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H.B. 221





Sponsor: John Dougall

             6      LONG TITLE
             7      General Description:
             8          This bill amends the current law regarding telephone harassment to include other forms
             9      of electronic communication harassment.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    defines electronic communication; and
             13          .    creates the offense of committing acts of communication harassment by electronic
             14      means in addition to by telephone with the intent to annoy or alarm a recipient,
             15      including the acts of:
             16              .    repeatedly attempting to contact a recipient via electronic means after having
             17      been told to not contact the recipient; and
             18              .    jamming or disrupting a recipient's electronic communication device.
             19      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          76-9-201, as last amended by Chapter 128, Laws of Utah 2001
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

             28          Section 1. Section 76-9-201 is amended to read:
             29           76-9-201. Electronic communication harassment -- Definitions -- Penalties.
             30          (1) As used in this section:
             31          (a) "Electronic communication" means any communication by electronic,
             32      electro-mechanical, or electro-optical communication device for the transmission and reception
             33      of audio, image, or text but does not include broadcast transmissions or similar
             34      communications that are not targeted at any specific individual.
             35          (b) "Electronic communication device" includes telephone, facsimile, electronic mail,
             36      or pager.
             37          [(1)] (2) A person is guilty of [telephone] electronic communication harassment and
             38      subject to prosecution in the jurisdiction where the [telephone call] communication originated
             39      or was received if with intent to annoy, alarm, intimidate, offend, abuse, threaten, harass, [or]
             40      frighten [another at the called number,], or disrupt the electronic communications of another,
             41      the person:
             42          (a) (i) makes repeated [telephone calls] contact by means of electronic
             43      communications, whether or not a conversation ensues[,]; or
             44          (ii) after [having been told] the recipient has requested or informed the person not to
             45      [call back, causes the telephone of another to ring] contact the recipient, and the person
             46      repeatedly or continuously[;]:
             47          (A) contacts the electronic communication device of the recipient; or
             48          (B) causes an electronic communication device of the recipient to ring or to receive
             49      other notification of attempted contact by means of electronic communication;
             50          (b) makes [a telephone call] contact by means of electronic communication and insults,
             51      taunts, or challenges the recipient of the [telephone call] communication or any person at the
             52      [called number] receiving location in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly
             53      response; [or]
             54          (c) makes [a telephone call] contact by means of electronic communication and
             55      threatens to inflict injury, physical harm, or damage to any person or the property of any
             56      person[.]; or
             57          (d) causes disruption, jamming, or overload of an electronic communication system
             58      through excessive message traffic or other means utilizing an electronic communication device.

             59          [(2)] (3) [Telephone] Electronic communication harassment is a class B misdemeanor.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-18-05 4:41 PM

A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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