A person commits the crime of false reporting when the person initiates or circulates a false report knowing it is likely to cause evacuation of a building or assembly, public inconvenience or alarm, or an emergency response. A person may be charged with first, second, or third degree false reporting depending on the degree of recklessness and harm caused. False reporting in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor. Emergency response includes any action to protect life, health, or property by a peace officer or law enforcement officer.
An individual who is a victim of a crime of false reporting may bring a civil action against the person who committed the offense or anyone who participated in the offense and may recover damages, including reasonable attorney fees.
A person may bring a civil action for damages against any person who knowingly causes a law enforcement officer to arrive at a location to contact another person with the intent to:
A prevailing plaintiff may recover the greater of economic and noneconomic damages; or $250 against each defendant found liable. The court may also award punitive damages and reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.
A civil action may be maintained in a court of limited jurisdiction if the total damages claimed do not exceed the statutory limit for damages that the court of limited jurisdiction may award.