How to Parse & Dissect the Arizona Harassment Statute

I recently helped a person parse (dissect) the Arizona Harassment statute as a method to help defend a harassment accusation. The Arizona harassment statute can be found here:

I break down the various components of the Arizona Harassment statute.

A. A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass or with knowledge that the person is harassing another person, the person:

1. Anonymously or otherwise contacts, communicates or causes a communication with another person by verbal, electronic, mechanical, telegraphic, telephonic or written means in a manner that harasses.

You have never communicated WITH her in ANY MEANS OR MANNER. You have only communicated ABOUT her to your readership. She constantly visits ROA of her own free will.

2. Continues to follow another person in or about a public place for no legitimate purpose after being asked to desist.

You have never followed her and she has never asked you to cease and desist.

3. Repeatedly commits an act or acts that harass another person.

At worst, your so-called "acts" revolving writing your opinions about someone and sharing publicly accessible information found in Google or other public information website.

4. Surveils or causes another person to surveil a person for no legitimate purpose.

You have not surveiled anyone for any purpose.

5. On more than one occasion makes a false report to a law enforcement, credit or social service agency.

You have made not false reports about her to any law enforcement, credit, etc.

6. Interferes with the delivery of any public or regulated utility to a person.

Not applicable in your situation. You have not interfered with delivery of any utility to anyone.

B. A person commits harassment against a public officer or employee if the person, with intent to harass, files a nonconsensual lien against any public officer or employee that is not accompanied by an order or a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction authorizing the filing of the lien or is not issued by a governmental entity or political subdivision or agency pursuant to its statutory authority, a validly licensed utility or water delivery company, a mechanics' lien claimant or an entity created under covenants, conditions, restrictions or declarations affecting real property.

Not applicable in your situation.

C. Harassment under subsection A is a class 1 misdemeanor. Harassment under subsection B is a class 5 felony.

D. This section does not apply to an otherwise lawful demonstration, assembly or picketing.

E. For the purposes of this section, "harassment" means conduct that is directed at a specific person and that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed and the conduct in fact seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person.

All Elements of the statute must exist.

* Directed at a specific person. (NO. Your forum posts are NOT directed TO her. They are TO your readership ABOUT her and her shenanigans.)

* Cause a "reasonable" person to be SERIOUSLY alarmed, annoyed, or harassed. (NO, read in entirety and full context, they would not cause a "reasonable" person to be SERIOUSLY alarmed, annoyed, or harassed. Most reasonable people would not at best be MILDLY be alarmed, annoyed, etc.)

* Conduct must, IN FACT, SERIOUSLY alarm, annoy, or harass. ( It is objectively not a fact that you are seriously alarming, annoying, etc. It is Jen's OPINION at best.)

Sharing publicly available information about someone and court exhibit information is NOT defined anywhere in the statute. Any remedies the court may recommend should be tight and narrow, not done with a broad brush.


  • "E. For the purposes of this section, "harassment" means conduct that is directed at a specific person and that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed and the conduct in fact seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person."

    This (Subsection E) is the definition which applies to the entire section, i. e., ARS 13-2921. The rather vague, overbroad definition is one of the reasons why I suggested to Todd that he file a motion to quash the warrant in his case. He has not directed at Terpstra (the faux victim) any conduct which would cause her to REASONABLY suffer alarm, annoyance, or harassment. Instead, he has published instructive or didactic material to the whole world. Speech is not conduct in this sense; and Todd's blog is speech, not conduct. Ample caselaw on this point has been published online which he can produce to buttress this argument.

    So we'll defer to what she's going to testify to, if allowed to testify, that she's annoyed and so on, but her reactions must be objectively reasonable, and in her case - as narrated in the warrant -- her reactions are patently unreasonable. She's like Colleen Nestler, the plaintiff who obtained a RO against David Letterman -- she's a basketcase of melodrama, hysteria, seething, displaced aggression, and likely several of the dark tetrad personality disorders. Plus, at her age she's having hot flashes, pms, and other hormonal eruptions.

    I'm an armchair psychologist, so I suspect she's afflicted with borderline personality disorder and she indicates symptoms of bipolar disorder. Judge Cranshaw should ship her out for a psychiatric examination and leave Todd alone. There may be nefarious motives in the matter, though, where people besides Terpstra want Todd punished and his perfectly legal blog suppressed. Free speech always comes at a price.
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