Some people may not get the hint. Or, apparently not want to. You’ve told your ex you are through. Yet, for some reason, he or she feels that cyberstalking is acceptable. You may be relieved to know there are legal remedies for such behavior. After all, enough is enough.
Just about everyone has an appreciation for the merits of technology. Nonetheless, it can be incredibly intrusive. So much so, that the legislature recently added cyber harassment as a form of domestic violence. Consequently, you may be able to obtain a restraining order upon proof that your ex is engaged is intent on any kind of cyber harassment.
For the most part, cyberstalking and cyber harassment are the same. In both cases, it’s the concept of using electronic communications to create havoc. For some, it is exclusively related to social media. Others may take advantage of making inappropriate posts on public forums or online bulletin boards. And, cyberstalking can also pertain to communication by electronic mail.
The goal of cyber harassment is more than apparent. Like other forms of domestic violence, it may be intended to terrorize a target. However, there are prospective other issues, not limited to the following:
- Using social media as a means of keeping track of a former love interest
- Posting embarrassing (and often untrue) remarks about an ex
- Making statements of a threatening nature
- Transmitting harassing email
- Engaging in identity theft
- Planting computer viruses
Meanwhile, you should know that these are some basic examples. Assuredly, there are more. And, for that reason, it makes sense that New Jersey law expanded the statutory considerations for domestic violence.
New Jersey Law and Cyber Harassment
A year ago, we provided our readers with the concerns considered in domestic violence matters. However, since that time, NJSA 2C:25-19 has been updated. Cyber-harassment was added as an act of domestic violence. Under New Jersey law, it is considered a criminal offense and is defined at NJSA 2c:33-4.1(a) as follows:
A person commits the crime of cyber-harassment if, while making a communication in an online capacity via any electronic device or through a social networking site and with the purpose to harass another, the person:
(1) threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or the property of any person;
(2) knowingly sends, posts, comments, requests, suggests, or proposes any lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm to his person; or
(3) threatens to commit any crime against the person or the person's property.
Without a doubt, cyber harassment can be the cause of angst for someone going through a custody matter or divorce proceeding. For this reason, it is important to review your concerns with an experienced family law attorney.