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How many calls constitute phone harassment?

Waldorf, MD |

The recipient answered the first call but hung up - never said anything about not calling back. They didn't answer the second call so my friend left a very brief, non-threatening message. Is that considered harassment?

Message left during second call. Only two.

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Attorney answers 3


likely depends on the message and the larger context of the three calls.

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There is no set number of calls. The Maryland harassment statute is below. What you described does not sound like harassment.

3-803. Harassment.

(a) Prohibited.- A person may not follow another in or about a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other:

(1) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;

(2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and

(3) without a legal purpose.

(b) Exception.- This section does not apply to a peaceable activity intended to express a political view or provide information to others.

(c) Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

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The context could help determine if the receiver of the phone calls would reasonably perceive the phone calls as harassment. For example, is the receiver the mistress of the caller's husband? Or is the receiver a teacher of a child and the parent is trying to find out how the child is doing at school? There are other factors regarding the context which would help a prosecutor to determine if this case is worth pursuing or if it is not worth the trouble.

Office: (410) 381-1656. This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.