THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931
750.411s Posting message through electronic medium; prohibitions; penalty; exceptions; definitions.
(1) A person shall not post a message through the use of any medium of communication, including the internet or a computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network, or other electronic medium of communication, without the victim's consent, if all of the following apply:
(a) The person knows or has reason to know that posting the message could cause 2 or more separate noncontinuous acts of unconsented contact with the victim.
(b) Posting the message is intended to cause conduct that would make the victim feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
(c) Conduct arising from posting the message would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
(d) Conduct arising from posting the message causes the victim to suffer emotional distress and to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a crime as follows:
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.
(b) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both:
(i) Posting the message is in violation of a restraining order and the person has received actual notice of that restraining order or posting the message is in violation of an injunction or preliminary injunction.
(ii) Posting the message is in violation of a condition of probation, a condition of parole, a condition of pretrial release, or a condition of release on bond pending appeal.
(iii) Posting the message results in a credible threat being communicated to the victim, a member of the victim's family, or another individual living in the same household as the victim.
(iv) The person has been previously convicted of violating this section or section 145d, 411h, or 411i, or section 6 of 1979 PA 53, MCL 752.796, or a substantially similar law of another state, a political subdivision of another state, or of the United States.
(v) The victim is less than 18 years of age when the violation is committed and the person committing the violation is 5 or more years older than the victim.
(3) This section does not apply to an internet or computer network service provider who in good faith, and without knowledge of the specific nature of the message posted, provides the medium for disseminating information or communication between persons.
(4) The court may order a person convicted of violating this section to reimburse this state or a local unit of government of this state for the expenses incurred in relation to the violation in the same manner that expenses may be ordered to be reimbursed under section 1f of chapter IX of the code of criminal procedure, 1927 PA 175, MCL 769.1f.
(5) This section does not prohibit a person from being charged with, convicted of, or punished for any other violation of law committed by that person while violating or attempting to violate this section.
(6) This section does not prohibit constitutionally protected speech or activity.
(7) A person may be prosecuted in this state for violating or attempting to violate this section only if 1 of the following applies:
(a) The person posts the message while in this state.
(b) Conduct arising from posting the message occurs in this state.
(c) The victim is present in this state at the time the offense or any element of the offense occurs.
(d) The person posting the message knows that the victim resides in this state.
(8) As used in this section:
(a) “Computer” means any connected, directly interoperable or interactive device, equipment, or facility that uses a computer program or other instructions to perform specific operations including logical, arithmetic, or memory functions with or on computer data or a computer program and that can store, retrieve, alter, or communicate the results of the operations to a person, computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network.
(b) “Computer network” means the interconnection of hardwire or wireless communication lines with a computer through remote terminals, or a complex consisting of 2 or more interconnected computers.
(c) “Computer program” means a series of internal or external instructions communicated in a form acceptable to a computer that directs the functioning of a computer, computer system, or computer network in a manner designed to provide or produce products or results from the computer, computer system, or computer network.
(d) “Computer system” means a set of related, connected or unconnected, computer equipment, devices, software, or hardware.
(e) “Credible threat” means a threat to kill another individual or a threat to inflict physical injury upon another individual that is made in any manner or in any context that causes the individual hearing or receiving the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of another individual.
(f) “Device” includes, but is not limited to, an electronic, magnetic, electrochemical, biochemical, hydraulic, optical, or organic object that performs input, output, or storage functions by the manipulation of electronic, magnetic, or other impulses.
(g) “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
(h) “Internet” means that term as defined in section 230 of title II of the communications act of 1934, chapter 652, 110 Stat. 137, 47 U.S.C. 230.
(i) “Post a message” means transferring, sending, posting, publishing, disseminating, or otherwise communicating or attempting to transfer, send, post, publish, disseminate, or otherwise communicate information, whether truthful or untruthful, about the victim.
(j) “Unconsented contact” means any contact with another individual that is initiated or continued without that individual's consent or in disregard of that individual's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued. Unconsented contact includes any of the following:
(i) Following or appearing within sight of the victim.
(ii) Approaching or confronting the victim in a public place or on private property.
(iii) Appearing at the victim's workplace or residence.
(iv) Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
(v) Contacting the victim by telephone.
(vi) Sending mail or electronic communications to the victim through the use of any medium, including the internet or a computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network.
(vii) Placing an object on, or delivering or having delivered an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
(k) “Victim” means the individual who is the target of the conduct elicited by the posted message or a member of that individual's immediate family.
History: Add. 2000, Act 475, Eff. Apr. 1, 2001
© 2017 Legislative Council, State of Michigan