Harassment conviction overturned on appeal as the State did not prove a purpose to annoy or alarm

Glenn Smyth, conviction in Palmyra Municipal Court was recently overturned by Judge Thomas Kelly in Burlington County Superior Court. The Judge found that the State had not proved that Glenn Smyth had any intention to annoy or alarm two high school students who he driven past several times.

The Judge noted that it is the defendant’s motive, not the victim’s reaction, that is relevant to the analysis of whether the offense of Harassment occurred. In this case, there was no evidence to support the State’s contention that Mr. Smyth had a purpose to harass.

The Judge’s decision is consistent with State v. Washington, 319 N.J. Super. 681 (Law Division 1998) and M.A. v. E.A., 388 N.J. Super. 612 (App. Div. 2006). 

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