Welcome to the Stalking Resource Center

The mission of the Stalking Resource Center is to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking.

Louisiana

This page lists the most applicable state crimes addressing stalking. However, depending on the facts of the case, a stalker might also be charged with other crimes, such as trespassing, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, etc. Check your state code or consult with your local prosecutor about other charges that might apply in a particular case.

Stalking

Analyzing Stalking Laws


Stalking

La. R.S. 14:40.2. Stalking. (2012)
A. Stalking is the intentional and repeated following or harassing of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed or to suffer emotional distress. Stalking shall include but not be limited to the intentional and repeated uninvited presence of the perpetrator at another person's home, workplace, school, or any place which would cause a reasonable person to be alarmed, or to suffer emotional distress as a result of verbal or behaviorally implied threats of death, bodily injury, sexual assault, kidnaping, or any other statutory criminal act to himself or any member of his family or any person with whom he is acquainted.

B.

(1)

(a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, on first conviction, whoever commits the crime of stalking shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than one year. Notwithstanding any other sentencing provisions, any person convicted of stalking shall undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Imposition of the sentence shall not be suspended unless the offender is placed on probation and participates in a court-approved counseling which could include but shall not be limited to anger management, abusive behavior intervention groups, or any other type of counseling deemed appropriate by the courts.

(b) Whoever commits the crime of stalking against a victim under the age of eighteen when the provisions of Paragraph (6) of this Subsection are not applicable shall be imprisoned for not more than three years, with or without hard labor, and fined not more than two thousand dollars, or both.

(2) 

(a) Any person who commits the offense of stalking and who is found by the trier of fact, whether the jury at a jury trial, the judge in a bench trial, or the judge at a sentencing hearing following a jury trial, beyond a reasonable doubt to have placed the victim of the stalking in fear of death or bodily injury by the actual use of or the defendant's having in his possession during the instances which make up the crime of stalking a dangerous weapon or is found beyond a reasonable doubt to have placed the victim in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury, shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than five years, with or without hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence and may be fined one thousand dollars, or both. Whether or not the defendant's use of or his possession of the dangerous weapon is a crime or, if a crime, whether or not he is charged for that offense separately or in addition to the crime of stalking shall have no bearing or relevance as to the enhanced sentence under the provisions of this Paragraph.

(b) If the victim is under the age of eighteen, and when the provisions of Paragraph (6) of this Subsection are not applicable, the offender shall be imprisoned for not less than two years nor more than five years, with or without hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence and may be fined not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand dollars, or both.

(3) Any person who commits the offense of stalking against a person for whose benefit a protective order, a temporary restraining order, or any lawful order prohibiting contact with the victim issued by a judge or magistrate is in effect in either a civil or criminal proceeding, protecting the victim of the stalking from acts by the offender which otherwise constitute the crime of stalking, shall be punished by imprisonment with or without hard labor for not less than ninety days and not more than two years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(4) Upon a second conviction occurring within seven years of a prior conviction for stalking, the offender shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than five years nor more than twenty years, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, and may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(5) Upon a third or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less that ten years and not more than forty years and may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(6)

(a) Any person thirteen years of age or older who commits the crime of stalking against a child twelve years of age or younger and who is found by the trier of fact, whether the jury at a jury trial, the judge in a bench trial, or the judge at a sentencing hearing following a jury trial, beyond a reasonable doubt to have placed the child in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury, or in reasonable fear of the death or bodily injury of a family member of the child shall be punished by imprisonment with or without hard labor for not less than one year and not more than three years and fined not less than fifteen hundred dollars and not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(b) Lack of knowledge of the child's age shall not be a defense.

C. For the purposes of this Section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Harassing" means the repeated pattern of verbal communications or nonverbal behavior without invitation which includes but is not limited to making telephone calls, transmitting electronic mail, sending messages via a third party, or sending letters or pictures.

(2) "Pattern of conduct" means a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing an intent to inflict a continuity of emotional distress upon the person. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of pattern of conduct.

(3) Repealed by Acts 1993, No. 125, § 2.

D. As used in this Section, when the victim of the stalking is a child twelve years old or younger:

(1) "Pattern of conduct" includes repeated acts of nonconsensual contact involving the victim or a family member.

(2) "Family member" includes:

(a) A child, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of the victim, whether related by blood, marriage, or adoption.

(b) A person who lives in the same household as the victim.

(3)

(a) "Nonconsensual contact" means any contact with a child twelve years old or younger that is initiated or continued without that child's consent, that is beyond the scope of the consent provided by that child, or that is in disregard of that child's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued.

(b) "Nonconsensual contact" includes:

(i) Following or appearing within the sight of that child.

(ii) Approaching or confronting that child in a public place or on private property.

(iii) Appearing at the residence of that child.

(iv) Entering onto or remaining on property occupied by that child.

(v) Contacting that child by telephone.

(vi) Sending mail or electronic communications to that child.

(vii) Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property occupied by that child.

(c) "Nonconsensual contact" does not include any otherwise lawful act by a parent, tutor, caretaker, mandatory reporter, or other person having legal custody of the child as those terms are defined in the Louisiana Children's Code.

(4) "Victim" means the child who is the target of the stalking.

E. Whenever it is deemed appropriate for the protection of the victim, the court may send written notice to any employer of a person convicted for a violation of the provisions of this Section describing the conduct on which the conviction was based.

F.

(1) Upon motion of the district attorney or on the court's own motion, whenever it is deemed appropriate for the protection of the victim, the court may, in addition to any penalties imposed pursuant to the provisions of this Section, grant a protective order which directs the defendant to refrain from abusing, harassing, interfering with the victim or the employment of the victim, or being physically present within a certain distance of the victim.

(2) Any protective order granted pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection shall be served on the defendant at the time of sentencing.

(3)

(a) The court shall order that the protective order be effective either for an indefinite period of time or for a fixed term which shall not exceed eighteen months.

(b) If the court grants the protective order for an indefinite period of time pursuant to Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, after a hearing, on the motion of any party and for good cause shown, the court may modify the indefinite effective period of the protective order to be effective for a fixed term, not to exceed eighteen months, or to terminate the effectiveness of the protective order. A motion to modify or terminate the effectiveness of the protective order may be granted only after a good faith effort has been made to provide reasonable notice of the hearing to the victim, the victim's designated agent, or the victim's counsel, and either of the following occur:

(i) The victim, the victim's designated agent, or the victim's counsel is present at the hearing or provides written waiver of such appearance.

(ii) After a good faith effort has been made to provide reasonable notice of the hearing, the victim could not be located.

(4)

(a) Immediately upon granting a protective order, the court shall cause to have prepared a Uniform Abuse Prevention Order, as provided in R.S. 46:2136.2, shall sign such order, and shall forward it to the clerk of court for filing, without delay.

(b) The clerk of the issuing court shall send a copy of the Uniform Abuse Prevention Order or any modification thereof to the chief law enforcement official of the parish where the victim resides. A copy of the Uniform Abuse Prevention Order shall be retained on file in the office of the chief law enforcement officer as provided in this Subparagraph until otherwise directed by the court.

(c) The clerk of the issuing court shall transmit the Uniform Abuse Prevention Order, or any modification thereof, to the Louisiana Protective Order Registry pursuant to R.S. 46:2136.2, by facsimile transmission, mail, or direct electronic input, where available, as expeditiously as possible, but no later than the end of the next business day after the order is filed with the clerk of court.

G. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to a private investigator licensed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 56 of Title 37 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, acting during the course and scope of his employment and performing his duties relative to the conducting of an investigation.

H. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to an investigator employed by an authorized insurer regulated pursuant to the provisions of Title 22 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, acting during the course and scope of his employment and performing his duties relative to the conducting of an insurance investigation.

I. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to an investigator employed by an authorized self-insurance group or entity regulated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 10 of Title 23 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, acting during the course and scope of his employment and performing his duties relative to the conducting of an insurance investigation.

J. A conviction for stalking shall not be subject to expungement as provided for by R.S. 44:9.

La. R.S. 14:40.3. Cyberstalking. (2010)
A. For the purposes of this Section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Electronic communication" means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature, transmitted in whole or in part by wire, radio, computer, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system.

(2) "Electronic mail" means the transmission of information or communication by the use of the Internet, a computer, a facsimile machine, a pager, a cellular telephone, a video recorder, or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique address or address number and received by that person. 

B. Cyberstalking is action of any person to accomplish any of the following:

(1) Use in electronic mail or electronic communication of any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to such person's child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.

(2) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of threatening, terrifying, or harassing any person.

(3) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person's family or household with the intent to threaten, terrify, or harass.

(4) Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person's control to be used for the taking of an action in Paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this Subsection.

C.

(1) Whoever commits the crime of cyberstalking shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(2) Upon a second conviction occurring within seven years of the prior conviction for cyberstalking, the offender shall be imprisoned for not less than one hundred and eighty days and not more than three years, and may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(3) Upon a third or subsequent conviction occurring within seven years of a prior conviction for stalking, the offender shall be imprisoned for not less than two years and not more than five years and may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(4)

(a)In addition, the court shall order that the personal property used in the commission of the offense shall be seized and impounded, and after conviction, sold at public sale or public auction by the district attorney in accordance with R.S. 15:539.1.

(b)The personal property made subject to seizure and sale pursuant to Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph may include, but shall not be limited to, electronic communication devices, computers, computer related equipment, motor vehicles, photographic equipment used to record or create still or moving visual images of the victim that are recorded on paper, film, video tape, disc, or any other type of digital recording media. 

D. Any offense under this Section committed by the use of electronic mail or electronic communication may be deemed to have been committed where the electronic mail or electronic communication was originally sent, originally received, or originally viewed by any person. 

E. This Section does not apply to any peaceable, nonviolent, or nonthreatening activity intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others.

Back to top