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Telephone harassment

Verified 03 December 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Malicious and repeated phone calls or text messages are considered harassment. This is a punishable offense. If you are a victim of phone harassment, you can report it to the police or the gendarmerie. You can also file a complaint against the author. Evidence of harassment must be collected.

Repeated and malicious phone calls are considered harassment. These are phone calls made for the sole purpose of harming you, or disturbing your tranquility.

2 insulting or threatening calls within a short time are considered repeated calls and may therefore constitute telephone harassment.

The acts are also punished even if there was no telephone communication, in the following two cases:

  • If the perpetrator leaves malicious messages on your voicemail or on the victim's voicemail
  • If the author ringing your phone without speaking to you for the sole purpose of causing you sound disorders

Repeated sending of SMS or malicious e-mails is considered to be phone harassment.

Warning  

the abusive telephone solicitation by traders does not refer to telephone harassment.

If your situation requires urgent intervention by the police, you can call the police or the gendarmerie.

In case of emergency, and only in this situation, it is possible to alert the police or the gendarmerie by telephone call, or by SMS if you are unable to speak.

By phone

In an emergency, when a rapid response is required, you must call the emergency police.

Who shall I contact
By SMS

If you have difficulty hearing or speaking, you can also send an SMS to the 114.. You will then communicate in writing with your correspondent.

Who shall I contact

You can collect evidence of your harassment yourself without waiting for the police or gendarmerie investigation.

Any form of proof shall be admitted:

  • Recorded calls even without the author's knowledge
  • Records of messages left on your voicemail
  • Text screenshots...

It is also worth noting the exact dates and times of the calls. You will be able to provide all of this to the police when you file a complaint.

You can appeal to a judicial officer.

Who shall I contact

You can file a complaint against the alleged perpetrator of the phone harassment, to be punished by the court.

You must do this within 6 years since the last malicious call, otherwise the complaint will not be dealt with.

If you file a complaint within this time limit, the court will then take into account all the appeals concerned, even if they are older than 6 years.

FYI  

if the harassment is motivated by discrimination based on one of the criteria prohibited by law, such as skin color, sex, age or sexual orientation, you may refer the matter to the Ombudsman.

On site

You must contact a police station or gendarmerie of your choice.

Who shall I contact

You cannot be denied receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then transmitted to the public prosecutor by the police or the gendarmerie.

By mail

You can lodge a complaint directly with the public prosecutor. We need to send free paper letter the court of the place of the offense or the place of residence of the offender.

The letter must include the following:

  • Civil status and full contact information (address and telephone number) of the complainant
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Assumed author's name if you know him (otherwise the complaint will be filed against X)
  • Names and addresses of potential witnesses to the offense
  • Description and provisional or final injury estimate
  • Evidence: medical certificates, work stoppages, various invoices, findings .....
  • Willingness to take part in civil proceedings

Make a complaint to the public prosecutor

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or by simple letter. You can also file your complaint directly at the court reception. In all cases, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the public prosecutor's office has registered your complaint.

A person who harasses a telephone may:

  • 1 year in prison
  • and €15,000 fine

The author may also be sentenced to an obligation to care in the context of a conditional sentence..

When the person who is the spouse, cohabiting partner or partner of a partnership is the person who is the subject of telephone harassment, the person may:

  • 3 years in prison
  • and €25,000 fine

The author may also be sentenced to an obligation to care in the context of a conditional sentence..