Logo
Call Now(480)305-8300

Can an Arizona Divorce Court Allow Service by Email

Posted on : March 20, 2018, By:  Christopher Hildebrand
Can an Arizona Divorce Court Allow Service by Email?

Can an Arizona Divorce Court Allow Service by Email

Arizona Court Allows Service of Divorce Papers by Email

Getting your spouse served with divorce papers can be difficult if that spouse’s whereabouts are unknown or they are dogging being served. The question can an Arizona divorce court allow service by email in a case. The Arizona Court of Appeals in a memorandum decision in the case of Greenham vs. Hope had to address, among other things, whether a motion or petition could be served on the other parent by email. The following is the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling on that issue.

Can an Arizona Divorce Court Allow Service by Email?

Can an Arizona Divorce Court Allow Service by Email?

Ms. Greenham (“Mother”) appeals the superior court’s denial of her motion to vacate part of a child-support order. We affirm. Mr. Hope (“Father”) married in 1990 and over the course of their marriage had three children. They divorced in South Carolina in 2011. The dissolution decree incorporated a settlement agreement. At the time, Mother lived in Arizona and Father, New York. The settlement agreement stated that Mother would be the primary residential parent and Father would pay child support. Mother subsequently remarried and moved to Mexico with the children and her new husband. In 2011, Father filed the decree in Maricopa County Superior Court and sought custody of the children. Father was awarded sole custody, and in 2012 he petitioned the Arizona court to modify his child support.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

The court allowed Father to serve his petition to modify on Mother by emails sent to her email address and the email address of her new husband. The court then set an evidentiary hearing, which it later continued, over Mother’s objection, to November 5, 2012. Mother moved for leave to appear at the hearing by telephone, acknowledging in her motion that the court would consider the parties’ child support obligations at that hearing. The record does not disclose whether the court ruled on Mother’s motion, but she failed to attend the hearing, without explanation. After the hearing, the court adopted Father’s child support proposal, which eliminated Father’s responsibility to pay child support, required Mother to pay Father-child support of $124.43 per month beginning May 1, 2012, and required Mother to pay back child support of $204.00 per month for the months between November 2011 and April 2012.

Can an Arizona Divorce Court Allow Service by Email.

Can an Arizona Divorce Court Allow Service by Email.

On this appeal, we held it was unclear “whether South Carolina relinquished its continuing, exclusive jurisdiction” under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA“), Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) sections 25-1001 to -1067 (2018). 1 See Hope v. Hope, 1 CA-CV 13-0112, 2014 WL 860797, at 4 (App. Mar. 4, 2014) (“2014 Decision”). We, therefore, instructed the superior court to vacate the child support modification in accordance with Glover v. Glover, 231 Ariz. 1 (App. 2012), and to determine whether the court had subject-matter jurisdiction under the UCCJEA. On remand, Mother and Father stipulated that the South Carolina child support order was properly registered with the superior court by July 21, 2014, and thus the Arizona court had gained subject-matter jurisdiction over child support. On June 9, 2015, and after conferring with the South Carolina court, see A.R.S. § 25-1033 (2018), the superior court entered an order finding that it had subject matter jurisdiction over both child custody and child support and personal jurisdiction over both Mother and Father.

The court further found that Mother had had notice and an opportunity to be heard on the matter of child support modification, and accordingly adopted the child support arrangements Father had presented in 2012. Mother again appealed; we held that the superior court had subject-matter jurisdiction to enter the child support order pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-1311(A)(2) (2018) and that Mother had waived any objection to personal jurisdiction by appearing in the action. See Hope v. Greenham, 1 CA-CV 15-0548 FC and -1791 FC, 2016 WL 3773544, at 4 (App. Jul. 12, 2016) (“2016 Decision”).

Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
A Google User
A Google User
20:31 20 Sep 17
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
A Google User
A Google User
21:41 07 Nov 17
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
Google User
Google User
14:58 04 Oct 17
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
A Google User
A Google User
16:03 22 Nov 17
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
A Google User
A Google User
22:14 28 Jun 17
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
A Google User
A Google User
18:16 18 Sep 17
Kevin Park of Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
A Google User
A Google User
19:22 23 Aug 17
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
A Google User
A Google User
17:44 23 Jun 16
I retained Hildebrand Law after interview a number of firms in the valley. Working with Michael C. was incredibly easy and informative. My case progressed in such a organized and thought out way to ensure that my needs were met. Michael was incredibly proactive and was able to see far ahead into my case to steer clear of some roadblocks. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Clancy, and Hildebrand Law in general, to anyone.
Bassam Ziadeh
Bassam Ziadeh
21:20 02 Apr 18
I have worked with Hildebrand law for about 8 years. They are always ready to serve, provide guidance and give you a few options. When they provide you options they also take the time to walk you through the pros and cons of each and give you a recommendation of what is best, but will listen to you and support whatever course you choose after making and educated choice. I’d recommend them to my closest friends and feel Chris Hildebrand is now a friend to me.
Larry Flint
Larry Flint
21:53 27 Feb 18
Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
Sam Franchimone
Sam Franchimone
22:09 12 Sep 13

On January 25, 2017, Mother moved the superior court to vacate its June 9, 2015 ruling, arguing the superior court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to modify child support because Father had not properly served her with his April 19, 2012 petition to modify child support. The superior court denied the motion, and Mother timely appealed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to Article 6, Section 9, of the Arizona Constitution, and A.R.S. §§ 12-120.21(A)(1) (2018) and -2101(A)(2) (2018). See In re Marriage of Dougall, 234 Ariz. 2 (App. 2013) (denial of a motion made pursuant to Arizona Rule of Family Law Procedure 85(C) is appealable under § 12-2101(A)(2)). Father filed no answering brief. Although we may deem his failure to constitute a confession of reversible error, in our discretion, we will not do so but will consider the merits of Mother’s appeal. See Bugh v. Bugh, 125 Ariz. 190, 191 (App. 1980).

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Alternative Service of Process by Email in Arizona.

Alternative Service of Process by Email in Arizona.

Mother argues the superior court did not have jurisdiction to modify the child support order. Specifically, Mother claims Father failed to properly serve her with his April 19, 2012 petition to modify child support, which she contends divested the superior court of jurisdiction and rendered its subsequent ruling void. She further argues she was deprived of due process because she was not given proper notice that the court was going to consider child support modifications at the hearing on November 5, 2012. We review de novo the superior court’s denial of a motion under Rule 85(C)(1)(d) to vacate a void judgment. See Ezell v. Quon, 224 Ariz. 532, 536 (App. 2010) (de novo review of the denial of a motion to vacate a void judgment under Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 60(c)(4)); Ariz. R. Fam. L. Proc. 85 cmt. (Rule 85 is analog of Ariz. R. Civ. Proc. Rule 60).

Mother’s argument that she was not properly served with the child support petition amounts, at most, to a challenge to personal jurisdiction, not subject-matter jurisdiction. See, e.g., N. Propane Gas Co. v. Kipps, 127 Ariz. 522, 525 (1980) (“The due process clause of the United States Constitution . . . limits the power of a state to achieve personal jurisdiction over a defendant.”) (citing Kulko v. Super. Ct., 436 U.S. 84 (1978)). But Mother waived any challenge to personal jurisdiction by repeatedly appearing in court and making court filings in the child support proceeding. See Shah v. Vakharwala, 1 CA-CV 17-0129 (App. Jan. 11, 2018).

Indeed, we already have held that “Mother has waived any challenge to personal jurisdiction because she appeared in the matter and litigated it on the merits.” In the event that Mother means to challenge the subject matter jurisdiction of the superior court, we held that the Maricopa County Superior Court properly acquired subject matter jurisdiction when Father properly registered the South Carolina support order in July 2013 or July 2014. Accordingly, and because “the consent decree clearly designates Arizona as the minor children’s home state and the state in which all future actions will be adjudicated,” we held the superior court had subject-matter jurisdiction to modify the child support order. Id. at 4. Finally, Mother contends that when the superior court ruled in June 2015, it failed to take into account the changes in Mother’s circumstances since 2012. If Mother believes that she has had a substantial and continuing change in circumstances, she may ask the superior court to modify the order. See A.R.S. §§ 25-327(A) (2018), -503(E) (2018). For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the superior court’s denial of Mother’s motion.

Call the experienced Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona divorce and family law attorneys at Hildebrand, PC at (480)305-8300 to schedule your personalized consultation with one of our experienced Arizona attorneys today.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *