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BULLET St. Louis City Ordinance 67800

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FLOOR SUBSTITUTE

BOARD BILL NO. [07] 404

INTRODUCED BY ALDERMAN LEWIS REED, APRIL FORD GRIFFIN, STEPHEN GREGALI, DIONNE FLOWERS, FRANK WILLIAMSON, JEFFREY BOYD, KATHLEEN HANRAHAN, BILL WATERHOUSE, TERRY KENNEDY, CHARLES QUNICY TROUPE, FREEMAN BOSLEY, SR., SAMUEL L. MOORE, KACIE STARR TRIPLETT, PHYLLIS YOUNG, STEPHEN J. CONWAY, KENNETH ORTMANN, JOSEPH VOLLMER, MATT VILLA, FRED HEITERT, ALFRED WESSELS, JR., JENNIFER FLORIDA, DONNA BARINGER, JOSEPH D. RODDY, MARLENE DAVIS, CRAIG N. SCHMID, BENNICE JONES KING, DOROTHY KIRNER, GREGORY CARTER, LYDA KREWSON

An ordinance prohibiting any person from harassment by means of the Internet or other electronic communications hereinafter referred to as “cyber harassment;” containing a penalty clause, severability clause and an emergency clause.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION ONE. Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter the following words or phrases shall have the meaning given herein.

A. “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts, which may include electronic or other communications, over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”

B. “Electronic communication" means the origination, emission, dissemination, transmission, or reception of data, writings, images, signals, sounds, or other intelligence or equivalence of intelligence of any nature over any communications system by any method, including, but not limited to, a fiber optic, radio, electronic, magnetic, optical, digital, analog method, electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service or electronic text messaging.

C. “Electronic communications device” means any instrument, equipment, machine, or other device that facilitates telecommunication, including, but not limited to, a computer, computer chip, computer circuit, scanner, telephone, cellular telephone, pager, personal communications device, transponder, receiver, radio, or device that enables the use of a modem.

D. "Family or household member" means spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, and persons with disabilities and their personal assistants.

E. “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and shall actually cause substantial emotional distress, or, when the course of conduct consists of contact by a person over age eighteen with a person under the age of eighteen that would cause a reasonable parent to fear for the well-being of their minor child who is the target of the contact.

SECTION TWO. The offense of cyber-harassment

A. A person commits the offense of cyber-harassment if he or she, with intent to harass, initiates the transmission of an electronic communication, or with knowledge of a person’s intent to harass, knowingly permits an electronic communication to be transmitted from an electronic communication device under the person’s control to such other person or a third party.

B. No person shall make or cause to be made an electronic communication, or permit an electronic communication to be made from a electronic communications device under the person’s control, with the intent to harass either by the direct action of the person initiating the communication or through the actions of a third party, which third party actions are instigated, initiated, prompted or brought about by the person’s communication.

C. Any offense committed under this Section may be deemed to have been committed either at the place from which the communication was made or at the place where the communication was received.

SECTION THREE. Penalty for violation.

Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to of a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or a term of imprisonment not more than ninety (90) days or both a fine and term of imprisonment.

SECTION FOUR. Severability

If any provision, clause, sentence, paragraph or word of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person, entity or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are declared severable.

SECTION FIVE. This Ordinance, being deemed necessary for the immediate preservation of public health, safety and welfare, is hereby declared to be an emergency measure and shall become effective immediately upon its approval by the Mayor.

Legislative History
1ST READING REF TO COMM COMMITTEE COMM SUB COMM AMEND
11/30/07
2ND READING FLOOR AMEND FLOOR SUB PERFECTN PASSAGE
ORDINANCE VETOED VETO OVR SIGNED BY MAYOR
67800

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