Here is what you should know about stalking in Minnesota. Under Minnesota law, stalking is a crime defined as engaging in “conduct which the actor knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim.”
Following someone, showing up at their home or work, or waiting for them at places they are likely to be are examples of conduct that courts will consider stalking. Other conduct that may be considered stalking include making phone calls or sending emails, letters, texts, or gifts when the recipient has expressed a desire not to receive them. In all of these instances, the actor is deemed to have either known or had reason to know that their conduct would cause a type of emotional harm listed by the statute.
If a person brings a stalking claim, the burden will be on the defendant to show that their behavior did not in fact amount to stalking under the statute. Thus, innocent actions may not be stalking, but the defendant must prove this. It is also important to note that under the law, the relationship between the parties is irrelevant.
Stalking claims are often a genuine attempt to safeguard a victim from an abusive or unstable person. In other cases, a stalking claim may be the result of a less serious misunderstanding, or perhaps be nothing more than a vindictive false accusation. If you have been accused of a stalking crime, or would like more information about this issue, please contact us.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.