☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 455

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2009, 5 histories, see footnote (history) bottom

  455.010.  Definitions. — As used in sections 455.010 to 455.085, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms shall mean:

  (1) "Abuse" includes but is not limited to the occurrence of any of the following acts, attempts or threats against a person who may be protected pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085:

  (a) "Assault", purposely or knowingly placing or attempting to place another in fear of physical harm;

  (b) "Battery", purposely or knowingly causing physical harm to another with or without a deadly weapon;

  (c) "Coercion", compelling another by force or threat of force to engage in conduct from which the latter has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;

  (d) "Harassment", engaging in a purposeful or knowing course of conduct involving more than one incident that alarms or causes distress to another adult and serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable adult to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner. Such conduct might include, but is not limited to:

  a. Following another about in a public place or places;

  b. Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of another; but does not include constitutionally protected activity;

  (e) "Sexual assault", causing or attempting to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, threat of force, or duress;

  (f) "Unlawful imprisonment", holding, confining, detaining or abducting another person against that person's will;

  (2) "Adult", any person seventeen years of age or older or otherwise emancipated;

  (3) "Court", the circuit or associate circuit judge or a family court commissioner;

  (4) "Ex parte order of protection", an order of protection issued by the court before the respondent has received notice of the petition or an opportunity to be heard on it;

  (5) "Family" or "household member", spouses, former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, adults who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, an adult who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and adults who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time;

  (6) "Full order of protection", an order of protection issued after a hearing on the record where the respondent has received notice of the proceedings and has had an opportunity to be heard;

  (7) "Order of protection", either an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection;

  (8) "Petitioner", a family or household member or an adult who has been the victim of stalking, who has filed a verified petition pursuant to the provisions of section 455.020;

  (9) "Respondent", the family or household member or adult alleged to have committed an act of stalking, against whom a verified petition has been filed;

  (10) "Stalking" is when an adult purposely and repeatedly engages in an unwanted course of conduct that causes alarm to another person when it is reasonable in that person's situation to have been alarmed by the conduct. As used in this subdivision:

  (a) "Alarm" means to cause fear of danger of physical harm;

  (b) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of repeated acts over a period of time, however short, that serves no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, following the other person or unwanted communication or unwanted contact; and

  (c) "Repeated" means two or more incidents evidencing a continuity of purpose.


(L. 1980 S.B. 524 § 1, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1993 H.B. 476 & 194, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1619, A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al., A.L. 2004 S.B. 1211, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481)

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2009 ----

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