CHAPTER 316

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 150

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. I

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, TITLE 1 I OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE OFFENSES OF STALKING, AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT AND HARASSMENT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section I. Amend Section 1312A, Title I 1, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§1312 A. Stalking; class F Felony.

(a) Any person who intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to fear physical injury to him or herself, to a friend or associate. or to a member of his or her household or to a third person and whose conduct induces such fear in such person, is guilty of the crime of stalking.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions are provided:

( ) 'Course of Conduct' includes repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person or repeatedly conveying verbal or written threats or threats implied by conduct, or repeatedly committing any acts constituting any criminal offense as defined by the Delaware Code, or a combination thereof, and which reflects a continuity of purpose. A conviction is not required for any predicate act relied upon to establish a course of conduct. A conviction for any predicated act relied upon to establish a course of conduct does not preclude prosecution under this section. Prosecution under this section does not preclude prosecution under any other section of the Delaware Code.

(2) 'Repeatedly' means more than three occasions.

(b) In any prosecution under this section, it is an affirmative defense that the person charged was engaged in lawful picketing.

(c) This section shall not apply to conduct which occurs in furtherance of legitimate law enforcement activities or to private investigators, security officers, or private detectives as those activities are defined in Chapter 13 of Title 24 of the Delaware Code.

(d) Stalking is a class I' felony, unless the course of conduct includes a threat of death or serious physical injury to the victim, his or her immediate family, or to a third person, in which case it is a class D felony; or, unless the perpetrator possLssLs a deadly weapon during any act comprising the course of conduct, in which case it is a class C felony.

(I) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of Section 4205 of this Title, any person who commits the crime of stalking by engaging in a course of conduct which includes any act or acts which have previously been prohibited by u then-existing court order or sentence shall receive a minimum sentence of six months incarceration at Level V. The first six months of said period of incarceration shall not be subject to suspension.

(g) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of Section 4205 of this Title, any person who is convicted of stalking within 5 years of a prior conviction of stalking shall receive a minimum sentence of one year incarceration at Level V. The first year of said period of incarceration shall not he subject to suspension."

Section 2. Amend Section 1312, Title II, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

11312. Aggravated Harassment; class Ci Felony.

(a) A person is guilty of aggravated harassment when he or she repeatedly follows or contacts another person or causes such following or contact knowing that he or she is thereby likely to cause a substantial disruption of the regular activities of the other person.

(b) For the purposes of this section 'repeatedly' means more than 10 times.

(c) In any prosecution under this section, it is an affirmative defense that the person charged was engaged in lawful picketing.

(d) This section shall not apply to conduct which occurs in the furtherance of legitimate law enforcement activities or to private investigators, security officers, or private detectives as those activities are defined in Chapter 13 of Title 24 of the Delaware Code.

(e) Aggravated harassment is a classfelony."

Section 1 Amend Section 1311, Title II, Delaware Code, by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

11311. Harassment; class B Misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person:

( I) he or she insults, taunts or challenges another person- or engages in any other course of alarming or distressing conduct in a-manner which he knows is likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response; or

(2) communicates with a person by telephone, telegraph, mail or any other form of written or electronic communication in a manner which he or she knows is likely to cause annoyance pf alarm including, but not limited to, intrastate telephone calls initiate_d-by vendors for the purpose of selling goods or services; or

(2) knowingly permits any telephone under his or her control to he used for a purpose prohibited by this section; or

(3) in the course of a telephone call he or she uses obscene language or language suggesting that the recipient of the call engage with him or her or another person in sexual relations of any sort, knowing that he or she is thereby likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the recipient of the call; or

(4) makes repeated or anonymous telephone calls to another person whether or nut conversation ensues, knowing he or she is thereby likely to cause annoyance or alarm.

(b) Harassment is a class 13 misdemeanor."

Approved April 3 1996