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November 30, 2009

Wireless Password: oater

IMG_1851.JPGThe wireless password for the week of November 30, 2009 is oater.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

November 24, 2009

November Holiday Hours: Thanksgiving


The Law Library, and all Utah State Courts, will be closed on Thursday, November 26 in celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Regular library hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) resume on Friday, November 27.

The first presidential proclamation about Thanksgiving was made by George Washington in 1789. He declared the 26th of November as the date of celebration. In 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed that the last Thursday in November was a national holiday. Finally, in 1941 Congress and President Truman proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November the legal holiday that it is today.

November 23, 2009

New Proposed Rules for Gift Cards

giftcardblog.jpg Planning to buy gift cards for friends or family members this holiday season? The Federal Reserve Board has recently proposed rule changes to the Federal Reserve System's Electronic Funds Transfer regulation (12 CFR Part 205) that would limit the service and inactivity fees that can be placed on gift cards unless cards have been inactive for more than a year, there is no more than one fee per month, or if fees are fully disclosed to the consumer. The rules would also require expiration dates of cards be no less than five years from the date issued or date funds were last added.

You can read the full text of the proposed rules in the November 20th, 2009, issue of the Federal Register.

Want to comment on these proposed rules? Submit your views and read other people's comments through the Federal Reserve's Rulemaking Proposals page. Comments can also be submitted online through Regulations.Gov. You must submit your comments by December 21, 2009.

Wireless Password: novel

IMG_1851.JPGThe wireless password for the week of November 23, 2009 is novel.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

November 20, 2009

Newly-Arrived Court of Appeals Briefs

The library has received additional Court of Appeal briefs. The docket numbers range from 20070325 to 20090212 (list not inclusive).

If you're looking for a specific brief, contact the library by phone (801-238-7990) or email to make sure we have it. If you can't come in to make copies yourself, we offer a document delivery service for 25¢ per page and will scan the briefs and email them to you.

November 19, 2009

Caught by the Transit Police

When using public transit, you may have seen transit police patrolling stations to make sure passengers paid their fares or obeyed other rules. If a transit officer issues you a citation, do you have to pay it? What is their jurisdiction?

The Utah Public Transit District Act defines public transit, which public transit districts may employ or contract with law enforcement officers, and what jurisdictions the law enforcement officers cover.

First, public transit is defined as "the transportation of passengers only and their incidental baggage by means other than:
(a) chartered bus;
(b) sightseeing bus;
(c) taxi; or
(d) other vehicle not on an individual passenger fare paying basis." Utah Code 17B-2a-802.

Second, only multicounty districts ("public transit district located in more than one county") can employ or contract with law enforcement officers. Utah Code 17B-2a-822. Those officers have the same duties and responsibilities as other law enforcement officers, as defined in the Public Safety Code at 53-13-103.

However, the transit police officer's jurisdiction is limited to transit facilities and transit vehicles, except for other jurisdiction that is discussed in the Public Safety Code at 53-13-103. The Utah Code specifically defines a transit facility as "a transit vehicle, transit station, depot, passenger loading or unloading zone, parking lot, or other facility:
(a) leased by or operated by or on behalf of a public transit district; and
(b) related to the public transit services provided by the district, including:
(i) railway or other right-of-way;
(ii) railway line; and
(iii) a reasonable area immediately adjacent to a designated stop on a route traveled by a transit vehicle." Utah Code 17B-2a-802.

Transit vehicle is defined as "a passenger bus, coach, railcar, van, or other vehicle operated as public transportation by a public transit district." Utah Code 17B-2a-802.

For more information, check out UTA's Public Safety page.

November 17, 2009

Domestic Partnerships in Utah

The Utah Constitution specifically states that marriage shall only occur between a man and a woman. Article I, Section 29. Additionally, the Utah Code states that marriage is prohibited and void between persons of the same sex. Utah Code 30-1-2.

However, in Salt Lake City, the "mutual commitment registry" is available "for adult residents of the City who share a primary residence and rely on one another as dependents." The registry is set up so employers can easily determine who is eligible for benefits and allow people health care visitation rights in Salt Lake City health care facilities. Eligibility requirements for the registry include:
(a) Registrants must be each other’s sole partner;
(b) be over 18 years old;
(c) be competent to contract; and
(d) share a primary residence in Salt Lake City.
For more information, check out the City's mutual commitment registry page.

If you live outside of Salt Lake City, you may be eligible for domestic partnership benefits as offered by your private employer. For example, if you are employed by American Express in Utah, the company's human resources policy would apply to your eligibility of benefits. See, for example, the company's statement about who is eligible for medical, dental and vision plans.

November 16, 2009

December Classes

columnsOur December class list is here!

Small Claims Basics
Thursday, 12/3, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Topics include the small claims process, Rules of Small Claims Procedure, small claims forms, and an overview of appealing a small claims case.

Collecting a Judgment Basics
Thursday, 12/10, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Topics include identifying a debtor's property, writs of garnishment and execution, exemptions and satisfaction of judgment in civil and criminal cases.

Resources for People Representing Themselves in Utah's State Courts
Friday, 12/11, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Introduces the resources available for people representing themselves in court, including how to find an attorney, legal clinics, forms, the Online Court Assistance Program and other resources. The presentation will be followed by a tour of the Utah State Law Library introducing the print and electronic resources available.

All classes are held in the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City.

To register for these free classes call 801-238-7990 or email library@email.utcourts.gov.

Wireless Password: mixes

IMG_1851.JPGThe wireless password for the week of November 16, 2009 is mixes.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

November 13, 2009

Divorce Orientation and Education

If you file for divorce in Utah and have children under age 18, you and your spouse must attend both the Divorce Orientation and Divorce Education classes. If you file for divorce and do not have children, there are no education requirements that you must fulfill.

The Divorce Orientation class costs $20. Topics include:
(a) options available as alternatives to divorce;
(b) resources available from courts and administrative agencies for resolving custody and support issues without filing for divorce; and
(c) a discussion of post-divorce resources.

The Divorce Education class costs $35. Topics include:
(a) how parents can support their childrens' emotional well-being during the divorce process;
(b) how parents can cooperate with each other in co-parenting or "parallel parenting" their children; and
(c) how parents can encourage meaningful relationships with both parents, so long as it is safe to do so.

If you cannot attend these classes, you may be permitted to watch them on video. For information on when you may be permitted to view the class recordings instead of attending in person, visit the Divorce Orientation and Education page.

When filing out your divorce paperwork using the Online Court Assistance Program, you will be asked if you would like to waive the education requirement. The court may grant this if good cause exists.

Once you have completed the education requirements, you will receive a certificate of completion, which you must file with the court.

To find out when the next classes will be offered, visit the Divorce Orientation and Education page.

November 09, 2009

November Holiday Hours: Veterans Day

vets.jpgThe Law Library, and all Utah State Courts, will be closed on Wednesday, November 11 in honor of Veterans Day. Regular library hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) resume on November 12.

November 11 has been a legal holiday since 1938, when an Act was approved to primarily honor World War I veterans. In 1954, President Eisenhower issued a proclamation declaring that the day be set aside to honor all veterans. For more information about the history and significance of Veterans Day, check out the Department of Veterans Affairs page.

In addition, the Library of Congress has sponsored the Veterans History project and provided access to interviews, memoirs, and photographs of veterans of various wars.

Many Veterans Day celebrations are being held around the state on November 11, including the University of Utah's Veterans Day Commemoration.

Wireless Password: lines

IMG_1851.JPGThe wireless password for the week of November 9, 2009 is lines.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

November 06, 2009

Minors & Employment in Utah

minor miners.gif

Child labor laws are found in both Utah and federal laws, and employers must ensure they are not violating any of these laws if and when employing an individual under 18. The Utah Labor Commission has information about the types of employment minors may be hired for, and the Utah Code discusses very specific tasks that are permitted for minors in different age categories.

For example, with consent of the child's parent or guardian, a minor of any age may perform agricultural work and home chores. U.C.A. 34-23-207.

Children ages 10 and older may deliver newspapers, shine shoes, caddy, or perform lawn maintenance without power-driven equipment. U.C.A. 34-23-206.

Besides the types of employment listed in the Utah Code, the Labor Commission has determined that 17 occupations are too hazardous for any minors of any age to perform. The hazardous occupations include roofing, excavating, and operating a meat processor. Click here to see the entire list.

Cartoon Credit: Stu Rees at www.stus.com

November 05, 2009

How are Recovery Funds Spent in Utah?


Interested in how stimulus funds are being spent in Utah? Check out Recovery.Utah.Gov.

You can track how state agencies are spending recovery money, link to information on how to apply for grants and search for a job--some of which were created because of the stimulus package. You'll also find a link to the Office of the State Auditor, where you can report fraud and waste.

Check out the map to see a statewide overview of how stimulus funds are being spent, or put in a specific address to see if any projects are happening near that place.

November 03, 2009

Utah's Election Laws & Resources

The first Tuesday in November is Election Day. You can learn a lot about the state's election process online!

If you've ever wondered about Utah's election laws, you can find them in Utah Code Title 20A.

The state's Elections Office has voter, candidate, and lobbyist registration information. You can find local polling stations, read candidate financial disclosures, or learn what it takes to be a candidate.

Odd numbered years are generally reserved for municipal and local officer elections. The Elections Office has a directory of county clerks, who you can contact for information on candidates running in local elections.

For historical voting results, check out the Elections Office's Election Results page, where you can find county voting results for elections back to 1960.

November 02, 2009

Wireless Password: klieg

IMG_1851.JPGThe wireless password for the week of November 2, 2009 is klieg.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.