(a) No person shall obstruct or block another person’s access to or egress from a health care facility or from the common areas of the real property upon which the facility is located in a manner that deprives or delays the person from obtaining or providing health care services in the facility.
(b) No person shall injure or threaten to injure a person who is or has been:
(1) Obtaining health care services;
(2) Lawfully aiding another to obtain health care services; or
(3) Providing health care services.
(c) A violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A second conviction for a violation of either subsection (a) or (b) of this section within three years of the first shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. A third or subsequent conviction for a violation of either subsection (a) or (b) of this section within three years of the second or most recent conviction shall be punishable as a Class I felony.
(d) Any person aggrieved under this section may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent threatened or further violations of this section. Any violation of an injunction obtained pursuant to this section constitutes criminal contempt and shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than 30 days and no more than 12 months.
(e) This section shall not prohibit any person from engaging in lawful speech or picketing which does not impede or deny another person’s access to health care services or to a health care facility or interfere with the delivery of health care services within a health care facility.
(f) “Health care facility” as used in this section means any hospital, clinic, or other facility that is licensed to administer medical treatment or the primary function of which is to provide medical treatment in this State.
(g) “Health care services” as used in this section means services provided in a health care facility.
(h) Persons subject to the prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section do not include owners, officers, agents, or employees of the health care facility or law enforcement officers acting to protect real or personal property. (1993, c. 412, s. 1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, s. 6; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 767, s. 21.)
Terms Used In North Carolina General Statutes 14-277.4
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
- Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
- state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, shall be construed to extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories, so called; and the words "United States" shall be construed to include the said district and territories and all dependencies. See North Carolina General Statutes 12-3