Chief Sponsor: Ashlee Matthews

Senate Sponsor: Wayne A. Harper


8     General Description:
9          This bill concerns the offense of emergency reporting abuse.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     amends provisions and penalties relating to the offense of emergency reporting
13     abuse; and
14          ▸     makes technical and conforming changes.
15     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          None
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
21          76-9-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 462

23     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
24          Section 1. Section 76-9-202 is amended to read:
25          76-9-202. Emergency reporting -- Interference -- False report.
26          (1) As used in this section:
27          (a) "Emergency" means a situation in which property or human life is in jeopardy and

28     the prompt summoning of aid is essential to the preservation of human life or property.
29          (b) "Party line" means a subscriber's line or telephone circuit:
30          (i) that consists of two or more connected main telephone stations; and
31          (ii) where each telephone station has a distinctive ring or telephone number.
32          (2) [A person] An actor is guilty of emergency reporting abuse if the [person] actor:
33          (a) intentionally refuses to yield or surrender the use of a party line or a public pay
34     telephone to another [person] individual upon being informed that the telephone is needed to
35     report a fire or summon police, medical, or other aid in case of emergency, unless the telephone
36     is likewise being used for an emergency call;
37          (b) asks for or requests the use of a party line or a public pay telephone on the pretext
38     that an emergency exists, knowing that no emergency exists;
39          (c) reports an emergency or causes an emergency to be reported to any public, private,
40     or volunteer entity whose purpose is to respond to fire, police, or medical emergencies, when
41     the [person] actor knows the reported emergency does not exist; or
42          (d) makes a false report, or intentionally aids, abets, or causes a third party to make a
43     false report, to an emergency response service, including a law enforcement dispatcher or a 911
44     emergency response service, if the false report claims that:
45          (i) an ongoing emergency exists;
46          (ii) the emergency described in Subsection (2)(d)(i) currently involves, or involves an
47     imminent threat of, serious bodily injury, serious physical injury, or death; and
48          (iii) the emergency described in Subsection (2)(d)(i) is occurring at a specified
49     location.
50          (3) (a) A violation of Subsection (2)(a) or (b) is a class C misdemeanor.
51          (b) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a class B misdemeanor, except as provided
52     under Subsection (3)(c).
53          (c) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a second degree felony if the report is regarding
54     a weapon of mass destruction, as defined in Section 76-10-401.
55          (d) A violation of Subsection (2)(d):
56          (i) except as provided in Subsection (3)(d)(ii), is a third degree felony; or
57          (ii) is a second degree felony if[,]:
58          (A) while acting in response to the report, the emergency [responders cause] responder

59     causes physical injury to [a person] an individual at the location described in Subsection
60     (2)(d)(iii)[.]; or
61          (B) the actor makes the false report or aids, abets, or causes a third party to make the
62     false report to ambush, attack, or otherwise harm a responding law enforcement officer or
63     emergency responder.
64          (4) (a) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, a court shall order [any
65     person] an actor convicted of a violation of this section to reimburse:
66          (i) any federal, state, or local unit of government, or any private business, organization,
67     individual, or entity for all expenses and losses incurred in responding to the violation; and
68          (ii) [any person] an individual described in Subsection (3)(d)(ii) for the costs for the
69     treatment of the physical injury and any psychological injury caused by the offense.
70          (b) The court may order that the defendant pay less than the full amount of the costs
71     described in Subsection (4)(a) only if the court states on the record the reasons why the
72     reimbursement would be inappropriate.