7 LONG TITLE
8 Committee Note:
9 The Criminal Code Evaluation Task Force recommended this bill.
10 Membership: 6 legislators 9 non-legislators
11 Total Vote: 14 voting for 0 voting against 1 absent
12 Legislative Vote: 6 voting for 0 voting against 0 absent
13 The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee recommended this bill.
14 Legislative Vote: 15 voting for 0 voting against 1 absent
15 General Description:
16 This bill modifies the elements for the offense of stalking.
17 Highlighted Provisions:
18 This bill:
19 ▸ changes the definition of "course of conduct" required for the offense of stalking
19a by Ĥ→ [
20 • increasing the number of acts necessary to constitute a course of conduct; and
22 of purpose.
23 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25 Other Special Clauses:
27 Utah Code Sections Affected:
29 76-5-106.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 142
31 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
32 Section 1. Section 76-5-106.5 is amended to read:
33 76-5-106.5. Stalking -- Definitions -- Injunction -- Penalties -- Duties of law
34 enforcement officer.
35 (1) As used in this section:
36 (a) "Course of conduct" means [
36a toward a specific
37 person evidencing a continuity of purpose, including:
38 (i) acts in which the actor follows, monitors, observes, photographs, surveils, threatens,
39 or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property:
40 (A) directly, indirectly, or through any third party; and
41 (B) by any action, method, device, or means; or
42 (ii) when the actor engages in any of the following acts or causes someone else to
43 engage in any of these acts:
44 (A) approaches or confronts a person;
45 (B) appears at the person's workplace or contacts the person's employer or coworkers;
46 (C) appears at a person's residence or contacts a person's neighbors, or enters property
47 owned, leased, or occupied by a person;
48 (D) sends material by any means to the person or for the purpose of obtaining or
49 disseminating information about or communicating with the person to a member of the person's
50 family or household, employer, coworker, friend, or associate of the person;
51 (E) places an object on or delivers an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by
52 a person, or to the person's place of employment with the intent that the object be delivered to
53 the person; or
54 (F) uses a computer, the Internet, text messaging, or any other electronic means to
55 commit an act that is a part of the course of conduct.
56 (b) "Emotional distress" means significant mental or psychological suffering, whether
57 or not medical or other professional treatment or counseling is required.
58 (c) "Immediate family" means a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other person who
59 regularly resides in the household or who regularly resided in the household within the prior six
61 (d) "Reasonable person" means a reasonable person in the victim's circumstances.
62 (e) "Stalking" means an offense as described in Subsection (2) or (3).
63 (f) "Text messaging" means a communication in the form of electronic text or one or
64 more electronic images sent by the actor from a telephone or computer to another person's
65 telephone or computer by addressing the communication to the recipient's telephone number.
66 (2) A person is guilty of stalking who intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of
67 conduct directed at a specific person and knows or should know that the course of conduct
68 would cause a reasonable person:
69 (a) to fear for the person's own safety or the safety of a third person; or
70 (b) to suffer other emotional distress.
71 (3) A person is guilty of stalking who intentionally or knowingly violates:
72 (a) a stalking injunction issued under Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 7, Civil Stalking
73 Injunctions; or
74 (b) a permanent criminal stalking injunction issued under Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 9,
75 Criminal Stalking Injunctions.
76 (4) In any prosecution under this section, it is not a defense that the actor:
77 (a) was not given actual notice that the course of conduct was unwanted; or
78 (b) did not intend to cause the victim fear or other emotional distress.
79 (5) An offense of stalking may be prosecuted under this section in any jurisdiction
80 where one or more of the acts that is part of the course of conduct was initiated or caused an
81 effect on the victim.
82 (6) Stalking is a class A misdemeanor:
83 (a) upon the offender's first violation of Subsection (2); or
84 (b) if the offender violated a stalking injunction issued under Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part
85 7, Civil Stalking Injunctions.
86 (7) Stalking is a third degree felony if the offender:
87 (a) has been previously convicted of an offense of stalking;
88 (b) has been previously convicted in another jurisdiction of an offense that is
89 substantially similar to the offense of stalking;
90 (c) has been previously convicted of any felony offense in Utah or of any crime in
91 another jurisdiction which if committed in Utah would be a felony, in which the victim of the
92 stalking offense or a member of the victim's immediate family was also a victim of the
93 previous felony offense;
94 (d) violated a permanent criminal stalking injunction issued under Title 78B, Chapter
95 7, Part 9, Criminal Stalking Injunctions; or
96 (e) has been or is at the time of the offense a cohabitant, as defined in Section
97 78B-7-102, of the victim.
98 (8) Stalking is a second degree felony if the offender:
99 (a) used a dangerous weapon as defined in Section 76-1-601 or used other means or
100 force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury, in the commission of the crime of
102 (b) has been previously convicted two or more times of the offense of stalking;
103 (c) has been convicted two or more times in another jurisdiction or jurisdictions of
104 offenses that are substantially similar to the offense of stalking;
105 (d) has been convicted two or more times, in any combination, of offenses under
106 Subsection (7)(a), (b), or (c);
107 (e) has been previously convicted two or more times of felony offenses in Utah or of
108 crimes in another jurisdiction or jurisdictions which, if committed in Utah, would be felonies,
109 in which the victim of the stalking was also a victim of the previous felony offenses; or
110 (f) has been previously convicted of an offense under Subsection (7)(d) or (e).
111 (9) (a) A permanent criminal stalking injunction limiting the contact between the
112 defendant and victim may be filed in accordance with Section 78B-7-902.
113 (b) This section does not preclude the filing of criminal information for stalking based
114 on the same act which is the basis for the violation of the stalking injunction issued under Title
115 78B, Chapter 7, Part 7, Civil Stalking Injunctions, or a permanent criminal stalking injunction
116 issued under Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 9, Criminal Stalking Injunctions.
117 (10) (a) A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of stalking shall use
118 all reasonable means to protect the victim and prevent further violence, including:
119 (i) taking action that, in the officer's discretion, is reasonably necessary to provide for
120 the safety of the victim and any family or household member;
121 (ii) confiscating the weapon or weapons involved in the alleged stalking;
122 (iii) making arrangements for the victim and any child to obtain emergency housing or
124 (iv) providing protection while the victim removes essential personal effects;
125 (v) arranging, facilitating, or providing for the victim and any child to obtain medical
126 treatment; and
127 (vi) arranging, facilitating, or providing the victim with immediate and adequate notice
128 of the rights of victims and of the remedies and services available to victims of stalking, in
129 accordance with Subsection (10)(b).
130 (b) (i) A law enforcement officer shall give written notice to the victim in simple
131 language, describing the rights and remedies available under this section and Title 78B,
132 Chapter 7, Part 7, Civil Stalking Injunctions.
133 (ii) The written notice shall also include:
134 (A) a statement that the forms needed in order to obtain a stalking injunction are
135 available from the court clerk's office in the judicial district where the victim resides or is
136 temporarily domiciled; and
137 (B) a list of shelters, services, and resources available in the appropriate community,
138 together with telephone numbers, to assist the victim in accessing any needed assistance.
139 (c) If a weapon is confiscated under this Subsection (10), the law enforcement agency
140 shall return the weapon to the individual from whom the weapon is confiscated if a stalking
141 injunction is not issued or once the stalking injunction is terminated.