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Know the Laws: New Hampshire

UPDATED April 28, 2016

Stalking Protective Orders

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If you do not qualify for a domestic violence protective order, you may be able to get a stalking protective order. Stalking protective orders can be filed against someone with whom you do not have any prior intimate or familial relationship.

Basic info and definitions

back to topWhat is the legal definition of stalking in New Hampshire?

A person commits the offense of stalking if s/he does any of the following:

  1. purposely or recklessly engages in a "course of conduct" (defined below) that targets you (or any specific person), which causes you to fear for your safety or the safety of a member of your immediate family and which would reasonably cause anyone to fear for his/her safety or family's safety;
  2. purposely engages in a "course of conduct" (defined below) that targets you (or any specific person), which s/he knows will place you in fear for your safety or the safety of your immediate family; or
  3. after being served with a protective order that prohibits contact with you (or any specific person), s/he purposely or recklessly engages in a single act of conduct that both violates the provisions of the protective order and that is listed below in the definition of "course of conduct."

A “course of conduct” means 2 or more of the following acts (or similar acts) that are committed by the offender over any period of time and that have no legitimate purpose (other than to contact you).  S/he could be the same type of act twice or a combination of the following acts:

  • threatening your safety or the safey of an immediate family member;
  • following, approaching, or confronting you or a member of your immediate family;
  • coming close to you or your immediate family member, or entering thehome, work, school of you or your immediate family member or entering another place where you or your immediate family member can be found;
  • causing damage to the residence or property of you or your immediate family member;
  • placing an object on the property, either directly or through a third person, of you or your immediate family member;
  • causing injury to the pet owned by you or your immediate family member;**
  • any act of communication, including through email, text, phone, mail, etc.***

Note: Any of the following people can be considered an immediate family member: parent, step-parent, child, step-child, sibling, spouse, grandparent, any person living in your home, or any person involved in an intimate relationship with you.****

* N.H. Rev. Stat. § 633:3-a (I)
** N.H. Rev. Stat. §§ 633:3-a(II)(a)
*** N.H. Rev. Stat. §§ 633:3-a(II)(a); 644:4(II)
**** N.H. Rev. Stat. §§ 633:3-a(II)(b)

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back to topWho can file for a stalking protective order?

Anyone who has been a victim of stalking (as defined in here) can file a petition for a stalking protective order.*  Unlike with a domestic violence protective order, a stalking victim is not required to prove a prior relationship existed in order to petition for a stalking protective order. However, if the victim of stalking and the stalker are members of the same family or household, or are intimate partners, victims are encouraged to file for a domestic violence protective order instead.** 

* N.H. Rev. Stat. § 633:3-a(III-a)
** See Governor’s Commission On Domestic and Sexual Violence and Office of The Attorney General Stalking Protocol: A Model for Law Enforcement 2009 (page 26)

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back to topCan I file for a stalking protective order if I am a minor? What if the stalker is a minor?

Yes, you can file if you are a minor.  You can also file against a minor (if you are an adult or a minor).*

* N.H. Rev. Stat. § 633:3-a(III-b)

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back to topHow can a stalking protective order help me?

The types of protections that the judge can grant to you are the same as those given in a domestic violence protective order, which you can read about on our How can a protective order help me? page.*

* N.H. Rev. Stat. § 633:3-a(III-a)

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