HOUSE BILL NO. 481
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 5, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding a new §1312A as follows:
"51312A. Stalking; Class F Felony.
(a) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person or who repeatedly makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious physical injury is guilty of the crime of stalking.
(b) For the purposes of this section the following definitions are
"Harasses" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the person.
"Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the
meaning of "course of conduct."
"A credible threat" means a threat made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety. The threat must be against the life, or a threat to cause serious physical injury to a person.
(c) In the event a person charged under this section is engaged in lawful labor picketing, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that such person does not have the intent required under subsection a of this section.
(d) Any person who violates subsection (a) when there is a no contact order, temporary restraining order or injunction in effect prohibiting the behavior described in subsection (a) against the same party shall be imprisoned for a period of not less than six months and fined not more than one thousand dollars.
(e) A subsequent conviction occurring within seven years of a prior
conviction under subsection (a) against the same victim, and involving an act of violence or a credible threat of violence, as defined in this section shall be imprisoned for a period of not less than one year and fined not more than one thousand dollars.
(f) This section shall not apply to conduct which occurs in furtherance of law enforcement or private detective business. Private detective business is defined consistent with Chapter 13 of Title 24 of the Delaware Code.
(g) Stalking is a Class F felony."
Approved May 20, 1992.