Cooper v. Cooper
In Cooper v. Cooper, 144 P.3d 451, 457-58 (Alaska 2006), the Court held that the word "contact" is used in this normal sense in AS 18.66.100(c)(2) -- the statute governing protective orders for victims of domestic violence. Id. at 458.
The supreme court noted that this statute employs the word "contact" as part of the phrase, "may ... prohibit the respondent from telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating directly or indirectly with the petitioner". The court then concluded:
The statute's inclusion of the words "or otherwise communicating" immediately after the word "contacting" strongly suggests that the nonphysical contact that a court may prohibit in a protective order must involve some element of direct or indirect communication ... .Cooper, 144 P.3d at 458.
Based on this clarification of the meaning of "contact", the supreme court concluded that there was no violation of a domestic violence protective order when the plaintiff and the respondent attended the same professional gathering and the respondent made brief eye contact with the plaintiff.
The court explained, "There is no evidence that the momentary eye contact that the superior court found to have occurred had communicative content. Thus, contacting did not take place." Id. at 458-59.