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Know the Laws: Utah

UPDATED December 27, 2016

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You can file a stalking injunction against someone who is stalking you regardless of your relationship to that person.  However, if the person who is stalking you is a "cohabitant" (family/household member or intimate partner), you may want to file for a protective order based on domestic violence/abuse instead.

Basic info and definitions

back to topWho can get a stalking injunction?

Any person who believes s/he is a victim of stalking may file a petition for a stalking injunction at the district court.  You can get a stalking injunction against anyone who is stalking you regardless of your relationship to that person.*  Unlike a protective order, it does not limit the individuals you can file an order against.

* UT ST § 77-3a-101(2)

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back to topWhat is the legal definition of stalking?

Stalking is when a person intentionally or knowingly does two or more actions that:

  • cause you to fear for your safety;
  • cause you to fear for someone else’s safety;  or
  • cause you emotional distress.*  

(Note: If a person violates a stalking injunction or a permanent criminal stalking injunction, s/he is also guilty of stalking.)**

Stalking may include when someone:

  • follows, monitors, observes, photographs, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about you, or interferes with your property directly, indirectly, or through any third party and by any method or device;
  • approaches or confronts you;
  • appears at your workplace or contacts your employer/coworkers;
  • appears at your house, contacts your neighbors, or enters your property;
  • sends materials to you, your family, employer, co-worker,  friend, etc.;
  • places an object or delivers an object to your property, or place of employment; and/or
  • uses the computer, text messaging, or some other electronic method to follow, monitor, or threaten you.***

* UT ST § 76-5-106.5(1)(f)(2)
** UT ST § 76-5-106.5(1)(f)(3)
*** UT ST § 76-5-106.5(1)(b)

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back to topWhat types of stalking injunctions are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of stalking injunctions: an ex parte civil stalking injunction and a (final) civil stalking injunction.  Generally, when you apply for a stalking injunction, the judge will issue an ex parte civil stalking injunction that same day.  It must be served upon the respondent (stalker) within 90 days and it is not effective until it is served.* 

The respondent then has 10 days from the date s/he is served with the injunction to request a hearing to fight against the order being issued.*1  If the respondent requests a hearing, it will usually be held within 10 days from the date the request is filed with the court.  At the hearing, the court may modify (change), revoke (cancel), or continue the injunction for up to 3 years.  It is your burden to prove at this hearing that the respondent committed stalking.*2  However, if the respondent requests a hearing after the ten-day period after s/he was served, a hearing date will be held within a "reasonable time" but the burden then is on the respondent to show good cause why the civil stalking injunction should be dissolved or modified.*3

If the respondent does not request a hearing within 10 days of getting served with the injunction, the ex parte civil stalking injunction automatically becomes a (final) civil stalking injunction without further notice to the respondent.*  The civil stalking injunction will then last for 3 years from the date that the respondent was served with the ex parte civil stalking injunction.*4

* UT ST § 77-3a-101(9)
*1 UT ST § 77-3a-101(6)
*2 UT ST § 77-3a-101(6)(a),(7)
*3 UT ST § 77-3a-101(10)
*4 UT ST § 77-3a-101(6)(b)(iii) 

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back to topHow can a stalking injunction help me?

A stalking injunction can:

  • prohibit the stalker (respondent) from stalking you;
  • order the stalker to stay away from your home, work, school, or other specific place or person;
  • prohibit the stalker from contacting (directly or indirectly), including personal, written or telephone contact with you, your employers, employees, fellow workers or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm; and/or
  • include any additional relief that is necessary for the protection of you or other specific people named in your order.*

If you and the stalker have minor children together, the judge is supposed to take into consideration the stalker's custody and parent-time rights while ensuring the safety of the you and your children.  Note: If the judge issues a civil stalking injunction, but does not address custody and parent-time issues, a copy of the stalking injunction should be filed in any court proceeding in which custody and parent-time issues are being considered.**

* UT ST § 77-3a-101(5)(a)
** UT ST § 77-3a-101(5)(b)
 

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