O
hio Legislative Service Commission
122nd Final Bill Analysis
Effective Date update from the LSC Status Sheet: 03/30/99

Because of Ohio Supreme Court interpretations, effective dates published in the LSC Status Sheet are not authoritative, and users of the LSC Status Sheet rely upon them at their own risk. The effective dates have been unofficially and undefinitively determined by the LSC Division of Legal Review and Technical Services solely for the convenience of users.

Sub. S.B. 215
122nd General Assembly
(As Passed by the General Assembly)

Sens. Sheerer, Shoemaker, Latell, Blessing, Howard, Herington, Gaeth, Kearns, Watts, DiDonato, B. Johnson, Oelslager, Carnes, McLin, Drake, Latta, Suhadolnik, Mumper, Hagan, J. Johnson, Schafrath

Reps. Callender, Lucas, Jones, Taylor, Garcia, Willamowski, Goodman, Womer Benjamin, Sutton, Jerse, Allen, Roberts, Sulzer, Logan, Opfer, Mottl, Bender, Hartnett, Mottley, Mead, Reid, Roman, Pringle, Boyd, Thomas, Johnson, Brady, O'Brien, Perz, Patton, Metzger, Grendell, Krupinski, Padgett, Tavares, Salerno, Britton, Mallory

Effective date: ** The Legislative Service Commission had not received formal notification of the effective date at the time this analysis was prepared.

Makes the penalty for a second or subsequent conviction of menacing by stalking a felony of the fifth degree, regardless of whether the offenses resulting in the convictions involved the same victim.
Makes the penalty for a second or subsequent conviction of most violations of the offense of telephone harassment a felony of the fifth degree, regardless of whether the offenses resulting in the convictions involved the same person, recipient, or premises.
CONTENT AND OPERATION

Menacing by stalking

Continuing and prior law

Continuing law prohibits a person, by engaging in a "pattern of conduct" (see below), from knowingly causing another to believe that the offender will cause "physical harm" (see below) to the other person or cause "mental distress" (see below) to the other person. Whoever violates this prohibition is guilty of the offense of "menacing by stalking." Under continuing law, menacing by stalking generally is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Under prior law menacing by stalking was a felony of the fifth degree if the offender previously had been convicted of or pleaded guilty to menacing by stalking and if both the offense for which sentence was being imposed and the previous offense involved the same person as the victim. (Sec. 2913.211(A) and (B).)

As used in the offense of menacing by stalking (sec. 2903.211(C)): (1) "pattern of conduct" means two or more actions or incidents closely related in time, whether or not there has been a prior conviction based on any of those actions or incidents; and (2) "mental distress" means any mental illness or condition that involves some temporary substantial incapacity or mental illness or condition that would normally require psychiatric treatment. As used in the Revised Code, "physical harm to persons" means any injury, illness, or other physiological impairment, regardless of its gravity or duration (sec. 2901.01).

Continuing law, unchanged by the act, sets forth special factors that generally must be considered in setting bail for a person charged with menacing by stalking, authorizes the issuance in specified circumstances of an anti-stalking protection order as a pretrial condition of release of a person who is charged with menacing by stalking or certain specified menacing-related or assault-related offenses, and, under the crime of "violating a protection order," prohibits a person from recklessly violating the terms of an anti-stalking protection order (secs. 2903.212, 2903.213, and 2919.27--not in the act).

Operation of the act

Prior law specified that menacing by stalking was a felony of the fifth degree if the offender previously had been convicted of or pleaded guilty to menacing by stalking and if both the offense for which sentence is being imposed and the previous offense involved the same person as the victim. The act eliminates from this provision the requirement that both the offense for which sentence is being imposed and the previous offense must have involved the same person as the victim. Thus, under the act, a second or subsequent conviction of menacing by stalking always is a felony of the fifth degree, regardless of whether at least two of the offenses resulting in the convictions involved the same victim. (Sec. 2903.211(B).)

Telephone harassment

Continuing and prior law

Continuing law prohibits a person from doing any of the following (sec. 2917.21(A) and (B)):

(1) Knowingly making or causing to be made a telephone call, or knowingly permitting a telephone call to be made from a telephone under the person's control, to another, if the caller does any of the following: (a) fails to identify the caller to the recipient of the telephone call and makes the telephone call with purpose to harass, abuse, or annoy any person at the premises to which the telephone call is made, whether or not conversation takes place during the telephone call, (b) describes, suggests, requests, or proposes that the caller, the recipient of the telephone call, or any other person engage in any sexual activity as defined in the Sex Offenses Law, and the recipient of the telephone call, or another person at the premises to which the telephone call is made, has requested, in a previous telephone call or in the immediate telephone call, the caller not to make a telephone call to the recipient of the telephone call or to the premises to which the telephone call is made, (c) during the telephone call, commits aggravated menacing, (d) knowingly states to the recipient of the telephone call that the caller intends to cause damage to or destroy public or private property, and the recipient of the telephone call, any member of the family of the recipient of the telephone call, or any other person who resides at the premises to which the telephone call is made owns, leases, resides, or works in, will at the time of the destruction or damaging be near or in, has the responsibility of protecting, or insures the property that will be destroyed or damaged, or (e) knowingly makes the telephone call to the recipient of the telephone call, to another person at the premises to which the telephone call is made, or to the premises to which the telephone call is made, and the recipient of the telephone call, or another person at the premises to which the telephone call is made, previously has told the caller not to call the premises to which the telephone call is made or not to call any persons at the premises to which the telephone call is made.

(2) Making or causing to be made a telephone call, or permitting a telephone call to be made from a telephone under the person's control, with purpose to abuse, threaten, annoy, or harass another person.

Under continuing law, a violation of either of the above-described prohibitions is the offense of "telephone harassment." Except when the violation involves the conduct described above in clause (d) of paragraph (1), telephone harassment is a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense. Under prior law, telephone harassment was a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense involving the same person, recipient, or premises.

Under continuing law, when the violation involves the conduct described above in clause (d) of paragraph (1), telephone harassment generally is a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense. If the violation results in economic harm of $500 or more but less than $5,000, it is a felony of the fifth degree. If the violation results in economic harm of $5,000 or more but less than $100,000, it is a felony of the fourth degree. If the violation results in economic harm of $100,000 or more, it is a felony of the third degree. (Sec. 2917.21(C).)

As used in the offense of telephone harassment, "economic harm" means all direct, incidental, and consequential pecuniary harm suffered by a victim as a result of criminal conduct. "Economic harm" includes, but is not limited to, all of the following: (1) all wages, salaries, or other compensation lost as a result of the criminal conduct, (2) the cost of all wages, salaries, or other compensation paid to employees for time those employees are prevented from working as a result of the criminal conduct, (3) the overhead costs incurred for the time that a business is shut down as a result of the criminal conduct, and (4) the loss of value to tangible or intangible property that was damaged as a result of the criminal conduct. (Sec. 2917.21(D).)

Operation of the act

Prior law specified that telephone harassment, other than telephone harassment involving the conduct described above in clause (d) of paragraph (1), was a felony of the fifth degree if the offender previously had been convicted of or pleaded guilty to telephone harassment and the previous offense involved the same person, recipient, or premises. The act eliminates from this provision the requirement that both the offense for which sentence is being imposed and the previous offense must have involved the same person, recipient, or premises. Thus, under the act, a second or subsequent conviction of telephone harassment that does not involve the conduct described above in clause (d) of paragraph (1) always is a felony of the fifth degree, regardless of whether the previous offense involved the same person, recipient, or premises. (Sec. 2917.21(C)(2).)

HISTORY

ACTION DATE JOURNAL ENTRY

Introduced 01-08-98 p. 1489
Reported, S. Judiciary 05-19-98 p. 1926
Passed Senate (32-0) 05-19-98 p. 1929
Reported, H. Criminal
Justice 12-02-98 p. 2864
Passed House (93-0) 12-08-98 pp. 2930-2931



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