(either harris-meant or huh-rass-meant) n. the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill, or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious. Such activities may be the basis for a lawsuit if due to discrimination based on race or sex, a violation on the statutory limitations on collection agencies, involve revenge by an ex-spouse, or be shown to be a form of blackmail (“I’ll stop bothering you, if you’ll go to bed with me”). The victim may file a petition for a “stay away” (restraining) order, intended to prevent contact by the offensive party. A systematic pattern of harassment by an employee against another worker may subject the employer to a lawsuit for failure to protect the worker. (See: harass, sexual harassment)
Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
1 the offence in England of using threatening or abusive or insulting words within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be harassed thereby: Public Order Act 1986.
2 conduct which may require a person to be given legal protection in terms of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. For these purposes harassment is not defined but it includes causing the person alarm or distress. For the courts to act under this legislation the harassment was caused by a course of conduct. This is defined in the Act as conduct on more than one occasion. It need not be the same conduct on each occasion. There are defences such as that the conduct was reasonable in the circumstances. It is not open to plead as a defence that it was not intended by the alleged offender that alarm be caused. It is enough if his or her conduct would cause harassment, if a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would think that the course of conduct would have that effect. Similar rules apply in Scotland.
3 it is an offence in England to harass a person with demands for payment that are calculated to subject him or his household to alarm, distress or humiliation, or to pretend that criminal proceedings might be possible if payment is not made: Administration of Justice Act 1970.
4 harassment is not of itself a tort but the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, effectively creates a statutory tort and delict in Scotland.
6 special powers exist where there is harrassment of a person in his or her home: Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. The police have power to direct persons to leave the vicinity of residential premises, if their presence or behaviour there is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress and failure to comply is itself an offence.
7 collective harassment arises where there is a campaign of harassment by more than one person.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
Ask a Lawyerwhat’s this?
Country: United States of America
I recently moved to nev.from abut have been going back to ca. every 2 to 3 weeks for med. reasons and when I go a friend has a hotel room for me to stay in which is usually 2to5days each visit and every time I stay there I have been harassed by people I do not know they don’t come up to me personally but when I walk to my car or even when im in my room they yell obscenities at me they are constantly arguing about me and they have said my name im not sure who these people are since none have ever confronted me yet they must know who I am because of my name which is not a common name so I do know its me they are harassing also as of the last few times I spent there I have recorded them harassing me and on one recording they even mention my daughter who just turned 15yrs old my friend is at work all day and has not heard them but has listened to my recordings and does not know who these people are either I don’t know if they are staying at the hotel or if they live somewhere nea ruby or if they are management of this hotel but I do believe that one of the woman on the recording is someone that works there and now since they have mentioned my daughter and the things they say I am worried about mine and my daughters safety along with our privacy if in fact the hotel moment is involved, do I go to police and file something even though I don’t know these people or do I get legal help first or submit my recordings to the police so they can investigate who is on them? these recordings are very graphic in what these people are yelling and the hate in there voices is very frightening what should I do?
Yes file a police report…and ask the police to intervene–
These questions and answers are provided by WORLDLawDirect.com. ©2000 – 2007 by WORLDLawDirect.com, Inc.