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.

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 src@ncvc.org.

 


October - December 2013

Pending Legislation

District of Columbia

DC B. 532 Amends the DC Human Rights Act of 1977 to protect victims and family members of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and stalking against discrimination by employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations.

Maine

LR 2660 Enhances Maine’s stalking law to include illegal stalking of groups or members of an organization.

Massachusetts

SB 1892 Establishes employment leave and safety remedies to victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.

New Hampshire

NB 2732 Relates to protection for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or criminal harassment.

NB 2393 Expands the equal housing opportunity law to prohibit discrimination based on receipt of rental assistance or having been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking.

Ohio

HB 309 Provides that no fee, cost, deposit, or money may be charged for the modification, enforcement, dismissal, or withdrawal of a domestic violence, anti-stalking, sexually oriented offense, or other type of protection order or consent agreement.

Virginia

HB 48 Prohibits any person who is convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family member that results in serious bodily injury from possessing, transporting, or carrying a firearm or any other weapon for a period of five years following a conviction.  Provides that a violation would constitute a class 6 felony.  Also provides for the forfeiture of any weapon possessed, transported or carried in violation of this prohibition.

Enacted legislation

California

SB 400 Relates to existing law which prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions against victims of domestic violence who take time off from work. Extends these protections to victims of stalking.  Prohibits an employer from discharging or discriminating against an employee because of the employee's status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Creates a private right of action for an aggrieved employee. Effective October 11, 2013

AB 849 Amends existing law which authorizes victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to complete an application at a community-based victims' assistance program for the purpose of enabling state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing a program participant's residence address. Includes victims of abuse of an elder or dependent adult within these provisions. Effective October 9, 2013


July - September 2013

Pending Legislation

Florida

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. Prohibits a person from installing a tracking device on a vehicle without the informed consent of the owner. Provides a criminal penalty and an exception for a law enforcement officer or governmental entity in certain circumstances.

New York

AB 8139 Provides a civil cause of action to recover compensatory damages for stalking.  Relates to punitive damages and provides that such actions do not require a criminal charge.

Ohio

SB 177 includes the protection of companion animals in temporary protection orders, anti-stalking protection orders, and related protection orders.

Enacted Legislation

Arkansas

HB 2146 (Act 1014) Stalking in the 1st degree Ark. Code Ann. 5-71-229 is amended to read, “engages in a course of conduct that would place a reasonable person in the victim’s position under emotional distress and in fear for his or her safety or a 3rd person’s safety.” The crime is changed from a class B to a class C felony. Stalking in the 2nd degree is amended from purposely to knowingly and changed from a class C to a class D felony. The act creates a Stalking in the 3rd degree which has the same language as Stalking in the 1st degree without the additional elements and is a class A misdemeanor. It is not a defense to stalking that the actor was not given actual notice that the actor’s conduct was not wanted.

California

SB 130 Expands the list of offenses that a prosecution witness is entitled to support to include kidnapping with the intent to commit robbery or specified sex offenses, human trafficking, certain sex offenses involving a minor under 10 years of age, criminal threats, and stalking.


April - June 2013

Pending Legislation

California

AB 1356 defines the tort of stalking as a pattern of conduct intended to place the plaintiff under surveillance. Permits the plaintiff to show that the pattern of conduct resulted in the plaintiff suffering substantial emotional distress, and that such pattern would cause a reasonable person to feel such distress. Requires the plaintiff to show that the person has made a credible threat with the intent to place the plaintiff in reasonable fear for his or her safety.

Florida

SB 1898 designates January as Stalking Awareness Month in the State of Florida.

Ohio

HB 129 specifies that aggravated menacing, menacing by stalking, and menacing include words or conduct that are directed at or identify a corporation, association, or other organization that employs the victim or to which the victim belongs. Authorizes the corporation, association, or other organization to seek protection orders on behalf of two or more victims in certain cases, and to increase the penalty for aggravated menacing by stalking if there are four or more victims.

Pennsylvania

HB 1154 makes slight amendments to statutes on assault, harassment, stalking, and threat to use weapons of mass destruction.

Enacted Legislation

Alaska

SB 22 provides that in a prosecution charging the crime of stalking, that is not a crime involving domestic violence, a judicial officer may order a person to follow the provision of any protective order to which the person is a respondent, refrain from contacting the victim by any manner (including telephone or electronic communication), engage in counseling if available, and participate in a GPS monitoring program. Effective July 1, 2013.

Arkansas

HB 2146 establishes a civil liability for stalking. Also provides that upon pretrial release, a judicial officer shall enter a no contact order of the victim. Makes changes to the stalking law by modifying the intent element, the fear element, and the class of felony. Effective April 8, 2013.

Georgia

SB 86 (formerly HB 339) relates to stalking and criminal procedure. Provides greater protection to victims of family violence, defines family violence order, changes provisions relating to arrests with and without warrants involving family violence orders. Also changes the provisions relating to bail for persons charged with violating family violence orders. Effective May 6, 2013.

Kentucky

HB 222 establishes a crime victim address protection program for victims of domestic violence and abuse, stalking, and felony sexual offenses. The bill allows crime victims to use an address provided by the Secretary of State instead of the person’s actual physical address. It also allows program participants to vote by mail-in absentee ballot. Effective March 22, 2013.

Minnesota

HB 580 modifies certain procedures and standards related to the Safe-at-Home address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and other individuals who fear their safety. Includes program eligibility, the full legal name of eligible persons, the safety of a person residing in the same household, a current address where an eligible person can receive mail, the reasons for certification cancellation, the address to use for participant benefits, and participant data. Effective May 20, 2013.

SB 769 relates to public safety and provides for the confidentiality of a person who has requested the electronic notification of the release of an arrested, detained, or confined person. Provides that data on victims requesting notification of release of an arrested or detained person is classified. Replaces the term harassment with the term stalking in provisions governing victim notification procedures. Effective May 1, 2013.

North Dakota

HB 1320 changes the harassment statute by adding electronic communication. Effective April 12, 2013.

Oregon

HB 2903 requires certain employers to post in premises where employees are employed summary of statutes and rule related to employment rights of victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking. Also, modifies the definition of “eligible employee.” Effective June 6, 2013.

HB 3194 makes changes to the harassment law by adding distributing a visual recording of the other person engaged in sexually explicit conduct or in a state of nudity when the other person is under 18 years of age at the time of the recording. Effective July 25, 2013.

South Carolina

HB 3717 amends the definitions of the offenses of harassment and stalking to include persons who commit the offenses while subject to a restraining order issued by the family court. Amends the penalties for harassment in the second degree, harassment in the first degree, and stalking so as to include persons subject to a restraining order issued by the family court. Effective June 20, 2013.

Texas

HB 1606 relates to the prosecution of the offenses of harassment and stalking. Includes dating, obscenity, pets and companion animals. Also includes electronic communication. Effective June 14, 2013.

SB 946 allows a tenant to terminate a lease and avoid liability for future rent if the tenant is a victim of certain sexual offenses or stalking. Effective June 14, 2013.

Washington

HB 1383 creates a civil protection order for stalking victims who do not qualify for a domestic violence protection order. Requires the courts to develop a form for all anti-harassment and stalking protection order petitions. Expands the categories of behavior that qualify as felony stalking and increases the penalties for stalking. Also creates procedures for a stalking no contact order during the pendency of criminal prosecution for stalking and related offenses. Effective April 27, 2013.


January - March 2013

Pending Legislation

Arkansas

HB 2146 makes changes to current stalking statute and establishes a civil liability for stalking.

California

SB 400 relates to existing law which prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions against victims of domestic violence who take time off from work. Extends these protections to victims of stalking. Prohibits an employer from discharging or discriminating against an employee because of the employee's status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Creates a private right of action for an aggrieved employee.

AB 849 amends existing law which authorizes victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to complete an application at a community-based victims' assistance program for the purpose of enabling state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing a program participant's residence address. Includes victims of abuse of an elder or dependent adult within these provisions.

SB 130 expands the list of offenses that a witness is entitled to support, adds stalking as one of the offenses.

Connecticut

HB 6664 concerns restraining orders and permits victims of stalking or sexual assault who are not family or household members of the offender to apply for and obtain a civil restraining order.

Georgia

HB 339 relates to stalking and criminal procedure. Provides greater protection to victims of family violence, defines family violence order, changes provisions relating to arrests with and without warrants involving family violence orders. Also changes the provisions relating to bail for persons charged with violating family violence orders.

Hawaii

HB 6
 requires employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick 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.

Illinois

HB 136
 amends the Criminal Code of 2012; provides that the stalking and aggravated stalking statutes do not apply to an individual, organization, or employee of a governmental entity monitoring or attentive to compliance with public or worker safety laws, wage and hour requirements, or other statutory requirements when the monitoring or attentiveness occurs at the workplace or worksite.

Kentucky

HB 108 provides that the victim of an assault, domestic violence, or stalking may terminate their lease or contract on their dwelling upon thirty days written notice to the landlord accompanied with a copy of a judicial no contact order issued against the perpetrator of the offense.

HB 222 establishes a crime victim address protection program for victims of domestic violence and abuse, stalking, and felony sexual offenses. The bill allows crime victims to use an address provided by the Secretary of State instead of the person’s actual physical address. It also allows program participants to vote by mail-in absentee ballot.

Massachusetts

SB 837 increases penalties for assault, assault and battery, stalking, and criminal harassment if done at a youth sporting event.

HB 1764 establishes employment leave and safety remedies to victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.

Minnesota

HB 580 modifies certain procedures and standards related to the Safe-at-Home address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and other individuals who fear their safety. Includes program eligibility, the full legal name of eligible persons, the safety of a person residing in the same household, a current address where an eligible person can receive mail, the reasons for certification cancellation, the address to use for participant benefits, and participant data.

SB 769 relates to public safety and provides for the confidentiality of a person who has requested the electronic notification of the release of an arrested, detained, or confined person.  Provides that data on victims requesting notification of release of an arrested or detained person is classified.  Replaces the term harassment with the term stalking in provisions governing victim notification procedures.

Montana

HB 528 revises the stalking law by clarifying that stalking includes repeated electronic communications to the victim or repeatedly posting harassing, threatening, intimidating, or terrifying information on a website or computer network.

Nebraska

LB 608
 amends and modifies the stalking law by changing the intent element and making a first offense of stalking a felony.

New York

SB 1507
 relates to increasing penalties for first degree stalking to a class C felony, second degree stalking to a class D felony, third degree stalking to a class E felony, and fourth degree stalking to a class A misdemeanor.

AB 559 provides that stalking by technological means shall be prohibited and shall be included in the crimes of stalking in the first, second, and third degree.

AB 4171 establishes the offense for the electronic stalking of minors within the class A misdemeanor of stalking in the third degree; establishes offenses of criminal impersonation by electronic means; includes harassment by electronic means within the class A misdemeanor of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

AB 6379 prohibits hidden mobile device spying and stalking programs, defines the terms, and authorizes enforcement by the attorney general.

AB 6286 requires each public senior high school to provide incoming students with information about sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking prevention measures.

SB 2185 prohibits certain discriminatory practices against victims of domestic violence relating to housing, including but not limited to the purchase, rent, lease, or housing accommodation. Defines domestic violence victim to include victims of domestic violence pursuant to the social services law and victims of stalking offenses.

North Carolina

SB 409 repeals elements of the civil no-contact laws pertaining to stalking. 

Ohio

HB 74 expands the offenses of menacing by stalking and telecommunications harassment; prohibits a person from knowingly causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm or mental or emotional distress to a member of the other person’s immediate family.

Oregon

HB 2362
 allows a person against whom a stalking protective order was entered to file a motion with the court to enter an order to seal the records related to the stalking protective order if certain conditions are met.

HB 3263 requires the state to grant paid leave to eligible employees who are victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking. Establishes an annual limit for leave and requires the state to inform certain employees of communication in the workplace that are related to victimization of employee and annually inform all employees of availability of leave.

HB 2903 requires certain employers to post in premises where employees are employed summary of statutes and rule related to employment rights of victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking. Also, modifies the definition of “eligible employee.”

HB 2965 require the court to order, if requested by petitioner, that respondent in Family Abuse Prevention Act proceeding be restrained from electronic tracking of petitioner or petitioner’s children. Defines “electronic tracking” for purposes of contact that can be prohibited in a stalking order.

Pennsylvania

HR 14
 recognizes the month of January 2013 as Stalking Awareness Month.

South Carolina

HB 3717
amends the definitions of the offenses of harassment and stalking to include persons who commit the offenses while subject to a restraining order issued by the family court. Amends the penalties for harassment in the second degree, harassment in the first degree, and stalking so as to include persons subject to a restraining order issued by the family court.

Tennessee

HB 719
 authorizes persons subject to domestic abuse, stalking, or human trafficking to use the office of the attorney general and reporter to shield their true address.

HB 671 allows a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking to terminate a lease or rental agreement if notice and documentation that the tenant is a victim are presented to the landlord. It specifies that a perpetrator of certain offenses remains liable for rent and damages under the rental agreement even if the perpetrator is ordered to vacate the premises by a protection order.

SB 737 allows a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking to terminate a lease or rental agreement if notice and documentation that tenant is a victim are presented to landlord. Specifies that a perpetrator of certain offenses remains liable for rent and damages under the rental agreement even if the perpetrator is ordered to vacate the premises by protection order.

Texas

HB 1606 amends the law related to harassment and stalking.

HB 1425 amends the definition of property for the offense of stalking.

SB 946 allows a tenant to terminate a lease and avoid liability for future rent if the tenant is a victim of certain sexual offenses or stalking.

Virginia

HB 2211 provides that upon conviction of a second offense of stalking occurring within 5 years of a prior conviction for such an offense, if such person was also convicted within a specified period prior to the instant offense of a violation of assault and battery when the victim of that crime was the same person who was the victim of the stalking activity in the instant conviction, domestic assault, or a protective order, such person is guilty of a class 6 felony.

SB 1063 provides that conduct that can constitute stalking includes electronic transmissions that produce a visual or textual message.

Washington

HB 1383 creates a civil protection order for stalking victims who do not qualify for a domestic violence protection order. Requires the courts to develop a form for all anti-harassment and stalking protection order petitions. Expands the categories of behavior that qualify as felony stalking and increases the penalties for stalking. Also creates procedures for a stalking no contact order during the pendency of criminal prosecution for stalking and related offenses.

West Virginia

HB 2278 protects nonfamily or non-household members from sexual offenses, stalking and harassment.

SB 254 authorizes the Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction to promulgate legislative rule relating to protocol for law enforcement response to stalking.

SB 386 amends the code relating to personal safety orders for underlying offenses of sexual assault, harassment, and stalking. The bill clarifies the grounds on which an order can be issued and establishes the venue for the orders.


October - December 2012

Connecticut

HB 5548 amends the domestic violence statute to establish that any family or household member who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking, or a pattern of threatening by another family or household member can make an application to the Superior Court for relief. It includes stalking as a form of family violence. The amendment also adds certain provisions to the stalking statute: (1) It specifies that a person is guilty of stalking in the first degree when such person commits stalking in the second degree and has previously been convicted of the violation, or such conduct violates a court order in effect at the time of the offence, or the victim is under 16 years of age. Stalking in the first degree is a class D felony; (2) A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when he 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 if 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, whether such conduct consists of the person telephoning to, appearing at or initiating communication or contact at such other person’s employment or business, provided that the actor was previously and clearly informed to cease such conduct, and such conduct does not consist of constitutionally protected activity. Stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor; (3) The definition of course of conduct was amended to mean 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, (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. Effective October 1, 2012.

Florida

HB 1099
requires that domestic violence injunctions issued by a court of another state be accorded full faith and credit by the Florida state courts. The definition of “credible threat” was amended to include verbal or nonverbal threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct which reasonably causes fear and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat (but it is not necessary to prove that the person had the intent to carry out the threat). The requirement that the threat be a threat of death or bodily injury was removed. The bill adds a provision for the sentencing court in a stalking case to consider issuing a restraining order for up to 10 yrs. The bill adds a separate injunction for stalking (which includes cyberstalking). A stalking injunction may be filed in the jurisdiction where the victim resides, where the stalker resides, or where the stalking occurred. The bill also prohibits a person who has a final injunction against him or her currently in force from possessing any firearm or ammunition. Effective October 1, 2012.

Oklahoma

HB 2396 increases the maximum fixed period of a protective order to five years. It also allows a continuous protective order if the court finds that the offender has a history of violating court orders; if the person has previously been convicted of a violent felony offense; or if the person has a previous conviction for stalking and a court order for a final Victim Protective Order has previously been issued in Oklahoma or another state. When issuing a protective order, the court may also consider any history of domestic violence or other violent acts. Effective November 1, 2012.

July - September 2012

Pending Legislation

Massachusetts

SB 2402 relates to housing rights for victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and stalking.

Pennsylvania


HB 2249
Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, defining online impersonation; includes opening accounts on social networking sites and sending electronic messages; provides for civil damages in actions for online impersonation; relates to terrorist threats, harassment, stalking, intimidation of witnesses or victims or retaliation against victims or witnesses; and provides for use of identifying information, including a Social Security number and checking accounts.

Enacted Legislation

California

AB 2483 proposes to remove the requirement for specific attached evidence for an application alleging the basis is stalking, for purposes of address confidentiality, and instead makes the inclusion of that evidence permissive. Effective July 13, 2012

SB 1082 proposes a requirement for victims of domestic violence or stalking or reproductive health providers, employees, and volunteers to be domiciled in the state in order to apply for the community-based victims’ assistance program. It would also authorize a certain minor program participant to renew as an adult, and would authorize the Secretary of State to refuse to renew a program participant’s certification under certain conditions. Finally, the proposed bill would authorize the refusal to handle or forward packages from program participants. Effective September 7, 2012

Illinois

SB 2869
proposes to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Stalking No Contact Order Act, the Civil No Contact Order Act, and the Domestic Violence Act in relation to notice of orders. It provides that a law enforcement officer notify the Department of Corrections within 48 hours of receipt of orders if the respondent, at the time of the order is in custody, or on parole or mandatory supervised release. Lastly, it would require that the notice contain certain respondent information, including the inmate number and date of birth. Effective August 6, 2012

SB 3693 proposes legislation that would require restitution to be paid to the compensation program when a crime victim’s out-of-pocket expenses have been paid under the Crime Victims Compensation Act. The act would also add offenses under the Stalking No Contact Order Act and the Civil No Contact Order Act to be included within the definition of crimes of violence. Effective July 16, 2012


April - June 2012

Enacted Legislation

Alabama

HB 75, known as “Tracy’s law,” amends the stalking statute by designating the crimes of stalking and aggravated stalking in the first degree. It also adds stalking and aggravated stalking in the second degree. The amendment removes “credible” so that the stalker would merely have to make a threat, rather than a “credible threat” as was required previously. The amendment also establishes that the stalker must be acting with an improper purpose. Effective August 1, 2012

Arizona

HB 2549
establishes that it is unlawful for any person to use an electronic communication to terrify, intimidate, threaten, or harass a person. Such communications include directing any obscene, lewd, or profane language or suggesting any lewd or lascivious act; threatening to inflict physical harm to any person or property; or otherwise disturbing by repeated anonymous, unwanted, or unsolicited electronic communications the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of the person at the place where the communications were received. Electronic communication means a wire line, cable, wireless or cellular telephone call, a text message, an instant message, or electronic mail. The amendment also revises the definition of “course of conduct” under its stalking statute by adding modern technological devices. Specifically, course of conduct includes using any electronic, digital, or global positioning system device to surveil a specific person or a specific person’s internet or wireless activity continuously for 12 hours or more or on two or more occasions over a period of time, however short, without authorization. Course of conduct does not include constitutionally protected activity or other activity authorized by law, the other person, the other person’s authorized representative, or if the other person is a minor, the minor’s parent, or guardian. Effective May 14, 2012.

Colorado

HB 1114
, known as “Vonnie’s Law,” amends the stalking statute penalty by fixing the bail for the crime of stalking and mandating that a protection order be issued against the offender. It also requires that when the stalking is committed in connection with a violation of a court order, any sentence imposed shall be served consecutively and not concurrently. If a protection order has been issued, the court must require the defendant to acknowledge the protection order as a condition of any bond for his or her release. Moreover, in stalking cases, the prosecuting attorney must notify the alleged victim, the complainant, and the protected person of the order if they are not present at the time the protection order is issued. The prosecuting attorney may also request a hearing before the court to modify the terms of a protection order. Effective May 22, 2012.

Delaware

HB 245
designates stalking as a violent felony. It also includes stalking in the category of “violent crime.” Effective April 19, 2012.

Florida

SB 436
amends the video voyeurism law and adds “the interior of a residential dwelling” to the definition of “place and time when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Effective July 1, 2012.

Hawaii

HB 2295 amends the cyberbullying statute by adding harassment by stalking. A person commits the offense of use of a computer in a separate crime if the person knowingly uses a computer to identify, select, solicit, persuade, coerce, entice, induce, procure, surveil, pursue, contact, harass, annoy, or alarm the victim of offenses related to harassment by stalking. Effective June 28, 2012.

Louisiana

HB 441
authorizes the issuance of a protective order—which can either be indefinite or for a fixed period of time not exceeding 18 months—against a person who is convicted of stalking. It specifies that a protective order may be issued as a condition of bail. The legislation also provides that specified portions of the protective order may be effective for an indefinite period, but the indefinite term may be modified after a contradictory hearing if certain conditions occur. Effective May 22, 2012.

Maine

HB 1295
requires an arresting officer to obtain and provide to the jail the victim’s contact information in cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. It also requires that the jail notify the victim when the defendant is released on pre-conviction bail or the arresting agency if the victim cannot be reached. Notification is also required if the defendant is released on bail before being delivered to a jail and to a parent or legal guardian if the victim is a minor. Effective April 17, 2012.

HB 1381 sets pre-conviction bail for a defendant who has violated a protection order or who has committed domestic violence stalking, threatening, terrorizing, or reckless conduct. If the underlying crime is an offense of domestic violence, and the new conduct found by the court involves new allegations of domestic violence or contact with a victim or witness in the underlying case, the judge shall issue an order denying bail, unless the judge or justice makes the findings on the record required by both subsections 1 and 2. The judge or justice shall issue an order denying bail if there has been a previous revocation of pre-conviction bail pursuant to section 1096. Effective April 17, 2012.

Minnesota

HB 469
provides that the application for a harassment restraining order may be filed in the county of residence of either party or in the county in which the alleged harassment occurred. It also provides that the filing and service fee are waived if the petition alleges a pattern of stalking conduct or second or subsequent violations. Effective April 23, 2012.

Mississippi

HB 159
revises provisions of the address confidentiality program in domestic violence cases. It includes: a person living as a spouse; one who formerly lived as a spouse; a child of persons living as spouses or who formerly lived as spouses; a parent; grandparent; child; grandchild; someone similarly situated to the defendant; or a person with whom the defendant has a biological or legally adopted child in common. Effective July 1, 2012.

HB 780 clarifies the relationships triggering domestic violence designation—which includes stalking—by adding parents, grandparents, child, grandchild, or someone similarly situated to the defendant. In any arrest for aggravated stalking, a violation of a domestic abuse protection order, or a similar order issued by another state, no bail shall be granted until the person arrested has appeared before a judge in that jurisdiction. The legislation authorizes a law enforcement officer to make a warrantless arrest of a violator if, within 24 hours of a bond condition violation, a law enforcement officer believes a violation has occurred. It also requires judges to check a protective order registry before granting bail. Effective July 1, 2012.

Tennessee

SB 2438
designates stalking as a Class A misdemeanor. It also designates stalking as a Class E felony if, at the time of the offense, the defendant was required to or was registered with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as a sexual offender, violent sexual offender, or violent juvenile sexual offender. Effective May 23, 2012.

Utah

SB 235
modifies the stalking statute to allow a court with a petition for a stalking injunction to take into consideration any minor children the parties may have. The court should consider provisions regarding the defendant’s exercise of custody and parent-time rights while ensuring the safety of the victim and any minor children. If the court issues a permanent criminal or civil stalking injunction but declines to address custody and parent-time issues, a copy of the stalking injunction must be filed in any action in which custody and parent-time issues are being considered and that court may modify the injunction to balance the parties’ custody and parent-time rights. Effective April 2, 2012.

Vermont

SB 189
designates a court file as confidential once a case is accepted by the court diversion project. In cases involving stalking, sexual violence, or domestic violence offenses, the victim’s employer’s name, telephone number, address, or any other contact information—as well as the victim’s medical or mental health provider’s name, telephone number, address, or any other contact information—shall be confidential and shall be redacted by the victims’ compensation board for any purpose including restitution, absent a court order. Effective May 15, 2012.

West Virginia

HB 4307
amends the code of West Virginia relating to domestic violence protective orders. It clarifies the rules and procedures for domestic violence civil proceedings and provides that there must be a mandatory provision in domestic violence protective orders that possession of firearms and ammunition while subject to the order is a criminal violation of state and federal law. Effective June 8, 2012.


January - March 2012

Pending Legislation

Alabama

HB 75, known as “Tracy’s law,” amends the stalking statute by designating the crimes of stalking and aggravated stalking in the first degree. It also adds stalking and aggravated stalking in the second degree. The amendment removes “credible” so that the stalker would merely have to make a threat, rather than a “credible threat” as was required previously. The amendment also establishes that the stalker must be acting with an improper purpose.

Arizona

HB 2549 establishes that it is unlawful for any person to use an electronic communication to terrify, intimidate, threaten, or harass a person. Such communications include directing any obscene, lewd, or profane language or suggesting any lewd or lascivious act; threatening to inflict physical harm to any person or property; or otherwise disturbing by repeated anonymous, unwanted, or unsolicited electronic communications the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of the person at the place where the communications were received. Electronic communication means a wire line, cable, wireless, or cellular telephone call, a text message, an instant message, or electronic mail. The amendment also revises the definition of “course of conduct” under its stalking statute by adding modern technological devices. Specifically, course of conduct includes using any electronic, digital, or global positioning system device to surveil a specific person or a specific person’s internet or wireless activity continuously for 12 hours or more or on two or more occasions over a period of time, however short, without authorization. Course of conduct does not include constitutionally protected activity or other activity authorized by law, the other person, the other person’s authorized representative, or if the other person is a minor, the minor’s parent, or guardian.

California

AB 1740
proposes to amend its employment discrimination law by including protections for victims of stalking in addition to the domestic violence and sexual assault protections already in place. The existing law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment action against victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who take time off from work to attend to issues arising as a result of the domestic violence or sexual assault. The proposed amendment would extend these same protections to victims of stalking. It would also prohibit an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee because of the employee’s known status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Moreover, the proposed amendment would prohibit an employer from taking any action against an employee when an unscheduled absence occurs due to the stalking victim’s attempt to obtain relief—such as a restraining order—to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim, or his or her child. An employer would also be required to provide reasonable accommodations for a stalking victim who requests an accommodation, which may include a transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, changed work telephone, changed work station, installed lock, assistance in documenting stalking that occurs in the workplace, an implemented safety procedure, or referral to a victim assistance organization. Lastly, the proposed amendment would prohibit an employer with more than 25 employees to discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee who is a victim of stalking for taking time off to seek medical attentions for injuries caused by stalking, to obtain services from a program as a result of stalking, to obtain counseling related to an experience of stalking, or to participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future stalking.

AB 2483 proposes to remove the requirement for specific attached evidence for an application alleging the basis is stalking, for purposes of address confidentiality, and instead makes the inclusion of that evidence permissive.

SB 1082 proposes a requirement for victims of domestic violence or stalking or reproductive health providers, employees, and volunteers to be domiciled in the state in order to apply for the community-based victims’ assistance program. It would also authorize a certain minor program participant to renew as an adult, and would authorize the Secretary of State to refuse to renew a program participant’s certification under certain conditions. Finally, the proposed bill would authorize the refusal to handle or forward packages from program participants.

Colorado

HB 1114
, known as “Vonnie’s Law,” amends the stalking statute penalty by fixing the bail for the crime of stalking and mandating that a protection order be issued against the offender. It also requires that when the stalking is committed in connection with a violation of a court order, any sentence imposed shall be served consecutively and not concurrently. If a protection order has been issued, the court must require the defendant to acknowledge the protection order as a condition of any bond for his or her release. Moreover, in stalking cases, the prosecuting attorney must notify the alleged victim, the complainant, and the protected person of the order if they are not present at the time the protection order is issued. The prosecuting attorney may also request a hearing before the court to modify the terms of a protection order.

Connecticut

HB 5548
amends the domestic violence statute to establish that any family or household member who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking, or a pattern of threatening by another family or household member can make an application to the Superior Court for relief. It includes stalking as a form of family violence. The amendment also adds certain provisions to the stalking statute: (1) It specifies that a person is guilty of stalking in the first degree when such person commits stalking in the second degree and has previously been convicted of the violation, or such conduct violates a court order in effect at the time of the offence, or the victim is under 16 years of age. Stalking in the first degree is a Class D felony; (2) A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when he 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 if 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, whether such conduct consists of the person telephoning to, appearing at, or initiating communication or contact at such other person’s employment or business, provided that the actor was previously and clearly informed to cease such conduct, and such conduct does not consist of constitutionally protected activity. Stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor; (3) The definition of course of conduct was amended to mean 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, (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.

Delaware

HB 245
designates stalking as a violent felony. It also includes stalking in the category of “violent crime.”

Florida

SB 436
amends the video voyeurism law and adds “the interior of a residential dwelling” to the definition of “place and time when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Hawaii

HB 2295
proposes to amend the cyberbullying statute by adding harassment by stalking. A person commits the offense of use of a computer in a separate crime if the person knowingly uses a computer to identify, select, solicit, persuade, coerce, entice, induce, procure, surveil, pursue, contact, harass, annoy, or alarm the victim of offenses related to harassment by stalking.

Illinois

HB 5992
proposes to amend the Stalking No Contact Order Act, the Civil No Contact Order Act, and the Domestic Violence Act. It provides that the sheriff, a law enforcement official, special process server, or a specified category of personnel in the Department of Corrections may serve a respondent with a short form notification of a civil no contact order or a stalking no contact order, which must include this information names of the protected parties, dates, and county in which the no contact order was filed.

SB 2869 proposes to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Stalking No Contact Order Act, the Civil No Contact Order Act, and the Domestic Violence Act in relation to notice of orders. It provides that a law enforcement officer notify the Department of Corrections within 48 hours of receipt of orders if the respondent, at the time of the order is in custody, or on parole or mandatory supervised release. Lastly, it would require that the notice contain certain respondent information, including the inmate number and date of birth.

SB 3693 proposes legislation that would require restitution to be paid to the compensation program when a crime victim’s out-of-pocket expenses have been paid under the Crime Victims Compensation Act. The act would also add offenses under the Stalking No Contact Order Act and the Civil No Contact Order Act to be included within the definition of crimes of violence.

Louisiana

HB 441
authorizes the issuance of a protective order, which can either be indefinite or for a fixed period of time not exceeding 18 months, against a person who is convicted of stalking. It specifies that a protective order may be issued as a condition of bail. The legislation also provides that specified portions of the protective order may be effective for an indefinite period, but the indefinite term may be modified after a contradictory hearing if certain conditions occur.

Maine

HB 1295
requires an arresting officer to obtain and provide to the jail the victim’s contact information in cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. It also requires that the jail notify the victim when the defendant is released on pre-conviction bail or the arresting agency if the victim cannot be reached. Notification is also required if the defendant is released on bail before being delivered to a jail and to a parent or legal guardian if the victim is a minor.

HB 1381 sets pre-conviction bail for a defendant who has violated a protection order or who has committed domestic violence stalking, threatening, terrorizing, or reckless conduct. If the underlying crime is an offense of domestic violence and the new conduct found by the court involves new allegations of domestic violence or contact with a victim or witness in the underlying case, the judge shall issue an order denying bail, unless the judge or justice makes the findings on the record required by both subsections 1 and 2. The judge or justice shall issue an order denying bail if there has been a previous revocation of pre-conviction bail pursuant to section 1096.

Minnesota

HB 469
provides that the application for a harassment restraining order may be filed in the county of residence of either party or in the county in which the alleged harassment occurred. It also provides that the filing and service fee are waived if the petition alleges a pattern of stalking conduct or second or subsequent violations.

Mississippi

HB 159
revises provisions of the address confidentiality program in domestic violence cases. It includes: a person living as a spouse; one who formerly lived as a spouse; a child of persons living as spouses or who formerly lived as spouses; a parent; grandparent; child; grandchild; someone similarly situated to the defendant; or a person with whom the defendant has a biological or legally adopted child in common.

HB 780 clarifies the relationships triggering domestic violence designation—which includes stalking—by adding parents, grandparents, child, grandchild, or someone similarly situated to the defendant. In any arrest for aggravated stalking, a violation of a domestic abuse protection order, or a similar order issued by another state, no bail shall be granted until the person arrested has appeared before a judge in that jurisdiction. The legislation authorizes a law enforcement officer to make a warrantless arrest of a violator if, within 24 hours of a bond condition violation, a law enforcement officer believes a violation has occurred. It also requires judges to check a protective order registry before granting bail. 

New Jersey

SB 1842 proposes to expand the statute authorizing temporary restraining orders for certain stalking victims to include victims of any age or mental capacity.

SB 1789 upgrades the crime of stalking when the victim is less than 18 years old.

AB 583 proposes to modify certain elements of the crime of stalking (details not available as of yet).

AB 762 proposes to create a civil cause of action for stalking.

AB 230 authorizes wiretap orders for investigation of luring or enticing a child, identity theft, stalking, and harassment under certain circumstances.

New York

AB 8978 proposes to amend the stalking law to include electronic stalking of a minor. It would establish an offense for the electronic stalking of minors in the fourth degree if the person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct using electronic communication directed at a child under the age of 21 years, and the conduct is likely to cause a reasonable fear of material harm to the child’s physical health, safety, or property; or is likely to cause material harm to the physical health, emotional health, safety, or property of the child. It also establishes offenses of criminal impersonation by electronic means and includes harassment by electronic means within the Class A misdemeanor of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

SB 108 provides that stalking by technological means shall be prohibited and shall be included in the crimes of stalking in the first, second, and third degrees.

AB 9154 prohibits certain discriminatory practices against victims of domestic violence relating to housing, including but not limited to, the purchase, rent, lease, or housing accommodation. It also defines domestic violence victim to include victims of domestic violence pursuant to the social services law and victims of stalking offenses.

Ohio

HB 414
proposes to expand the offenses of menacing by stalking and telecommunications harassment. Some of the additions include: making a threatening, intimidating, menacing, coercive comment with the intent to abuse, threaten, annoy, alarm, or harass; interrupting the telecommunication service of any person; transmitting any file, document, or other communication that prevents the person from using the telephone service or device; making any false statement concerning the death, injury, illness, disfigurement, reputation, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of any person or member of the person’s family; or alarming the recipient by making a telecommunication at an hour known to be inconvenient, in an offensive or repetitive manner, or without a legitimate purpose. The legislation would also prohibit a person from knowingly causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm or mental or emotional distress to the other person's immediate family. Lastly, it would prohibit the creation of an internet website or webpage that contains statements made for the purpose of abusing, threatening, or harassing another person. 

Oklahoma

HB 2396
increases the maximum fixed period of a protective order to five years. It also allows a continuous protective order if the court finds that the offender has a history of violating court orders; if the person has previously been convicted of a violent felony offense; or if the person has a previous conviction for stalking and a court order for a final Victim Protective Order has previously been issued in Oklahoma or another state. When issuing a protective order, the court may also consider any history of domestic violence or other violent acts.

Tennessee

SB 2438
designates stalking as a Class A misdemeanor. It also designates stalking as a Class E felony if the defendant, at the time of the offense, was required to or was registered with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as a sexual offender, violent sexual offender, or violent juvenile sexual offender.

HB 2262 allows a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking to terminate a lease or rental agreement if notice and documentation that the tenant is a victim are presented to the landlord.

Utah

SB 235
modifies the stalking statute to allow a court with a petition for a stalking injunction to take into consideration any minor children the parties may have. The court should consider provisions regarding the defendant’s exercise of custody and parent-time rights while ensuring the safety of the victim and any minor children. If the court issues a permanent criminal or civil stalking injunction but declines to address custody and parent-time issues, a copy of the stalking injunction must be filed in any action in which custody and parent-time issues are being considered and that court may modify the injunction to balance the parties’ custody and parent-time rights.

Vermont

SB 189
designates a court file as confidential once a case is accepted by the court diversion project. In cases involving stalking, sexual violence, or domestic violence offenses, the victim’s employer’s name, telephone number, address, or any other contact information as well as the victim’s medical or mental health provider’s name, telephone number, address, or any other contact information shall be confidential and shall be redacted by the victims compensation board for any purpose including restitution, absent a court order.

Virginia

HB 361
relates to enhanced penalties for stalking. It provides that any person who commits a second or subsequent offense of stalking within five years of a conviction of a prior offense is guilty of a Class 6 felony (currently, the Class 6 felony applies for a third or subsequent offense).

West Virginia

HB 4307
amends the code of West Virginia relating to domestic violence protective orders. It clarifies the rules and procedures for domestic violence civil proceedings and provides that there must be a mandatory provision in domestic violence protective orders that possession of firearms and ammunition while subject to the order is a criminal violation of state and federal law. 

HB 3041 protects non-family or non-household members from sexual offenses, stalking, and harassment.

Washington

HB 2508
requires employers with more than a specified number of full-time equivalent employees to provide paid leave to employees for specified medical reasons relating to the employee’s or a family member’s health, and reasons permitted under existing law for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

HB 1180 expands the protections for victims of stalking and harassment in anti-harassment protection orders.

HB 2464 introduces the stalking protection order act.


October - December 2011

Pending Legislation

Florida

HB 1099 requires that domestic violence injunctions issued by a court of another state be accorded full faith and credit by the Florida state courts. The definition of “credible threat” was amended to include verbal or nonverbal threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct which reasonably causes fear and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat (but it is not necessary to prove that the person had the intent to carry out the threat). The requirement that the threat be a threat of death or bodily injury was removed. The bill adds a provision for the sentencing court in a stalking case to consider issuing a restraining order for up to 10 yrs. The bill adds a separate injunction for stalking (which includes cyberstalking). A stalking injunction may be filed in the jurisdiction where the victim resides, where the stalker resides, or where the stalking occurred. The bill also prohibits a person who has a final injunction against him or her currently in force from possessing any firearm or ammunition.


July - September 2011

Enacted Legislation 

Alabama

HB 512 adds aggravated stalking to the definition of domestic violence in the first degree. Effective September 1, 2011.

California

AB 588 allows a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to terminate their tenancy.  The notice to terminate the tenancy must be in writing and accompanied by an order of protection or a copy of a police report.  Under the new law, the notice must be given within 180 days of the date the order of protection was issued.  The victim and members of their household will be relieved of their obligations under the rental agreement. Effective July 7, 2011.

AB 454
requires that a party protected by a civil protection order that covers domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking receive prior notice of any hearing or order that would terminate or modify such protection order.  Before this bill, the party covered by the civil protection order had no right to be notified prior to any hearing or order that would terminate or modify the protection order.  Effective July 25, 2011.

SB 636 Amends existing law authorizing victims of domestic violence or stalking and reproductive health care providers, employees, and volunteers to complete an application enabling agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing a residence address.   The bill also authorizes information disclosure under certain conditions and it provides for civil penalties.   It also prohibits a person or business from displaying on the Internet participant information, or that of a provider or patient of a reproductive health facility. Effective August 31, 2011.

Illinois

HB 277 amends the aggravated stalking statute by adding the following language: A person commits aggravated stalking when he or she is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act or has been previously required to register under that Act and commits the offense of stalking when the victim of the stalking is also the victim of the offense for which the sex offender is required to register under that Act or a family member of the victim. Effective August 22, 2011.

SB 2267
amends the statutes for Stalking, Aggravated Stalking, Cyberstalking, and Violations of Orders of Protection to include that a defendant who directed the actions of a third party to violate any of these sections is guilty of violating the Section as if the same had been personally done by the defendant, without regard to the mental state of the third party acting at the direction of the defendant. Effective August  11, 2011.

HB 3365
prohibits a respondent, against whom an order of protection was issued, from possessing any firearms during the duration of the order if the order: (1) was issued after a hearing of which respondent received actual notice, and at which respondent had an opportunity to participate; (2) restrains respondent  from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and (3)(i) includes a finding that respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury. Effective July 21, 2011.

Maine

HP 1029 adds domestic violence stalking to the definition of “a crime involving domestic violence” in the existing laws on bail. Effective June 14, 2011.

Texas

SB 82 amends the code of criminal procedure and adds that the offense of stalking may be prosecuted in any county in which an element of the offense occurred. Effective September 1, 2011


Pending Legislation

Pennsylvania

SB 1106 prohibits a landlord from terminating a tenancy or failing to renew a tenancy based upon an act of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking against a protected tenant or a protected tenant's household member. 


April - June 2011

Enacted Legislation 

Alabama

B 512 adds aggravated stalking to conduct that constitutes the crime of domestic violence in the first degree, when the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant. The legislation makes a second conviction for domestic violence in the first degree punishable as a class A misdemeanor and a third or subsequent conviction as a class C felony. The bill also expands the crime of domestic violence in the second degree to include the crimes of stalking, intimidating a witness, burglary, and criminal mischief, and the crime of domestic violence in the third degree to include the crimes of criminal surveillance, harassing communication, and criminal trespass. Effective September 1, 2011.

Arizona

HB 2302 establishes an address confidentiality program in the office of the secretary of state to allow individuals who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, or stalking to keep their residence addresses confidential and not accessible to the general public. Participants in the program shall receive a substitute address that will become their lawful address of record. The new law also authorizes the court to seal a name change application and judgment upon request of an applicant who is protected under an order of protection or injunction against harassment or a person who is the victim of an offense involving stalking. Effective December 31, 2011.

Delaware

SB 28 establishes an address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking who have filed for a protection from abuse order or who are or were named as a victim in any criminal or delinquency proceeding and who states that he or she fears future violent acts by the perpetrator of the abuse. Upon application and certification, eligible applicants and members of their households shall be provided a substitute address by the program. Effective October 3, 2011.

Iowa

SB 236 specifies that all persons who commit stalking, a tier I offense, shall be required to register as a sex offender, if the finder of fact (judge or jury) determines the offense was sexually motivated. The bill also reclassifies stalking committed against a person who is under eighteen years of age as a tier II (more serious) offense. Effective July 1, 2011.

Montana

HB 80 prohibits charging an employer for unemployment benefits paid to an employee who leaves employment as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Effective October 1, 2011.

North Dakota

B 1204 clarifies that a previous conviction for assault, terrorizing, menacing, harassment, or a similar offense from another court in North Dakota, a court of record in the United States, or a Tribal court that involves a victim of stalking elevates the stalking offense from a class A misdemeanor to a class C felony. Effective August 1, 2011.

Oklahoma

HB 1358 authorizes the issuance of a protective order on behalf of a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, harassment, or rape against a person who is incarcerated. Any protective order issued shall be for a fixed period not to exceed a period of three years unless extended, modified, vacated or rescinded. If the defendant is incarcerated, the protective order shall remain in effect during the period of incarceration and the period of incarceration shall not be included in the calculation of the three year time limitation. Effective November 1, 2011.

SB 567 mandates the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) to include in its required course of study for law enforcement certification at least eight hours of evidence-based domestic violence and stalking investigation. The training shall also be provided to previously certified full-time peace officers as part of CLEET's continuing education program. Effective November 1, 2011.

Oregon

SB 293 extends the release from a rental agreement obtained by a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to such victim's immediate family member. An immediate family member includes: an adult related by blood, adoption, marriage, or domestic partnership; a cohabitant in an intimate relationship; an unmarried parent of a joint child; and a child, grandchild, foster child, ward or guardian of the victim or any of the immediate families members defined above. If a tenant gives a landlord at least 14 days written notice requesting a release date and listing the names of any immediate family members to be released along with verification that the tenant is protected by an order of protection or has been the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking within the preceding 90 days, the landlord shall release the tenant and any listed immediate family member from the rental agreement. Effective January 1, 2012.

Tennessee

SB 509 added provisions allowing the court to assess court costs, filing fees, litigation taxes, and attorney fees against a petitioner who has filed for an order of protection, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is not a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault and that he or she knew that the allegation of domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault was false at the time the petition was filed. Effective June 6, 2011.

SB 567 authorizes the magistrate to order any defendant who is arrested for the offense of stalking, aggravated stalking, or especially aggravated stalking to carry or wear, a global positioning monitoring system device as a condition of release or bail and, if able, to pay the costs associated with operating that device. If the victim consents, the defendant may also be ordered to pay for providing the victim with an electronic receptor device that is capable of receiving the global positioning monitoring system information from the device carried or worn by the defendant and that notifies the victim if the defendant is at or near a location that the defendant has been ordered not to go. The victim shall be given an opportunity to provide the magistrate with a list of areas from which the victim would like the defendant excluded. The victim must be informed of: the right to participate or refuse to participate in a global positioning monitoring system; the procedure for requesting that the magistrate terminate the victim's participation; how such a system functions, any risks or limitations of the technology, and the extent to which the system will track and record the victim's location and movements; locations that the defendant is ordered to refrain from going to or near; any sanctions that may be imposed for a violation of condition of bond; procedures to follow and support services available; if the global positioning monitoring system equipment fails; and the name and telephone number of an appropriate person employed by a local law enforcement agency who the victim may call to request immediate assistance if a condition of bond imposed under this section is violated. A victim may request his or her participation in a global positioning monitoring system be terminated at any time. Effective July 1, 2011.

Texas

SB 82 amends the stalking statute by deleting the provision that the conduct engaged in specifically includes following the victim and, instead, authorizes the trier of fact to find that different types of conduct, if engaged in on more than one occasion, constitute conduct that is engaged in pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct. The bill also extends the law to include stalking conduct directed towards an individual with whom the victim has had a dating relationship, in addition to the victim's family or household member. The legislation upgrades the offense from a third degree felony to a second degree felony if the defendant was previously convicted of an offense under this section, or an offense that is substantially similar of another state, territory, federally recognized tribe, or federal law. In addition, the bill adds two new sections, the first of which clarifies that stalking may be prosecuted in any county in which an element of the offense occurred. The second new section specifies what evidence may be offered in a prosecution for stalking to include testimony as to all relevant facts and circumstances that would aid in determining whether the offender's conduct would cause a reasonable person fear, in particular, facts and circumstances surrounding an existing or previous relationship between the offender and the victim, the victim's family or household member, or an individual with whom the victim has a dating relationship. Effective September 1, 2011.

SB 250 creates a stalking protective order by extending the protections previously provided to sexual assault victims to victims of stalking. A person who is the victim of stalking, a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a person younger than 17 years of age who is the victim of such an offense, or a prosecuting attorney acting on behalf of the person may file an application for a protective order without regard to the relationship between the applicant and the alleged offender. If the court finds from the information contained in an application for a protective order that there is a clear and present danger of stalking to the applicant, the court may enter a temporary ex parte order for the protection of the applicant or any other member of the applicant's family or household. After a hearing, if the court finds reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant is the victim of stalking, the court shall issue a protective order. Effective September 1, 2011.

HB 1721 authorizes the issuance of a stalking protective order at any proceeding related to the stalking offense in which the defendant appears before the court. The request for a protective order is made by filing an application for a protective order in the same manner as an application for a family violence protective order. A protective order shall be issued if the court finds that probable cause exists to believe that stalking has occurred and that the course of conduct engaged in by the defendant indicates that he or she is likely to engage in stalking behavior in the future. Effective September 1, 2011.

West Virginia

SB 186 creates special subpoena powers to aid in the criminal investigation of certain offenses against minors, including a sexual offense against a minor, a child kidnapping, or a stalking offense when the victim is a minor. When a law enforcement agency is investigating such a crime and has reasonable suspicion that an electronic communications system or service or remote computing service has been used in the commission of the crime, a magistrate or a circuit court judge may issue a subpoena to the electronic communications system or service or remote computing service provider that owns or controls the Internet protocol address, websites, electronic mail address or service to a specific telephone number, requiring the production of the following information, if available: names; addresses; local and long distance telephone connections; records of session times and durations; length of service, including the start date and types of service utilized; telephone or other instrument subscriber numbers or other subscriber identifiers, including any temporarily assigned network address; and means and sources of payment for the service, including any credit card or bank account numbers. The electronic communications system or service or remote computing service provider served with the subpoena shall not disclose the existence of the subpoena or its response to the subpoena to the account holder identified in the subpoena. Effective June 9, 2011.


Pending Legislation

Federal

S 834/H.R. 2016, also known as the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act or Campus SaVE Act, proposes to amend the Clery Act, a section of the Higher Education Act of 1965, by improving education about and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses. It would require colleges to specify their policies on these issues, annually provide statistics about these crimes, and implement prevention programs. Policies must include clear disciplinary measures and statements to the victims that explain their legal rights and the school's obligation to assist the victim. Prevention programs would include bystander education and increased awareness about these crimes. If passed, the Secretary of Education, Attorney General, and Secretary of Health and Human Services will educate universities about the best ways to prevent and respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Alabama

B 238 proposes to create the offenses of stalking in the second degree and aggravated stalking in the second degree and elevates the current offenses of stalking and aggravated stalking to stalking in the first degree and aggravated stalking in the first degree. Stalking in the second degree is defined as: intentionally and repeatedly following, harassing, telephoning, or initiating communication, verbally, electronically, or otherwise, with another person, any member of the other person's immediate family, or any third party with whom the other person is acquainted; causing material harm to the mental or emotional health of the other person; or causing such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business, or career is threatened when the perpetrator has been previously informed to cease that conduct. Second degree stalking is a Class B misdemeanor. A person commits aggravated stalking in the second degree, a class B felony, when he or she commits second degree stalking when his or her conduct also violates a court order or injunction. The bill also proposes to amend the current stalking law by deleting the requirement that the requisite threat element be credible.

Connecticut

B 6633 proposes to amend the crime of stalking in the first degree by lowering the requisite age of a minor stalking victim from 16 to 13 in order for the offense to be classified as a first degree offense and by upgrading the crime from a class D felony to a class C felony. The bill also proposes to amend the crime of stalking in the second degree to include conduct whereby a person who is age 21 or older repeatedly follows a minor under the age of 16 or engages in a course of conduct intentionally placing or attempting to place the victim in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death. The proposed amendment upgrades stalking in the second degree from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony.  Finally, the proposed amendment would significantly expand the crime of stalking in the third degree. Currently, a person is guilty of stalking in the third degree when he recklessly causes another person to reasonably fear for his physical safety by willfully and repeatedly following or lying in wait for such other person. The bill would expand the behavior that constitutes stalking, clarify that the requisite intent element is general intent, and broaden what the victim is likely to fear to include such consequences as: reasonable fear of material harm to the victim's physical health, safety, or property or such harm to an immediate family member or acquaintance; risk of material harm to the mental or emotional health of the victim, when the conduct involves following in person or by means of an electronic device or initiating communication or contact with the victim, the victim's immediate family member, or acquaintance; or reasonable fear that the victim's employment, business, or career is threatened when the conduct involves appearing at, telephoning to, or initiating communication or contact at the victim's place of employment or business. The proposed amendment would also upgrade third degree stalking from a class B to a class A misdemeanor.

Illinois

HB 192 proposes to add factors for the court to consider when issuing a stalking no contact order and victim and the offender attend the same elementary, middle, or high school Such factors include: the severity of the conduct, any continuing physical danger or emotional distress to the victim, educational rights of both parties under federal and state law, availability of a transfer of the offender to another school and the expense, difficulty, and disruption that such a transfer would cause, and other relevant facts about the case. The court may order that the offender not attend the same school as the victim, that the offender accept a change of placement or program, or place restrictions on the offender's movement in the victim's school. The court may order the parents, guardian, or legal custodian of a minor offender to take certain actions to ensure that he or she complies with the no contact order.

New Jersey

AB 4086 proposes to create a civil cause of action for stalking to recover monetary losses incurred as a result of a stalker's conduct. If compensatory damages are awarded, a victim may also be awarded punitive damages.

SB 2820 proposes to allow domestic violence and stalking victims, and members of their immediate families, to register to vote under an existing voter registration procedure that protects the confidentiality of their respective home addresses, even when a restraining order has not been obtained against an offending individual. The victim must complete a sworn declaration form provided by the commissioner or board of elections that affirms under penalty of perjury that the person is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, and he or she fears further violent acts, death, or bodily injury from the individual committing the domestic violence or stalking.

New York

AB 1986/SB 5617 proposes to create the offense of aggravated family offense, a class E felony. A person is guilty of aggravated family offense when he or she commits a misdemeanor defined in the statute as a specified offense, including stalking in the first, second, third, or fourth degree, and he or she has been convicted of a specified offense within the immediately preceding five years. The person against whom the current specified offense is committed may be different from the person against whom the previous specified offense was committed and such persons do not need to be members of the same family our household.

AB 5396 proposes to establish a registry of domestic abuse offenders. A domestic abuse offender includes individuals convicted of first and second degree harassment, aggravated harassment in the second degree, and first, second, third, and fourth degree stalking committed against a family or household member. An offender who has been convicted of a violent felony or two misdemeanor offenses against a member of his or her household shall register at sentencing. Otherwise,
it shall be in the court's discretion to determine whether an offender should be required to register. A victim shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to object to an offender's inclusion in the registry. The Division of Criminal Justice Services shall operate a telephone number that the general public may call free of charge to inquire whether a particular individual is on the registry. A directory of registered domestic abuse offenders shall also be available via the Internet.

AB 6696 proposes to amend the offenses of stalking in the second and third degree to prohibit stalking committed by the use of technological devices. “Technological devices” include the Internet, cameras, global positioning tracking devices, and any other tracking device.

SB 5162 proposes to require that all reports and records relating to any stalking offense maintained by the state police or the police department of any county, city, town, or village of the state shall not be open to public inspection. The name, address, and all other personal information relating to the stalking victim shall be withheld from public disclosure.

North Carolina

SB 558 proposes to enact the Healthy  Families and Healthy Workplaces Act to provide paid sick time for employees of the state. Paid sick time shall be provided for certain specified reasons, including to allow an employee to address the psychological, physical, or legal effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking on the employee or the employee's immediate family member. When the paid sick time period exceeds more than three work days in a row, an employer may require certification of the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking which may include law enforcement, court or federal agency records or files; documentation from a domestic violence or sexual assault program; or documentation from a religious, medical, or other professional providing the employee with assistance in dealing with the offense. An employer may not require disclosure of any details relating to the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and if any such information is in the employer's possession, it shall be treated as confidential.

Pennsylvania

HB 1477 proposes to provide paid sick leave to an employee for an absence necessary due to domestic violence, including stalking, to seek medical attention for the employee or employee's child, spouse, parent, grandparent or extended family member to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability; obtain services from a victims' services organization; obtain counseling; seek or take legal action, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from the crime. An employer shall not take retaliatory personnel action or discriminate against an employee because the employee has requested paid sick leave. Any person harmed by the employer' failure to provide paid sick leave may bring a civil action against the employer, and if successful, shall recover the full amount of any unpaid sick leave plus any actual damages suffered as the result of the employer' failure to provide paid sick leave and reasonable attorney fees.



January - March 2011

Enacted Legislation

District of Columbia

B 792 protects victims of certain offenses from discrimination in obtaining insurance by prohibiting any person from inquiring whether an applicant for insurance or an insured person has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. Effective April 3, 2011.

Virginia

HB 2063 renames "protective orders for stalking" as "protective orders" and expands the persons eligible to obtain a protective order by broadening the types of conduct that permit the issuance of a protective order from certain specified criminal acts to any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. Such protective orders are available regardless of the relationship of the parties involved.

West Virginia

SB 461 makes the violation of a stalking restraining order a misdemeanor. Effective June 9, 2011.


Pending Legislation

Arizona

HB 2399 proposes to require employers to provide employees with up to 72 hours of paid sick and safe time, including for absences due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the leave is used to seek medical attention for the employee or the employee's family member to recover from physical or psychological injury caused by the offense; obtain victim services or counseling; seek relocation; or to prepare for or participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to the offense.

SB 1155 proposes to expand the offense of using a telephone to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend another to the use of any electronic or digital device to engage in such conduct. "Electronic or digital device" includes any wired or wireless communication and multimedia storage device. The bill also amends Arizona's stalking law to include conduct involving the use of any electronic, digital or global positioning system device to surveil a specific person or such person's internet or wireless activity continuously for 12 hours or more on two or more occasions.

HB 2588 proposes to authorize the court to seal a name change application and judgment upon request of an applicant who is protected under an order of protection or injunction against harassment or a person who is the victim of an offense involving stalking.

Arkansas

HB 1414 proposes to amend the stalking statute by adding the offense of stalking in the third degree when a person knowingly commits an act that would place a  reasonable person in the victim's position under emotional distress and in fear for his or her safety or a third person's safety. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor. The bill would also amend the definition of first degree stalking by removing the general intent element and changing the level of fear from placing the victim in imminent fear of death or serious bodily injury of him- or herself or an immediate family member to the same level used in the definition of third degree stalking when certain aggravating factors are present. The definition of "course of conduct" is expanded to include acts in which the actor directly, indirectly, or through a third party by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, places under surveillance, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person's property. The bill also creates a civil cause of action for stalking. 

SB 741 proposes creating the offenses of wireless communication device stalking of a child and communicating improperly using a wireless device with a minor to address the problem of sexting. 

California

AB 452 proposes to prohibit a person or entity from knowingly engaging a third party to use, or attempt to use, an electronic tracking device to determine the  location or movement of a person without the consent of that person.

Connecticut

HB 6091 proposes to prevent the state courts from being used to harass, stalk, or bankrupt a victim of domestic violence or other crime by having judicial  department staff monitor the frequency and validity of actions filed upon request.

HB 6089 proposes to improve Connecticut's stalking statutes by adding provisions taking an offender's past stalking behaviors into account when charging a repeat offense; expanding the intent requirement to make it easier for prosecutors to prove stalking cases; expanding the definition of stalking to include reasonable fears beyond only the fear for physical safety; creating course of conduct guidelines to provide guidance on what acts constitute stalking;and increasing penalties for stalking offenses. 

Florida

HB 1213 proposes to create an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking and provides that a person who suffers an injury or loss as a result of a violation of an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking may be awarded economic damages for that injury or loss, including costs and attorney's fees. The bill would also establish the Stalking and Cyberstalking Injunction Statewide Verification System within the Department of Law Enforcement which would be required to maintain a statewide communication system capable of electronically transmitting information to and between criminal justice agencies relating to stalking or cyberstalking injunctions issued by the courts throughout the state.

Hawaii

HB 239/SB 1015 proposes to increase the penalty for violating a protective order if the offender has a prior conviction for certain offenses including aggravated harassment by stalking.

HB 1264 proposes to authorize the court to prohibit contact by a convicted offender with a protected party by establishing court-defined geographic exclusion zones around the protected person's residence, place of employment, or school. The court may order the offender to wear a global positioning satellite (gps) tracking device to alert the protected person and police if the offender enters a geographic exclusion zone.

Maine

HB 312 proposes to authorize a law enforcement officer to seize firearms from a person upon arrest for certain crimes of domestic violence, including stalking. The new provision requires, as a condition of bail, that all firearms in the possession of the person arrested be relinquished to a law enforcement officer and that the person refrain from possessing a firearm or other specified dangerous weapons until further order of a court.

Maryland

SB 64 proposes to alter the definition of victim as it relates to eligibility for Criminal Injuries Compensation to include a person who suffers psychological injury as a result of certain additional crimes, including stalking, harassment, misuse of telephone facilities and equipment, misuse of electronic mail, visual surveillance, visual surveillance with prurient interest, camera surveillance, or sale of a minor.

Massachusetts

B 386/SB 586 proposes to permit a tenant to terminate a rental agreement or tenancy upon providing written notification to the property owner that a member of the household is a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, or stalking. A property owner shall not terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, or refuse to enter into a rental agreement, based on a tenant's or a member of the tenant's household's status as a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, or stalking.


SB 918 proposes to require an employer to permit an employee to take up to 15 days of leave from work in any 12 month period, with or without pay, if the employee, or a family member of the employee, is a victim of abusive behavior, including stalking, and the employee is using the leave from work to: obtain medical attention, counseling, victim services or legal assistance; secure housing; obtain a protective order from a court; appear in court or before a grand jury meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official; attend child custody proceedings; or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee.

Mississippi

HB 512 proposes to permit an employer to file a civil action and seek relief such as a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and/or permanent injunction, if the employer or an employee has suffered unlawful conduct including stalking and cyberstalking by any person, and the employer reasonably believes that the person may carry out further unlawful conduct at the employer's workplace.

New Mexico

SB 474 proposes to allow a minor to file for or be restrained by an order of protection. A minor who is fourteen years of age or older may petition for an order of protection or a temporary order of protection on his or her own behalf, if the minor files a petition containing allegations of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault.

New Jersey

AB 3842 proposes to allow domestic violence and stalking victims, and members of their immediate families, to register to vote under an existing voter registration procedure that protects the confidentiality of their home addresses, even when a restraining order has not been obtained against an offending individual.

SB 2690 proposes to establish a pilot program for satellite-based monitoring of domestic violence offenders, consisting of continuous electronic tracking and immediate notification to the victim and law enforcement when the monitored person enters into a defined geographic exclusion zone that the he or she has been barred from entering. Domestic violence is defined to include a number of offenses, including stalking.

New York

AB 452/SB 108 proposes to amend the state's stalking laws to include stalking conduct committed through the use of technological means. "Technological means" includes illegal wiretapping, cell phones, caller identification, the internet, cameras, global positioning systems, and any other type of tracking device.

AB 1535 proposes to establish an address confidentiality program to enable state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the location of a victim of abuse, sexual assault, or stalking through the use of a substitute mailing address.

AB 2355/2598
proposes to create the new crime of cyber harassment and increase the penalties for harassment and stalking when committed by an adult against a child. 

SB 924
proposes to increase penalties for first, second, third and fourth degree stalking.

AB 4083 proposes to require each senior high school to provide information regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking prevention to incoming students through workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and film presentations.

North Carolina

HB 223 proposes to require employers to provide employees with paid sick days to address their health needs and the health needs of their families, including to allow an employee to address the psychological, physical, or legal effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. If an employer possesses information pertaining to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking about an employee or an employee's family member, that information shall be kept confidential.

Ohio

HB 105 proposes to allow an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, including menacing by stalking, to take unpaid leave to file a petition for a protective order or seek medical attention. The bill would also allow a tenant who is a domestic violence victim to terminate a rental agreement under certain circumstances and require the landlord of a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence or menacing by stalking to change the lock to the unit where the tenant resides upon receipt of a written request from the tenant and a copy of the protection order.

Tennessee

SB 1922 proposes to enact the "Safe Home Act," declaring that stalking is a widespread societal problem and the inability of victims to terminate their rental agreements hinders or prevents victims from being able to safely flee domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. A tenant who meets the statutory requirements has the right to terminate a residential rental or lease agreement entered into, or renewed on or after July 1, 2011 upon providing the landlord with written notice stating that the tenant or a household member is the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

Utah

SB 40 proposes to require an employer to permit an employee who is a victim of an act of violence, including stalking, to use up to three days of paid or unpaid leave to seek a stalking injunction; obtain medical care or mental health counseling for the employee or the employee's children to address physical or psychological injuries resulting from the act of violence; secure the employee's home or seek new housing; obtain legal assistance; or attend and prepare for a court-related proceeding arising from the act of violence.

Washington

HB 1180 proposes to expand the protections for victims of stalking and harassment in antiharassment protection orders by authorizing the court to require the respondent to participate in counseling and to submit to global positioning system monitoring if there is clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a danger to the victim.

SB 5826 proposes to limit the screening of prospective tenants by prohibiting the inclusion of qualified victim protection records in tenant screening reports. Qualified victim protection records include records or information indicating that the prospective tenant is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or is protected by a court order

West Virginia

B 3041 proposes to create a sexual assault and stalking civil protection order to protect individuals who are victims of sexual offenses, stalking, and harassment committed by non-family or non-household members.

SB 310 proposes to make employees who have left employment due to being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.

Wyoming

HB 256 proposes to create the Wyoming Safe Homes Act, which authorizes a victim of domestic or sexual violence, which includes stalking of an adult or a minor, who is under credible imminent threat of domestic abuse or sexual violence, to terminate a lease.

October - December 2010

Enacted Legislation

California

SB 1233 extends the provisions of the "Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence and Stalking" program indefinitely. Effective January 1, 2011

Pending Legislation

Texas

SB 82 proposes to amend the stalking statute to provide protections to individuals with whom the victim has a dating relationship, and expand the types of evidence that can be used in prosecuting stalking cases.

SB 250 proposes to expand the availability of temporary ex parte protective orders to victims in clear and present danger of stalking.


July - September 2010

Enacted Legislation

Florida

HB 317 expands Fla. Stat. § 836.10 (Written threats to kill or do bodily injury) to include threats sent by electronic means such as e-mail or text message. Effective October 1, 2010.


Pending Legislation

Federal

HR 5662, also known as the Simplifying the Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe (STALKERS) Act of 2010, proposes to amend the federal stalking law by expanding the prohibited conduct to cover actions such surveillance, reducing the level of fear that a victim must sustain, and increasing the penalties in cases where the stalking was in violation of a protective order or where the victim was a minor. The bill would also call on the Department of Justice to identify best practices in enforcing stalking laws.

New Jersey

AB 2889 proposes to expand the availability of temporary restraining orders to all victims of stalking.

April - June 2010

Enacted Legislation

Florida

HB 7079 provides victims of stalking public record exemptions from revealing personally identifying information in voter registration and voting records. Effective May 26, 2010.

Minnesota

SB 2437:
  • Clarifies the crime of stalking by expressly naming the statute as "stalking" (currently labeled "harassment");
  • Eliminates the specific intent requirement;
  • Directs there need not be a special relationship between the offender and victim;
  • Expands the list of behaviors that constitute stalking; and
  • Allow stalking acts committed in more than one county to be prosecuted in any county at least one act occurred.
    Effective August 1, 2010.

Oklahoma

HB 2827amends the protection order law to include victims stalking, domestic violence, or harassment and allow victims to petitiion for emergency temporary protection orders from a peace officer when courts are closed and:
  • Eliminates the specific intent requirement;
  • Amends the requirement of fear to be that a victim would have to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested by a person's behavior;
  • Expands prohibited behaviors under "unconsented contact or course of conduct" to include appearing at the victim's workplace, communications by telephone or e-mail, and the delivering to or placing objects on property owned, leased or occupied by the victim;
  • Adds animals to the list of parties that can be listed on a protective order.
    Effective November 1, 2010.

Wyoming

SB 33 adds violation of protection orders to actions warranting enhancement of the penalty for stalking. Effective July 1, 2010.

January - March 2010

Enacted Legislation

American Samoa

HB 31-23 establishes the crime of stalking. Stalking is defined as purposely or knowingly engaging in a course of conduct directed toward another person that causes reasonable fear of harm to the physical health, safety or property of such person, an immediate family member, or a third party with whom he/she is acquainted; causes mental or emotional harm to such person after the stalker was told to cease that conduct; and is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear their employment, business or career and such conduct consists of appearing, telephoning or initiating communication or contact at their place of employment or business, and the stalker was told to cease that conduct. Under the law, stalking is a Class B misdemeanor but is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if stalking in cases in which a temporary restraining order or an injunction exists. Effective May 16, 2010.

Massachusetts

SB 2212 establishes a civil protection order for victims of stalking and sexual assault and enables victim to claim losses suffered as a direct result of the stalking or sexual assault (e.g., loss of earnings, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained or property damaged, cost of replacement of locks, medical expenses, cost for obtaining an unlisted phone number, and reasonable attorneys fees), Effective July 10, 2010.

Mississippi

HB 1309 broadens the stalking law to include behavior that a person would cause a "reasonable person to fear for his or her own safety, to fear for the safety of another person, or to fear damage or destruction of his or her property," and creates the crime of aggravated stalking. Effective July 1, 2010.  

South Dakota

HB 1164 amends the no contact provision in stalking and domestic abuse cases to prohibit defendants arrested for stalking or assault from any contact, either directly or through a third party, until an initial court appearance or as authorized by the court.

Pending Legislation

Alaska

HB 307 proposes to authorize judges and magistrates to issue restraining orders for victims of stalking and sexual assault.

California

AB 2479 proposes to expand the tort of stalking to impose liability when a defendant engages in a pattern of conduct intending to place a victim under surveillance and to provide an exception to the requirement that victims demand defendants to cease such conduct when communication would be impractical or unsafe.

Iowa

SSB 3176 proposes to prohibit employers from requiring employees to disclose details relating to domestic abuse, sexual abuse, or stalking as a condition of using paid sick leave.

HB 2248 proposes to authorize courts to order defendants charged with or convicted of stalking or domestic abuse to wear electronic monitoring devices while on conditional release and require the Department of Corrections to notify victims of any modifications to the use of such system.

Kentucky

HB 1, also known as "Amanda's Bill," proposes to authorize courts to order electronic monitoring for defendants in domestic violence cases.

Massachusetts

SB 2185 proposes to expand eligibility for protection under the state's harassment prevention order statute to include victims of stalking and sexual assault.

Minnesota

SB 2437 proposes to:
  • Clarify the crime of stalking by expressly naming the statute as "stalking" (currently labeled "harassment");
  • Eliminate the specific intent requirement;
  • Direct there need not be a special relationship between the offender and victim;
  • Expands the list of behaviors that constitute stalking; and
  • Allow stalking acts committed in more than one county to be prosecuted in any county at least one act occurred.

Missouri

HB 1427 proposes to:
  • Establish the crime of Cyberstalking;
  • Expand the definition of "course of conduct" to include illegal wiretapping, the use of cellular phones, the Internet, cameras or videos, global positioning systems, or any other type of tracking device;
  • Expand the definition of "harasses" to include written or printed communications or transmissions, telephone or wireless telephonic communications, e-messages, and other computerized or electronic transmissions; and
  • Expand the crime of harassment to include knowingly and anonymously making or causing to be made a communication which is a threat to commit any felony and in so doing frightens, intimidates, or causes a victim emotional distress.

New Hampshire

SB 431 proposes the creation of protections preventing landlords from terminating or refusing to renew tenancy based on an individual being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

New Jersey

SB 1562 proposes to upgrade the crime of stalking when the victim is under 18 years old. 

 

AB 1001 proposes to modify the crime of stalking to include harassment and define "repeatedly" as "on more than one occasion" (currently defined as "on two or more occasions"). 

New York

SB 6897 proposes to add "stalking by technological means" (defined to include illegal wiretapping, cell phones, caller ID, the Internet, cameras, and global positioning systems) to the crime of stalking. 

 

 

AB 10440 proposes, for the purposes of prevention, to expand the list of criminal offenses which may constitute domestic violence to include stalking, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, and criminal mischief.

Ohio

HB 112 proposes to authorize courts to require defendants to wear global positioning devices as a condition of pretrial release and directs that defendants to pay for the cost of such monitoring.

 

 

HB 391 proposes to establish an address confidentiality program allowing individuals in reasonable fear for their safety use a post office box in lieu of a street address.

Oklahoma

SB 790 proposes to create a civil no contact order available for stalking victims that can also be filed for by an adult on behalf of a minor or incompetent adult.

 


HB 2827 proposes revising the stalking law to:

  • Eliminate the specific intent requirement;
  • Amend the requirement of fear to be that a victim would have to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested by a person's behavior;
  • Expand prohibited behaviors under "unconsented contact or course of conduct" to include appearing at the victim's workplace, communications by telephone or e-mail, and the delivering to or placing objects on property owned, leased or occupied by the victim;
  • Allow victims to obtain an emergency temporary protective order from a peace officer when the court is closed; and
  • Add animals to the list of parties that can be listed on a protective order.

 

South Carolina

SB 969 proposes to establish that restraining orders against a person engaged in harassment and stalking cannot be lifted or changed without the consent of the victim.

 

Virginia

HB 164 proposes to authorize courts to require respondents to wear global positioning or similar devices as a condition of a protective order.

 

 

HB 288 proposes to expand of the crime of stalking to include instances when only one act occurs but is accompanied by verbal threats of sexual assault, bodily injury, or death, and to establish a felony offense for engaging in stalking behavior within five years after convictions for family assault or battery.

West Virginia

HB 4207 proposes to expand prohibited behaviors under the current harassment law to include sending obscene, anonymous, harassing, or threatening communications by computer, cellular devices, personal digital or other mobile device.  

 

October - December 2009

Enacted Legislation

California

SB 188 authorizes chief administrative officers, security officers, or employee designees of private post-secondary educational institutions to seek temporary restraining orders (TROs) or injunctions on behalf of a student who has received a credible threat of violence off campus that can be reasonably construed to be carried out on the campus. The law allows schools to obtain a TRO on behalf of any number of other students at the campus or facility, as specified. Effective January 1, 2010.

 

Pending Legislation

Florida

SB 0174 proposes to authorize courts to require defendants to wear global positioning devices if such monitoring could deter additional violence prior to trial against victims of repeated violence (defined as two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the defendant), domestic, dating, or sexual violence.

Ohio

HB 167 proposes numerous provisions prohibiting an employer or a landlord from discriminating against a victim of stalking or domestic violence including:
  • Requiring employers to allow victims to take unpaid leave to attend court, obtain protective orders, receive medical attention, or otherwise address needs related the victimization;
  • Enabling victims to sue for "unlawful discriminatory practice in employment," should an employer fail to follow the law;
  • Requiring landlords to change the locks for victims and prohibits termination of tenancy based on an tenant's status as a victim; and
  • Requiring the Metropolitan Housing Authority to move victims if another unit is available.

 

Pennsylvania

HR 527 proposes to proclaim January as Stalking Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

 

July - September 2009

Enacted Legislation

District of Columbia

B18-389 broadens the stalking law to cover behaviors that a defendant purposefully engaged in "that he or she knows or has reason to know would cause a person reasonably to" be in fear or have a similar reaction. The new law focuses on actions that would cause a victim to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person; feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or suffer emotional distress. It also expands prohibited conduct to include stalking via electronic, mechanical, digital, or other equipment, including global positioning systems (GPS), spy cameras, or spyware. Enhanced penalties are included for those cases that cause more than $2,500 in financial injury to the victim. Effective August 6, 2009.

 

Hawaii

SB 1568 grants unemployment benefits to victims of domestic or sexual violence, defined to include stalking, if the victim must leave his or her job for a "compelling family reason." Reasons include any domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking circumstance that would jeopardize the safety of the individual or a member of the individual's family and causes the victim to relocate, obtain psychological treatment for herself or a minor child, or fear continued violence en route to work. Effective July 1, 2009.

 

Illinois

HB 693 establishes a civil protective order for victims of stalking. Creates the offense of violating a court's stalking protective order and provides that a first offense is a Class A misdemeanor and a second or subsequent offense is a Class 4 felony. Effective August 11, 2009.

 

HB 2542 broadens Illinois's stalking law to include actions that a person knows or should know would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety, the safety of a third person, or to suffer emotional distress. The bill expands prohibited behavior to cover surveillance and monitoring, including surveillance by global positioning systems (GPS), and interfering with a person's property or pet. It also creates the crime of Cyberstalking. Effective January 1, 2010. 

Nevada

AB 309 expands the definition of stalking to include conduct that would cause a reasonable person to "fear for the immediate safety of a family or household member" and adds text messaging to the existing crime of "stalking with a communication device." Effective October 1, 2009.  

 

New York

A 755 provides that employers may not refuse to hire or employ or may not discharge from employment an individual because of their victimization. Employers also cannot discriminate against them in terms of compensation, conditions or privileges of employment. Effective July 7, 2009.

 

Oregon

SB 928 prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The bill would also direct that an employer cannot refuse to make a "reasonable safety accommodation" requested by a victim, unless the employer can demonstrate that the action would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. Effective January 1, 2010.

 

Pending Legislation

California

SB 188 proposes to authorize chief administrative officers, security officers, or employee designees of private post-secondary educational institutions to seek temporary restraining orders (TROs) or injunctions on behalf of a student who has received a credible threat of violence off campus that can be reasonably construed to be carried out on the campus. The law allows schools to obtain a TRO on behalf of any number of other students at the campus or facility, as specified.

 

January - June 2009

Enacted Legislation

New Jersey

AB 1563 broadens the definition of "course of conduct" to include actions committed directly, indirectly, or through a third party that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person or that would cause a victim emotional distress. The bill also adds expands prohibited behavior to cover surveillance and monitoring, including surveillance by Global Positioning Systems (GPS), indirect threats, interfering with a persons property, and actions committed by a third party. Effective March 21, 2009. 

 

New Mexico

SB 166 , also known as "Jodi's Law," amends New Mexico's stalking statute by requiring that an offender "knows or should know" that his conduct would cause a person to be in reasonable apprehension of death, bodily injury, sexual assault or confinement of that person or another person.  It expands the definition of prohibited conduct to include use of a computer to stalk a victim or monitoring or surveillance of a victim via Global Positioning System (GPS).  Effective July 1, 2009.  

 

New York

A 2714 requires college campuses in New York to provide incoming students and the campus community with information about domestic violence and stalking prevention. Effective April 7, 2009.

 

Ohio

HB 471 allows judges, upon request of a victim, to require a stalker to wear electronic monitoring devices after violating a protective order. The law provides that the offender must incur the cost of the installation and monitoring of the device. Effective April 7, 2009.

 

Washington

HB 1856 extends a tenant's right to terminate a rental agreement without obligation to make rental payments in cases in which the tenant is sexually assaulted, stalked, or sexually harassed by their landlord.  The law allows such tenants or other household members to change or add locks to their dwelling and prohibits landlords from retaliating against them. Effective July 26, 2009.

 

Virginia

SB 1365 allows any individual or a member of that person's household who fears for their personal safety from another person who has threatened or stalked them to use a post office box in lieu of a street address on voter registration forms. Anyone participating in the state's address confidentiality program is also eligible to use a post office box on voter registration forms. Effective July 1, 2009.

 


Pending Legislation

California

SB 782

 

would create a system whereby a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking can request from a landlord a "partial eviction" of an abuser, allowing the victim and other household members to remain in the rental unit. The bill also would give victims the right to raise a defense to an eviction in cases in which the eviction is based on the conduct of the abuser.

AB 1081 would require a risk assessment to be performed for certain offenders to determine if electronic monitoring via Global Positioning System is deemed necessary. The bill would require continuous monitoring for any parolee convicted of stalking who is deemed to pose a high risk of repeat stalking.

Massachusetts

 

SB 2212 would expand eligibility for protection under the state's harassment prevention order statute to include victims of stalking and sexual assault.

New Jersey

AB 2143 would expand the list of prohibited contact under a permanent stalking restraining order to include communication to the victim via e-mail and other online communication methods including the use of Websites.

 

New York

AB 7425 would enhance penalties for stalking in the third and fourth degree when the actions occurs via "technological devices" and defines such devices to include the Internet, cameras, and global positioning tracking devices.

 

 

AB 8193, also known as the "MySpace Law," would create the crime of "cyber harassment." The bill would prohibit a person from transmitting an electronic communication, or knowingly allowing another person to transmit an electronic communication, through a device under his or her control, with the purpose of frightening or disturbing another person.

SB 5364 would create the crime of "electronic stalking." Under the proposed law, a person is guilty of electronic stalking if he or she intentionally and for no legitimate purpose makes an electronic communication that includes personal identifying information of another person and knows or reasonably should know that such a communication would cause that other person to fear death, serious bodily injury, sexual assault, or trespass or burglary against herself or another person. It also would create enhanced penalties for electronic stalking that facilitates the commission of certain crimes and electronic stalking of a minor.

South Carolina

SB 790 would create a civil no contact order that will be available for stalking victims.  The petition for a civil no contact order can be filed for by an adult on behalf of a minor or incompetent adult.

 

Wisconsin

SB 204 would expand current law prohibiting housing discrimination to include victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. (This bill appears substantially similar to AB 277, also pending).