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Stalking Laws Related Questions

Stalking is the act of unwanted attention by a person toward another individual. The behavior of a stalker is usually accompanied by harassment and intimidation of the victim and usually involves the stalker monitoring the victim in an obsessive manner. There are different forms of stalking. Cyber stalking is stalking by the use of electronic devices and internet while off line stalking involves following and harassment in a more physical form. Take a look at the stalking questions below that have been answered by Experts.

In Oregon, how do I file an order of protection for stalking against someone who lives in another state? The woman won't stop emailing me? She is now threatening to come into town and come to my house even though I told her to never contact me again.

Oregon law makes it possible for a person to get a restraining order on another person who has caused fear for that individuals safety, even if you are not personally afraid of the person. This can also be done if members of your family are fearful of the person. If the person is just being irritating, you probably wouldn't be able to get a restraining order against her. If you file for a restraining order, that person will have a hearing, which means that she could use the court date as an excuse to see you.

There are a couple of options to avoid this person. First, see if there is any way to direct all of her emails to a separate folder. This would keep you from having to see them. Don't delete them; you may need them for evidence at a later date.

Also, if this person is making threats via email, she is in violation of federal law. 18 U.S.C., Section 875(c). Violation of that statute is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. Repeated, unwanted contact that serves no legitimate purpose can also be prosecuted under 47 U.S.C. 223. If you want to file a complaint against this person for her actions, you can contact the US Attorney's Office and they can assist you with filing the complaint.

Oregon also has stalking laws. If the person's actions are causing alarm, harassment or concern, then she is violating Oregon's stalking law. This allows you the option of filing criminal charges against her. If this goes to court, she will have to come to Oregon for court, but only if it makes it to trial. Even if it does go to trial, you wouldn't have to speak to her directly; you would however be in the same court room with her. Another option would be to send her a certified letter telling her that if she continues to harass you, you are going to press criminal charges.

I think my ex-husband is stalking me. How do I know for sure? If he is, what do I do about it? I live in California.

Both criminal and civil laws address stalking in California. According to the criminal laws, a stalker is someone who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another (victim) and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place the victim or victim's immediate family in fear for their safety. The victim does not have to prove that the stalker had the intent to carry out the threat. (California Penal Code 646.9, www.leginfo.ca.gov)

A person who is convicted of stalking can go to prison for up to a year and/or pay a fine of $1,000. If a stalker continues to pursue the same person after a restraining order has been put into place, the penalty can be more severe. The jail time will usually range from 2-4 years.

Usually, you can request that the California Department of Corrections notify you or a family member when the stalker is due to be released. Generally the notice is given 15 days before the person is released and you can be notified by mail or phone. The California Penal Code 646.9 reads: The victim, family member or witness must keep these departments notified of their most current mailing address and telephone number. The information relating to persons who receive notice must be kept confidential and not released to the convicted stalker. (California Penal Code 646.92) The court may order a person convicted of felony stalking to register with local law enforcement officials within 14 days of moving to a city and/or county. (California Penal Code 646.9)

If you are being stalked, it is possible to bring a civil action against the stalker. There is more information on this in Civil Code 1708.7 for the elements and remedies of the Tort of stalking.)

You should probably file a restraining order and continue from there. A restraining order may be all it takes to end the behavior. If the restraining order doesn't appear to help the situation, you need to contact your local police department and an attorney.

Being stalked can render a person with feelings of despair and vulnerability. There are laws that protect you from this type of crime and you can put a stop to the harassment. If you have questions about stalking or find yourself in a stalking situation, you should ask an Expert for assistance.

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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
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Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
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