Tulsa Attorney BlogWhat Does Stalking Mean In An Oklahoma Protective Order?

Stalking is Intentional, Malicious & Repeated

Video Transcribed: What does it take to get a protective order on the basis of stalking in Oklahoma? What does stalking mean on the protective order act? I’m Oklahoma Attorney James Wirth and I’m about to tell you. Okay, looking at the stalking under Oklahoma law, luckily there is a definition provided by statute, so it pretty much lays down the requirements and I can read that for you.

Stalking means the willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassment of a person by an adult, emancipated minor or a minor 13 years of age of older in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. Then it also notes that stalking can be a course of conduct composed of a series of two or more separate acts over a period of time.

Okay, so there’s a number of different items in there that we want to hit off on. So first one, requires that it to be willful. That just means intentional. Second, requires it to be malicious. Normally that means in some sort of evil intent or bad intent or mal-will there. Then it says repeated, okay, so what that tells us is that a single event is not enough to get a protective order for stalking. There has to be more than one. So like harassment, it’s got to be, or a course of conduct, more than one incident.

The Reasonable Person Standard

Okay, next thing that’s of interest there is that it’s got to be in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. Okay, so we’re talking again about a reasonable person. So that’s an objective standard. So it’s not enough that the person that was on the recipient end of the stalking harassment felt that way.

It’s requires that an objective, a normal, typical person under those situation would have felt that way. That’s the objective standard, it requires that. Then it also has the subjective standards. So in addition to a reasonable person, the person filing a protective order must have actually felt that way. They must be able to demonstrate through testimony or otherwise that they felt terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. So again, like harassment, it requires both, the objective standard and the subject of standard be met. Then it added in here that stalking is a means or course of conduct. Again, it’s got to be more than one event, two or more.

Stalking Not Limited to Domestic Relationships

Again, some examples of what can qualify, repeated following or appearing within the side of the individual, appearing at the workplace or residence of the individual, contacting the individual over the phone repeatedly. It also requires that this be done without the consent or approval of the other party. Obviously, if they’re consenting to it, then it’s not harassment. It shouldn’t cause them to feel terrorized and an ordinary person in those circumstances shouldn’t feel terrorized. So those are the things that are required.

The obvious thing that’s absent if you look at the other requirements for a protective order, if you are getting one based on domestic abuse, threats of harm or harassment, all of those types of require that there be a family, household or intimate or dating relationship or has a relationship component.

So stalking does not have that component. It is the first one that we’re discussing that does not and because of that it has an additional component that the others don’t have and that requires that before you file a protective order on the basis of stalking, you must file a report with law enforcement, and not only must you file that before you file the petition, you must bring it with you to court.

Police Report Required in Protective Orders for Stalking

The law is pretty strict on that if you don’t do that. If you file a protective order on the basis of stalking and then you go to court for the full hearing and you do not have a copy with you, this is what the statute provides. Failure to provide a copy of the complaint filed with law enforcement agency shall constitute a frivolous filing and the court may assess attorney’s fees and court costs against the plaintiff.

So just by not providing the police report automatically constitutes it as a frivolous filing that opens the door to attorney’s fees. But don’t take my word for it based on this general information. Contact a protective order attorney, whether that’s me or somebody else about your specific circumstances to get a good legal information for you. You can contact me at 918-932-2800.

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