“I’m Going to Kill You” & the Other Horrible Things Your Spouse is Allowed to Say to You

On May 13th, the Court of Appeals of New York ruled that the Penal Law 240.30(1)(a) statute for Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree is “unconstitutionally vague and overbroad”.1 This statute focuses on someone’s actions which have intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person. The Court looked to People v. Dietze where the Penal Law 240.25 statute for Harassment in the First Degree was struck down and ruled unconstitutional. The Court noted that “any proscription of pure speech must be sharply limited to words which, by their utterance alone, inflict injury or tend naturally to evoke immediate violence.”2

What does this mean to you?

Words are not enough!

These kinds of comments will not be enough for the court to grant you an order of protection against your husband or wife. It is not recommended that you tell your spouse that you’re going to kill them. If you do say that to them, there isn’t very much that they can do about it.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are afraid of something your spouse said to you, don’t go at it alone. If you’re in New York, call us at Bryan L. Salamone and Associates, P.C. 1.631.479.3839.

1 People v. Golb 102 A.D.3d 601 (2014).

2 People v. Dietz 75 N.Y2d 47 (1989).

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