Statutory Law - US Code - 18 USC 1514. Civil action to restrain harassment of a victim or witness


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18 USC § 1514. Civil action to restrain harassment of a victim or witness

*Current through Public Law 112-173, August 16th, 2012.

(a)(1) A United States district court, upon application of the attorney for the Government, shall issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting harassment of a victim or witness in a Federal criminal case if the court finds, from specific facts shown by affidavit or by verified complaint, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that harassment of an identified victim or witness in a Federal criminal case exists or that such order is necessary to prevent and restrain an offense under section 1512 of this title, other than an offense consisting of misleading conduct, or under section 1513 of this title.
(2)(A) A temporary restraining order may be issued under this section without written or oral notice to the adverse party or such party's attorney in a civil action under this section if the court finds, upon written certification of facts by the attorney for the Government, that such notice should not be required and that there is a reasonable probability that the Government will prevail on the merits.
(B) A temporary restraining order issued without notice under this section shall be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance and be filed forthwith in the office of the clerk of the court issuing the order.
(C) A temporary restraining order issued under this section shall expire at such time, not to exceed 14 days from issuance, as the court directs; the court, for good cause shown before expiration of such order, may extend the expiration date of the order for up to 14 days or for such longer period agreed to by the adverse party.
(D) When a temporary restraining order is issued without notice, the motion for a protective order shall be set down for hearing at the earliest possible time and takes precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character, and when such motion comes on for hearing, if the attorney for the Government does not proceed with the application for a protective order, the court shall dissolve the temporary restraining order.
(E) If on two days notice to the attorney for the Government, excluding intermediate weekends and holidays, or on such shorter notice as the court may prescribe, the adverse party appears and moves to dissolve or modify the temporary restraining order, the court shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.
(F) A temporary restraining order shall set forth the reasons for the issuance of such order, be specific in terms, and describe in reasonable detail (and not by reference to the complaint or other document) the act or acts being restrained.
(b)(1) A United States district court, upon motion of the attorney for the Government, shall issue a protective order prohibiting harassment of a victim or witness in a Federal criminal case if the court, after a hearing, finds by a preponderance of the evidence that harassment of an identified victim or witness in a Federal criminal case exists or that such order is necessary to prevent and restrain an offense under section 1512 of this title, other than an offense consisting of misleading conduct, or under section 1513 of this title.
(2) At the hearing referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, any adverse party named in the complaint shall have the right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
(3) A protective order shall set forth the reasons for the issuance of such order, be specific in terms, describe in reasonable detail (and not by reference to the complaint or other document) the act or acts being restrained.
(4) The court shall set the duration of effect of the protective order for such period as the court determines necessary to prevent harassment of the victim or witness but in no case for a period in excess of three years from the date of such order's issuance. The attorney for the Government may, at any time within ninety days before the expiration of such order, apply for a new protective order under this section.
(c) As used in this section—
(1) the term “harassment” means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that—
(A) causes substantial emotional distress in such person; and
(B) serves no legitimate purpose; and

(2) the term “course of conduct” means a series of acts over a period of time, however short, indicating a continuity of purpose.
(Added Pub. L. 97–291, §4(a), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1250; amended Pub. L. 111–16, §3(2), (3), May 7, 2009, 123 Stat. 1607.)