In situations in which a WMC victim is harassed or intimidated (including through electronic means), he or she may file a petition for a protective order against his or her harasser for stalking to prevent further contact with the harasser.1 There is no tort cause of action for stalking.2
Text of Statutes
Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-94 – Restraining orders; protective orders
(a) A person who is not a minor who alleges stalking by another person may seek a restraining order by filing a petition alleging conduct constituting stalking as defined in Code Section 16-5-90. A person who is not a minor may also seek relief on behalf of a minor by filing such a petition.
(b) Jurisdiction for such a petition shall be the same as for family violence petitions as set out in Code Section 19-13-2.
(c) Upon the filing of a verified petition in which the petitioner alleges with specific facts that probable cause exists to establish that stalking by the respondent has occurred in the past and may occur in the future, the court may order such temporary relief ex parte as it deems necessary to protect the petitioner or a minor of the household from stalking. If the court issues an ex parte order, a copy of the order shall be immediately furnished to the petitioner.
(d) The court may grant a protective order or approve a consent agreement to bring about a cessation of conduct constituting stalking. Orders or agreements may:
1) Direct a party to refrain from such conduct;
2) Order a party to refrain from harassing or interfering with the other;
3) Award costs and attorney's fees to either party; and
4) Order either or all parties to receive appropriate psychiatric or psychological services as a further measure to prevent the recurrence of stalking.
(e) The provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 19-13-3, subsections (b), (c), and (d) of Code Section 19-13-4, and Code Section 19-13-5, relating to family violence petitions, shall apply to petitions filed pursuant to this Code section, except that the clerk of court may provide forms for petitions and pleadings to persons alleging conduct constituting stalking and to any other person designated by the superior court pursuant to this Code section as authorized to advise persons alleging conduct constituting stalking on filling out and filing such petitions and pleadings.
Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-90 - Stalking; psychological evaluation
(a) A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person. For the purpose of this article, the terms "computer" and "computer network" shall have the same meanings as set out in Code Section 16-9-92; the term "contact" shall mean any communication including without being limited to communication in person, by telephone, by mail, by broadcast, by computer, by computer network, or by any other electronic device; and the place or places that contact by telephone, mail, broadcast, computer, computer network, or any other electronic device is deemed to occur shall be the place or places where such communication is received. For the purpose of this article, the term "place or places" shall include any public or private property occupied by the victim other than the residence of the defendant. For the purposes of this article, the term "harassing and intimidating" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person's safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose. This Code section shall not be construed to require that an overt threat of death or bodily injury has been made.3
See supra Section C “Restraining Orders” for applicable case law related to restraining orders.
See supra Section C “Restraining Orders” for practice pointers related to restraining orders.
See, supra, Section C “Restraining Orders” for more information relating to civil stalking and restraining orders. ↩
The rest of the stalking statute has been omitted because it is not applicable to “civil stalking.” See supra Section D (“Criminal”) for information about the crime of “stalking.” ↩