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March 07, 2013

SLC Infobase

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The Salt Lake City's website provides a wealth of resources for SLC residents, including information about the city justice court, city services like garbage pickup or snow removal, and city council news. If you're interested in some historic SLC government resources, be sure to visit the SLC Infobase.

This website has a variety of historic Salt Lake City government information, including city council meeting minutes (1982-Present), resolutions (2000-Present), and ordinances from 1900-Present.

More information about accessing Salt Lake City government records can be found on the Salt Lake City Recorder's Office website.

February 25, 2013

Office of Property Rights Ombudsman's New Website

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The Utah Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman helps resolve property rights disputes and helps citizens understand land use and property rights laws. Their website has recently been redesigned. From the new home page you can find quick links to popular links, including:

February 19, 2013

New Utah Legislature App

Watch Utah Legislature Bills.jpgA new free app has been developed to help you track the Utah State Legislature's bills and resolutions that are proposed and passed during legislative sessions. It's called Watch Utah Legislature Bills, and it's compatible with both Apple and Android mobile devices.

With this app, you can search for and subscribe to bills and receive notifications when any status change has occurred, whether it passed a committee, was read, or received a vote.

You can download this app from iTunes or from Google Play.

February 07, 2013

Utah OnLaw

utahonlaw_icon.jpgThe University of Utah's S.J. Quinney School of Law has a new publication: Utah OnLaw, a online supplement to the Utah Law Review. You can access each article's abstract and full text for free. If you are interested in submitting an article for this publication, create an account and follow the author instructions.

See our Law Reviews Online post for more information on Utah law school publications that are available online.

December 14, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court case involving Utah company

dnastructure.jpgThe U.S. Supreme Court often reviews high-profile cases. This term, one of these cases involves Myriad Genetics, a company based in Salt Lake City. The case is Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., and the Supreme Court granted certiorari to the issue of whether human genes are patentable.

If you would like to research this case, you can read the filings in this case on SCOTUSblog, a comprehensive blog with news and information about U. S. Supreme court cases. Also, you can find several articles related to the science behind the dispute using PubMedCentral, a full-text archive of scientific literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.

October 31, 2012

Scary court cases

skull.jpgIn celebration of Halloween, this year we're featuring recent appellate cases dealing with all things spooky and scary:

  • A Utah prisoner named Robert Rice filed for extroardinary relief, claiming the prison acted in violation of his right to practice his religion by failing to provide a "vampire" diet. Rice v. Department of Corrections, 2002 UT App 352.
  • In Illinois, an officer was sued for violating first and fourth amendment rights when responding to a complaint from neighbors disputing over Halloween yard decorations etched with insults. Purtell v. Mason, 527 F.3d 615.
  • In Louisiana, a customer who visited a haunted corn maze sued the owner and owner's insurer after she fell and broke her leg when she was approached by an actor with a chainsaw. Durmon v. Billings, 873 So.2d 872.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

September 21, 2012

Congress.Gov

USCapitol.jpgThe Library of Congress recently launched a new website for federal legislation research:: Congress.Gov. The site currently has information about legislation from 2001 to present. The website will eventually replace THOMAS, the current legislative resource from the Library of Congress.

Congress.Gov has several improved search and design features, including:

  • the ability to narrow search results by year, legislation type, and subject.
  • lists of bills introduced and laws enacted in the current congress.
  • an easy to read overview of each law's status.

The site also has an extensive overview of the legislative process, featuring videos and transcripts.

September 17, 2012

U.S. Constitution Resources

liberty.jpgToday marks Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. This year marks the 225th anniversary this historic event occurred.

To learn more about the U.S. Constitution, see the following links:

August 29, 2012

Utah Trial Journal App available

UtahTrialJournalapp.PNGA few months we blogged about the availability of the Utah Bar Journal on your mobile device. You can also download an app for the Utah Trial Journal. The Utah Trial Journal is a quarterly publication of the Utah Association for Justice, an association of trial attorneys in Utah . Each issue features articles about litigation techniques, advocacy, and summaries of cases related to product liability, workers' compensation, health care, and other issues relating to individual rights.

If you don't have a mobile device, you can read the Utah Trial Journal by visiting the law library.

August 09, 2012

Territorial Court Case Index available online

courtcaseindex.jpgThe Utah State Archives has recently digitized a court case index for Third District Court filings from the state's territorial period. The alphabetical index includes the names of plaintiffs and defendants for civil cases from 1871 to 1896 and for criminal cases from 1871-1882. The index can be searched or browsed. When on a page, there are zoom options or you can download or print the page.

This new resource joins several other name indexes available from the Utah State Archives, including historic civil and probate cases from several Utah counties and other government records.

August 02, 2012

Law Journals Online

Cover_icon.gifLooking for an older Utah Law Review or BYU Law Review article for your legal research? You can visit the law library to browse our print law journal collection or use HeinOnline, a legal database that allows you to view and search over 1,000 law journal titles, including titles from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University.

If you can't make it to the law library in person, there are several ways online to access full text law journals published by both universities:

  1. The University of Utah's E-Publications database provides access to the current and prior issues (back to 2007) of Utah law journals.
  2. The J. Willard Marriott Library's Digital Publications database provides access to all prior issues of Utah law journals. You can search for articles using keywords and phrases. Or, try the advance search feature and search using the title field to locate all issues of a law journal.
  3. BYU's Publications Page provides links to law journals along with full text access to current and all prior issues of each title.

May 15, 2012

Utah Bar Journal For Mobile Devices

Mar_Apr_2012.jpgDo you own a tablet like the iPad or an ebook reader like the Amazon Kindle? The Utah State Bar has recently announced that the Utah Bar Journal is now available in an ebook format for wireless devices. It displays each issue as a full-color PDF document. Visit the app store or market on your mobile device and search for "Utah Bar Journal." New issues of the bar journal will be downloaded to your Newsstand app.

If you don't have a smartphone or tablet, you can still access current and previous issues of the Utah Bar Journal on the bar's website.

January 27, 2012

New Congressional Record App

GPO Logo.bmpThe U.S. Government Printing Office has partnered with the Library of Congress to create a new iPad app to access the Congressional Record. The iPad app lets you run keyword searches, browse issues by date, and share documents by email.

If you don't have an iPad, you can access daily issues of the Congressional Record through the Federal Digital System. The website provides access to issues from 1994-present.

January 17, 2012

Spice and Bath Salts Banned in Utah

In November 2010 we reported on the various spice bans in local municipalities and that the Utah State Legislature would be considering a state-wide ban in the 2011 legislative session.

dea.bmpThe legislature did pass House Bill 23 in the 2011 General Session that not only included spice, but also included the substances in bath salts in the expanded list of controlled substances. Spice was also added to the driver license provisions regarding driving under the influence.

You can read the committee reports, listen to the floor debates and read the bill as it was introduced as well as the final bill that was passed and signed by the governor here.

November 29, 2011

Mobile version of PACER

PACER.bmpThere is a new mobile-friendly website for PACER, the U.S. Federal Courts' records database. Now you can access federal district court case information without needing to use a desktop computer or laptop.

Never used PACER before? Check out our previous post on PACER training available online or read the PACER User Manual.

October 28, 2011

Amended Rules of Civil Procedure

readingrules.JPGThe Utah Supreme Court has approved amendments to a number of Utah Rules of Civil Procedure that are effective for all cases filed on or after November 1, 2011. Note that there are extensive changes to the civil discourse and discovery rules.

The following rules have been amended:

URCP 1. General provisions.
URCP 8. General rules of pleadings.
URCP 9. Pleading special matters.
URCP 16. Pretrial conferences.
URCP 26. General provisions governing disclosure and discovery.
URCP 26.01. Disclosure in domestic relations actions.
URCP 29. Stipulations regarding disclosure and discovery procedure.
URCP 30. Depositions upon oral questions.
URCP 31. Depositions upon written questions.
URCP 33. Interrogatories to parties.
URCP 34. Production of documents and things and entry upon land for inspection and other purposes.
URCP 35. Physical and mental examination of persons.
URCP 36. Request for admission.
URCP 37. Discovery and disclosure motions; Sanctions.
URCP 54. Judgments; costs.

To see the text of the amendments, go to Utah State Court Rules - Approved and then click on the rule number. Updated versions of the rules will be posted to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure pages on or about the effective date of the amendments.

October 06, 2011

PACER training online

PACER.bmpHave you ever wondered how to use PACER to search for federal court records? Now you can use a free PACER training site to explore the program's search functions and capabilities, including case number, party name, and attorney name searches.

The training site will give you a login and password, and you can search real cases from the New York Western District Court filed between January 1 and July 1, 2007. You may also use your own PACER login information to access the training site.

There are other PACER trainings available, including how to efile in federal district, appellate, and bankruptcy courts.

In other PACER news, fees to use PACER will increase on April 1, 2012. The fee will increase from the current 8¢ per page to 10¢ per page. However, the amount under which quarterly search fees are waived will also increase. Currently, fees are waived if you don't accrue more than $10 in search fees each quarter. This amount will go up to $15 per quarter next April.


September 26, 2011

Free Federal Rules Ebooks

free federal rules.JPGThe Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence are now available for free as ebooks thanks to a partnership between the Legal Information Institute and the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction.

The ebooks are compatible with iPads, iPhones, Nooks and Kindles and any device that supports .epub files.

The three ebooks are complete through December 1, 2010, and contain all Advisory Committee notes. Use the table of contents, internal links to cross-referenced rules and external links to the U.S. Code for easy navigation and research.

For more information and to download the free publications, visit Ebooks for Legal Education.

August 23, 2011

Food Cart Rules and Regulations in Utah

foodcart.JPGFood carts and trucks are regulated by a number of state and local laws and regulations. Before starting a food cart or truck business, consult your local health department, read the regulations that apply to you and apply for the appropriate permits.

Located in the Salt Lake area? The Salt Lake Valley Health Department has information and applications for food carts, mobile units and shaved ice stands here. As the Health Department notes, you should also contact your city to determine what other regulations you'll need to follow.

Of course, you'll find food carts (and maybe even food trucks) outside of the Salt Lake area. For example, the Southwest Utah Public Health Department has a list of mobile food service regulations on their website.

Besides health code regulations, you'll also need to consider how to secure a business license and insurance and pay taxes.

July 28, 2011

Utah Session Laws online

Pioneer Session Laws.bmpUtah Session Laws from 1851 to present are now available online through Pioneer, the online library available from the Utah State Library. This database is available to all Utah residents with a library card or an access code provided by a local library.

When you login, you can browse the laws by year or search by keyword. You can print laws or download them to your computer or flash drive.

Have questions about how to research Utah laws? Contact us or visit us in person.

June 20, 2011

New Fireworks Law

fireworks1.jpgDuring the 2011 General Session of the Utah State Legislature, the legislature passed H.B.22, Fire Prevention and Fireworks Act Amendments. This bill expanded the category of permitted fireworks to be used over the Fourth of July, Pioneer Day and Chinese New Year holidays. It has also changed the dates on which fireworks can be used, expanding the time line to span an entire month from June 26 to July 26; on December 31 and January 1; and the day before and on Chinese New Year.

To view a list of approved fireworks, check out the 2011 Utah Fireworks Information provided by the State Fire Marshal.

While state law now permits the sale and use of new types of fireworks, some Utah cities have already banned their use in some locations because of fire danger. Check your city ordinances before taking advantage of the newly relaxed fireworks law.

May 27, 2011

New Title: Utah Legal Research

UtahLegalResearch.jpg The first comprehensive legal research guide for Utah, Utah Legal Research, was recently published by William S. Hein & Co., Inc. This book was written by Utah State Law Librarian Jessica Van Buren, Reference Librarian Mari Cheney, and Justice Court Judge Marsha Thomas.

Topics include legislative and judicial resources, administrative law, Utah practice materials, tips for self-represented litigants and a guide to online legal resources. The appendices include a comprehensive list of secondary sources for further research and a bibliography of Utah judge memorials and profiles.

Stop by the law library to browse or read this title.

May 10, 2011

Effective Dates of 2011 Legislative Session Laws

IMG_2702.jpgThe default effective date for laws passed during the 2011 legislative session is May 10th, unless otherwise specified in the law. This is specified in the Utah Constitution at Article VI, section 25, which states, "All acts shall be officially published, and no act shall take effect until sixty days after the adjournment of the session at which it passed, unless the Legislature by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, shall otherwise direct.

To find out the effective date of a particular law, go to the Utah State Legislature's passed bills page, select 2011 General Session from the drop down box, and click on the Effective Date heading to sort the list by that criteria. The effective dates for the laws passed during the 2011 General Session range from January 1, 2011, to July 1, 2013.

Some of the bills that go into effect today, May 10, 2011, are:

  • H.B. 13, Immunizations for Teen Mothers
  • H.B. 497, the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act
  • S.B. 124, Leaving a Child Unattended in a Motor Vehicle

March 24, 2011

Utah Federal Court Documents - Online Sources

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We've blogged in the past about PACER, the database for finding federal court records, but did you know that there are other online resources where Utah federal court documents are available for free?

  • Use CourtWeb to search records from select federal district and bankruptcy courts nationwide. You can do a quick search of records and narrow by the judge's name and/or date or a full-text search.
  • The Utah Federal District Court page has links to recent opinions issued by judges going back to 2004. You can sort each page by filing date, case number, or judge's name.
  • The Utah Federal District Court page also has links to orders and judgments by date.

March 14, 2011

2011 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

IMG_2702.jpgThursday, March 10, was the last day of the Utah State Legislature's 2011 General Session.

You can view the bills that passed during the session here, and note whether Governor Herbert has signed the bills into law. If the governor does not veto or sign the passed bills, the bills become law 20 days after adjournment.

If you're interested in what happened during each day of the session, you can read the House and Senate Journals, which document vote counts, committee referrals for bills, and often include amended or substituted language in bills proposed by legislators.

The 2011 General Session page also links to 2011 Selected Highlights.

February 02, 2011

Super Bowl or "The Big Game"?

football1.jpgSuper Bowl XLV is this Sunday, February 6. You've probably heard or seen advertisements promoting the Big Game at restaurants, sales on groceries and TV specials for Game Day, as well as sweepstakes and contests related to the Big Game. The Big Game, or Game Day, is of course referring to the Super Bowl but there are strict rules about who can use the trademarked term "Super Bowl." See NFL's terms and conditions (2). The only advertisers permitted to use the term Super Bowl pay a licensing fee and receive authorization from the NFL to use the term.

Of course, there are instances where the NFL cannot prohibit references to the Super Bowl, including news stories and informational blogs like this one.

You can read a variety of court opinions that deal with the NFL and trademarks when browsing these search results from Google Scholar. You can also read about football-related cases in last year's Super Bowl post.

If you're interested in trademark law, check out the United States Patent and Trademark Office online or Nolo's Patent, Copyright & Trademark Center.

December 09, 2010

Power of Attorney: Take the Online Tour!

Do you have questions about delegation of parental rights? Or as a guardian, if you can delegate your authority of an incapacitated adult to someone else? The Courts' website on Delegation of a Parent's or Guardian's Authority has a lot of information about this type of power of attorney, and recently we added an online narrated tour that answers many questions about the process involved in delegating authority.

We will be adding more online narrated tours soon. If you haven't already seen it, we also recently updated the Finding Legal Help tour. This five minute audio tour shows you how to search for an attorney based on location, subject area specialty, and languages spoken. It also explains how to locate legal clinics in your area, and points out free or low-cost alternatives to retaining a lawyer.

To view either of the narrated tours, you'll need Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer. Download it here.

December 02, 2010

Utah Session Laws Now Available Through Pioneer

lawsofut.JPGPioneer, Utah's Online Library, now includes the complete collection of the Laws of Utah starting with the very first legislative session of the territorial legislature in 1851. The session laws are fully searchable and browseable.

If you have ever had to do Utah legislative history research you know what a huge addition this is to Utah's online legal research collection. See the Legislative History section of our Utah Legal Research page for more legislative history resources.

The session laws database is available thanks to the work of the Utah State Library and legal publisher W.S. Hein & Co.

Pioneer databases are only available to Utah residents, so you will need a Utah public library card number in order to access this database.

November 26, 2010

Spice Bans in Utah Counties & Cities

dea.bmpSpice, incense laced with synthetic cannabinoids or other chemicals that produce a marijuana-like high, is being sold in smoke shops and convenience stores throughout Utah. However, many counties and cities have enacted bans on the sale and/or use of spice and the Utah State Legislature will consider a similar statewide law in the upcoming 2011 legislative session.

Among the cities and counties that have passed local ordinances, Cache County (see page 9), Iron County, Kaysville (see 6-4-5), Layton, Ogden, and Providence City have made their ordinances available online to view. If a local ordinance is not available online, contact the local city or county clerk for a copy.

As noted in the Controlled Substances Advisory Committee minutes, the committee has recommended the legislature examine a statewide law to regulate spice.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that on November 24, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration temporarily placed five of the synthetic chemicals on the list of forbidden controlled substances, making it illegal to distribute or possess them, effectively criminalizing the use of some spice sold here in Utah. The DEA's statement regarding this action is here.

November 16, 2010

New Database for Searching Federal Information

metaliblogo.bmpMetaLib is the U.S. Government Printing Office's newest database for searching information from more than fifty federal agency databases. The databases available cover a variety of topics including health, medicine, energy, transportation, and the military.

Metalib has a variety of search options, including:

  • a basic keyword search in general resources.
  • an advanced search by subject, title, author, or year.
  • an expert search where you can search multiple fields or narrow your search by database or federal agency.

From a search results screen, you can save records to a unique feature called My E-Shelf. From there you can email documents or save them.

Not finding a database you were looking for? Use the Suggest a Resource link to recommend a database you'd like to see added to MetaLib.

November 05, 2010

Daylight Saving Time laws

DaylightSaving.JPGThis Sunday, November 7, most residents of the United States will turn back the clock one hour in observance of Daylight Saving Time (see our previous posts about this observance from March and last October). However, some states are exempt from observing Daylight Saving Time. How does that happen?

The Federal Law governing Daylight Saving (15 U.S. Code §260 et seq.) provides that "any State that lies entirely within one time zone may by law exempt itself from the provisions of this subsection providing for the advancement of time" (§260a(a)). Two U.S. states have enacted laws exempting observance of Daylight Saving Time: Hawaii and Arizona. Hawaii's standard time law was amended in 1967 (H.R.S. §1-31). Arizona enacted its exemption law (A.R.S. §1-242) in 1968 (see the Arizona State Library's information page on the history of Daylight Saving Time in the state).

In the 2010 General Legislative Session, Utah House Representative Kenneth W. Sumsion introduced H.B. 288 to exempt Utah from observance of Daylight Saving Time. The bill was struck by the house before it could reach the Senate. If it had been enacted into law, it would have taken effect January 1, 2011.

October 28, 2010

Lexis Debuts New Look

Lexis.bmpIn the next few weeks, LexisNexis users will notice changes to the legal research database. Enhancements will be implemented without you having to download anything or use a new ID and password.
Preview the new look here and here. The preview indicates the database will have fewer tabs and it will be easier to access your research history as well as perform common tasks.
More information about the changes is found at the Lexis Q&A page.

October 21, 2010

United Nations Legal Research Resources

UN.jpgOctober 24th is United Nations Day, commemorating the day in 1945 that the UN Charter became effective after being signed by fifty-one countries earlier that year.

The United Nations was formed to promote peace and cooperation among member nations. October 24th officially became United Nations Day in 1947 when the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 168 (II). Although the UN is its own entity, it is not a separate government and does not create laws.

The judicial branch of the United Nations is known as the International Court of Justice. This court has jurisdiction over interpretations of international law and treaties and breaches of international obligations between member states. Like U.S. state and federal courts, there are court rules and practice guidelines for cases before this court. The International Court of Justice has the unique ability to provide advisory opinions requested by specific international agencies. You can find information on all cases heard before the court since 1946 online, including orders, objections, and other filings.

The UN has the authority to establish International War Crimes Tribunals under Article 7 of the UN Charter to consider charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes, or genocide. A war crimes tribunal can be created by resolution. In 1993, for example, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 827 to establish the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in response to war crimes committed during the Kosovo War in the 1990s.

There is a separate International Criminal Court that is not part of the UN, but is rather established as part of a treaty (the Rome Statute) signed by 113 countries. Countries who have signed the treaty or the United Nations Security Council may refer cases to this court. This court has jurisdiction over events on or after July 1, 2002.

September 08, 2010

Utah State Fair: A Short Legal History

cattlejudging.jpgThis year's Utah State Fair, coming up on September 9-19, is the 154th state fair in Utah. In fact, the first fair in 1856 was held just 9 years after the first pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. As early as 1876, in the Compiled Laws of Utah, the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society was charged with holding an annual exhibition of "all such agricultural products, stock and domestic manufactured articles as...will be best calculated to stimulate the people of this Territory in industrial pursuits." The best products and animals were awarded a prize. The State Fair was such an integral part of Utah's history that the fair's location was specified as Salt Lake City in Utah's Constitution until 1988.

Prior to 1995, the Utah State Fair was run by a government agency through the Board of Expositions. The Board was tasked with holding an annual exhibition through which awards could be made for best livestock and poultry, domestic science, domestic animals and more. In 1995, the legislature created the Utah State Fair Corporation, which is a public nonprofit. One of the reasons it was created was to prevent taxpayer money from subsidizing the fair. However, the government is still involved in state fair matters as the governor appoints board members with the consent of the Senate.

Interested in being on the Utah State Fair Corporation's Board of Directors? Apply here.

More about the fair, including information about this year's fair, can be found at the Utah State Fair's website.


August 24, 2010

Bullying and Hazing

bullying.jpgThis week Utah's kids will be returning to school. Some parents might be worried about school bullies or that their children could be coerced into participating in hazing activities. Bullying and hazing are prohibited by any student or school employee by Utah Code §53-11a-101 et seq, which was enacted in 2008.

The law requires each school district to adopt a bullying and hazing policy. These policies include possible consequences of bullying, procedures for protecting victims of bullying, and procedures for investigating and reporting incidents to law enforcement. These policies are to be placed in student and employee handbooks. Several schools and school districts have placed their policies online. See, for example, the Sunrise Elementary School policy (in the Cache County School District) and the Nebo School District policy.

Even though school boards have created the policies for preventing and managing bullying incidents, some parents choose to resolve bullying issues through a court action. A 2009 Deseret News article described the parents of a Albion Middle School student suing their child's bully and seeking monetary compensation.

August 12, 2010

Cigarette Laws

cigarette.jpgA new tobacco tax went into effect July 1st. The new law is making headlines all over the state, but you might be interested to know that it isn't the first time a cigarette law has caused controversy in Utah.

In 1921, the legislature passed Senate Bill 12: "An act making it unlawful: to sell cigarettes and cigarette papers; to advertise cigarette and cigarette papers; to permits minors to smoke in certain places of business; for any person to smoke in certain enclosed public places." The law was met with a lot of frustration and anger. One Box Elder News article complained that the law was not being enforced. One 1922 editorial in the Duchesne Courier favored repealing the law, which was declared "nothing more than a joke."

In 1923 the legislature amended the law to permit the sale of cigarettes and cigarette paper through the obtaining of an annual permit from the city or county's governing body. The law was Senate Bill 184. The permit was quite expensive--a $500 bond had to be paid to the city or town, and the annual permit fee ranged from $25 to $100 dollars. Today, the cigarette licensing fees are $30 for the first three years and $20 for subsequent three-year renewals. The $500 bond is not applicable to retailers, but wholesalers and distributors are still subject to a bond.

Want to see how Utah's newest cigarette laws compare with the rest of the nation? Check out the interactive map from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It shows smoke-free laws and cigarette tax rates as they've changed every year since 2000. You can also click on individual states to show exact tax rates from 2000 to today.

August 04, 2010

Celebrate National Farmer's Market Week

apples.jpgWe blogged earlier about Utah farmers markets rules and regulations, and since it's National Farmer's Market Week, we wanted to provide other resources from the federal government for farmers and communities that want to start a market or learn about what the U.S. Department of Agriculture can do for them.

Of course, the hard work isn't over once the farmers market has started. Farmers and local communities will likely need ideas on how to advertise the new market and keep it running. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides grants through the Agricultural Marketing Service and provides marketing ideas.

And that's not all. Interested in organic produce or how to become a certified organic producer? Need information about seed testing? The Agricultural Marketing Service is a great place to start your research. If you need help locating a Federal law or regulation the website mentions, you can contact the law library.

July 28, 2010

What's New at the Utah State Archives

archives.bmpMany old district court documents can be found at the Utah State Archives. These court documents include civil, criminal, probate and judgment case files. The Archives provides coverage dates for all collections, so you can easily tell if a case file is available at the Archives or whether you should contact the individual court directly.

Also of interest to people doing genealogy research, old district court records include naturalization records until this process was taken over by the federal Department of Justice. More information about naturalization records is available from the Utah State Archives here.

You can also follow the Archives' blog to stay up-to-date with additions to their collection. For example, a few court record guides have been updated and both Third District Court, Summit County and Eighth District Court, Duchesne County have newly processed record series.

July 14, 2010

Farmers Markets Rules & Regulations

blueberries.jpgSome farmers markets in Utah have already opened for business and vendors have already been selected. If you want to be a food vendor at an upcoming farmers market, you have to follow both the rules set by the individual farmers market as well as any local ordinances and regulations issued by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

For example, food that is prepared on site at the Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City is regulated by the Salt Lake Valley Health Department. Food that is prepared or packaged off site is regulated by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. In addition, the Downtown Farmers Markets sets its own rules vendors must follow, including where produce is grown. 2010 market information is found here.

All food vendors, regardless of location in Utah, should read the Department of Agriculture's informational handout about Outdoor Market Requirements.

Of course, many farmers markets also provide an opportunity for arts and crafts vendors to sell their wares. Those vendors must also follow the farmers market rules.

A list of farmers markets throughout Utah is found here.

June 28, 2010

Fireworks & the Law - 2010 Update

fireworks.jpg
Last year we blogged about fireworks and the law, and made note of specific state laws and regulations you should be aware of when setting off fireworks, as well as purchasing them. It's important to note that there have been changes to the Utah-approved firework list since the last one was published in 2009. The new list was approved on June 23, 2010.

Check Utah Code 53-7-225 for approved dates for the sale and discharge of fireworks. More information about fireworks safety in Utah can be found on the fire marshal's page.

June 03, 2010

Emancipation in Utah

ct frontview.jpgIn 2006, the Utah State legislature passed a law that provides statutory provisions for minors age 16 and older to petition the Utah Juvenile Court for emancipation. Prior to 2006, emancipation of a minor only existed in common law and was granted only in extraordinary circumstances. For more information about the initial passage of the law, see The "Lost Boys" Law: Governor Signs Emancipation Bill to Help Homeless Teens. The Utah Attorney General's office also provides more information about emancipation on the Youth 411 page.

Under the Emancipation of a Minor Act, if the court grants emancipation, the parental responsibilities of a parent, custodian or guardian are terminated. Utah Code 78A-6-805. However, even if the minor is emancipated, the minor does not acquire all legal rights of an adult. Most notably, an emancipated minor is not considered an adult under certain criminal laws and where there are other laws about age requirements, including voting and the use and purchase of alcohol and tobacco. Utah Code 78A-6-805.

At a court hearing, the court determines the best interest of the minor by considering the following factors:
1) whether the minor is capable of assuming adult responsibilities; 2) whether the minor is capable of living independently of his or her parents, guardian, or custodian; 3) opinions and recommendations from the guardian ad litem, parents, guardian, or custodian, and any other evidence; and 4) whether emancipation will create a risk of harm to the minor. A declaration of emancipation is made if the court determines that there is clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the minor to grant it. Utah Code 78A-6-804.

To petition the court for emancipation, you can use these free forms provided by the Utah State Courts.

May 07, 2010

New Utah Laws Effective May 11, 2010

statecapitol.jpegHundreds of the state laws passed during the 2010 General Session go into effect May 11th. According to legislative rule JR4-1-203, all bills become law 60 days after the adjournment of the legislative session unless otherwise directed. Here is just a small sample:

  • HB 16 Parent-time Amendments 
  • HB 21 Expungement revisions
  • HB 81 School Employee Criminal Background Check
  • HB 197 Custodial Interference Amendments
  • HB 202 Fireworks Amendments
  • HB 206 Ban on Sale of Smoking Paraphernalia to Minors
  • HB 364 Right of Identify Theft Victim to Civil Cause of Action.
  • SB 32 Rainwater Harvesting
  • SB 45 Utah Fit Premises Act Amendments
  • SB 145 Medical Malpractice Amendments
  • SB 278 Homeowners' Association Amendments

You can read all the new laws, and read laws passed since 1998, at the Utah State Legislature's Passed Bills page. Select a legislative year from the drop down menu to see bills passed that year.

March 23, 2010

NCAA Office Pools: Is this Gambling?

basketball.jpg Is it legal to participate in an office March Madness bracket tournament? Or bet on the games amongst friends?

In Utah, gambling is illegal, so you need to determine whether your actions are legal or illegal under Utah law. Gambling and the types of convictions possible for this crime are discussed in the Utah Code at 76-10-1101 and 76-10-1102 (note that 76-10-1101 is superseded by a new version of this section on 4/1/2010).

In 2008, the Utah Attorney General's Office spoke out against betting on basketball: "If you're betting $20, a can of peas, or if you're betting $10,000, you're still risking something of value and it still could be a crime under the law" (via KSL).

At the federal level, the Department of Justice and United State Attorneys are tasked with enforcing federal anti-gambling laws, such as the Wire Wager Act. For example, see this 2001 article written by an assistant US Attorney: "Gambling Against Enforcement — Internet Sports Books and the Wire Wager Act"

March 19, 2010

Changes Coming to PACER

PACERHDR.GIFIf you have a PACER account to search federal district court records, you may be interested to know that the Judicial Conference of the United States recently voted to make important changes to fees and records access in PACER. Among the changes:

  • Allow courts to make digital recordings of hearing available through PACER with permission from the presiding judge.
  • Adjust the fee schedule so users aren't billed unless their usage reaches $10 per quarterly billing cycle.
  • Approve a pilot project for some federal and district bankruptcy court opinions to be published online at FDSys, the Government Printing Office's new online database.

If you don't have access to PACER, you can find more information about it here. You can also access PACER free if you visit the clerk's office at the U. S. District Court for the District of Utah.

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

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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 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 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 04, 2010

The Superbowl in Legal History

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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.

January 05, 2010

Texting & Driving Illegal in Utah

texting.jpg Utah is one of 19 states that has banned texting while driving. Utah's law was only recently enacted during the 2009 legislative session and is found in the Utah Code at 41-6a-1716. At this time, Utah has not banned the use of all hand-held devices, so unlike at least six other states, talking on your cell phone is still permitted while driving in Utah.

Text messaging is defined in Utah law as "a communication in the form of electronic text or one or more electronic images sent by the actor from a telephone or computer to another person's telephone or computer by addressing the communication to the person's telephone number." Utah Code 76-4-401. In some narrow instances, texting while driving is permitted, such as during a medical emergency.

To read statistics associated with texting while driving, and other state laws, check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website Distraction.gov.

December 30, 2009

Utah's DUI Laws

dui_info.gif During the last legislative session, the Utah legislature passed a bill that increases penalties for driving under the influence. On holidays like the 4th of July and New Year's Eve, the Utah Highway Patrol often increases its presence on Utah's roads and highways to find impaired drivers and prevent them from continuing to drive while intoxicated. In fact, Utah Highway Patrol states on its website that "removing impaired drivers from Utah’s highways is the Utah Highway Patrol’s number one priority. Every effort will be made to educate the public regarding the hazards associated with driving while impaired. Action will be taken to increase the likelihood of apprehension."

While you should always be aware of these laws, here's a list of some of Utah's DUI laws to keep in mind over the New Year:

  1. If you are 21 or older and are arrested for your first DUI, your license will be suspended for 120 days.
  2. If you are under 21 at the time of your DUI arrest, your license will be suspended for 120 days or until you turn 21, whichever is longer.
  3. If you are 21 or older and are arrested for a second DUI, your license will be revoked for 2 years.
  4. If you are under 21 and are arrested for a second DUI, your license will be revoked for 2 years or until you turn 21, whichever is longer.

More information about DUI offenses are found in the state Traffic Code. The Utah Department of Public Safety has more information about DUI laws in Utah. If you have been issued a DUI citation or any other traffic ticket, Highway Patrol has information about citations.

December 15, 2009

Just Call Me Santa

IMG_3049.jpgThe court hears many name change petitions for both adults and minors. Most name change requests are for reasons you might expect: a child wants to take his stepfather's last name; a woman wants to restore her maiden name years after a divorce; or a man is unhappy with the first name his parents gave him and wants a new name of his choosing.

However, some name change petitions are quite unusual. Take the case of David Lynn Porter. Porter asked the Third District Court in Salt Lake City to change his name to Santa Claus and the court denied his request. The appellant's brief stated that "...to Porter's dismay Judge Timothy Hanson of the Third District Court denied this jolly old elf's request." He appealed to the Utah Supreme Court and asked that the Court reverse the Third District Court's holding and change his name to Santa Claus, and in the alternative, to Kris Kringle. The Court did in fact reverse and remand the case back to the lower court, where Porter's name was legally changed to Santa Claus. Want to read the appellant's brief? Download it here.

In the Court's opinion, Justice Wilkins, writing for the majority, stated: "Porter's proposed name may be thought by some to be unwise, and it may very well be more difficult for him to conduct his business and his normal everyday affairs as a result. However, Porter has the right to select the name by which he is known, within very broad limits. Significantly, Porter already tells others that he is Santa Claus. Allowing him to legally change his name to reflect his practice of doing so is more likely to avoid greater confusion than to create it by making Porter legally responsible for his actions in the name Santa Claus." Read the entire Supreme Court opinion here.

If you're interested in other name change cases, check out this Slate article by law professor Eugene Volokh: 1069, Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii And Other Names So Weird That Judges Forbade Them.

December 10, 2009

Traffic & Driving Laws in Utah

traffic.jpgThe Utah Traffic Code governs the way you drive on Utah's roads and includes laws about speed limits, driving under the influence, and passing. Want to know if you have the right of way to cross over a divided highway? Check out Utah Code 41-6a-712. Want to know if you can regulate traffic on your own land? Check out Utah Code 41-6a-215. And if you're confused about how terms are used in the Traffic Code, there's a helpful definitions section that defines everything from "authorized emergency vehicle" to a "two-way left turn lane."

If you're looking for Utah's laws on driver licenses, those laws are located in the Public Safety Code. Check out Title 53, Chapter 3 for driver license information. This part of the Code governs who may or may not be licensed, renewal information, and the types of licenses that are available. The Utah Driver License Division also provides information about driver license laws, the handbook you should study to get ready for the driver test, and fees to apply for a license and more.

As of January 1, 2010, the Utah Driver License Division is making some changes about what types of documents are required to apply for a driver license or identification card. After this date, the Division will also no longer allow you to renew your license through the mail or online. For more information about these changes, visit the Division's website.

If you already have a traffic citation, check out the blog post on paying for traffic citations online. Or if you need to find information about traffic school, check out this blog post. And finally, the Utah Courts' website has general information about traffic matters.

If you have any questions about this information, please contact the law library.

December 02, 2009

5 Warnings about Pay Day Loans

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You need cash now. Should you write a check to a pay day lender to get instant access to that cash? A pay day loan usually happens like this: you write a check or authorize deferred direct deposit to the lender for the amount of cash you need, plus any finance charges and fees. The pay day lender holds that check or waits to access your checking account until your next pay day, when the loan and fees must be paid in full. If you are unable to pay the full amount of the loan and additional fees, you'll incur a finance charge and the loan will be rolled over to the next pay day.

Before you sign the contract for a pay day loan, here are five warnings to remember:

1) Make sure the institution has a valid registration with the Department of Financial Institutions. If it does not not, the person or business is violating the law. Utah Code 7-23-201. You can also contact the Department of Financial Institutions to make a complaint against a pay day lender. Use the form provided to mail or email your complaint.

2) There are no maximum interest rates in Utah. However, the interest rate should not be unconscionable. Utah Code 70C-7-106.

3) The maximum roll over loan period is 12 weeks. Utah Code 7-23-401.

4) The pay day loan contract must be in writing. Utah Code 7-23-401.

5) The pay day lender must post "a complete schedule of any interest or fees charged for a deferred deposit loan that states the interest and fess using dollar amounts." Utah Code 7-23-401.

For more information about pay day loans, including ways to find alternative sources of funding, check out the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Alert: "Payday Loans Equal Very Costly Cash: Consumers Urged to Consider the Alternatives."

November 19, 2009

Caught by the Transit Police

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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

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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 06, 2009

Minors & Employment in Utah

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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

October 30, 2009

Law of Dead Bodies

pumpkin.JPGIt's almost Halloween, so there's no better time to blog about the law of dead bodies.

In Utah, a person is deemed to be dead if the person has experienced
(a) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions; or
(b) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.
A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards. U.C.A. §26-34-2

When someone dies, there is a clear hierarchy of survivors who may determine the location and manner of disposition of the dead body. If the deceased has listed someone in their will (or other written instrument) and followed the other statutory requirements, that person makes the determination of disposition. If no one has been listed in a will, the surviving spouse is next in line, and then the decedent's child or majority of the decedent's children. Check out U.C.A. §59-9-602 to find out who is next in line to make the determination of disposition.

But what happens if there is a dispute about what to do with the body? The legislature has provided the probate court six factors to consider when resolving this type of dispute. The six factors are:
(1) the reasonableness and practicality of the proposed funeral arrangements and disposition;
(2) the degree of the personal relationship between the decedent and each of the persons claiming the right of disposition;
(3) the desires of the person or persons who are ready, able, and willing to pay the cost of the funeral arrangements and disposition;
(4) the convenience and needs of other families and friends wishing to pay their respects;
(5) the desires of the decedent; and
(6) the degree to which the funeral arrangements would allow maximum participation by all who wish to pay their respects. U.C.A. §58-9-605

A body may be exhumed when death occurred in certain circumstances and no determination of cause and manner of death was made by a medical examiner. U.C.A. §26-4-7 and §26-4-12.

Regarding exhumation for another reason, the Supreme Court of Utah has stated that "it is therefore a sound and well-established policy of the law that a person, once buried, should not be exhumed except for the most compelling reasons." Matter of Mayer's Estate, 577 P.2d 108, 110-111 (1978).

October 20, 2009

Backyard Chickens

chicken.jpgThe most important thing you need to know before buying chickens for your backyard chicken coop is whether your local law permits you to raise chickens. There isn't one Utah law that applies to the entire state. Rather, if you live within city limits, check to see if your city code has any laws about raising chickens; if you don't live within city limits, check the county code.

For example, in Salt Lake City, you must first apply for a permit from the office of animal services in order to raise chickens and the fee is $5/animal. Salt Lake City Code 8.08.010. A permit will not be granted for more than 25 chickens. Salt Lake City Code 8.08.020. Different rules apply to people who want to raise chickens for commercial purposes. However, no animals may be housed closer than 50 feet from a building used for human habitation. Salt Lake City Code 8.08.060.

Another example of local laws regarding chickens is found in the Brigham City Code. Brigham City residents may keep up to six chickens but the chicken coop may not be larger than 50 cubic feet per household. Brigham City Code 4.01(16).

Another example is found in the Vernal City Code. In Vernal, if property has been zoned RA-1 (residential-agricultural), up to 25 chickens may be kept on a lot that is at least 20,000 square feet. Vernal City Code 16.38.020. However, if other animals are kept on the same lot, that number decreases.

To find your city or county code, begin at the Utah.gov page and then select your city or county. Once directed to the city or county's page, you'll need to locate the code. Local codes are sometimes referred to as "municipal ordinances" or simply "ordinances." If you can't locate the code online, contact your local government.

Photo Credit:

August 25, 2009

How to Read a Legal Opinion

"How to Read a Legal Opinion" was written for new law students, but is a great tool for anyone who is new to reading court opinions because it guides you through all the important pieces, from caption to disposition. The author, Orin Kerr, is a law professor at the George Washington University Law School.

The article was published in The Green Bag, "an entertaining journal of law." Archived articles are available online, dating back to Winter 2008. Besides publishing articles that are much less serious than the average legal journal, the Green Bag is known for giving away bobbleheads of U.S. Supreme Court Justices to some of its subscribers. The most recent bobblehead created by the Green Bag was Justice Souter.

August 08, 2009

Annulment Law in Utah

The Utah State Courts' web page on Getting a Divorce in Utah provides information about the difference between divorce and annulment, and points out that there are both statutory and common law reasons why the court may grant the annulment.

Note that annulment laws differ from state to state. You must consult the laws of Utah to determine if you meet any of the criteria for annulment. Even if any or all of the grounds for annulment exist, it is still in the judge's discretion whether or not to grant the annulment.

The grounds for annulment include:
* Where the marriage is prohibited or void under Title 30, Chapter 1, Section 2, which deals with age requirements, prior marriages and divorces, and persons of the same sex.
* Where the marriage is incestuous, and therefore void.
* Common law grounds include fraud, misrepresentation, and failure to consummate the marriage.

Utah laws make no mention of a minimum or maximum amount of time for a marriage to have existed in order to petition the court for an annulment.

At this time, no Court-approved annulment paper work is available. If you find sample pleadings online, you should consult the Rules of Civil Procedure to ensure your documents conform to Court Rules. You should also consider consulting with an attorney, whether at a free legal clinic or through paid representation.

July 31, 2009

Use Newspapers for Historical Legal Research

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The Marriott Library at the University of Utah has been scanning Utah newspapers since 2001, and thanks to a new donation of archives of the Salt Lake Tribune by its parent company, MediaNews Group, the Marriott Library can eventually digitize the Tribune dating back to 1871.

In the Tribune article announcing the donation, the author notes that not only did the Marriott receive approximately 100,000 issues of the Tribune, the donation included now-defunct publications, including the Junior Tribune, Salt Lake Telegram, and Intermountain Republic .

Digitized newspapers are an important resource for historical legal research. When researching Utah's Constitution or the transition from the Territory of Utah to a state, newspapers provide a glimpse into the issues and concerns of the general public, as well as controversies. Use the Utah Digital Newspapers site to search numerous newspaper titles from around the state (coverage varies). You can search the entire digitized collection, or specify which titles you would like to search. Additionally, advanced search options allow you to search by proximity or in certain fields.

July 21, 2009

Fireworks & the Law

If you bought fireworks to set off for Independence Day and Pioneer Day, note that the last time you can set off fireworks this July is on July 27. Utah laws specifically state that certain Class C fireworks may be discharged in Utah three days before, on the day of, and three days after four specific holidays: July 4, July 24, January 1, and Chinese New Year.

The Department of Public Safety publishes an approved fireworks list each year. This year's list was last revised on July 1, 2009.

In addition to state law, many local ordinances list rules regarding fireworks. To find out if your city or county has a local ordinance about fireworks, locate the local municipality you want to check, and then determine if the local ordinance is available to search online. If it isn't, contact the local city or county clerk.

July 07, 2009

Tips for Searching Court Records

SCREENSHOTXCHANGE.JPGIf you're having trouble searching court records online through Xchange or using CORIS at a district courthouse, here are some tips to improve your results:

  • In either program, enter both a last name and first name to search. Searching by a last name only will match that last name with any first name. This may result in thousands of matched results, especially if it's a common last name like Smith.
  • In either program, use the * symbol after the first name to catch any variation using that name. Court records may have recorded a party's first name using a middle initial, full middle name, or with no middle name at all. You can even use the * after the first few letters of a first name or last name if you are unsure of spelling.
  • In CORIS, case result tables show cases in gray or bold. Grayed cases are closed, while bolded cases are still open.
  • In Xchange, you can narrow your search by any date range.

July 02, 2009

New Book: The Criminal Law Handbook

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We've just received the 10th edition of Criminal Law Handbook.

This Nolo book covers topics including talking to the police, search and seizure, arrest, eyewitness identification, book and bail, criminal defense lawyers, criminal court, arraignments, discovery, fundamental trial rights, basic evidence rules, plea bargains, sentencing, appeals, juvenile courts and prisoners' rules.

Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

Many public libraries carry Nolo titles - check your local library catalog to see if they have this or other books written for non-lawyers.

July 01, 2009

Laws Effective July 1, 2009

Over 30 laws passed by the Utah Legislature during its 2009 session become effective today. Portion of other bills passed during this session or previous session may also become effective today--check out the legislature's page for more information.

To review a list of those laws, go to the Utah Legislature's Bills Passed page. Next, select the 2009 General Session or the 2009 First Special Session. Click on the Effective Date column header to sort the list by effective date and scroll down to the listings for July 1, 2009.

The 2009 Digest of Legislation provides a subject index of passed legislation, and summary of each bill for the 2009 General Session.

Bills, or portions of bills, effective today include:

  • H.B. 64 (Substitute): Deterring Illegal Immigration
  • S.B. 187 (Substitute): Alcohol Amendments, particularly the end of mandatory private clubs. For more information, check out the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's summary of the new law.
  • S.B. 239: Transportation Revisions, which increases some motor vehicle registration fees by $20
  • S.B. 272 (Second Substitute): Driver License Sanctions and Sentencing Requirements for Driving Under the Influence and Alcohol Related Offenses

  • 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.

    Web 2.0 for Utah Lawyers

    Utah Bar Journal coverThe May/June issue of the Utah Bar Journal has an article by our own Mari Cheney describing Web 2.0 tools for Utah attorneys.

    Mari explains the difference between blogs, Twitter and other social networking tools, and provides links to resources. Read all about it!


    June 24, 2009

    New Book: The Employer's Legal Handbook

    EMPL_icon.gifWe've just received the latest edition of The Employer's Legal Handbook.

    This Nolo book covers topics including hiring, personnel practices, wages and hours, employee benefits, taxes, family and medical leave, health and safety, illegal discrimination, workers with disabilities, termination, employee privacy, independent contractors, and unions.

    Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

    Many public libraries carry Nolo titles - check your local library catalog.

    June 15, 2009

    The 2009 First Special Session

    On May 20, the Utah State Legislature met for a special legislative session and passed seven bills that same day. Governor Hunstman signed all seven bills into law the following day.

    One bill directly related to the Courts was Senate Bill 1002, which amends Utah Code 45-1-101 to include publishing legal notices on a "website established by the collective efforts of Utah's newspapers." See S.B. 1002. Beginning January 1, 2010, if you are required to publish a legal notice, it must appear on the website created by Utah's newspapers. Currently, Utah Legal Notices, maintained by the Utah Press Association, pulls legal notices from many of the state's newspapers. Watch the site for updates and changes while the newspapers in Utah get ready for this publication requirement.

    June 02, 2009

    New Book: Every Tenant's Legal Guide

    We've just received the latest edition of Every Tenant''s Legal Guide.

    This Nolo book provides an overview the rights and responsibilities of tenants.

    Our Law Books for Non-Lawyers handout lists other self-help books we have in the library.

    May 27, 2009

    Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009

    Are you renting a house or an apartment that is being foreclosed?

    Thanks to new Federal legislation, you may have the right to stay in the foreclosed property up to 90 days after the date of foreclosure or through the end of your lease, depending on whether the property will be used as a primary residence by the new owner. You'll want to consult the law to see what provisions apply to your situation.

    President Obama signed Public Law No. 111-22 on May 20, 2009. The act protecting renters living in foreclosed property is part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

    April 22, 2009

    New Research Guide - Utah Government Publications and Documents

    The Utah State Archives has posted a new Utah Government Publications and Documents research guide on their website.

    The guide describes the public documents serial set, the state depository system and how to find publications.

    Thanks to the Researching the Utah State Archives blog for bringing this to our attention.

    April 08, 2009

    National Library Week Classes

    In commemoration of National Library Week (April 12-18, 2009) the Utah State Law Library will be offering the following classes and tours:

    Introduction to Resources for Self-Represented Parties
    The class 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.

    When
    Monday, April 13th 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, April 15th 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

    Westlaw Basics
    This class will teach you how to search for case law, statutes, and other information using specialized search techniques. You will also learn about the various options for printing and saving.

    When
    Tuesday, April 14th 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

    Introduction to HeinOnline
    HeinOnline provides access to historic and current legal publications, including law reviews and Federal material, and includes content not available on Westlaw or LexisNexis. Learn how to access these documents and view, print, and download them in PDF form.

    When
    Thursday, April 16th 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Register Today!
    Registration is required for all classes. To reserve your spot:
    • Call 238-7990
    • Email library@email.utcourts.gov
    • Or, stop by the State Law Library

    Where
    All classses will be held at the Utah State Law Library
    Matheson Courthouse, 450 South State Street, Room W-13

    March 31, 2009

    Criminal Penalties in Utah

    We get a lot of questions about criminal penalties in the law library.

    The court's Criminal Penalties page explains the difference between felonies, misdemeanors and infractions. It also provides information about the different degrees and classes and the possible penalties - imprisonment and fines - for each level of offense.

    The page also describes some of the things a judge considers when imposing a sentence, and provides an outline of the sentencing process.

    March 16, 2009

    Researching Superseded Versions of the Utah Code

    One of the most popular research requests we get at our library is for superseded Utah Codes - what the law looked like before the current version. The Utah State Law Library has a complete collection of superseded Utah Codes starting with Compiled Laws of Utah (1876), as well as Utah's session laws dating back to 1851.

    Figuring Out the Life Story of a Statute
    Every statute has a story to tell. To trace a statute's history you'll need an annotated Utah code, in print or online. Look for the history information provided after the text of the law. Note that the version of the Utah Code provided on the Legislature's website is unannotated, and only provides information about the most recent amendment to the law.

    Code VersionHistory Information for §73-3-25
    Utah Code AnnotatedHistory: R.S. 1933, 100-3-25, added by L. 1937, ch. 130, § 2; 1941, ch. 96, §1; C. 1943, 100-3-25; L. 1987, ch. 25, § 3; 1987, ch. 161, § 297, 2004 ch. 191, § 3; 2008, ch. 282, § 3; 2008, ch. 382 § 2144.
    West’s Utah Code AnnotatedLaws 1937, c. 130, § 2; Laws 1941, c. 96, §1; Laws 1987, c. 25, § 3; 1987, c. 161, § 297; Laws 2004 c. 191 § 3, eff. May 3, 2004; Laws 2008, c. 282, § 3 eff. May 5, 2008; Laws 2008, c. 382 § 2144, eff. May 5, 2008.

    Codifications: R.S. 1933, § 100-3-25; C. 1943, § 100-3-25.


    Although the abbreviations and format used in the two annotated codes vary slightly, they both convey the same information:
    • This section was originally enacted in 1937 as chapter 130, section 2
    • The section previously appeared in the 1933 Revised Statutes as section 100-3-25
    • The section was amended in 1941
    • The section was amended in 1987 by two different session laws
    • The section was amended in 2004
    • The section was amended in 2008 by two different session laws

    Annotations provide other useful information including a summary of the changes from the most recent amendment to the law, notes of Utah appellate court decisions which interpret the law, and cross-references.

    Sometimes the History Notes Aren't Enough
    In most cases the history line provides a complete history of the statute from its enactment to its current version. However, statutes can be renumbered, or repealed and re-enacted, and these actions are not always reflected in the history notes or other annotations. If you think the law existed before the stated enactment date, look at superseded code volumes older than the purported enactment date, or at the enacting session law to see if there's any mention of the legislature moving the chapter or section to a different part of the code.

    Law library staff have other tricks up their sleeves too, so don't hesitate to ask for help!

    March 13, 2009

    Legislative Roundup

    The 2009 General Session of the Utah State Legislature ended last night at midnight.

    You can see a list of laws that passed on the Legislature's Bills Passed page.

    Click on the underlined heading for any column to sort the list by that criteria. If, for example, you want to see how many laws were passed on a specific day of the session, click on the Date Passed heading.

    A complete list of all the bills considered in the 2009 General Session, passed or not, is available on the Bills and Resolutions page.


    March 10, 2009

    Unemployment Benefits in Utah

    In December of 2008, Utah had a 4.1% unemployment rate. Regional state unemployment rates for January 2009 will be released tomorrow by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but in the meantime you can use this interactive map to track unemployment rates by county, which are based on the December 2008 statistics.

    The laws governing unemployment benefits in Utah are found at Title 35A, Chapter 4. The Department of Workforce Services has also enacted administrative rules about unemployment insurance.

    For information about how to file for unemployment benefits, visit the Department of Workforce Services' page on Unemployment Insurance for Job Seekers. From this page, you can learn about how to file new claims, reopen a claim, or file an appeal.

    February 26, 2009

    Sick Leave & the Law

    No Federal, State or local law requires your employer to pay you if you take a day off because you're sick or need to care for a family member due to a short-term illness.

    However, if the illness or other health-related concern (such as pregnancy) requires an extended time away from work, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may apply. All public agencies, including state and Federal employers, and private employers with more than 50 employees, are required to provide FMLA-protected leave.

    So, what are your options if you just have the flu or a nasty cold?

    • Consult your human resources policy. If your employer does allow you to take paid sick days, it should be spelled out in the HR manual. The manual should also detail how many sick hours you accrue per pay period or hours worked.
    • Check out the Utah laws related to labor, particularly Title 34 and 34A.
    • The Utah Labor Commission provides information for both employers and employees about State labor laws.
    • The U.S. Department of Labor has information about the Federal laws pertaining to workers, particularly the FMLA and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

    Special thanks to Margo Bird, Human Resources Representative, for her editorial advice.

    February 23, 2009

    Class: Westlaw Basics

    This free class will teach you how to search for case law, statutes, and other information using specialized search techniques. You will also learn about the various options for printing and saving.

    When
    Thursday, March 12th 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

    Where
    Utah State Law Library
    450 South State Street, Room W-13

    Register Today!
    Registration is required. To reserve your spot:
    • Call 238-7990
    • Email library@email.utcourts.gov
    • Or, stop by the State Law Library

    February 12, 2009

    Roaches? Mold? Tenants' Rights in Utah

    You may have heard the phrase "implied warranty of habitability" as it applies to the condition of an apartment or other rental unit. If you've signed a lease and moved in to your apartment only to discover cockroaches, mold, or other livability issues, you may be wondering if you have to live there, and if your landlord is required to fix the problem.

    The Utah Fit Premises Act, found in Title 57 Chapter 22 of the Utah Code, discusses the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.

    Utah Code §57-22- 3(1) states: "Each owner and his agent renting or leasing a residential rental unit shall maintain that unit in a condition fit for human habitation and in accordance with local ordinances and the rules of the board of health having jurisdiction in the area in which the residential rental unit is located. Each residential rental unit shall have electrical systems, heating, plumbing, and hot and cold water." (emphasis added)

    To find your county or city ordinances, visit the Utah City and County Government page. For example, the St. George city ordinance on fit premises is found at Title 4 Chapter 7. To find your local ordinance, try using the search terms "fit premises," "habitation," or "nuisance."

    For more information about your rights as a tenant, check out the Utah Renters Handbook and the Landlord-Tenant page on the Court's website.

    January 26, 2009

    Opening Day of the Utah State Legislature

    Today is the first day of the 2009 Utah legislative session.

    The Utah Constitution was amended by voters this fall to change the opening day of the Utah State Legislature from the third Monday in January to the fourth Monday. Previously opening day coincided with the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.

    The legislative session runs for 45 days. The amendment to Article VI Section 2 of the Utah Constitution also included a provision that excludes federal holidays from the count of legislative days, so Presidents' Day is no longer counted as a legislative day.

    You can track the work of the Utah Legislature during its session on its website: http://le.utah.gov.

    January 23, 2009

    Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is Now Daily

    The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is now the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents. This change became effective with the new presidential administration on January 20, 2009.

    Whatever its title, this is the official publication of executive orders, proclamations, presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary, and is published by the Office of the Federal Register.

    From the Daily Compilation page you can browse documents by date or search by keyword.


    Researching and Using Utah Appellate Briefs and Other Appellate Resources

    Curious about how to find and use appellate briefs?

    Check out Mari Cheney's article Researching and Using Utah Appellate Briefs and Other Appellate Resources in 22 Utah Bar Journal 22 (January-February 2009 ).

    The article describes how and where to find briefs, and summarizes other appellate resources such as the appellate opinion notification service, online oral argument recordings, and pro se guides.

    January 08, 2009

    Utah Legislature 2.0

    Do you follow Utah politics and legislation?

    Utah's Senate Majority and Minority have unofficial blogs. You can read and comment on featured news stories and legislative discussions posted by Senators.

    Let It Snow!

    It's snow season - have you ever wondered what the law says about shoveling snow from sidewalks?

    Snow removal is generally regulated at the local level, by city or county law, and the responsibilities of private land owners may be different from business owners.

    The Salt Lake City Code, for example, has this provision:

    14.20.070 Snow To Be Removed From Sidewalks:

    It is unlawful for the owner, occupant, lessor or agent of any property abutting on any paved sidewalk to fail to remove or cause to be removed from the length and breadth of the entire sidewalk abutting such property all hail, snow or sleet falling thereon, within twenty four (24) hours after such hail, snow or sleet has ceased falling. Each day such sidewalk is not so cleared shall constitute a new violation.

    The Logan City Code has this provision:

    12.08.080: DUTY TO REMOVE SNOW AND ICE:

    It is unlawful for the owner, occupant, lessor or agent of either the owner, occupant or lessor of any property abutting on any paved sidewalk where said property is open to the public for business to fail to remove or cause to be removed from such paved sidewalk and bus stop all hail, snow or sleet falling thereon, and all ice forming thereon, within one hour after such hail, snow or sleet shall have ceased falling or such ice shall have formed; provided, that in case of a storm, between the hours of five o'clock (5:00) P.M. in the afternoon and six o'clock (6:00) A.M. in the succeeding morning, or in case of ice forming during the same hours, such sidewalk shall be cleaned before nine o'clock (9:00) A.M. in the morning immediately succeeding the storm or the formation of such ice.

    Many of Utah's city and county codes are available online. If your city or county code isn't online, contact your local public library or city/county clerk's office to see if they have a print copy.

    January 06, 2009

    U.S. Code Now Available on HeinOnline

    The law library's subscription to HeinOnline now includes complete coverage of the United States Code back to 1925.

    HeinOnline is available from the public computers of the Utah State Law Library. If you are a Utah state employee, you can also access HeinOnline from your desktop at http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Welcome.

    If you have any questions about HeinOnline please contact the State Law Library at 801-238-7990 or library@email.utcourts.gov.

    Our HeinOnline subscription includes:

    Law Journal Library of nearly 1200 American, international and non-U.S. legal periodicals. Most journal coverage begins with v.1 and is within a volume of the most current. By comparison, Lexis and Westlaw coverage generally starts in the mid-1980s.

    Treaties and Agreements Library of all U.S. treaties and agreements in force and expired, in addition to explanatory materials.

    Federal Register Library which includes the Federal Register (1936- ), Code of Federal Regulations (1938- ), Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (1965- ), and U.S. Government Manual (1935- ).

    U.S. Supreme Court Library which includes the U.S. Reports (v.1- ) as well as books and journals about the court.

    U. S. Attorney General Opinions Library which includes the Official Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States (1791-1982) and the Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice (1977-1996).

    U. S. Congressional Documents Library which includes complete coverage of the Congressional Record (1873- ).

    U.S. Federal History Library which provides complete legislative histories of dozens of major federal acts.

    U. S. Federal Agency Documents, Decisions and Appeals Library which provides decisions from dozens of federal agencies including Immigration, NLRB, Comptroller General, FCC, NRC, SEC and US Tax Court.

    U.S. Statutes at Large Library which provides complete coverage from v.1, 1789.

    Presidential Library which includes assorted compilations of the papers of the presidents (1896- ), as well as Title 3 of the CFR (1936- ).

    Legal Classics Library which includes hundreds of historical American legal treatises.

    All documents are fully searchable PDF images, which include all charts, graphs and photos appearing in the original.


    December 31, 2008

    Utah Laws Effective January 1, 2009

    A number of laws passed during the 2008 General Legislative Session and the 2007 First Special Session become effective in Utah on January 1, 2009, or at least make mention of a January 1, 2009 date.

    HB 54 Property Tax Assessment Revisions
    HB 77 Personal Property Tax Amendments
    HB 106 Clean Air and Efficient Vehicle Tax Incentives
    HB 186 Property Tax-County Assessment and Collection Amendments
    HB 206 Tax Amendments
    HB 359 Tax Changes
    HB 365 Aviation Amendments
    HB 373 Uniform Fees on Vintage Motor Vehicles

    SB 72 Justice Court Amendments
    SB 122 Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act
    SB 136 Apportionment of Business Income and Deduction of Net Losses by an Acquired Corporation
    SB 149 Motor Vehicle Liability Policy Minimum Limits
    SB 176 Unemployment Insurance Contribution Rates Amendments
    SB 237 Commercial Airline and Airport Taxation Amendments
    SB 242 Law Enforcement Tracking of Domestic Violence Statistics

    The above list is not inclusive. Check the legislature's website for more detail. Portions of the above laws may also have other effective dates. For more information, see the Digest of Legislation.

    December 23, 2008

    Searching for Utah Cases

    Use the Utah State Courts' web site to locate both Court of Appeals and Supreme Court opinions. Court of Appeals opinions are available from 1997 to present and Supreme Court opinions are available from September of 1996. Use the search box to do a keyword search, or browse opinions by name or by year of opinion.

    LexisONE also offers a free service that allows you to search 10 years worth of Utah cases, either by keyword or citation. You can also narrow your results by date, judge, parties, and counsel.

    December 18, 2008

    2008 Comparison of Legislative Resources by Government and Non-Government Web Sites

    GPO Access has released a report comparing the availability of legislative resources on eight online databases, four governmental and four non-governmental. The governmental databases include GPO Access, THOMAS, House.gov and Senate.gov, while the non-governmental databases include CQ.com, HeinOnline, LexisNexis Congressional, and Westlaw.

    The report, and other similar comparison reports, is available at http://fedbbs.access.gpo.gov/library/compare/.