The Perpetrator Must Be an Adult or Emancipated Minor or a Minor 13 Years of Age or Older
Video Transcribed: What is stalking in Oklahoma and how is it legally defined? Well, again, we can turn to Title 22, Section 60.1, Subsection 9, which defines stalking as the willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassment of a person by an adult, an emancipated minor, a minor 13 years of age or older in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested, and actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.
Again, the key elements here as with harassment are going to be it has to be willful, malicious, and repeated, so you’re talking about a pattern or course of conduct, not a singular incident. If you have a singular incident, it cannot be stalking, just like it cannot be harassment.
Also, the perpetrator must be an adult or emancipated minor or a minor 13 years of age or older, so if it’s a younger child, it doesn’t count. For example, a 10-year-old making crank calls, no matter how obnoxious or distressing it is, would not come under this definition.
Then the other aspect of it is there is both a subjective and an objective standard that has to be met, so it’s a two-pronged test. It would have to cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, or harassed, or molested, and it has to actually cause the victim to experience that.
On that basis, again, if it’s a one-off incident, it’s not stalking if it’s something that would not cause a reasonable person to feel threatened, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
For example, again, using my example from my prior video about harassment, if you’re contacting your ex to find out what’s going on with your kids because she’s not talking to you, that shouldn’t make a reasonable person feel frightened or intimidated or threatened or harassed because you’re a dad reaching out to find out about his children. And because of that, that shouldn’t meet the definition of stalking under the statutes.
Now, again, as I mentioned harassment, if you do find yourself in a situation where there’s non-communication going on, you don’t want to get into an escalating pattern of calling and calling and calling and calling and calling, because you may be facing that kind of an allegation.
And although at the end of the day, it should be thrown out in court, as you’re no doubt aware, that costs money, time, and inconvenience. And in the meantime, if she gets a protective order on behalf of herself and the child, your rights to the child could be denied.
This is why anytime you’re finding yourself in a situation where there’s non-communication, you do want to make sure you talk to a good attorney about that and look into doing a motion to enforce or another appropriate motion to get access to that information.
If you do find yourself served with a protective order for stalking, harassment, or any other reason at all, this is what I would define as a legal emergency, and you want to get help as quickly as possible and take it seriously.