District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Paul G.
Maughan No. 124901827
W. Wiser and Scott B. Wiser, Attorneys for Appellant
H. Woodall, Attorney for Appellee
Judges J. Frederic Voros Jr., Stephen L. Roth, and Jill M.
Devin John Card appeals the district court's denial of
his request to dismiss a protective order that his ex-wife,
Aria Rebekah Card, who is now known as Aria Rebekah Marshall
(‚Marshall''), obtained against him. We affirm.
In April 2012, Marshall obtained a permanent protective order
based upon allegations of physical violence and sexual
assault by Card. In April 2015-after the permanent protective
order had been in effect for more than two years-Card moved
to dismiss the protective order under Utah Code section
78B-7-115. See Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-115(1)
(LexisNexis Supp. 2016) (''[A] protective order that
has been in effect for at least two years may be dismissed if
the court determines that the petitioner no longer has a
reasonable fear of future abuse.''). Following an
evidentiary hearing on September 1, 2015, the district court
denied the motion to dismiss. The court also imposed a
sanction under Utah Code section 78B-7-115(3), by awarding
Marshall her attorney fees incurred in connection with the
motion to dismiss the protective order. Id. §
78B-7-115(3) (stating that the court shall enter sanctions if
it determines that either party acted in bad faith or with
intent to harass or intimidate either party). Card appeals
This court recently clarified the standard of review
applicable to a district court's decision on a motion to
dismiss a protective order under section 78B-7-115. See
Mota v. Mota, 2016 UT App 201, ¶ 6, __ P.3d __.
Although ''[a] district court's interpretation of
a statute is a question of law'' reviewed for
correctness, ''a statute's use of the word
'may' indicates a court's discretionary power,
the exercise of which we review for an abuse of
discretion.'' Id. (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted). ''Therefore, because the
statute is permissive, we review the court's ultimate
decision-whether to grant or deny [Card's] request to
dismiss the protective order-for an abuse of
discretion.'' Id. We review the district
court's factual findings for clear error. Id.
Utah Code section 78B-7-115(1) allows a court to dismiss a
protective order that has been in effect for at least two
years ''if the court determines that the petitioner
no longer has a reasonable fear of future abuse.''
Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-115(1).
In determining whether the petitioner no longer has a
reasonable fear of future abuse, the court shall consider the
(a) whether the respondent has complied with treatment
recommendations related to domestic violence, entered at the
time the protective order was entered;
(b) whether the protective order was violated during the time
it was in force;
(c) claims of harassment, abuse, or violence by either party
during the time the ...