Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. "Course of conduct" includes, in addition to any other form of communication, contact, or conduct, the sending of an electronic communication, but does not include constitutionally protected free speech. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."
(2) "Unlawful harassment" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or is detrimental to such person, and which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. The course of conduct shall be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and shall actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner, or, when the course of conduct would cause a reasonable parent to fear for the well-being of their child.
[2011 c 307 § 2; 2001 c 260 § 2; 1999 c 27 § 4; 1995 c 127 § 1; 1987 c 280 § 2.]
| Reviser's note: The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).|
Findings -- Intent -- 2001 c 260: "The legislature finds that unlawful harassment directed at a child by a person under the age of eighteen is not acceptable and can have serious consequences. The legislature further finds that some interactions between minors, such as "schoolyard scuffles," though not to be condoned, may not rise to the level of unlawful harassment. It is the intent of the legislature that a protection order sought by the parent or guardian of a child as provided for in this chapter be available only when the alleged behavior of the person under the age of eighteen to be restrained rises to the level set forth in chapter 10.14 RCW." [2001 c 260 § 1.]
Intent -- 1999 c 27: See note following RCW 9A.46.020.