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North Dakota

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about your states criminal civil stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in North Dakota.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Criminal Stalking Laws

N.D. Cent. Code, § 12.1-17-07.1. Stalking. (2011)

1. As used in this section:

a. “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct consisting of two or more acts evidencing a continuity of purpose. The term does not include constitutionally protected activity.

b. “Immediate family” means a spouse, parent, child, or sibling. The term also includes any other individual who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household.

c. “Stalk” means :

(1) To engage in an intentional course of conduct directed at a specific person which frightens, intimidates, or harasses that person and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct may be directed toward that person or a member of that person's immediate family and must cause a reasonable person to experience fear, intimidation, or harassment; or

(2) The unauthorized tracking of the person's movements or location through the use of a global positioning system or other electronic means that would cause a reasonable person to be frightened, intimidated, or harassed and which serves no legitimate purpose.

2. A person may not intentionally stalk another person.

3. In any prosecution under this section, it is not a defense that the actor was not given actual notice that the person did not want the actor to contact or follow the person; nor is it a defense that the actor did not intend to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person. An attempt to contact or follow a person after being given actual notice that the person does not want to be contacted or followed is prima facie evidence that the actor intends to stalk that person.

4. In any prosecution under this section, it is a defense that a private investigator licensed under chapter 43–30 or a peace officer licensed under chapter 12–63 was acting within the scope of employment.

5. If a person claims to have been engaged in a constitutionally protected activity, the court shall determine the validity of the claim as a matter of law and, if found valid, shall exclude evidence of the activity.

6. a. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class C felony if:

(1) The person previously has been convicted of violating section 12.1–17–01, 12.1–17–01.1, 12.1–17–02, 12.1–17–04, 12.1–17–05, or 12.1–17–07, or a similar offense from another court in North Dakota, a court of record in the United States, or a tribal court, involving the victim of the stalking;

(2) The stalking violates a court order issued under chapter 14–07.1 protecting the victim of the stalking, if the person had notice of the court order; or

(3) The person previously has been convicted of violating this section.

b. If subdivision a does not apply, a person who violates this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Approved April 23, 2015. Filed April 23, 2015.

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