En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Utah

UPDATED December 27, 2016

View by Section

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

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) 

Did you find this information helpful?

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)
 

Did you find this information helpful?

Getting the order

back to topWhere can I get a stalking injunction?

You can file a petition for a stalking injunction at the district court where you live, where the stalker lives, or where any of the stalking events occurred.*

* UT ST § 77-3a-101(2)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topCan a minor get a stalking injunction?

If you are a minor, you can file a petition on your own (with your parent or guardian present), or a parent/guardian can file one for you.*

* UT ST § 77-3a-101(2)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat are the steps to get a stalking injunction?

The steps to get a stalking injunction are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence protective order.  Unlike a domestic violence protective order, however, if you are granted an ex parte stalking injunction, that injunction can remain in effect unless and until the stalker requests a hearing to object to the order.  The stalker can request a hearing within 10 days of being served with the ex parte injunction.*  If the stalker does not request a hearing within the 10 days, the ex parte injunction automatically becomes a civil stalking injunction and will be in effect for 3 years.** 

See the UT Courts website for the relevant forms for filing a petition for a civil stalking injunction.  On the petition, you are the petitioner. You must include your address, as well as the name and address of alleged stalker (respondent).  Note: If you do not want your address written on your petition, let the court staff know when you file your petition.  Your address can be kept on a separate document which will not be released to the stalker.  You must also describe the events and dates of the stalking, as well as any police reports, letters, or other information relevant to the events.****

If you have any questions, you can call the clerk of court.  You can find the contact information for your clerk on the UT Courthouse Locations page.  An advocate at a local domestic violence program may also be able to assist you with the paperwork.  You can find contact information for local programs on the UT State and Local Programs page.  Also, if you want to get legal advice and/or representation at the hearing, you can find legal referrals on our UT Finding a Lawyer page.

* UT ST § 77-3a-101(6)
** UT ST § 77-3a-101(9)
*** UT ST § 77-3a-101(4)

Did you find this information helpful?

After an order is in place

back to topCan the order be modified or dismissed?

An ex parte civil stalking injunction or a (final) civil stalking injunction can be dismissed (dissolved) at any time upon your request. You would have to file a petition in the court that issued the order.*  You may also file in court to modify the order.**

It's possible that the respondent can also file in court to ask the court to dismiss or modify the order and the judge will set it down for a hearing where you will have the opportunity to be present and object to the respondent's request.  The burden is on the respondent to show "good cause" why the civil stalking injunction should be dismissed (dissolved) or modified.***

* UT ST § 77-3a-101(13)
** See UT ST § 77-3a-101(11)(b)
*** UT ST § 77-3a-101(10)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat happens if the stalking injunction is violated?

Violation of a stalking injunction is a crime, and you can call the police as soon as possible if the abuser violates the injunction.  You can also file a contempt petition in the court that issued the stalking injunction.*

A law enforcement officer can arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe the stalking injunction was violated, even if the officer did not witness the violation.  A violation of a stalking injunction comes under the criminal offense of stalking** and would be a class A misdemeanor  if it is the stalker’s first offense of stalking.***  If the stalker has previously been convicted of stalking, a felony, or meets certain other requirements, s/he may be guilty of a second or third degree felony.****

* UT ST § 77-3a-103(2), UT Courts website
** UT ST § 77-3a-103(1)
** UT ST § 76-5-106.5(6)
*** UT ST § 76-5-106.5(7),(8)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top