The Appellate Group

Richins v. Weldon

Richins v. Weldon, 2023 UT App 147 (Mortensen, J.)

Civil Stalking

Richins obtained a stalking injunction against Weldon. Weldon appealed arguing that the evidence presented was insufficient to support the injunction and that the district court erroneously applied the facts to the law. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The district court correctly concluded that Weldon intentionally or knowingly engaged in a course of conduct that was directed at Richins and that Weldon knew or should have known that it would cause a reasonable person in Richins’s circumstances to fear for his own safety or suffer other emotional distress.
  • Practice tip: An act does not need to rise to any level of threat or concern to be considered an ‘act’ under the stalking statute.
  • Practice tip: The stalking inquiry employs an objective standard under which the subjective effect of the respondent’s conduct is not the relevant question.
  • Judicial tip: Establishing a course of conduct is the first step in the stalking analysis and should not be conflated or combined with the second part of the analysis (whether the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person fear or emotional distress).

Read the full court opinion