HB1159 (2020) Detail

Relative to cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and doxxing of a public servant.


HB 1159-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2194

04/08

 

HOUSE BILL 1159-FN

 

AN ACT relative to cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and doxxing of a public servant.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Diggs, Graf. 16; Rep. J. Schmidt, Hills. 28; Rep. W. Thomas, Hills. 21; Rep. Frost, Straf. 16; Rep. Altschiller, Rock. 19; Rep. Grossman, Rock. 18

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a criminal penalty for cyberbullying, cyberstalking, or doxxing of a public servant.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-2194

04/08

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and doxxing of a public servant.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Obstructing Government Administration.  Amend RSA 642:1 to read as follows:

642:1  Obstructing Government Administration.  

I.  A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if that person uses intimidation, actual or threatened force or violence, simulated legal process, cyberstalking or cyberbullying, doxxing, or engages in any other unlawful conduct with a purpose to hinder or interfere with a public servant, as defined in RSA 640:2, II, performing or purporting to perform an official function or to retaliate for the performance or purported performance of such a function.

II.  Flight by a person charged with an offense, refusal by anyone to submit to arrest, or any such interference in connection with a labor dispute with the government shall be prosecuted under the statutes governing such matters and not under this section.

III.  In this section[,]:

(a)  "Cyberbullying" means the repeated and intentional use of a cell phone, computer, or other electronic communication device for the purpose of harassing or threatening a public servant.

(b)  "Cyberstalking" means:

(1)  Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly engaging in a course of conduct using a cell phone, computer, or other electronic communication device targeted at a public servant which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of that person's immediate family, and the public servant is actually placed in such fear;

(2)  Purposely or knowingly engages in a course of conduct using a cell phone, computer, or other electronic communication device targeted at a public servant, which the actor knows will place that individual in fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of that individual's immediate family.  

(c)  "Doxxing" means recklessly or purposely revealing and publicizing any private or personally identifiable information of a public servant for the purpose of threatening, intimidating, or harassing such person in the course of his or her official duties.  

(d) "Simulated legal process" means a document or order which purports to have been issued by a court or filed or recorded for the purpose of exercising jurisdiction or representing a claim against a person or property, or for the purpose of directing a person to appear before a court or tribunal, or to perform or refrain from performing a specified act, but which the actor knows was not lawfully issued or rendered in accordance with the applicable statutes, rules, regulations, or ordinances of the federal, state, or local government, or a political subdivision thereof.  "Simulated legal process" includes any document that purports to be a summons, lien, indictment, complaint, warrant, injunction, writ, notice, pleading, subpoena, or order.

IV.  For any offense committed under paragraph I that involved the use of simulated legal process, the court may impose the following remedies, in addition to any criminal penalties authorized under RSA 651:

(a)  Such appropriate injunctive relief as the court may deem necessary to prevent continued violations of this section.

(b)  Restitution to the public [official] servant for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the simulated legal process, including legal fees.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2021.

 

LBAO

20-2194

10/24/19

 

HB 1159-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to cyberbullying and cyberstalking of a public servant.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

 

Judicial Branch

FY 2021

FY 2022

Class B Misdemeanor

$54

$56

Class A Misdemeanor

$77

$79

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2021 and FY 2022 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$300/Case

$300/Case

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$105 to $120

$105 to $120

 

Many offenses are prosecuted by local and county prosecutors.  When the Department of Justice has investigative and prosecutorial responsibility or is involved in an appeal, the Department would likely absorb the cost within its existing budget.  If the Department needs to prosecute significantly more cases or handle more appeals, then costs may increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, New Hampshire Association of Counties, Department of Justice

 

Links

HB1159 at GenCourtMobile
HB1159 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 29, 2020 House Hearing
Feb. 5, 2020 House Exec Session
Feb. 5, 2020 House Exec Session
Feb. 25, 2020 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB1159 Revision: 6792 Date: Jan. 7, 2020, 3:18 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Jan. 29, 2020 Public Hearing: 01/29/2020 10:45 am LOB 204
Feb. 5, 2020 Full Committee Work Session: 02/05/2020 10:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 5, 2020 ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 02/05/2020 01:00 pm LOB 204
Feb. 13, 2020 Subcommittee Work Session: 02/13/2020 09:30 am LOB 204
Feb. 25, 2020 ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 02/25/2020 01:00 pm LOB 204