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February 26, 2010

Default Judgments

The new Utah State Courts' page on Default Judgments provides information about what is required to ask for a default judgment, including when the person who does not answer is in the military. Servicemembers have special rights that protect them from default judgments while they are on active duty and may not be aware of the pending case.

When you ask for a default judgment, you will be asked to provide proof that the other party is or is not in the military. If you have the person's name and social security number, you can easily verify this information through the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center.

For more information on default judgments, including forms, visit the Courts' page on Default Judgments.

February 25, 2010

Utah Legal Notices Online

legalnotice.jpegLast year the Utah Legislature passed laws that allow legal notices to be posted online in addition to newspapers. Utah Code §45-1-101 states:

Notwithstanding any other legal notice provision established in this Utah Code, a person required to publish legal notice:
(a) until January 1, 2010, shall publish as required by the state statute establishing the legal notice requirement; and
(b) beginning on January 1, 2010, shall publish legal notice:
(i) as required by the statute establishing the notice requirement; and
(ii) on a website established by the collective efforts of Utah's newspapers.

The Utah Press Association created UtahLegals.com, which lets you search all legal notices in nearly 50 Utah newspapers by keyword. You can also browse by newspaper. There are quick links to the most popular searches like property foreclosures and auctions.

February 23, 2010

Keeping Track of Federal Regulations

Did you know that you can read and comment on proposed federal regulations?

The Federal Register, which provides announcements about proposed regulations, is available on the Office of the Federal Register website and the Government Printing Office's new FDSys database. Look for the link that invites you to submit your comments.

The Federal Register is published each week day, with notices, proposed and final regulations grouped together by agency. You can sign up to receive the Federal Register table of contents by email each day.

You can also search Regulations.Gov (also on Twitter) for proposed or final rules, submit comments, and even search public comments by keyword. Last year over 400,000 public comments were submitted through the website. The site even provides an instructional video to help you learn more.

Regulations.Gov accepts user suggestions. Create an account to comment on how to improve the website.

February 22, 2010

New Rules for Credit Card Companies

CREDIT CARD.JPG As we've mentioned before, the regulation of credit card companies has been discussed at various branches of the federal government, with the Federal Reserve Board imposing a number of new regulations on these companies.

Effective today, credit card companies must now follow an additional set of rules that will be enforced by the Federal Reserve. The new rules mean your credit card statement might look different than before.

What to expect:

  1. The credit card company must tell you how long it will take to pay off the balance if you only make minimum payments.
  2. If the credit card company raises the interest rate, it can only apply to new charges.
  3. The due date to pay the balance must be the same each month.

The Federal Reserve Board has more information at What You Need to Know: New Credit Card Rules.

Wireless Password: anise

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 22, 2010 is anise.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

February 19, 2010

March Classes

columnsOur March class list is here!

Small Claims Basics
Thursday, 3/4, 4:30-6:00 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, 3/11, 4:30-6:00 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, 3/12, 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.

Landlord-Tenant Basics
Thursday, 3/25, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Basic rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants, as well as provide a description of the eviction process.

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.

Utah Foreclosure Prevention

Foreclosure-Invoices.JPGDo you have questions about the foreclosure process in Utah? HUD-approved counseling agencies provide foreclosure information, counseling and classes to help Utahns work with mortgage lenders to stay in their homes. The counseling agencies also discuss your options if staying in your home isn't possible.

State-wide foreclosure prevention classes are available through the Housing Education Coalition of Utah and partner agencies. Class dates and times have been updated through June. The Utah Foreclosure Prevention website also provides links to other state and federal resources.

Want to know more? The Utah State Courts' site on foreclosure discusses mortgage fraud and predatory lending and links to resources for owners whose home may be foreclosed as well as investors who want to buy foreclosed property. If you're at the law library, you can read "The Foreclosure Survival Guide" or check if your local public library has it available for checkout.

February 17, 2010

Fashion & the Law

fashion.jpgInterested in how fashion and the law intersect? While the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week wraps up in New York City tomorrow, you can stay current with fashion laws through a variety of sources, including the new book Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives and Attorneys.

The Office of Textiles and Apparel (part of the Department of Commerce) has a lot of information about the legal aspects of fashion law, including importing retail goods to the U.S., Federal Register notices, and Free Trade agreements. The Office also hosts webinars related to fashion law - check out the upcoming webinars and archives here.

New York Law School also provides information about fashion law through its Institute for Information Law & Policy. The institute hosts a blog and events that deal with cases and practical issues of fashion law. Of course, Utah is far away from New York; however, you can still read publications by speakers at the Institute's events. For example, the upcoming event, "Fashionably Law: Fashion & the Law Firm" features Karen Artz Ash, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenmann LLP. Access her publications via the law firm's web site.

February 16, 2010

Wireless Password: zooms

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 15, 2010 is zooms.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

February 12, 2010

Blogging Rules for Olympic Posts

redmittens-heart-shaped-v-web2_22original-LR.jpgDuring the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (February 12-28), many bloggers, Twitterers, and Facebook fans will be posting updates about their favorite sports, athletes, and of course, opening ceremony garb.

However, people using this type of media who are non-rights holders must follow the rules of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). For example, Olympic news, results and feature-type articles can be posted. However, results provided by the IOC must contain a copyright tag line and credit must be given to the Olympic sponsors who recorded the results. For example, if you post results from a speed skating competition, the tag line would read something like this: © 2010 IOC. Official Results powered by Atos Origin. Timing and results management by Omega.

In addition, the use of audio and video is restricted by both the Olympic Charter and the IOC News Access Rules. As the IOC Guidelines state, "no sound or moving images of any Olympic events, including sporting action, interviews with athletes in the mixed zones and competition venue press conference rooms, Opening, Closing and medal ceremonies or other activities, such as chat sessions which occur within accredited zones (competition sites and practice venues, Olympic Village, Main Press Centre, etc.) may be disseminated, whether on a live or delayed basis, regardless of source."

The Olympic symbol may only be used for editorial purposes and you should not use any Olympic mark that implies you or a third party have an official relationship with the Olympics.

More information is also available from the Vancouver 2010 Media Centre.

Photo credit © VANOC/COVAN.

February 11, 2010

Olympics Court

olympiccourt.jpegThe Summer and Winter Olympics are two of the most popular sporting events in the world. This year's Winter Olympics will be starting on February 12th, 2010. They are not, however, immune from legal controversies. Where do Olympic athletic disputes go besides newspaper headlines?

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), created in 1984, resolves commercial and disciplinary sports disputes through mediation or arbitration. It is administered by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport. The Court can hear original cases, appeals from International Federations (a non-government organization administering a sport at the international level) or sports organizations, and urgent cases arising during the Olympic games (through a special Ad Hoc Division). Arbitration is governed by the Statutes of the Bodies Working for the Settlement of Sports-Related Disputes, while Mediation is governed by the CAS Mediation Rules.

You can learn more about the history and function of the court and gain access to its recent and archived decisions, which are written in either French or English.

February 10, 2010

The Laws of Love

1885-proposal-caricature.jpgSince Valentine's Day is just around the corner, we're taking a look at the laws of love. No, not marriage and divorce, which we've covered before here, here and here.

Instead, in this first annual laws of love post, we're focusing on broken engagements. Is a financee required to return her engagement ring or other gifts given during the couple's engagement? While neither the Utah Supreme Court or Court of Appeals has decided the engagement ring question, in the case of Hess v. Johnston, 163 P.3d 747 (2007), the court held that money the man had spent on trips, a vasectomy and a gift to his financee's son prior to marriage did not lead to unjust enrichment. In other words, the woman didn't have to pay him for any of these expenses because there was "no inherent inference that they were conditioned on the marriage."

This case left open the question of whether the woman would have been required to return her engagement ring after breaking the engagement because in this case she willingly did so. The court stated, "[we]need not address whether the gift of an engagement ring carries with it an implied condition of marriage requiring its return when the wedding does not ensue."

In addition, the court held that the man could not recover monetary damages for other causes of action, including breach of contract, promissory estoppel, or conditional gifts.

February 09, 2010

February Holiday Hours: Presidents' Day

The Law Library, and all Utah State Courts, will be closed on Monday, February 15, for Presidents' Day. Regular library hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) resume on Tuesday, February 16.

In 1879, George Washington's birthday - February 22, was deemed a national holiday by the 45th Congress. Today, the third Monday in February is when our nation celebrates Presidents' Day - a day that some believe should still be referred to as the holiday celebrating Washington's birthday. For the long version of this battle over when and what to call the holiday in February, read By George, IT IS Washington's Birthday by C.L. Arbelbide (available online from the National Archives).

February 08, 2010

Court of Appeals Briefs

The library has received additional Court of Appeal briefs. The docket numbers range from 20070068 to 20090300 (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.

Wireless Password: yarns

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 8, 2010 is yarns.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

February 05, 2010

Classes available on DVD

DVD.jpgIf you're a regular reader of our blog, you know that we hold a variety of classes in the law library, including Small Claims Basics, Collecting a Judgment Basics and Guardianship of a Minor Basics. These classes are now available on DVD.

If you're in the Salt Lake City area, you can come to the law library and view these classes on one of our public computers. We have two pairs of headphones available for you to use, or bring your own.

You can also purchase a DVD at the law library for $2 each. If you request the DVD to be mailed, the cost is $5 per DVD, including shipping fees.

Interested in viewing or purchasing a DVD? Contact the law library for more information.

February 04, 2010

The Superbowl in Legal History

Superbowl weekend is a great time to visit family and friends, eat pizza and hot wings, or even play football during halftime. Here is a list of a few appellate cases that have some connection to Superbowl weekend:

Brown v. Southern Ventures Corp., 331 So.2d 207 (1976)
A wrongful death action brought by the widow and children of a man who died in a motel pool while a guest at a Superbowl party in 1973.

People v. Dixon, 592 N.E.2d 1104 (1992)
A criminal investigation of alleged gambling at the Prime Minister Restaurant on Superbowl Sunday.

Takeall v. PepsiCo, Inc., 809 F.Supp. 19 (1992)
Plaintiff, a ventriloquist, claimed copyright infringement for the Diet Pepsi advertising slogan "You Got the Right One Baby, uh-huh!" which debuted at the 1991 Superbowl.

Saatchi & Saatchi Business Communications, Inc. v. Just For Feet, Inc., 64 F.Supp.2d 207 (1999)
A breach of contract dispute over an unaired Superbowl commercial.

CBS v. FCC, 535 F.3d 167 (2008)
The Janet Jackson Superbowl halftime show "wardrobe malfunction" case.

February 01, 2010

Wireless Password: xrays

keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of February 8, 2010 is xrays.

More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.