Law No. 284 of 1999, known as the “Act Against Stalking in Puerto Rico,” as amended, provides that stalking is an intentional pattern of behavior of:
- vigilance over a certain person
- unwanted communications, written, verbal, or implicit threats made against a person
- acts of vandalism directed to a specific person
- repeated harassment through words, gestures, or actions intended to intimidate or cause fear, threat or pursue the person or their family members
Protection order for stalking
What is considered a stalking behavior pattern?
A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior that occurs on two or more occasions, with the intentional purpose of intimidating a specific person or their family members.
What can you do if you or any member of your family has been affected by a stalking pattern?
You can go to the Court of First Instance to request a protection order. Protection orders are measures and conditions dictated by the Court to the stalker to abstain from committing acts of stalking.
Criminal charges need not be brought first in order to request a protection order. You may use the Petition for Protection Order under the Act Against Stalking in Puerto Rico form (OAT 1230).
If you are experiencing an emergency, immediately contact the 9-1-1 Emergency System or the nearest Police headquarters.
Who can request a protection order?
Those who can request a protection order for stalking are:
- the person being stalked
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- the legal representative of the person being stalked
- a law enforcement officer (for example, a police officer)
- an employer, if the person being stalked is their employee and if the acts constituting stalking occur in the workplace or surrounding areas, after notifying the person being stalked of their intention to request the protection order.
The employer may request the order through the Petition for Protection Order by an Employer under the Act Against Stalking in Puerto Rico (OAT 1816).
In emergency situations, or when the person being stalked is mentally or physically disabled or cannot request it themselves, the petition may be filed by another person.
What measures can the Court establish in a protection order?
In the protection order, the judge may order, among other things, that the stalker:
- abstain or stop disturbing, harassing, pursuing, intimidating, or threatening the stalked person
- abstain from entering any place where the petitioner is located
- if damages were caused, pay monetary compensation for such damages (for example, repairs, moving expenses, legal expenses, medical expenses, among others)
- immediately deliver any firearm in their possession to the Puerto Rico Police
Also, and according to Section 16(A) of Law No. 284 of 1999, you may request that the Court issue an order to your mobile service provider to provide a new telephone number and, if necessary, transfer responsibility and control over one or more telephone numbers to the petitioner at no additional cost. For this, you may use the Petition for Change of Telephone Number and Transfer of Responsibility and Control (OAT 1806) form.