Heated Phone Call Could Lead to Protective Order

     (CN) – The Utah Court of Appeals allowed a woman to pursue a protective order against her father, who allegedly threatened her over the phone during an argument over a missing movie rental card.

     When Tamra Martin’s father, Anthony Colonna, called, he was unaware that Martin was living with her mother, whom he divorced in 1997.
     After an allegedly heated conversation, Martin applied for a restraining order against her father. The trial court dismissed her petition on the basis that domestic violence was unlikely, as Martin didn’t live with her father.
     On appeal, Judge Thorne agreed that the law does not allow Martin to qualify for the protective order based on abuse she may have suffered as a child. However, Thorne said the alleged past abuse can be considered when the trial court determines if Martin was actually threatened during the phone call, a conclusion the trial court failed to reach.
     “We reverse and remand for proceedings to determine whether the alleged threat was made and whether it produced a reasonable fear,” Thorne wrote.

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