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§ 2710. Ethnic intimidation

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and OffensesEffective: February 7, 2003

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses (Refs & Annos)
Part II. Definition of Specific Offenses (Refs & Annos)
Article B. Offenses Involving Danger to the Person (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 27. Assault (Refs & Annos)
Effective: February 7, 2003
18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2710
§ 2710. Ethnic intimidation
(a) Offense defined.--A person commits the offense of ethnic intimidation if, with malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, he commits an offense under any other provision of this article or under Chapter 33 (relating to arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction) exclusive of section 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism) or under section 3503 (relating to criminal trespass) with respect to such individual or his or her property or with respect to one or more members of such group or to their property.
(b) Grading.--An offense under this section shall be classified as a misdemeanor of the third degree if the other offense is classified as a summary offense. Otherwise, an offense under this section shall be classified one degree higher in the classification specified in section 106 (relating to classes of offenses) than the classification of the other offense.
(c) Definition.--As used in this section “malicious intention” means the intention to commit any act, the commission of which is a necessary element of any offense referred to in subsection (a) motivated by hatred toward the race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals.


1982, June 18, P.L. 537, No. 154, § 1, imd. effective. Amended 2002, Dec. 3, P.L. 1176, No. 143, § 1, imd. effective; 2002, Dec. 9, P.L. 1759, No. 218, § 3, effective in 60 days.
Act 1982-154 legislation
Section 2 of Act 1982, June 18, P.L. 537, No. 154, provides:
“(a) Any person who incurs injury to his person or damage or loss to his property as a result of conduct described in 18 Pa.C.S. § 2710 (relating to ethnic intimidation) or 18 Pa.C.S. § 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism) shall have a right of action against the actor for injunction, damages or other appropriate civil or equitable relief. In any such action the issue of whether the defendant engaged in the conduct alleged shall be determined according to the burden of proof used in other civil actions for similar relief.
“(b) The plaintiff in an action under this section may recover:
“(1) General and special damages, including damages for emotional distress.
“(2) Punitive damages.
“(3) Reasonable attorneys fees and costs.”
Act 2002-143 legislation
Act 2002-143, § 1, in subsecs. (a) and (c), substituted “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity” for “race, color, religion or national origin”.
Act 2002, Dec. 3, P.L. 1176, No. 143, was held unconstitutional in Marcavage v. Rendell, 936 A.2d 188 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2007), order affirmed by 951 A.2d 345, as having been enacted in violation of Const. Art. 3, § 1. In 2008, the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau directed that the declaration of unconstitutionality be effectuated in the text of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2710.
Act 2002-218 legislation
Act 2002-218, § 3, in subsec. (a), deleted “or under section 5504 (relating to harassment by communication or address)” preceding “with respect to such individual”.
18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2710, PA ST 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2710
Current through 2020 Regular Session Act 22. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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