A temporary protective order can be issued against someone who does not live in Georgia. O.C.G.A. §19-13-2 gives the superior courts of Georgia jurisdiction over a nonresident charged with a commission of an act of family violence. Georgia will only have jurisdiction over the nonresident if he or she, either in person or through an agent, commits a tortuous injury in Georgia caused by an act or omission outside Georgia and the nonresident does one of the following things:
• Regularly does or solicits business in Georgia; or
• Engages in any other persistent course of conduct in the state of Georgia; or
• Derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed or from services rendered in Georgia.
However, if the act of family violence is the placing of harassing or intimidating telephone calls or text messages to a person in Georgia, this is not enough to give Georgia jurisdiction. The act of family violence is considered to have occurred in the State where the telephone call was placed or from where the text message was sent. If phone calls or text messages from someone out of State are the only acts of family violence, Georgia may not have jurisdiction over the Respondent.
By Emily Yu, Associate Attorney, Meriwether & Tharp, LLC