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October 26, 2012

Guardianship of an Adult forms

IMG_1186.JPGThe Utah State Courts website has a new self help resource page on Guardianship of an Adult. This page provides a detailed summary of guardianship, a guardian's authority, and the procedures for appointing a guardian. The forms section includes forms for appointing a guardian, forms to object to the petition, and forms to appoint a temporary guardian.

To learn more about the adult guardianship process, see the Utah State Courts' YouTube video on Guardianship of an Adult.

June 01, 2012

Free Forms Help

IMG_4199.jpgHaving trouble filling out court forms? So many blank lines, so much information to absorb, so many questions!

The Utah State Law Library offers free forms help every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 to 4:30 through the end of July.

Our volunteer helps people with the Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) and other forms, including modification and enforcement of child support, child custody and parent-time, expungement, and name change.

While our volunteer can't tell you what words you should use, or advise you about the best way to get results, she can explain what information the form is asking for. Uncomfortable using a computer? She can type in your answers for you.

Contact us at 801-238-7990 or library@utcourts.gov to schedule a 30 minute appointment.

February 01, 2012

Order to Show Cause Forms Available Online

Order to Show Cause forms are now available online on the Utah State Courts' website.

An order to show cause is filed when a party seeks to enforce a previously established court order or decree. The main objective of the show cause hearing is to get the party who is not following the court’s order to do so. If a party is able to do what the court has ordered and does not, the court can also impose penalties, including, in extreme circumstances, a fine and time in jail.

Procedures for filing an order to show cause are similar around the state, but there are some differences. Motions for orders to show cause in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be determined initially by a court commissioner and parties should follow Rule of Civil Procedure 101. Motions for orders to show cause in Districts 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be determined by a judge. Parties in the Fifth District should follow Code of Judicial Administration Rule 10-1-50-1. Orders to show cause are filed in the same district where the original order or decree was entered.

For more information, and to access the forms, visit the Motion to Enforce Domestic Orders page.

September 27, 2011

Buyer Beware - Do Your Research Before Paying for Court Forms

moneyThe Utah State Courts' website - www.utcourts.gov - provides a wealth of information and free forms.

Library staff feel terrible when patrons tell us they paid hundreds of dollars for divorce papers when we know they could have completed the paperwork using the courts' website. We feel even worse when they are told that their papers aren't sufficient. Before you pay for online forms, check our website to see whether a free, court-approved form is available.

Some of the forms provided on our website are fill-in-the-blank. You can either print a PDF version and neatly handwrite the information, or you can use the Word (in some cases WordPerfect) version and type the information. Remember, however, that there is not a form available for every situation. You may have to draft your own pleadings.

Our website also offers the Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP), which guides you through a series of questions and generates a packet of papers that you file with the court. While there is a $20 fee to file papers generated with the program, OCAP is otherwise free to use and is designed to be user-friendly. OCAP is available for these common court case types:

  • Divorce
  • Parentage (child custody, support and visitation, and paternity issues, but not as part of a divorce case)
  • Landlord-tenant (for both the landlord starting eviction proceedings, and the tenant responding to an eviction case)
  • Guardianship of a minor
  • Protective orders
  • Civil stalking

Helpful Resources

  • If you have questions about how to complete forms or want feedback on papers you put together, or if you need guidance on your case, we strongly encourage you to speak with a Utah attorney or visit one of Utah's free legal clinics, at which you can speak with an attorney for free for a short amount of time.
  • Watch our 8-minute presentation, How to Read a Legal Pleading in Utah, to get a tour of basic pleading format.
  • See Form 1, Caption & Signature Block, for the format for the top and bottom portions of a court pleading.

  • June 29, 2011

    New Judgment Renewal Forms

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    The Utah State Courts' website has a new Motion to Renew Judgment page.

    If you have a judgment against a debtor that has not been satisfied, you have the option to renew a judgment by motion, but it must be done within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for renewing a judgment is 8 years from the date of the judgment. Utah Code 78B-2-311. If the debtor acknowledges the judgment in writing or promises to pay the judgment in writing or makes a payment on the judgment, the statute of limitations is 8 years from the date of the last of those to occur. Utah Code 78B-2-113.

    Read more about judgment statute of limitations, renewing a judgment in district and justice courts, find forms and more on the new Motion to Renew Judgment page.

    June 22, 2011

    New Satisfaction of Judgment Forms

    SatisfactionofJudgment.bmpThe Utah State Courts' website has a new Satisfaction of Judgments web page.

    A satisfaction of judgment means that a debtor has paid the entire amount of the judgment and all accumulated fees, costs and interest, or that the creditor has decided not to pursue further collection efforts.

    There are forms available for the creditor to acknowledge satisfaction of judgment and for the debtor to ask the court to declare a judgment has been satisfied. Each section of forms comes with a checklist, which may answer some of your questions about these forms.

    Need help filling out a court form? Talk to an attorney or visit a free legal clinic near you.

    April 06, 2011

    New Common Law Marriage Page and Forms

    A new Judicial Recognition of a Relationship as Marriage page is now available on the Utah State Courts' website.

    This process is commonly referred to as "common law marriage," and is the recognition by the courts that a relationship is a marriage even though no wedding ceremony -- religious or civil -- took place.

    The page includes an explanation of the conditions that have to be met to qualify, reasons why you might want to ask the court for the determination, and the effect of this determination. The page provides forms for cases in which there is no dispute expected.

    If you need help filling out forms, consider hiring an attorney or speaking to a lawyer at a free legal clinic.


    March 18, 2011

    New Alternative Service Forms

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    Not able to find someone to serve them, even after you've tried some of the suggestions on the courts' Finding People for Service of Process page?

    The Utah State Courts' website now provides forms for asking the court to allow you to serve someone by alternative service. These forms include options for newer ways to notify someone about a court action against them, including electronic means (such as email), or social media (such as Facebook).

    If you need help filling out forms, consider hiring an attorney or speaking to a lawyer at a free legal clinic.

    March 10, 2011

    New Adoption of a Minor Stepchild Webpage and Forms

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    The Utah State Courts' website has a new Adopting a Minor Stepchild web page. The new page provides information about the process and forms.

    The primary focus of this page is on procedures when everyone involved is in agreement and cooperating. It does not include information or forms for litigating the adoption, and it does not include information or forms for other types of adoptions, such as adoptions through an agency, adoptions by other family members, or adoptions of an adult.

    If you need help filling out forms, consider hiring an attorney or speaking to a lawyer at a free legal clinic.

    December 29, 2010

    Modifying Child Custody Orders

    custody.bmpCustody of minor children is a major issue in many family law cases. Custody orders may be issued by the district or juvenile court. Custody may be established by the court as a separate action or as part of a number of different types of cases, including divorce, paternity, protective orders, or neglect and dependency.

    Sometimes parents find it necessary to ask the court to modify an existing custody order. A custody order can be modified if the court determines that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the the controlling order was made and that the change in custody would be an improvement for and in the best interest of the minor child.

    Information and forms for modification of child custody are now available on the court website.

    December 09, 2010

    New Motion Forms

    motions.jpgWe get a lot of requests for motion forms in the law library.

    A motion is a mechanism for asking the court to order something. The requests range from asking for more time to dismissing the case, from waiving filing fees or the 90 day waiting period in a divorce to granting a default judgment ... and many other topics.

    There aren't specific forms for every possible type of motion, but now there is a new Motions page on the Utah State Courts' website people can use as a guide to draft their request to the court.

    The Motions page includes information about motion practice before Utah judges and commissioners, examples of types of motions, forms for filing and for responding to a motion, and links to other resources.

    July 20, 2010

    New Expungement Forms

    The Board of District Court Judges approved new expungement forms to comply with the changes in the Utah Expungment Act that were made in the 2010 legislative session.

    The forms are available on the Utah State Courts' website here.

    Questions? Contact the Law Library at 801-238-7990 or email library@email.utcourts.gov.

    March 15, 2010

    New Modifying Parent-Time Forms

    The new Utah State Courts' web page on Modifying Parent-Time provides information about jurisdiction (does the court have legal authority to hear the case?), default judgments and the forms necessary to both request and respond to modifying parent-time.

    Use these modification forms only if you already have an original order controlling parent-time. Note that if parents do not agree to a parent-time schedule, the legislature provides for minimum parent-time for both children under 5 and children 5 to 18 years of age.

    If you need assistance filling out these forms, consider hiring an attorney or speaking to a lawyer at a free legal clinic.

    October 09, 2009

    New on OCAP: Protective Orders for Minor Children and Enforcement of Domestic Orders

    OCAP, the Online Court Assistance Program, offers an interactive electronic tool to prepare the documents needed for several types of civil actions in Utah's state courts. For example, among the existing programs are divorce, parentage, and guardianship of a minor child.

    Now available are two new programs. One provides the court documents to try to obtain a protective order on behalf of a minor child. You can choose to use either OCAP or to download fill-in-the-blank forms already available on the court website.

    OCAP's new enforcement of domestic orders system provides documents required to ask the court to enforce existing domestic orders. It offers help with preparing orders to show cause, responses to orders to show cause, registrations of foreign orders, as well as several others.

    October 06, 2009

    Parenting Plan Form Now Available on Court Website

    A parenting plan outlines how parents who are now living separately will raise their children. It encourages parents to think ahead about how they will make decisions and resolve disagreements. A parenting plan is required in Utah for shared parenting or custody arrangements and is permitted in other parenting arrangements approved by the court.

    Parents in a domestic relations case must file a parenting plan whenever a party asks the court to create or change a shared parenting arrangement. Any arrangement other than full legal and physical custody held by one parent is a shared parenting arrangement.

    Parenting plans are part of the Online Court Assistance Program for divorce or parentage actions. However, sometimes parents need to create a parenting plan on their own or are ordered to do so by the court. Now available on the court website is a stand-alone parenting plan form. Information about the legal requirements of a parenting plan and links to further resources are also available on the website.

    August 21, 2009

    Registering Foreign Orders

    If you have a child support or child custody court order from another state and you want to either enforce or modify that order in Utah, you must first register that order with an appropriate Utah court. This process is often referred to as "registering a foreign order."

    Instructions and forms to register foreign child support and child custody orders are now available on the Utah State Courts website at http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/family/foreign_order.

    Modifying Child Support Orders

    Forms to ask the court to modify a child support order are now available on the Utah State Courts website at http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/family/modification/child_support/. The site also provides information on how to use the forms and how to calculate child support amounts.

    For help with calculating child support, you can use the online calculator or stand-alone worksheets.

    July 17, 2009

    Child Protective Orders

    Under Utah law, any interested adult may ask the Juvenile Court for an order of protection for a minor child less than 18 years of age if that adult believes the child is being physically or sexually abused or is at imminent risk of harm and in need of protection. Children who are at least 16 years old can apply on their own for an order of protection using adult protective order forms and filing them in the DIstrict Court.

    Child protective order forms have been updated recently and are now available on the court website. One important addition is the Service Assistance Form found on the first page of the Verified Petition. This form provides law enforcement with information about the parties and is particularly useful in helping find a respondent to serve the court papers on him or her. The information on the Service Assistance Form is not part of the court public file and is provided only to law enforcement.

    Information about protective orders is available in English and Spanish.

    July 10, 2009

    Collecting a Judgment

    moneyYou’ve won your case ... but how do you get your money?

    Unfortunately, winning your case is only one step in the process, and collecting the judgment can be more difficult than winning it. If you are lucky the party will pay the judgment. Otherwise, you may have to go back to court to try to get the party to pay what s/he now owes you.

    The court does not collect the judgment for you, but does provide tools to help you collect the judgment. Our Collecting a Judgment web page describes the different ways you can collect a judgment, such as a Writ of Execution or a Writ of Garnishment, as well as the process for finding out about the debtor's assets. That process is called a "supplemental proceeding" or "supp order."

    The person to whom the judgment is owed is the creditor. The person who owes the judgment is the debtor. The creditor has eight years to collect a judgment from the debtor. (Utah Code Ann. §78B-2-311).

    June 26, 2009

    Advance Health Care Decision Making

    Planning ahead for physical and mental incapacity is an important issue for all of us. Utah law provides suggested forms and instructions for advance health care directives and the appointment of an agent to make health care decisions for an adult who loses the capacity to communicate. You can link to Utah’s forms and more information at http://aging.utah.edu/utah_coa/directives/ , or directly from the court website at http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/seniors/#Advance.

    The Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services provides information and forms about advance health care decision making including a very useful Tool Kit that helps people think through their wishes and how to express them in meaningful ways. Go to http://www.hsdaas.utah.gov/advance_directives.htm

    Utah law also provides for a mental health directive to help people with mental illness plan ahead for such tough decisions as commitment to treatment and medications. Go to more information on the Nami Utah Web site at http://www.namiut.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=62&Itemid=52, or view Utah’s laws and sample Declaration for Mental Health Treatment form at Utah Code 62A-15-1001 to 1004, http://le.utah.gov/UtahCode/section.jsp?code=62A-15.

    On the national front, the Secretary of Health and Human Services sent a comprehensive report to Congress this week entitled “Advance Directives and Advance Care Planning.” The report, requested by Congress in 2006, focuses on (1) the best ways to promote the use of advance directives and advance care planning among competent adults as a way to specify their wishes about end-of-life care; and (2) addressing the needs of persons with disabilities with respect to advance directives. You can link to the report at http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/2008/ADCongRpt.htm. It includes an excellent literature review on every aspect of advance care planning, analyses of key ethical and legal issues, and a discussion of opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of advance care planning and advance directives.
    The report is particularly timely as health care reform is in the public policy forefront, and several bills are pending in Congress regarding advance care planning and improving care near the end of life.

    June 12, 2009

    New Forms: Waiver of Divorce Education Requirements

    Utah law requires divorcing parents to attend a divorce orientation class and a divorce education class before the judge will sign a divorce decree.

    Attendance of these classes can be waived by the judge in some circumstances. Information and all the forms needed to ask the judge to waive the required classes are now available on the court web page on divorce. The forms are also found in the online divorce program (OCAP).

    New Forms: Waiving the 90-Day Waiting Period in Divorce Cases

    Utah law requires that parties wait 90 days after filing a divorce petition before a divorce decree can be granted. This waiting period can be waived by the court for good cause. And, the waiting period does not apply to parents who attend the Divorce Education and Divorce Orientation classes.

    The forms to ask the court to waive the waiting period are now available for easy download on the court web page on divorce. In addition, forms are now available to oppose the waiver of the waiting period. The waiver forms may also be found in the online divorce program (OCAP).

    New Web Page and Forms: Filing Fees and Fee Waivers

    clip_image002.jpgThere's a new web page explaining filing fees and fee waivers. All forms required for asking the court to waive filing fees are available on this page as well.

    There are usually fees that you must pay whenever you start a lawsuit by filing a complaint or petition. You can ask the judge to waive the fees but you must prove to the judge that you cannot pay them.

    You can also link to the fee waiver web page and forms by going to "Forms and Instructions" on the Self-Help Resources webpage.

    May 13, 2009

    New Web Page and Forms: Changing Lawyers

    changing_lawyers.jpgThere's a new Changing Lawyers web page on the court's website that explains the issues surrounding the withdrawal of an attorney, substitution of counsel or notice of appearance, and provides forms for these situations.

    This page is linked from our Finding Legal Help page, which provides a number of suggestions for ways to deal with legal issues.

    New Form: Proof of Service

    service pageThere's a new Proof of Service form available on the Utah State Courts' website. It's linked from our Service page, which is one of many resources you can access from the Self-Help Resources page.

    Another useful service-related resource is our Finding People for Service of Process page, which offers nearly two dozen suggestions for ways to find people to notify them about a lawsuit filed against them.

    May 08, 2009

    New Resource - Answering a Complaint or Petition

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    There's a new page on the Utah State Courts' website which provides information about answering a complaint or petition and an Answer form for civil matters.

    This is one of many resources you can access from the Self-Help Resources page.

    May 01, 2009

    Small Claims Procedures and Forms

    The Utah State Courts webpage on Small Claims has been updated. The new page contains loads of information about handling small claims cases and forms for all aspects of a small claims matter.

    March 06, 2009

    Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights

    Utah law recognizes the importance of the parent-child relationship. However, sometimes it may be in the best interests of a child for the parent's rights to be terminated. In some cases, the State of Utah or some other party may ask the court to terminate a parent's rights. Or, the parent may want to terminate his or her own rights.

    Utah law allows a parent to voluntarily relinquish--or give up-- his or her parental rights. There is a specific court procedure for this. Information and forms for this procedure are now available on the court website.

    February 10, 2009

    Temporary Orders

    What if you are in the middle of a divorce action but need child support now?

    Parties sometimes need to have temporary orders in place while settling their disputes.

    Temporary orders govern child custody and support, parent time, property distribution and other matters during the divorce or parentage proceedings. The parties must follow the temporary orders until they are changed or until final judgment in the case.

    Checklists and forms for the court process of obtaining temporary orders are now available on the court website.

    February 09, 2009

    Delegation of Parental or Guardian Powers

    Utah law allows a parent to temporarily delegate legal authority of a minor child by completing a power of attorney form. A court-appointed guardian can delegate authority over a protected person in the same way. The delegation can last up to six months at a time. To delegate authority, the parent or guardian must complete a power of attorney form.

    Information about the delegation of powers, a checklist, a power of attorney form, and a form for the revocation of the power of attorney are now available on the court website.

    February 03, 2009

    Federal and State Tax Forms and Help

    It's tax season! Did you know that all federal and Utah tax forms can be found online?

    The IRS has centralized all federal tax forms and publications on their website. You can search for forms or publications by number or title.

    Individual Utah State income tax forms are posted on the Utah State Tax Commission's website. This site also includes tax forms for businesses and corporate income taxes.

    Need help filling out your tax forms? Utah's free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers tax income preparation at locations statewide. To find out if you're eligible for free income tax preparation services, call 211.