ORS 166.065¹

(1) A person commits the crime of harassment if the person intentionally:

(a) Harasses or annoys another person by:

(A) Subjecting such other person to offensive physical contact; or

(B) Publicly insulting such other person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended and likely to provoke a violent response;

(b) Subjects another to alarm by conveying a false report, known by the conveyor to be false, concerning death or serious physical injury to a person, which report reasonably would be expected to cause alarm; or

(c) Subjects another to alarm by conveying a telephonic, electronic or written threat to inflict serious physical injury on that person or to commit a felony involving the person or property of that person or any member of that person’s family, which threat reasonably would be expected to cause alarm.

(2)(a) A person is criminally liable for harassment if the person knowingly permits any telephone or electronic device under the person’s control to be used in violation of subsection (1) of this section.

(b) Harassment that is committed under the circumstances described in subsection (1)(c) of this section is committed in either the county in which the communication originated or the county in which the communication was received.

(3) Harassment is a Class B misdemeanor.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3) of this section, harassment is a Class A misdemeanor if a person violates:

(a) Subsection (1)(a)(A) of this section by subjecting another person to offensive physical contact and:

(A) The offensive physical contact consists of touching the sexual or other intimate parts of the other person; or

(B)(i) The victim of the offense is a family or household member of the person; and

(ii) The offense is committed in the immediate presence of, or is witnessed by, the person’s or the victim’s minor child or stepchild or a minor child residing within the household of the person or victim; or

(b) Subsection (1)(c) of this section and:

(A) The person has a previous conviction under subsection (1)(c) of this section and the victim of the current offense was the victim or a member of the family of the victim of the previous offense;

(B) At the time the offense was committed, the victim was protected by a stalking protective order, a restraining order as defined in ORS 24.190 (Foreign restraining orders) or any other court order prohibiting the person from contacting the victim;

(C) At the time the offense was committed, the person reasonably believed the victim to be under 18 years of age and more than three years younger than the person; or

(D)(i) The person conveyed a threat to kill the other person or any member of the family of the other person;

(ii) The person expressed the intent to carry out the threat; and

(iii) A reasonable person would believe that the threat was likely to be followed by action.

(5) The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission shall classify harassment as described in subsection (4)(a)(B) of this section as a person Class A misdemeanor under the rules of the commission.

(6)(a) As used in this section:

(A) “Electronic threat” means a threat conveyed by electronic mail, the Internet, a telephone text message or any other transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, cellular system, electromagnetic system or other similar means.

(B) “Family or household member” has the meaning given that term in ORS 135.230 (Definitions for ORS 135.230 to 135.290).

(b) For purposes of subsection (4) of this section, an offense is witnessed if the offense is seen or directly perceived in any other manner by the minor child. [1971 c.743 §223; 1981 c.468 §1; 1985 c.498 §1; 1987 c.806 §3; 1995 c.802 §1; 2001 c.870 §2; 2009 c.783 §1; 2013 c.649 §26; 2017 c.430 §1; 2019 c.304 §3]

Notes of Decisions

“Course of con­duct” is a pattern of con­duct composed of same or similar acts repeated over a period of time, however short, which es­tab­lishes a continuity of purpose in the mind of the actor. State v. Sallinger, 11 Or App 592, 504 P2d 1283 (1972)

“Offensive physical contact” includes striking, slapping, shoving, kicking, grabbing and similar acts that are an in­ter­fer­ence with the contactee, regardless of whether they produce any pain or discomfort. State v. Sallinger, 11 Or App 592, 504 P2d 1283 (1972)

Require­ment that per­son act with specific intent to “harass, annoy or alarm” is not unconstitu­tionally vague. State v. Sallinger, 11 Or App 592, 504 P2d 1283 (1972)

Require­ment that per­son subject an­oth­er per­son to “offensive physical contact” is not unconstitu­tionally vague. State v. Sallinger, 11 Or App 592, 504 P2d 1283 (1972)

Prohibi­tion against con­duct constituting harass­ment by “telephone, mail or other form of written communica­tion” is not unconstitu­tionally vague. State v. Zeit, 22 Or App 480, 539 P2d 1130 (1975)

Prohibi­tion against con­duct that “alarms or seriously annoys” an­oth­er per­son is unconstitu­tionally vague. State v. Sanderson, 33 Or App 173, 575 P2d 1025 (1978)

Notwithstanding that initial stop of defendant was unlawful under ORS 131.615 (Stopping of persons), such illegality did not render inadmissible defendant’s sub­se­quent behavior, for which he was charged under this sec­tion. State v. Gaffney, 36 Or App 105, 583 P2d 582 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Spitting on an­oth­er can be offensive physical contact within meaning of this sec­tion. State v. Keller, 40 Or App 143, 594 P2d 1250 (1979)

Prohibi­tion against communica­tions that are “likely to cause annoyance or alarm” is unconstitu­tionally vague. State v. Blair, 287 Or 519, 601 P2d 766 (1979)

Publicly insulting an­oth­er by abusive or obscene words or gestures in manner likely to provoke violent or disorderly response with intent to harass, annoy or alarm, violates sec­tion 8, Article I, Oregon Constitu­tion, because it is di­rected to speech and is not “wholly confined within some historical excep­tion” to that constitu­tional sec­tion. State v. Harrington, 67 Or App 608, 680 P2d 666 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Proscrip­tion against “offensive physical contact” is di­rected toward con­duct not speech and does not violate sec­tion 8, Article I, Oregon Constitu­tion. State v. Beebe, 67 Or App 738, 680 P2d 11 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Harass­ment by causing telephone to ring with no communicative purpose, is clear and unambiguous. State v. Lowery, 71 Or App 833, 693 P2d 1343 (1984)

Prohibi­tion against telephonic or written threats, where focus is on effect not speech and effect must be objectively as well as subjectively genuine, is neither constitu­tionally overbroad nor vague. State v. Moyle, 299 Or 691, 705 P2d 740 (1985)

Telephonic or written threat must be genuine and pose objective risk of breach of peace and failure by defendant to act on threat may suggest it was not genuine, but failure does not compel such conclusion. State v. Mapula, 80 Or App 146, 720 P2d 1336 (1986), Sup Ct review denied

Harass­ment did not occur by phoning of bomb threat when recipient of threat was not actually placed in fear. State v. Wilson, 81 Or App 48, 724 P2d 840 (1986), Sup Ct review denied

Where harass­ment is not lesser included of­fense under charge of assault in fourth de­gree, defendant’s con­vic­­tion for harass­ment is reversed. State v. Warren, 101 Or App 446, 790 P2d 47 (1990)

Harass­ment by touching sexual or intimate parts of an­oth­er is not lesser included of­fense of sexual abuse in first de­gree (ORS 163.427 (Sexual abuse in the first degree)). State v. Barnes, 209 Or App 332, 147 P3d 936 (2006), Sup Ct review denied

Prohibi­tion of this sec­tion is facially overbroad so as to violate constitu­tional right of free speech. State v. Johnson, 345 Or 190, 191 P3d 665 (2008)

Chapter 166

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 427-637 (1972); 69 OLR 169 (1990)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 166—Offenses Against Public Order; Firearms and Other Weapons; Racketeering, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors166.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 166, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano166.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information