Stalking Legislative Updates, 2009-2010
*Please be advised that this list is not exhaustive. If there is activity in your state not listed, let us know by e-mailing email@example.com.
October - December 2011
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
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
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
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
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 â€œa crime involving domestic violenceâ€ 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. â€œTechnological devicesâ€ 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.
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.
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
District of Columbia
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.
makes the violation of a stalking restraining order a misdemeanor. Effective June 9, 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
California SB 1233
extends the provisions of the "Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence and Stalking" program indefinitely. Effective January 1, 2011
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
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.
, 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.
proposes to expand the availability of temporary restraining orders to all victims of stalking.
April - June 2010
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 2827
amends 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
HB 307 proposes to authorize judges and magistrates to issue restraining orders for victims of stalking and sexual assault.
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.
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.
, also known as "Amanda's Bill," proposes to authorize courts to order electronic monitoring for defendants in domestic violence cases.
proposes to expand eligibility for protection under the state's harassment prevention order statute to include victims of stalking and sexual assault.
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
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").
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
proposes to proclaim January as Stalking Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
July - September 2009
District of Columbia
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).