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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 12 : Court Procedure

Chapter 178 : Orders Against Stalking or Sexual Assault

(Cite as: 12 V.S.A. § 5131)
  • § 5131. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1)(A) “Course of conduct” means two or more acts over a period of time, however short, in which a person follows, monitors, surveils, threatens, or makes threats about another person, or interferes with another person’s property. This definition shall apply to acts conducted by the person directly or indirectly, and by any action, method, device, or means. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”

    (B) As used in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (1), threaten shall not be construed to require an express or overt threat.

    (2) [Repealed.]

    (3) “Nonphysical contact” includes telephone calls, mail, e-mail, social media commentary or comment, or other electronic communication, fax, and written notes.

    (4) “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person in the victim’s circumstances.

    (5) “Sexually assaulted the plaintiff” means that the defendant engaged in conduct that meets elements of lewd and lascivious conduct as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2601, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2602, sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3252, aggravated sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3253, use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2822, or consenting to a sexual performance as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2823, and that the plaintiff was the victim of the offense.

    (6) “Stalk” means to engage purposefully in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that the person engaging in the conduct knows or should know would cause a reasonable person to:

    (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of a family member; or

    (B) suffer substantial emotional distress as evidenced by:

    (i) a fear of unlawful sexual conduct, unlawful restraint, bodily injury, or death; or

    (ii) significant modifications in the person’s actions or routines, including moving from an established residence, changes to established daily routes to and from work that cause a serious disruption in the person’s life, changes to the person’s employment or work schedule, or the loss of a job or time from work.

    (7) “Stay away” means to refrain from knowingly:

    (A) initiating or maintaining a physical presence near the plaintiff;

    (B) engaging in nonphysical contact with the plaintiff directly or indirectly; or

    (C) engaging in nonphysical contact with the plaintiff through third parties who may or may not know of the order.

    (8) [Repealed.] (Added 2005, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2006; amended 2007, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)