2023 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title LXII - Criminal Code
Chapter 633 - Interference With Freedom
Section 633:3-a - Stalking.

Universal Citation: NH Rev Stat § 633:3-a (2023)
    633:3-a Stalking. –
I. A person commits the offense of stalking if such person:
(a) Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly engages in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of that person's immediate family, and the person is actually placed in such fear;
(b) Purposely or knowingly engages in a course of conduct targeted at a specific individual, which the actor knows will place that individual in fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of that individual's immediate family; or
(c) After being served with, or otherwise provided notice of, a protective order pursuant to RSA 173-B, RSA 458:16, or paragraph III-a of this section, or an order pursuant to RSA 597:2 that prohibits contact with a specific individual, purposely, knowingly, or recklessly engages in a single act of conduct that both violates the provisions of the order and is listed in paragraph II(a).
II. As used in this section:
(a) "Course of conduct" means 2 or more acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. A course of conduct shall not include constitutionally protected activity, nor shall it include conduct that was necessary to accomplish a legitimate purpose independent of making contact with the targeted person. A course of conduct may include, but not be limited to, any of the following acts or a combination thereof:
(1) Threatening the safety of the targeted person or an immediate family member.
(2) Following, approaching, or confronting that person, or a member of that person's immediate family.
(3) Appearing in close proximity to, or entering the person's residence, place of employment, school, or other place where the person can be found, or the residence, place of employment or school of a member of that person's immediate family.
(4) Causing damage to the person's residence or property or that of a member of the person's immediate family.
(5) Placing an object on the person's property, either directly or through a third person, or that of an immediate family member.
(6) Causing injury to that person's pet, or to a pet belonging to a member of that person's immediate family.
(7) Any act of communication, as defined in RSA 644:4, II.
(b) "Immediate family" means father, mother, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, spouse, or grandparent of the targeted person, any person residing in the household of the targeted person, or any person involved in an intimate relationship with the targeted person.
III. [Repealed.]
III-a. A person who has been the victim of stalking as defined in this section may seek relief by filing a civil petition in the district court in the district where the plaintiff or defendant resides. Upon a showing of stalking by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall grant such relief as is necessary to bring about a cessation of stalking. The types of relief that may be granted, the procedures and burdens of proof to be applied in such proceedings, the methods of notice, service, and enforcement of such orders, and the penalties for violation thereof shall be the same as those set forth in RSA 173-B.
III-b. The minority of a plaintiff or defendant shall not preclude the court from issuing protective orders under this section.
III-c. Any order under this section shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year, but may be extended by order of the court upon a motion by the plaintiff, showing good cause, with notice to the defendant, for one year after the expiration of the first order and thereafter each extension may be for up to 5 years, upon the request of the plaintiff and at the discretion of the court. The court shall review the order, and each renewal thereof and shall grant such relief as may be necessary to provide for the safety and well-being of the plaintiff. A defendant shall have the right to a hearing on the extension of any order under this paragraph to be held within 30 days of the extension. The court shall state in writing, at the respondent's request, its reason or reasons for granting the extension. The court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce and collect the financial support obligation which accrued prior to the expiration of the protective order.
III-d. (a) A protective order issued pursuant to this section, RSA 173-B:4, or RSA 173-B:5 shall not be construed to prohibit an attorney, or any person acting on the attorney's behalf, who is representing the defendant in an action brought under this chapter, or in any criminal proceeding concerning the abuse alleged under this chapter, from contacting the plaintiff for a legitimate purpose within the scope of the civil or criminal proceeding; provided, that the attorney or person acting on behalf of the attorney: identifies himself or herself as a representative of the defendant; acknowledges the existence of the protective order and informs the plaintiff that he or she has no obligation to speak; terminates contact with the plaintiff if the plaintiff expresses an unwillingness to talk; and ensures that any personal contact with the plaintiff occurs outside of the defendant's presence, unless the court has modified the protective order to permit such contact.
(b) A no-contact provision in a protective order issued pursuant to this section shall not be construed to:
(1) Prevent contact between counsel for represented parties; or
(2) Prevent a party from appearing at a scheduled court or administrative hearing; or
(3) Prevent a defendant or defendant's counsel from sending the plaintiff copies of any legal pleadings filed in court relating to the domestic violence petition or related civil or criminal matters.
(c) A violation of this paragraph may result in a finding of contempt of court.
IV. In any complaint, information, or indictment brought for the enforcement of any provision of this statute, it shall not be necessary to negate any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption contained herein and the burden of proof of any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption shall be upon the defendant.
V. Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person that the officer has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section when the offense occurred within 12 hours, regardless of whether the crime occurred in the presence of the officer. A law enforcement officer shall arrest a person when he has probable cause to believe a violation of the provisions of this section has occurred within the last 12 hours when the offense involves a violation of a protective order issued pursuant to RSA 173-B, RSA 458:16, or paragraph III-a of this section.
VI. (a) Any person convicted of a violation of this section and who has one or more prior stalking convictions in this state or another state when the second or subsequent offense occurs within 7 years following the date of the first or prior offense shall be guilty of a class B felony.
(b) In all other cases, any person who is convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
VII. If any provision or application of this section or the application thereof to a person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this section which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this section are severable.
VIII. (a) Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as "stalking-domestic violence."
(b) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall levy a fine of $50 for each conviction recorded as "stalking-domestic violence" under this paragraph. The court shall not reduce or suspend any sentence or the payment of any fine imposed under this paragraph and no fine imposed under this paragraph shall be subject to an additional penalty assessment. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine on the date imposed, the court may defer payment or order periodic payments thereof. The clerk shall forward all fines collected under this paragraph to the department of health and human services for the purposes of RSA 173-B:15. The provisions of RSA 618:8 and RSA 618:9 shall not apply to a fine imposed under this paragraph.

Source. 1993, 173:2. 1994, 101:1. 1997, 242:1-4. 2000, 151:1, 2. 2002, 62:1; 79:5. 2005, 284:2. 2006, 214:2. 2014, 152:10, eff. Jan. 1, 2015; 204:43, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2017, 90:12, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.

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