from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. FC 2016-096043
The Honorable Jerry Bernstein, Judge Pro Tempore
Collins & Collins, LLP, Phoenix By C. Robert Collins,
Jonathan S. Collins Counsel for Respondent/Appellant
Jennifer B. Campbell delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Presiding Judge Michael J. Brown and Judge Patricia A.
Orozco  joined.
Purvin Vakharwala appeals the superior court's grant of
an order of protection in favor of his ex-wife Arpita Shah
and argues that to violate an Arizona order of protection,
the violation must occur within Arizona. For the reasons
explained, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Shah and Vakharwala have one child in common, a son. In 2015
the couple obtained a divorce in Georgia. Shah later moved to
Arizona with the child. On November 24, 2015, she obtained an
Arizona order of protection against Vakharwala, who remained
in Georgia. The 2015 order of protection included the
following restriction: "[Vakharwala] shall have no
contact with [Shah] except through attorneys, legal process,
court hearings, and as follows: . . . in writing by U.S. Mail
only to discuss the parties' son. [He] [a]lso may contact
[Shah's] attorney." Based on the 2015 order, the
Georgia court amended the decree to include the no contact
terms but also to allow Vakharwala some parenting time,
including permitting him to contact their son through a video
chat service with specified restrictions.
On November 18, 2016, in anticipation of the expiration of
the 2015 order, Shah petitioned for an ex parte order of
protection. See Ariz. Rev. Stat.
("A.R.S.") § 13-3602(K) (an order of
protection expires one year after service). In her verified
petition, Shah listed three separate incidents evidencing
acts of domestic violence. First, in a November 21, 2015
domestic violence incident, he physically removed the child
from Shah and attempted to take him out of the state of
Arizona. He was subsequently charged with assault. Second,
between June 2, 2016 and June 16, 2016, he violated the 2015
order when he contacted her through video chat. Third,
Vakharwala contacted Arizona law enforcement on 15 separate
occasions in the preceding 12 months with allegations against
Shah ranging from custodial interference to violations of
court orders. Each contact resulted in law enforcement
contact with Shah and the child and law enforcement finding
Vakharwala's allegations to be unfounded.
In late November 2016, based on the claims contained in
Shah's verified petition, the court granted another ex
parte protective order and included the same contact
restrictions contained in the 2015 order. Vakharwala then
requested an evidentiary hearing. See A.R.S. §
13-3602(I). Following the hearing, based on the court finding
that at least one of the contacts (a June 7 video chat) was
an act of domestic violence because it violated the
communication restriction in the 2015 protective order, the
superior court continued the 2016 protective order.
We review the superior court's continuance of an order of
protection following an evidentiary hearing for an abuse of
discretion, but review questions of law de novo.
Michaelson v. Garr, 234 Ariz. 542, 544, ¶ 5
(App. 2014). Upon the filing of a verified petition, A.R.S.
§ 13-3602(A)-(B), a court has jurisdiction to issue an
order of protection if it finds there is reasonable cause to
believe a "defendant may commit an act of domestic
violence" or "has committed an act of domestic
violence within the past year" or longer if the court
finds good cause. A.R.S. § 13-3602(E); see also
A.R.S. § 13-3602(P). When the court issues an ex parte
protective order, upon the defendant's request it shall
hold a hearing, after which it may continue the order. A.R.S.
The term "domestic violence" is defined by statute.
A.R.S. § 13-3601(A). "In the context of a past or
current romantic relationship, the term domestic violence is
broadly defined in § 13-3601(A) and includes a wide
array of criminal acts as well as harassment by verbal,
electronic, mechanical telegraphic, telephonic or written
communication." Michaelson, 234 Ariz. at 544,
¶ 6 (citations omitted). As relevant here, Shah alleged
that Vakharwala committed a domestic violence offense by
engaging in online contact in violation of the order of
protection. See A.R.S. § 13-3601(A) (domestic
violence includes offense prescribed in A.R.S. §
13-2810(A)(2)); A.R.S. § 13-2810(A)(2) (disobeying a
lawful court order).
Vakharwala argues the superior court lacked both subject
matter and personal jurisdiction to issue the 2016 protective
order. He bases this claim on the notion that
Arizona courts lack jurisdiction to prohibit conduct outside
of Arizona. In that vein, Vakharwala posits that when he
initiated the June 7 video chat, he was in Georgia and Shah
was in Amsterdam. He reasons, even assuming the contact
constituted an act of domestic violence, the court lacked