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1120

Prosecutions Under 18 U.S.C. § 2262

Title 18 U.S.C. § 2262: - Interstate Violation of a Protective Order - prohibits interstate travel with intent to engage in conduct that violates a valid protective order that protects against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury. Conduct in violation of such a protective order must then have occurred. There are three elements for prosecution under this section: (1) the victim has a court-issued protection order for the purpose of preventing credible threats of violence, repeated harassment or bodily injury by the defendant; (2) the defendant traveled across State lines with the intent to engage in conduct that would violate this protection order, or would violate the order if the conduct occurred in the jurisdiction in which the order was issued; and (3) the defendant subsequently engaged in conduct in violation of the protective order.

Section 2262(a)(1) requires that specific intent to violate the terms of the protective order be proven at the time of crossing the State line. Section 2262(a)(2), causing the crossing of a State line or Indian country, does not require the same specific intent. It is sufficient to prove a defendant caused the crossing of the State line and intended to injure the victim in violation of a valid protective order.

Possible defenses: The statute is unclear about the extent of notice the defendant must have had for a protection order to be considered valid.

The question of according full faith and credit to out-of-state-issued protective orders may be raised. Title 18 U.S.C. § 2265 provides that protective orders issued by a State or Indian tribe shall be accorded full faith and credit by the courts of another State or tribe. Although this provision is intended to apply to State courts, there is no reasonable basis upon which a Federal court engaged in a § 2262 prosecution should decline to recognize the validity of the out-of-state order. The law applies to permanent, temporary and ex parte protective orders, as they are defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2262. Some State officials have suggested that § 2265 may be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment. It is the Department's position that § 2265 is a valid exercise of Federal power under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution and does not abridge the Tenth Amendment.

[cited in USAM 9-60.1100]