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Legal Information: Idaho

Restraining Orders

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November 8, 2018

What is a protection order against malicious harassment, stalking, and telephone harassment (harassment protection order)?

A protection order against malicious harassment, stalking, and telephone harassment (harassment protection order) is a civil court order that offers protection to victims of harassment and stalking (and/or their children) regardless of whether you have a specific relationship with the abuser.1 The petition must be filed within 90 days of when the stalking or harassment took place.2

1 I.C. § 18-7907(1),(2)
2 I.C. § 18-7907(4)

What is the legal definition of stalking in Idaho?

Stalking is when an abuser intentionally and maliciously engages in a “course of conduct” that:

  • seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses you (and would cause a “reasonable person” to feel substantial emotional distress). or
  • would cause a “reasonable person” to be in fear of his/her own death or physical injury or in fear of a family or household member’s death or physical injury.1

A “course of conduct” means that the abuser has repeatedly made “nonconsensual contact” with you or your family or household members.2 In other words, the contact began or continued without your consent, went beyond the scope of any contact that you did consent to, or it happened even though you specifically asked that s/he not contact you or stop contacting you (if at first you were OK with it). Some examples of “nonconsensual contact” include, but are not limited to:

  • following you or maintaining surveillance (electronic or otherwise) on you;
  • contacting you in a public place or on private property;
  • appearing at your home or workplace;
  • entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by you;
  • contacting you by telephone or causing your telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously regardless of whether s/he says anything over the phone;
  • sending you mail, email, or other electronic communications; or
  • placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by you.3

1 I.C. §§ 18-7905(1); 18-7906(1)
2 I.C. § 18-7906(2)(a)
3 I.C. § 18-7906(2)(c)

What is the legal definition of telephone harassment in Idaho?

Telephone harassment is when the abuser, with the intent to annoy, terrify, threaten, intimidate, harass, or offend you, calls you or someone else and:

  • speaks to you (or about you) using obscene, lewd or profane language, or makes any request, suggestion, or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, or indecent;
  • speaks to another person and makes any threat to injure or physically harm that person, his/her property, his/her family member, or any other person; or
  • uses repeated telephone calls to disturb (or try to disturb) the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of you or anyone else located where the phone calls are received. Note: It doesn’t matter if the calls are made anonymously (or not) or if a conversation actually takes place (or not).1

1 I.C. § 18-6710(1)

What is the legal definition of malicious harassment in Idaho?

Malicious harassment is when an abuser, with intent to intimidate or harass you because of your race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin, does any of the following or threatens to do any of the following (and there is reasonable cause to believe that s/he will act upon the threat):

  • causes you physical injury; or
  • damages, destroys or defaces your property, home or land. Note: Defacing your property includes cross-burning or placing a word or symbol linked to racial, religious, or ethnic discrimination on your property.1

1 I.C. § 18-7902

What kinds of protection orders against malicious harassment, stalking, and telephone harassment are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of harassment protection orders: an ex parte temporary order and a final protection order.

Ex parte temporary orders: A judge can grant this type of order without the abuser having notice of the case beforehand. An ex parte temporary order will last up to 14 days, and your hearing for a final order will be scheduled to take place within those 14 days. Note: The order can also be reissued for up to an additional 14 days after a hearing if the judge decides there is good cause to do so. If the abuser wants the judge to shorten the time period before the order expires, s/he must file a motion with the judge and you must be served with that motion 2 days before any hearing on the motion.1

Final protection orders: A final protection order can be issued for up to one year only after a court hearing in which you and the harasser both have a chance to present evidence, testimony, and witnesses. To grant you the final order, the judge must believe that:

  1. you were the victim of malicious harassment, stalking, or telephone harassment within the 90 days before you filed your petition; and
  2. it is likely that such behavior would happen in the future and cause you severe or irreversible injury.2

1 I.C. § 18-7908(3)
2 I.C. § 18-7907(4)

What protections can I get in a protection order against malicious harassment, stalking, and telephone harassment?

Through both an ex parte temporary order and a final order, the judge can require:

  • the abuser not to harass or stalk you;
  • the abuser not to contact you or any protected person in your order; and
  • anything else the judge thinks is necessary, which can include an order that the abuser not come within a certain distance (up to 1,500 feet) of you or a protected person in your order.1

1 I.C. §§ 18-7907(4); 18-7908(1)