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Wyoming

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 protection orders, and your states criminal and 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:

Protection Orders

A protective order is a legal order issued by a state court that requires one person to stop harming and/or contacting another. Each state may have several types of protective orders: civil protective orders, criminal protective orders, or restraining orders, and they may have different names (for example, in Pennsylvania, there are “protection from abuse” orders). Some protective orders are specific to domestic and interfamilial violence, while others are broader, covering stalking, harassment, sexual assault, and other types of misconduct. An individual can get a protection order when the perpetrator is proven to have acted with intent to cause the victim emotional distress or fear for his/her safety, even when the perpetrator has not been charged or convicted. They permit the victim to call the police to have the abuser arrested if the abuser violates any part of the order.

Click here for more information on protection orders in Wyoming.

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 Wyoming.

Civil Stalking Laws

Civil stalking laws allow victims of stalking to initiate a lawsuit to recover compensation from the perpetrator and any third party that may be responsible for the crime. In a civil lawsuit, there is no possibility of a criminal punishment; instead, the victim plaintiff is suing for actual harm (known as actual damages), punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs. Civil statutes also often provide for victims to obtain protective orders against the perpetrator.

Click here for more information on civil stalking laws in Wyoming.

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.

Protection Orders

§7-3-509   Order of Protection; Contents; Remedies; Order Not to Affect Title to Property. 

(a) Following a hearing under W.S. 7-3-508(a) and upon a finding that conduct constituting stalking has been committed, the court shall enter an order of protection ordering the respondent to refrain from any further acts of stalking involving the victim or any other person. As a part of any order of protection, the court may direct that the respondent:

(i) Stay away from the home, school, business or place of employment of the victim or any other locations the court may describe in the order; and

(ii) Refrain from contacting, intimidating, threatening or otherwise interfering with the victim of the alleged offense and any other persons, including but not limited to members of the family or household of the victim, as the court may describe in the order.

(b) The order shall contain a notice that willful violation of any provision of the order constitutes a crime as defined by W.S. 7-3-510(c), can result in immediate arrest and may in some cases subject the perpetrator to enhanced penalties for felony stalking under W.S. 6-2-506(e).

 

§7-3-507  Petition for Order of Protection; Contents; Requisites; Indigent Petitioners.

(a) A victim of stalking, or the district attorney on behalf of the alleged victim, may file with the court a petition for an order of protection.

(b) The petition shall be accompanied or supplemented by one (1) or more sworn affidavits setting out specific facts showing the alleged stalking and the identity of the alleged stalker.

(c) No filing fee shall be charged for the filing of a petition under this section nor shall a fee be charged for service of process.

(d) The attorney general shall promulgate a standard petition form which may be used by petitioners. The clerk of the circuit or district court shall make standard petition forms available to petitioners, with instructions for completion, without charge. If the petition is not filed by the district attorney, the court may appoint an attorney to represent an indigent petitioner. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the victim from hiring an attorney or filing a petition pro se.

(e) A petition may be filed under this section whether or not the individual who is alleged to have engaged in a course of conduct prohibited under W.S. 6-2-506 has been charged or convicted under W.S. 6-2-506 for the alleged crime.

 

§7-3-508  Temporary Order of Protection; Setting Hearing.

(a) Upon the filing of a petition for an order of protection, the court shall schedule a hearing on the petition to be conducted within seventy-two (72) hours after the filing of the petition, and shall cause each party to be served, either within or outside of this state, with an order to appear, a copy of the petition and a copy of the supporting affidavits. Service shall be made upon each party at least twenty-four (24) hours before the hearing. The failure to hold or complete the hearing within seventy-two (72) hours shall not affect the validity of the hearing or any order issued thereon.

(b) If the court determines from the specific facts shown by the petition and supporting affidavits that there exists a clear and present danger of further stalking or of serious adverse consequences to any person, the court may grant ex parte a temporary order of protection pending the hearing, and shall cause a copy of the temporary order of protection to be served on each party, either within or outside of this state. The court may prescribe terms in the temporary order of protection which it deems sufficient to protect the victim and any other person pending the hearing, including but not limited to the elements described in W.S. 7-3-509(a).

(c) A temporary order of protection issued under paragraph (b) of this section shall contain a notice that willful violation of any provision of the order constitutes a crime as defined by W.S. 7-3-510(c), can result in immediate arrest and may in some cases subject the perpetrator to enhanced penalties for felony stalking under W.S. 6-2-506(e).

 

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Criminal Stalking Laws

Wyo. Stat. § 6-2-506. Stalking; penalty. (2007)
(a) As used in this section:

(i)  "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over any period of time evidencing a continuity of purpose;

(ii) 
"Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct, including but not limited to verbal threats, written threats, lewd or obscene statements or images, vandalism or nonconsensual physical contact, directed at a specific person or the family of a specific person, which the defendant knew or should have known would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and which does in fact seriously alarm the person toward whom it is directed.
 

(b) Unless otherwise provided by law, a person commits the crime of stalking if, with intent to harass another person, the person engages in a course of conduct reasonably likely to harass that person, including but not limited to any combination of the following:


(i)  Communicating, anonymously or otherwise, or causing a communication with another person by verbal, electronic, mechanical, telegraphic, telephonic or written means in a manner that harasses;

(ii) Following a person, other than within the residence of the defendant;

(iii) Placing a person under surveillance by remaining present outside his or her school, place of employment, vehicle, other place occupied by the person, or residence other than the residence of the defendant; or

(iv) Otherwise engaging in a course of conduct that harasses another person.

(c) This section does not apply to an otherwise lawful demonstration, assembly or picketing.

(d) Except as provided under subsection (e) of this section, stalking is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.

(e)A person convicted of stalking under subsection (b) of this section is guilty of felony stalking punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years, if:

(i)  The act or acts leading to the conviction occurred within five (5) years of a prior conviction under this subsection, or under subsection (b) of this section, or under a substantially similar law of another jurisdiction;

(ii) The defendant caused serious bodily harm to the victim or another person in conjunction with committing the offense of stalking;

(iii)  The defendant committed the offense of stalking in violation of any condition of probation, parole or bail; or

(iv) The defendant committed the offense of stalking in violation of a temporary or permanent order of protection issued pursuant to
W.S. 7-3-508 or 7-3-509, or pursuant to a substantially similar law of another jurisdiction.

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Civil Stalking Laws

Wyo. Stat. § 1-1-126. Civil Liability for Stalking. (1993)
(a)  A person who is the victim of stalking as defined by W.S. 6 -2 -506 may maintain a civil action against an individual who engages in a course of conduct that is prohibited under for damages incurred by the victim as a result of that conduct. The aggrieved party may also seek and be awarded exemplary damages, reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action.

(b)  A civil action may be maintained under this section whether or not the individual who is alleged to have engaged in a course of conduct prohibited under W.S. 6 -2 -506 has been charged or convicted under for the alleged crime.

(c)  Neither the pendency nor the termination of a civil action under this section shall prevent the criminal prosecution of a person who violates.

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