New York

NY CLS Penal § 120.40. Definitions. (2006)

For purposes of sections 120.45, 120.50, 120.55 and 120.60 of this article:

1. “Kidnapping” shall mean a kidnapping crime defined in article one hundred thirty-five of this chapter.

2. “Unlawful imprisonment” shall mean an unlawful imprisonment felony crime defined in article one hundred thirty-five of this chapter.

3. “Sex offense” shall mean a felony defined in article one hundred thirty of this chapter, sexual misconduct, as defined in section 130.20 of this chapter, sexual abuse in the third degree as defined in section 130.55 of this chapter or sexual abuse in the second degree as defined in section 130.60 of this chapter.

4. “Immediate family” means the spouse, former spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other person who regularly resides or has regularly resided in the household of a person.

5. “Specified predicate crime” means:

a. a violent felony offense;

b. a crime defined in section 130.20, 130.25, 130.30, 130.40, 130.45, 130.55, 130.60, 130.70 [fig 1] , 255.25, 255.26 or 255.27;

c. assault in the third degree, as defined in section 120.00; menacing in the first degree, as defined in section 120.13; menacing in the second degree, as defined in section 120.14; coercion in the first degree, as defined in section 135.65; coercion in the second degree, as defined in section 135.60; aggravated harassment in the second degree, as defined in section 240.30; harassment in the first degree, as defined in section 240.25; menacing in the third degree, as defined in section 120.15; criminal mischief in the third degree, as defined in section 145.05; criminal mischief in the second degree, as defined in section 145.10, criminal mischief in the first degree, as defined in section 145.12; criminal tampering in the first degree, as defined in section 145.20; arson in the fourth degree, as defined in section 150.05; arson in the third degree, as defined in section 150.10; criminal contempt in the first degree, as defined in section 215.51; endangering the welfare of a child, as defined in section 260.10; or

d. stalking in the fourth degree, as defined in section 120.45; stalking in the third degree, as defined in section 120.50; stalking in the second degree, as defined in section 120.55; or

e. an offense in any other jurisdiction which includes all of the essential elements of any such crime for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year or a sentence of death was authorized and is authorized in this state irrespective of whether such sentence was imposed.
NY CLS Penal § 120.45. Stalking in the fourth degree. (1999)
A person is guilty of stalking in the fourth degree when he or she intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and knows or reasonably should know that such conduct:

1. is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or property of such person, a member of such person’s immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted; or

2. causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of such person, where such conduct consists of following, telephoning or initiating communication or contact with such person, a member of such person’s immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct; or

3. is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business or career is threatened, where such conduct consists of appearing, telephoning or initiating communication or contact at such person’s place of employment or business, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct.

For the purposes of subdivision two of this section, “following” shall include the unauthorized tracking of such person’s movements or location through the use of a global positioning system or other device.

Stalking in the fourth degree is a class B misdemeanor.

NY CLS Penal § 120.50. Stalking in the third degree. (1999)

A person is guilty of stalking in the third degree when he or she:

1. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree in violation of section 120.45 of this article against three or more persons, in three or more separate transactions, for which the actor has not been previously convicted; or

2. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree in violation of section 120.45 of this article against any person, and has previously been convicted, within the preceding ten years of a specified predicate crime, as defined in subdivision five of section 120.40 of this article, and the victim of such specified predicate crime is the victim, or an immediate family member of the victim, of the present offense; or

3. With intent to harass, annoy or alarm a specific person, intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at such person which is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear physical injury or serious physical injury, the commission of a sex offense against, or the kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment or death of such person or a member of such person’s immediate family; or

4. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and has previously been convicted within the preceding ten years of stalking in the fourth degree.

Stalking in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

NY CLS Penal § 120.55. Stalking in the second degree. (2003)

A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when he or she:

1. Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision three of section 120.50 of this article and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission of such offense: (i) displays, or possesses and threatens the use of, a firearm, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, slingshot, slungshot, shirken, “Kung Fu Star”, dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, dangerous instrument, deadly instrument or deadly weapon; or (ii) displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; or

2. Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree in violation of subdivision three of section 120.50 of this article against any person, and has previously been convicted, within the preceding five years, of a specified predicate crime as defined in subdivision five of section 120.40 of this article, and the victim of such specified predicate crime is the victim, or an immediate family member of the victim, of the present offense; or

3. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and has previously been convicted of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision four of section 120.50 of this article against any person; or

4. Being twenty-one years of age or older, repeatedly follows a person under the age of fourteen or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts over a period of time intentionally placing or attempting to place such person who is under the age of fourteen in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death [fig 1]; or

Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree, as defined in subdivision three of section 120.50 of this article, against ten or more persons, in ten or more separate transactions, for which the actor has not been previously convicted.

Stalking in the second degree is a class E felony.

NY CLS Penal § 120.60. Stalking in the first degree. (2000)

A person is guilty of stalking in the first degree when he or she commits the crime of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision three of section 120.50 or stalking in the second degree as defined in section 120.55 of this article and, in the course and furtherance thereof, he or she:

1. intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury to [fig 1] the victim of such crime; or

2. commits a class A misdemeanor defined in article [fig 1] one hundred thirty of this chapter, or a class E felony defined in [fig 2] section 130.25, 130.40 or 130.85 of this chapter, or a class D felony [fig 3] defined in section 130.30 or 130.45 of this chapter.

Stalking in the first degree is a class D felony.

Pennsylvania

18 Pa. C.S. § 2709.1. Stalking. (2003)

(a) OFFENSE DEFINED.– A person commits the crime of stalking when the person either:
(1) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person; or

(2) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicates to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.

(b) VENUE.-

(1) An offense committed under this section may be deemed to have been committed at either the place at which the communication or communications were made or at the place where the communication or communications were received.

(2) Acts indicating a course of conduct which occur in more than one jurisdiction may be used by any other jurisdiction in which an act occurred as evidence of a continuing pattern of conduct or a course of conduct.

(c) GRADING.-

(1) Except as otherwise provided for in paragraph (2), a first offense under this section shall constitute a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(2) A second or subsequent offense under this section or a first offense under subsection (a) if the person has been previously convicted of a crime of violence involving the same victim, family or household member, including, but not limited to, a violation of section 2701 (relating to simple assault), 2702 (relating to aggravated assault), 2705 (relating to recklessly endangering another person), 2901 (relating to kidnapping), 3121 (relating to rape) or 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), an order issued under section 4954 (relating to protective orders) or an order issued under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) shall constitute a felony of the third degree.

(d) FALSE REPORTS.– A person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this section commits an offense under section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities).

(e) APPLICATION OF SECTION.– This section shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute as defined in the act of June 2, 1937 (P.L. 1198, No. 308), known as the Labor Anti-Injunction Act, or to any constitutionally protected activity.

(f) DEFINITIONS.– As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Communicates.” To convey a message without intent of legitimate communication or address by oral, nonverbal, written or electronic means, including telephone, electronic mail, Internet, facsimile, telex, wireless communication or similar transmission.

“Course of conduct.” A pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of conduct. The term includes lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings, caricatures or actions, either in person or anonymously. Acts indicating a course of conduct which occur in more than one jurisdiction may be used by any other jurisdiction in which an act occurred as evidence of a continuing pattern of conduct or a course of conduct.

“Emotional distress.” A temporary or permanent state of mental anguish.

“Family or household member.” Spouses or persons who have been spouses, persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses, parents and children, other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-15-1. Definitions. (2006)

The following words as used in this chapter have the following meanings:
(1) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct”.

(2) “Courts” means the family court.

(3) “Cyberstalking” means transmitting any communication by computer to any person or causing any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family;

(4) “Domestic abuse” means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between present or former family members, parents, stepparents, or persons who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year in which at least one of the persons is a minor:

(i) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

(ii) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;

(iii) Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress; or

(iv) Stalking or cyberstalking.

(5) “Harassing” means following a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person with the intent to seriously alarm, annoy, or bother the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury;

(6) “Parents” mean persons who together are the legal parents of one or more children, regardless of their marital status or whether they have lived together at any time.

(7) “Present or former family member” means the spouse, former spouse, minor children, stepchildren, or persons who are related by blood or marriage.

(8) “Sexual exploitation” means the occurrence of any of the following acts by any person who knowingly or willfully encourages, aids, or coerces any child under the age of eighteen (18) years:

(i) Recruiting, employing, enticing, soliciting, isolating, harboring, transporting, providing, persuading, obtaining, or maintaining, or so attempts, any minor for the purposes of commercial sex acts or sexually explicit performances; or selling or purchasing a minor for the purposes of commercial sex acts.

(A) “Commercial sex act” means any sex act or sexually explicit performance on account of which anything of value is given, promised to, or received, directly or indirectly, by any person.

(B) “Sexually-explicit performance” means an act or show, intended to arouse, satisfy the sexual desires of, or appeal to the prurient interests of patrons or viewers, whether public or private, live, photographed, recorded, or videotaped.

(9) “Stalking” means harassing another person or willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury;

(10) “Substantive dating” or “engagement relationship” means a significant and personal/intimate relationship which shall be adjudged by the court’s consideration by the following factors:
(i) The length of time of the relationship;

(ii) The type of relationship; and

(iii) The frequency of interaction between the parties.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-59-2. Stalking prohibited. (2002)

(a) Any person who: (1) harasses another person; or (2) willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury, is guilty of the crime of stalking.

(b) Stalking shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000), or both.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-52-4.2. Cyberstalkingand cyberharassment prohibited. (2008)
(a) Whoever transmits any communication by computer or other electronic device to any person or causes any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($ 500), by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. For the purpose of this section, “harassing” means any knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or bothers the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be of a kind that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury. “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”

(b) A second or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, by a fine of not more than six thousand dollars ($ 6,000), or both.

Vermont

13 V.S.A. § 1061. Definitions. (2005)

As used in this subchapter:

(1)

(A) “Course of conduct” means two or more acts over a period of time, however short, in which a person follows, monitors, surveils, threatens, or makes threats about another person, or interferes with another person’s property. This definition shall apply to acts conducted by the person directly or indirectly, and by any action, method, device, or means. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”

(B) As used in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (1), threaten shall not be construed to require an express or overt threat.

(2) “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(3) “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person in the victim’s circumstances.

(4) “Stalk” means to engage purposefully in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that the person engaging in the conduct knows or should know would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another or would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress.

13 V.S.A. § 1062. Stalking. (1993)

Any person who intentionally stalks another person shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $ 5,000.00, or both.

13 V.S.A. § 1063. Aggravated stalking. (2005)
(a) A person commits the crime of aggravated stalking if the person intentionally stalks another person, and:
(1) such conduct violates a court order that prohibits stalking and is in effect at the time of the offense; or

(2) has been previously convicted of stalking or aggravated stalking; or

(3) has been previously convicted of an offense an element of which involves an act of violence against the same person; or

(4) the person being stalked is under the age of 16 years; or

(5) had a deadly weapon, as defined in section 1021 of this title, in his or her possession while engaged in the act of stalking.

(b) A person who commits the crime of aggravated stalking shall be imprisoned not more than five years or be fined not more than $ 25,000.00, or both.

(c) Conduct constituting the offense of aggravated stalking shall be considered a violent act for the purposes of determining bail.