FAQ - Handling Annoying Calls

Question


How do I handle an annoying call?

Answer


The New Hampshire Criminal Code defines harassing telephone calls in New Hampshire Law, Revised Statutes Annotated (R.S.A.) 644:4, as:
"Harassment. -
I. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor, and subject to prosecution in the jurisdiction where the communication originated or was received, if such person:
  • (a) Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no legitimate communicative purpose or without disclosing his or her identity and with a purpose to annoy, abuse, threaten, or alarm another; or
  • (b) Makes repeated communications at extremely inconvenient hours or in offensively coarse language with a purpose to annoy or alarm another; or
  • (c) Insults, taunts, or challenges another in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response; or
  • (d) Knowingly communicates any matter of a character tending to incite murder, assault, or arson; or
  • (e) With the purpose to annoy or alarm another, communicates any matter containing any threat to kidnap any person or to commit a violation of RSA 633:4; or a threat to the life or safety of another; or
  • (f) With the purpose to annoy or alarm another, having been previously notified that the recipient does not desire further communication, communicates with such person, when the communication is not for a lawful purpose or constitutionally protected"
Tips to Assist in Ending Unwanted Calls
  • Call the police when you realize that you are a target, and the calls are not merely a wrong number or a single attempt at a joke. (always contact police when you receive a threatening call)
  • Contact the telephone company when you receive two or more annoying calls.
  • Don't give out personal information such as your name or address to the caller.
  • If you have an answering machine or service, use it to screen out unwanted calls.
  • If you receive a threatening or harassing telephone call, hang up immediately, as your failure to do so can entice the caller to persist in annoying you.)
  • Keep an accurate record of the annoying calls you receive noting the date and time.
  • Notify your local telephone company to request a "trap" if desired. (A trap does not record a conversation, it only records the number of the calling party.) The telephone company requires you file a report with the police.
  • The telephone company will notify the police with the location from where the calls were placed. The police will investigate.