Stalking Legislative Updates
Pending and recently enacted stalking-related legislation across the United States*
Stalking Legislative Updates, 2009-2013
*Please be advised that this list is not exhaustive. If there is activity in your state not listed, let us know by e-mailing email@example.com.
October - December 2014
MT D. 1020 – Removes certain limitations on employment benefits to provide that an individual who is otherwise eligible for benefits may not be denied because the individual left work or was discharged because of circumstances resulting from the individual or a child of the individual being a victim of domestic violence, a sexual assault, or stalking or if the individual left work or was discharged because of an attempt on the individual's part to protect the individual or the individual's child from domestic abuse, a sexual assault, or stalking.
SB 60 – Transfers authority from the Secretary of State to the Office of the Attorney General to issue fictitious addresses to victims of stalking.
SB 2686 – The “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015," authorizes protective orders for victims of nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual penetration, or lewdness, or attempts at such conduct. Prohibits the respondent from stalking or following, or threatening to harm, stalk, or follow, the alleged victim.
AB 3809 - Expands the Address Confidentiality Program to encompass victims of stalking and victims of sexual assault.
SB 2540 - Authorizes the court to order electronic monitoring of a defendant convicted of a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim.
AB 3841 - Authorizes the court to order electronic monitoring of a defendant convicted of a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim.
AB 3813 - Allows temporary and permanent restraining orders under the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," on grounds that the person seeking the order is a victim of cyber-harassment.
AB 306 – Bans secret mobile spying programs by making it unlawful to sell, provide, or knowingly facilitate the sale or provision of any computer program that can be installed onto an internet capable portable electronic device that automatically copies and forwards the content of an electronic message sent by or received on such device to an electronic address or portable electronic device that is not the original electronic address or portable electronic device originally used in the transmission of the electronic message. Also bans secret mobile stalking programs by making it unlawful to sell, provide, or knowingly facilitate the sale or provision of any computer program that can be installed onto an internet capable portable electronic device that automatically transmits the location of such device so that it may be accessed from a different portable electronic device.
OR D 2740 - Allows for the joinder of two or more domestic violence offenses, including menacing by stalking, in any county where the offenses occurred and where the victim and offender are the same.
SB 1506 – Adds the use of a tracking device without proper authority to track another person, to the prohibited behaviors under the stalking statute.
HB 3034 – Provides for the surrender of firearms under Restraining Orders for domestic violence which includes stalking.
SB 146 - Provides that a victim of stalking may receive a onetime-only assistance payment in the amount not to exceed: (1) $ 2,000 to be used for relocation expenses, including expenses for rental deposit, utility connections, expenses relating to the moving of belongings, motor vehicle mileage expenses, and for out-of-state moves, transportation, lodging, and meals; and (2) $ 1,800 to be used for housing rental expenses.
HB 1453 – Provides a new section under the criminal stalking statute to make it illegal to engage in a course of conduct directed at another person with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass, or when he knows or reasonably should know that the conduct coerces, intimidates, or harasses, that other person or that other person’s family or household member. Whoever engages in this conduct is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
SB 177 – Authorizes the protection of companion animals in temporary protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, anti-stalking protection orders, and related protection orders.
July - September 2014
California: AB 1356
– Adds “surveillance” of a person to the conduct that makes up the “pattern of behavior” under the civil tort and remedies statute for stalking.
SB 1154 - This bill includes a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Police Department in the definition of "officer" for the purposes of, among other provisions, allowing a judicial officer to issue an ex parte emergency protective order.
AB 1522 - Enacts the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 to provide that an employee who, on or after July 1, 2015, works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick days for prescribed purposes, which include being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked.
HB 2378 – Prohibits the expungement or sealing of records for, among other items, a stalking no contact order.
BR 96 – Adds stalking to the definition of what constitutes “domestic violence and abuse”.
SB 2416 - Amends provisions under the current law to make the crime of stalking and related restraining order protections expressly applicable to situations involving contact or attempted contact between an adoptive child and former parent whose parental rights have been terminated, which has occurred or is occurring contrary to the instructions of the child's adoptive parent. Also permits an adoptive parent to obtain a temporary restraining order against the person whose parental rights to the child have been terminated. Such an order could also be converted into a permanent restraining order upon a judgment of conviction against the person based on a conviction for the crime of stalking.
SB 2351 - Expands the Address Confidentiality Program to encompass victims of stalking and victims of sexual assault.
AB 3655 - Provides rental and lease protections for domestic violence and stalking victims. A landlord may not terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, or refuse to enter into a rental agreement based on the tenant's or applicant's or a household member's status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or based on the tenant or applicant having terminated a rental agreement pursuant to the "New Jersey Safe Housing Act”. S.B. 2353 - Prohibits an award of alimony to a person convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence, including stalking, by the victim of that crime or offense. If the recipient of an existing alimony award is subsequently convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence or stalking against the payer spouse or partner, such conviction would constitute "changed circumstances" for the purposes of a petition to terminate the alimony award.
SB 2352 – Provides that when a victim is pregnant, the court may order that any protections ordered under the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," including protection from the crime of stalking, will apply to the victim's child upon the birth of the child.
AB 7720 – Amends stalking in the fourth degree to define “following” to include, the unauthorized tracking of such person’s movements or location through the use of a global positioning system or other device.
SB 390 - Prohibits discrimination against employees who are victims of domestic violence, which includes stalking, and establishes a committee to study the protection of employees from domestic violence.
April - June 2014
California: AB 1982
- Significantly changes the stalking statute from a specific intent crime to a general intent crime.
- Clarifies the definition of stalking to be in accordance with the Federal Higher Education Act definition for the purpose of adopting policies related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on university campuses.
SB 1385 - Relates to confidentiality program participants. Authorizes the Secretary of State, upon the request of a program participant, to designate an alternate physical address if the participant is prohibited from using a post office box as an address.
AB 319 - Redefines what cities are subject to the protection afforded to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, and abuse of an elder or dependent adult from having their tenancy terminated or not renewed by landlords because they are victims. Makes all cities, including charter cities and municipalities subject to the law.
SB 967 - Requires all universities to provide outreach programs to make students aware of the institution’s policy on campus sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. At a minimum, an outreach program shall include a process for contacting and informing the student body, campus organizations, athletic programs, and student groups about the institution’s overall sexual assault policy, the practical implications of an affirmative consent standard, and the rights and responsibilities of students under the policy. Outreach programming shall be included as part of new student orientation.
AB 1623 - Extends the pilot project with the family justice center to assist victims of, among other crimes, stalking in the cities of Anaheim and San Diego and the counties of Alameda and Sonoma.
SB 212 - Adds stalking to the crimes during a bail bond hearing in which the defendant must acknowledge the protection order as part of the conditions of release.
HB 5029 - Adds stalking to the list of crimes universities must report on and mandates all universities establish policies and awareness programming on campuses regarding the crimes of sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence.
HB 5341 - Designates a person convicted of criminal violation of a standing criminal protective order as a persistent offender.
HB 5593 - Adds “Teen Dating Violence” as part of the safe school climate plan when addressing bullying. Also defines teen dating violence as, “any act of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, including stalking, harassing and threatening, that occurs between two students who are currently in or who have recently been in a dating relationship”.
and SB 920
- Extends the effectiveness of certain temporary injunctions in domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, dating violence, or stalking proceedings in certain circumstances.
HB 7055 - Provides for notification to a victim of, among other crimes, stalking when the juvenile defendant is released from secure detention or transferred to non-secure detention.
HB 3744 - Adds terms under which the court, at its discretion, can order a risk assessment be done on the respondent. Included in this list of terms is when the respondent is charged with stalking.
HB 1122 - Creates the Protection From Stalking Act and designates victims of stalking committed by a stranger or acquaintance as a person eligible to receive all applicable services, benefits, and other forms of assistance provided by the Protection From Family Violence Act, including a summary proceeding for obtaining a civil order of protection, maintenance of orders of protection against stalking in the Louisiana Protective Order Registry, and assistance in completing the forms for application for the protective order.
HB 639 - Adds persons convicted of certain felony offenses involving stalking to the list of persons who are required to register and provide notification as a sex offender or child predator when the victim of that stalking is a minor.
HB 1142 - Adds stalking to the crime of violation of protective orders when the protective order was issued as a condition of the defendant’s bail.
HB 159 - Amends parole eligibility provisions for crimes of violence, such as stalking, reducing the length of time certain offenders must serve before becoming parole eligible from 85% to 75%.
HB 732 - Carves out certain crimes as being exempt from the waiver of minimum mandatory sentences. Stalking is one of the crimes listed so that the minimum sentence afforded by law cannot be waived by the judge.
HB 189 - Current law permits an employer to obtain a peace order against a respondent who has threatened the employer. This law adds language to include, the employer “or the petitioner’s employee” when referring to whom the threating behavior is made.
HB 5539 - Known as the “stalker offender registration act”, this requires persons convicted of certain stalking offenses to register as a convicted stalker with the appropriate state agency.
HB 5654 - Creates the address confidentiality program to provide certain protections for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.
HB 5656 - Makes illegal the discrimination or the refusal to do a real estate transaction on the basis of, among other things, a person with the status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
HB 859 - Adds stalking as a basis for a tenant to terminate a lease with a landlord without legal repercussions. Tenant must provide written notice to the landlord.
SB 2050 and HB 2536 - Among many other items enumerated in the legislation, the bill modifies eligibility for unemployment benefits when an applicant is a victim of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or stalking. Specifically, an employee may use sick leave as allowed under this section for safety leave, whether or not the employee’s employer allows use of sick leave for that purpose for such reasonable periods of time as assistance may be necessary. Safety leave may be used for assistance to the employee or assistance to the relatives (described in a separate paragraph of the bill). Safety leave is for the purpose of providing or receiving assistance because of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or stalking.
SB 2736 - Authorizes counties to create pilot projects to use GPS to monitor domestic abuse offenders when a sentence has been stayed. Specifically, adds stalking as an enumerated crime for which GPS monitoring can be used when the defendant’s sentence is stayed.
Mississippi: HB 1030
- creates the Office Against Interpersonal Violence with the State Department of Health. Interpersonal violence is defined as, “any behavior between family members and intimate partners, but also between acquaintances and strangers, that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm and includes the crimes of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, trafficking, child sexual abuse, and related crimes.
HB 1409 - Establishes a commission to study housing discrimination against individuals who receive federal housing assistance or who have been victims of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.
SB 390 - Prohibits employers from discharging or refusing to hire a person on the grounds that the person is a victim of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking. Also creates a committee to study the protection of employees from domestic violence.
SB 1934 - Upgrades the crime of stalking from a crime of the fourth degree to a crime of the third degree if the victim was less than 18 years old. A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $ 15,000 or both.
SB 2237 - Changes who can get a protection order so that persons who are victims of stalking will qualify for protection orders even when that victim is not a spouse, former spouse, or present or former household member of the defendant, or who does not have a child in common or anticipate because of an existing pregnancy to have a child with the defendant nor has had a dating relationship with the defendant.
SB 1507 - Increases the penalties for first, second, third, and fourth degree stalking under the stalking statute.
AB 9479 - Amends the general business law in relation to the prohibition of hidden mobile devices used to spy and stalk. Regarding mobile spying programs, it is unlawful to sell, provide, or knowingly facilitate the sale or provision of any computer program that can be used to spy on a person. Also bans secret mobile stalking programs from being sold, provided, or knowingly facilitating in the sale or provision of any computer program that can be installed and used to access a person’s location through the use of GPS or other location enabling system.
AB 9409 - Allows for the sealing of a court record when a person has undergone a name change and wants to avoid the potential of or actual stalking from being perpetrated on that person.
A2270B and S4187C - Known as “Jackie’s Law”. Amends the definition of “following” under the current stalking statute to include the unauthorized tracking of an individual with a GPS or other tracking device.
HB 1218 - In respect to landlord/tenant provisions, provides an appeal mechanism for victims of stalking. Also allows tenancy termination by a victim of stalking upon notice to the landlord.
HB 1163 - Takes out the word, “stalking” in the title of Cyber Harassment of a Child. Further defines what cyber harassment of a child encompasses.
HB 1448 - Adds stalking, when committed for the purpose, in whole or substantial part, of direct sexual stimulation or gratification, to the registry list of required sex offenders.
- Restricts the installation, concealment, or placement of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle, and adds electronic tracking devices to the definition of “domestic violence” under the “Domestic Violence Protection Act”.
HB 2100 - allows an eligible participant in the Address Confidentiality Program to file an affidavit request for confidentiality in documents maintained by the county recorder, county assessor and county treasurer.
SB 318 - Creates “Joshua’s law”. Adds stalking under the definition of domestic violence where the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members.
HB 129 - Authorizes a corporation, association, or other organization that employs two or more victims or to which two or more victims belong to seek protection orders when words or conduct that constitutes criminal menacing, aggravated menacing, or menacing by stalking is occurring.
SB 177 - Authorizes the protection of companion animals in temporary protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, anti-stalking protection orders, and related protection orders.
HB 1233 - Adds victims of stalking as eligible applicants for the Address Confidentiality Program.
HB 1840 - Prohibits a person from possessing a firearm if that person is subject to a court order which restrains that person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or the child. The court order must include a finding that the person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the intimate partner or child and by its terms, explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.
January - March 2014
AB 319 - Prohibits a local agency from requiring a landlord to terminate or fail to renew a tenancy based on an act against a tenant or tenant’s household member that constitutes, among other crimes, stalking.
AB 1982 - Substantially changes the current stalking statute including replacing the specific intent with a general intent requirement, eliminating the credible threat element, and adding a domesticated pet under the definition of “immediate family.” If passed, the statute will provide that a person is guilty of the crime of stalking when that person willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person or group of persons and knows or should have known that the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her immediate family, or to suffer substantial emotional distress, as defined.
SB 1385 - Under existing law, the Secretary of State is required, as specified, to designate an address for a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking that serves as the person's address for the purposes of enabling state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing a program participant's residence address contained in any public record and otherwise provide for confidentiality of identity for that person, subject to specified conditions.
This bill would require the Secretary of State, upon the request of a program participant, to designate an alternate physical address if the participant is prohibited from using a post office box as an address.
SB 180 - Provides that a specified use of a tracking device satisfies the element of "willfully following" for the purposes of the crime of stalking. This bill also prohibits a person from installing a tracking device on a vehicle without the informed consent of the owner.
HB 6 - Requires employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick and safe leave to employees to be used to care for themselves or a family member who is ill, needs medical care, or is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
HB 166 - Provides that the victim of an assault, domestic violence, or stalking may terminate a lease or rental agreement upon 30 days written notice to the landlord. Defines a qualified crime victim as a victim of assault, domestic violence, or stalking and amends various sections in KRS Chapter 344 to include qualified crime victims as protected persons under real estate related civil rights statutes.
HB 476 - Will include the crime of stalking and conduct which seriously alarms another person as grounds for the issuance of a domestic violence protective order. Also includes electronic communications within the definition of harassing communications.
HB 501 - Adds the crime of stalking to the definitions of domestic violence and abuse.
HB 639 – The current law provides that persons convicted of certain sex offenses or certain criminal offenses against a victim who is a minor are required to register and provide notification of either sex offender or child predator status. This bill will add persons convicted of certain offenses involving stalking of a minor to the list of persons who are required to register and provide notification as a sex offender or child predator.
SB 837 - Enhances the penalties for stalking at youth sporting events.
HB 589 - Provides a tenant to a residential lease may terminate a lease agreement without penalty or liability if the tenant fears imminent violence after being subjected to domestic abuse, criminal sexual assault, or stalking. Requires the tenant to provide signed and dated advance written notice to the landlord stating that the tenant fears imminent violence and needs to terminate the tenancy with the date by which the tenant will vacate. The landlord is prohibited from evicting tenant solely because of the victim's notice.
HB 2366 – Provides an exception to a victim who is filing for unemployment and who quit his or her job because of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the applicant or an immediate family member of the applicant.
SB 710 - Adds to the list of offenses constituting aggravated stalking when the offender purposely accesses or attempts to access the address of a participant of the Address Confidentiality Program under sections 589.660 to 589.681.
LB 707 - Adds language to the stalking statute to make it more encompassing of many stalking behaviors. Also adds harassment as a prohibited act under the stalking statute. Provides for additional acts that constitute stalking as a felony offense.
HB 1409 - Prohibits housing discrimination against recipients of rental assistance and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
SB 390 - Prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and harassment. Also requires employers to provide reasonable safety accommodations.
AB 882 - Concerns stalking and related restraining order protections with regard to situations involving adoptive children, their adoptive parents, and the persons whose parental rights for those adoptive children have been terminated.
AB 1046 - Expands the wiretap statutes to authorize wiretap orders for investigation of the following crimes or a conspiracy to commit them: luring or enticing a child, impersonation or theft of identity, stalking, and certain harassment crimes.
AB 2883 - Expands the current statute authorizing temporary restraining orders for certain alleged stalking victims to include victims of any age or mental capacity.
SB 58 - Creates a civil cause of action for victims of stalking. Provides that the victim could bring suit whether or not the individual has been charged with or convicted of the crime. The victim could be awarded damages and costs, including attorney fees, and may also be awarded punitive damages. No action could be commenced beyond the applicable personal injury statute of limitations. Under N.J.S.A.2A:14-2 the statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years.
SB 1934 - Upgrades crime of stalking when victim is less than 18 years old.
AB 8690 - Provides that stalking by technological means, including illegal wiretapping, cell phones, caller ID, Internet, cameras and GPS systems, shall be prohibited and shall be included in the crimes of stalking in the first, second, and third degrees.
HB 833 - Relates to safe days for employees and requires private employers to allow an employee safe days, with pay, if the employee or a family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking or is a family member of a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Requires employers to provide employees with 32 hours per year of safe day time if the employee has less than 120 months of employment with the employer, and 40 hours per year of safe day time if the employee has 120 months or more of employment.
HB 1226 - Would add to the crime of stalking an act that uses electronic transmissions that produce a visual or textual message directed at another person with the intent to place, or when he knows or reasonably should know that the conduct places that other person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury to that other person or to that other person's family or household member.
HB 1233 - Makes victims of stalking eligible for the Address Confidentiality Program and provides for cancellation of a program participant upon failure to provide notice of a name change within a specified time period to the Attorney General.
SB 510 - Prohibits any person who is convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family member involving the use of force from possessing, transporting, or carrying a firearm or any other weapon for a period of five years following his conviction. Provides for the forfeiture of any weapon possessed or transported.
SB 566 - Relates to unemployment compensation and removes any disqualification for certain victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking. Also requires training of WorkForce West Virginia employees in the nature and dynamics of domestic violence to aid employees who interact with claimants.
SB 5 - Allows for reciprocal discretion for the court when hearing petitions for protection orders. In other words, if a petition for a protection order alleging the existence of domestic abuse is filed with the court pursuant to Section 25-10-3 and, if the court, upon an initial review, determines that the allegations do not support the existence of domestic abuse, but that the allegations do support the existence of stalking or physical injury pursuant to Section 22-19A-8, the court, in its discretion, may hear and act upon the petition as though the petition had been filed under Section 22-19A-8 and subject to the provisions of chapter 22-19A. Similarly, if a petition for a protection order alleging the existence of stalking or physical injury is filed with the court pursuant to Section 22-19A-8 and, if the court, upon an initial review, determines that the allegations do not support the existence of stalking or physical injury, but that the allegations do support the existence of domestic abuse pursuant to Section 25-10-3, the court, in its discretion, may hear and act upon the petition as though the petition had been filed under Section 25-10-3 and subject to the provisions of chapter 25-10.
HB 171 - Broadens crime victims’ rights in offenses committed by juveniles by expanding the list of offenses for which a victim of a delinquent act committed by a juvenile may request that the victim be informed of the charge brought, the findings of the court, and the disposition of the case to include violations of assault and battery, stalking, violation of a protective order, sexual battery, or attempted sexual battery or maiming or driving while intoxicated, that would be misdemeanors if committed by an adult.