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March 01, 2013

Why Judges Can't Speak Out

The Utah State Courts' YouTube Channel has a new video posted: Why Judges Can't Speak Out. In this short video, Third District Court Judge Robin Reese discusses the Code of Judicial Conduct and explains why judges can't comment on a pending case or why they made a specific decision on a case if approached by the media.

To keep up with new videos, you can subscribe to the Courts' YouTube channel by logging in with your YouTube or Google ID and password.

February 27, 2013

Last Will and Embezzlement: Panel Discussion

Last month we blogged about the free film screening of Last Will and Embezzlement at the Salt Lake City Public Library. If you missed the screening, you can still see the panel discussion that followed the film, which is available on the SLCtvmedia YouTube Channel. The panel discussion featured Mary Jane Ciccarello, Director of the Utah State Courts' Self Help Center, Nan Mendenhall, Director of Utah's Adult Protective Services division, and Sgt. Michelle Ross of the Salt Lake City Police Department. Panelists discussed how their agencies educate the public and work to prevent elder abuse in Utah.

If you want more information about the Court Visitor Volunteer Program, which organized the film screening, visit www.utcourts.gov/visitor or contact Karolina Abuzyarova at 801-578-3925.

February 15, 2013

Law Library Closed on President's Day

96px-Abraham_Lincoln.jpgThe law library, and all Utah State Courts offices, will be closed on President's Day, Monday, February 18. Regular library hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) resume on February 19.

Utah city and county government offices are also closed on President's Day as well as many public libraries.

February 05, 2013

2013 Annual Report to the Community

2013-CourtsAnnual_01.jpgThe Utah State Courts' 2013 Annual Report to the Community is now available on the Courts' website. The report notes several court achievements, including:

Annual reports from 2002 to present can be found on the courts' website.

January 30, 2013

2013 State of the Judiciary

On Monday, January 28, 2013, Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant delivered the 2013 State of the Judiciary Address. In it, Chief Justice Durrant discusses several court programs including eFiling and the Self Help Center. He also discussed the need to address an increasing caseload in the courts' 8th District.

You can watch a video of Chief Justice Durrant's State of the Judiciary address on the Utah State Courts' YouTube Channel. State of the Judiciary Addresses back to 1998 can be found on the Utah State Courts' Court Reports website.

January 24, 2013

Judge for a Day

lawday-guide-2013-small.jpgLaw Day is celebrated each May 1st to commemorate the rule of law in the United States.

The Utah State Courts will be celebrating Law Day 2013 with several events, including Judge for a Day for high school students. Selected students will have the opportunity to shadow a judge for a day. If you know a high school student who may be interested, encourage them to submit application materials. The deadline to submit applications is March 4th.

January 16, 2013

Film Screening: Last Will and Embezzlement

IMG_1186.JPGThe Utah State Courts' Court Visitor Program will be hosting a film screening of Last Will and Embezzlement, a documentary about the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. The film screening will be held on Wednesday, February 13 at 6:30 pm, at the Salt Lake City Public Library's Nancy Tessman Auditorium. Following the film screening, there will be a panel discussion with the Utah State Courts, Adult Protective Services, and Salt Lake City Police Department.

For more information about how you can help vulnerable adults in Utah, visit the Court Visitor Program page for information about volunteer opportunities and qualifications, or call 801-578-3925.

January 08, 2013

Mobile Version of Utah State Courts Website

mobile website.PNGThe Utah State Courts' website now has a mobile version available for wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets. It provides quick access to several popular resources, including court contact information, self-help resources, and court calendars.

There are a few website features that are not optimized for a mobile device including OCAP, Xchange, and the Juror Qualification program.

Comments on the website? Email courtwebfeedback@utcourts.gov.

December 19, 2012

New Utah Judge Confirmed

ct mtns.jpgThe Utah State Senate voted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 to confirm F. Richards Smith as a juvenile court judge in the Fourth District Court. He was confirmed during the 10th Extraordinary Session of the Utah Senate. The audio transcript of the session is available.

Visit the Utah State Courts' website to learn more about juvenile court.

November 23, 2012

Public Trust and Confidence in the Courts Report

ct matheson.jpgThe 2012 Public Trust and Confidence in the Courts survey was conducted by telephone during the summer of 2012, and the report is now available on the Utah State Courts' website.

The report found several positive indicators of the public's view of the courts, including:

  • 81% of people surveyed stated they were either very confident or somewhat confident in the Utah State Courts.
  • 42% of people surveyed stated they were familiar with the Utah State Courts.
  • 63% of those surveyed who were involved in a case as a party or victim stated their case had a favorable outcome for their side.

Visit the Utah State Courts website to learn more about levels of court in Utah or self-help resources if you are interested in representing yourself in a court case.

November 21, 2012

Law Library Closed on Thanksgiving

turkeyplatter2.jpgThe Law Library, and all Utah State Courts, will be closed Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving. Regular hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) resume on Friday, November 23.

If you're cooking the holiday turkey or bringing a dish to a family gathering, you may want to be aware of food safety. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has several resources about holiday food safety, including videos on food preparation.

November 09, 2012

Law Library Closed on Veterans Day

utahva.bmp The Law Library, and all Utah State Courts, will be closed on Monday, November 12 in honor of Veterans Day. Regular library hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) resume on Tuesday, November 13.

Many Utah cities and counties will hold events to commemorate Veterans Day. To find an event near you, visit your local city or county government page or visit the upcoming events page on the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs website.

October 24, 2012

2012 Juvenile Court Report Card to the Community

Hopscotch.JPGThe 2012 Juvenile Court Report Card to the Community is now available on the Utah State Courts Juvenile Courts website. The report card's purpose is to inform all Utah citizens of how the juvenile court's are performing in several areas, including drug testing, delinquency referrals, and law-abiding behavior.

The Juvenile Court Report Card also provides statistics about juvenile court cases filed in 2011, including how timely cases were resolved and what percentage of delinquency cases involved male or female offenders.

The Report Card is available in both English and Spanish.

October 23, 2012

2012 Election Information

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Election day is two weeks away - do you have all the information you need to vote? The vote.utah.gov website provides a variety of resources to help you prepare to cast your ballot on November 6th.

  • Use the On My Ballot link to verify you're regsitered to vote, learn about candidates and propositions, and to generate a customized Voter Information Pamphlet.
  • Sign up for a reminder email or text message and find your polling place
  • Early voting begins in today. Find out where you can cast your ballot before election day.
Article VIII, Section 9 of the Utah Constitution provides that Utah judges must stand for retention election at the end of each term of office, as defined by Utah Code Section 20A-12-201. Visit the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC) website to review the evaluations of the Utah judges on this year's ballot.


The Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled provides the Voter Information Pamphlet in alternate formats, including .mp3 and braille.

October 19, 2012

New Utah Judge Confirmed

ct mtns.jpgThe Utah State Senate voted on October 17 to confirm Barry Lawrence as a judge in the Third District Court. He was confirmed during the 8th Extraordinary Session of the legislature. The audio transcript of this session is available.

To learn more about the judicial selection process, visit the Utah State Courts' website on Judge Selection and Evaluation.

October 10, 2012

New YouTube Video Features

YouTube.bmpThere is a new interactive feature with several of the self-help videos on the Utah State Courts' YouTube Channel. On the Landlord-Tenant Basics and the Guardianship of an Adult Basics videos, you can now view a written transcript of the video. Just select the Interactive Transcript button located below the video screen to open the transcript. The written transcript is time-stamped so you know exactly where you are in the presentation.

More video transcripts will be added as they become available.

September 12, 2012

New Spanish Resources/Nuevos Recursos en Español

The Utah State Courts website has recently translated several self-help pages into Spanish, including:

El sitio de los Tribunales de Utah ha traducido varias páginas en Español, incluyendo:

You can find all the courts' Spanish resources online here.

Usted puede encontrar todos los recursos en Español de los Tribunales de Utah aquí.

August 31, 2012

Law Library Closed on Labor Day

Labor_Day.jpgThis Monday, September 3 is Labor Day. The Utah State Law Library and all Utah State Courts offices will be closed in observance of the holiday.

More information about the holiday can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor's History of Labor Day page. To learn some interesting statistics on U.S. labor, see the U.S. Census Bureau's Facts for Features on Labor Day.

August 16, 2012

New Utah Judges Confirmed

ct mtns.jpgThe Utah Senate convened yesterday, August 15th, at 1:30 in an Extraordinary Session to vote on Governor Herbert's two recent judicial appointments to Utah's Third District Court. Both Su J. Chon and James T. Blanch were confirmed as new judges to the Third District Court. You can listen to the confirmation hearing on the state legislature's website.

To learn more about the judicial selection process, visit the Utah State Courts' website on Judge Selection and Evaluation.

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.

July 20, 2012

Law Library Closed on Pioneer Day

800px-The_Mormon_pioneers_coming_off_Big_Mountain_into_Mountain_dell.pngThe law library, and all Utah State Court offices, will be closed next Tuesday, July 24th, in honor of Pioneer Day, a state holiday commemorating Mormon settlers' arrival to the Salt Lake valley in 1847. The law library will re-open on Wednesday, July 25th.

To learn more about this state holiday, visit the holiday's information page available on Pioneer, Utah's online library.

(Pictured: The Mormon pioneers coming off Big Mountain into Mountain dell. July 1847. Available from the Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs Online Catalog)

July 03, 2012

Law Library Closed on Independence Day

4thofjuly.jpgThe law library and all Utah State Courts offices will be closed Wednesday, July 4, in honor of Independence Day. This holiday celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which occurred on July 4, 1776. To learn more about the holiday, visit USA.Gov's Independence Day page.

The library will re-open on Thursday, July 5. If you have a question for law library staff, you can email us or text us at (801) 432-0898 and we'll get back to you as soon as possible on Thursday.

April 04, 2012

Court Seeks Court Visitor Volunteers

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The Utah State Courts are recruiting volunteer court visitors. The volunteer program aims to protect vulnerable adults under guardianships, assist guardians and improve judge's decisions.

The court visitor volunteer program operates in the Third Judicial District (Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties) and the Seventh Judicial District (Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties).

Volunteers will need to be able to make a one-year commitment and are expected to contribute about 8-10 hours per month.

Visit the Court Visitor Volunteer page for more information about the program and to find the application form.

March 28, 2012

Court Rule on Private Records Amended

shelves of file foldersUtah Code of Judicial Administration Rule 4-202.02 (Records Classification) has been amended to classify several case record types as private that were previously classified as public. These changes, which go into effect April 1, 2012, affect many family law cases.

Record types added include:

  • records in actions for involuntary commitment under court order adoption records until the records are sealed and Gestational Agreement, until the records are sealed
  • records in these actions, except the case history; judgments, orders and decrees; letters of appointment; and the record of public hearings, which are public records:
    • Title 30, Husband and Wife, except that an action for consortium due to personal injury under Section 30-2-11 is public;
    • Title 77, Chapter 3a, Stalking Injunctions
    • Title 75, Chapter 5, Protection of Persons Under Disability and their Property
    • Title 78B, Chapter 7, Protective Orders
    • Title 78B, Chapter 12, Utah Child Support Act
    • Title 78B, Chapter 13, Utah Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
    • Title 78B, Chapter 14, Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
    • Title 78B, Chapter 15, Utah Uniform Parentage Act
    • an action to modify or enforce a judgment in any of the actions listed above

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Photo by Alex Gorzen and used under a Creative Commons license


March 02, 2012

Wireless Access Tips

laptop.jpgDo you regularly use the wireless access available at several of Utah's district and juvenile courts?

Do you sometimes have trouble accessing Pathway, the courts' wireless network? Because the wireless password changes weekly, the problem may be that your laptop or wireless device is using a previous week's password.

If you're having trouble, try these tips:

  • Remove Pathway from your wireless management program's list of available networks. Then, select Pathway from the list of available networks. You should be prompted to enter the current password.
  • If you're using a smartphone or mobile device, go into the Settings program. On an iPhone or iPad, select Pathway and then select "Forget This Network." Then, exit the Settings App and reopen it. It should prompt you to type the network's current password.
  • If you're using an Apple laptop, instead of selecting Pathway from the list of available networks in the AirPort, select "Join Other Network," and manually type "Pathway" in the name box. There should be a box below to enter the current password.
Questions about accessing the court's wireless network? Contact law library staff.

January 04, 2012

2012 Post Judgment Interest Rate

Pursuant to Utah Code §15-1-4, the post judgment interest for 2012 is 2.12%. This rate does not apply to judgments based on contracts or statutes specifying a different interest rate. This and rates for earlier years are published on the Courts' website. Learn more about post judgment interest rates here.

December 22, 2011

New Financial Declaration Requirements

financial declaration.jpgThe new Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 26.1 requires each party in certain domestic actions to file a financial declaration using the court-approved forms. The rule applies to the following domestic actions: divorce; temporary separation; separate maintenance; parentage; custody; child support; and modification.

Note that a certificate of service is filed with the court, but normally the parties will not file the financial declaration and attachments with the court until the documents are needed. For example, the documents will be needed by the court before any pretrial conference or trial. They will also be needed if a party asks for a temporary order. For information about asking the court for a temporary order, go here.

Read more about the financial declaration, including required attachments, time for disclosure, and sanctions for failure to disclose required information here.

December 20, 2011

New Custody Evaluation Resources

IMG_4342.jpgIf you are working through a custody dispute due to a divorce or parentage action, you might want to request a custody evaluation. The Utah State Courts recently created a new resource page that discusses what happens at a custody evaluation, how to request and select a custody evaluator and a sample custody settlement conference report.

To request a custody evaluator, file a motion with the court. Motion forms are available online here.

Custody evaluations and evaluators are governed by Rule 4-903 of the Code of Judicial Administration.

November 23, 2011

Amended Rules of Civil Procedure - Update

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.

UPDATE: You can now view both versions of the rules at the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure page -- the rules governing lawsuits filed prior to November 1, 2011, have this notation after the rule name: (superseded 11/1/2011). Questions? Contact the Utah State Law Library.

November 08, 2011

Guide to the Courts / Guía a los Tribunales

Matheson.bmpThe Administrative Office of the Courts has released a Spanish translation of the Guide to the Courts publication. The 40-page Guía a los Tribunales includes information to help individuals understand the state's court system. The guide includes information on each level of court, criminal and civil processes, and court proceedings. In addition, common legal terms are included in the guide along with flow charts outlining how a case moves through the court process.

La oficina Administrativa de los Tribunales de Utah ha publicado la Guía de los Tribunales en español. Esta publicación de 40 páginas incluye información para ayudar a las personas a comprender el sistema judicial del estado de Utah. La guía tiene información acerca de cada nivel del tribunal, los procesos civiles y penales, y los procedimientos del tribunal. Además, se incluyen términos legales comunes junto con gráficos describiendo cómo un caso se va desarrollando en el tribunal.

The Guide is available at state courthouses throughout the state as well as on the court’s brochures and presentations website.
Esta guía está disponible en todos los juzgados del estado de Utah y también en el sitio de internet de los Tribunales de Utah.

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 27, 2011

Access & Fairness Survey Results Released

Survey in rotunda 002.jpg
The annual Access and Fairness Survey results were recently released and the results are now available online. The survey has been conducted each year since 2006. Individuals are polled in each district courthouse in the state for one day. Responses came from litigants, their friends and family members, attorneys and paralegals, social workers, agency staff and law enforcement.

The survey measured court users’ views in 20 areas, including ease of parking, safety in courthouses, language barriers, disability accommodation, business hours, the time needed to finish court business, treatment by court staff, and whether their hearing was fair.

In nearly all areas surveyed, 90 percent or more of respondents rated the courts adequate or better on a five-point scale.

October 20, 2011

New Utah Judges Confirmed

ct mtns.jpgThe Utah State Senate voted yesterday, Oct. 19, 2011, to confirm Ryan M. Harris and Elizabeth A. Hruby-Mills as judges in the Third District Court.

For information about the new judges, see Governor Herbert's news release announcing his nominations.

After the governor makes his nomination, the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee convenes to discuss the character and fitness of each nominee. If the committee gives a favorable report for the nominee, their name is forwarded to the entire senate for confirmation. The Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee met on Oct. 17, 2011, to interview and question the nominees. A copy of the agenda and an audio recording of the meeting is found here.

October 18, 2011

Nuevos Recursos en Español

El Tribunal de Utah tiene nuevos recursos en Español en su sitio de web. En nuestro canal de YouTube, hay dos nuevos videos en Español: Los Derechos de los Acusados y Los Derechos de los Acusados Menores de edad. En estos, usted puede aprender acerca de lo que se espera en una audencia ante el juez, incluyendo sus derechos o las multas o los castigos que podrían haber.

Tambien hay nuevos recursos sobre el sitio del Tribunal de Utah, incluyendo:

  • Cómo Cobrar un Laudo
  • Dando Respuesta a una Queja o Demanda
  • Entrega formal de documentos/Notificación Judicial
  • Encontrar Ayuda Legal

Si usted quiere ayuda con su caso, le recomendamos a hablar con un abogado o a ir a un taller juridico. El Directorio de Referencia de Abogados en linea del Colegio de Abogados del Estado de Utah le permite buscar abogados por especialidad y por idioma dominado.

Puede usted encontrar una lista con talleres juridicos mediante el sitio del Tribunal de Utah. En un taller juridico, usted puede hablar con un abogado gratis por 10-15 minutos. Muchos talleres juridicos tienen personas disponibles que hablan Español.

Click here to read the blog post in English.

New Spanish Resources

The Utah State Courts has new Spanish resources online. On the Courts' You Tube Channel, there are two court videos in Spanish: Rights of Juveniles and Rights of Criminal Defendants. In these, you can learn more about what you should expect if you have a hearing before a judge, including what rights you have and what possible fines or punishments you could face.

There are also new Spanish resources on the courts' website, including:

  • How to Collect a Judgment
  • Answering a Complaint or Petition
  • Serving Papers/Service of Papers
  • Finding Legal Help

    If you are looking for assistance with your case, we encourage you to speak with an attorney or attend a free legal clinic statewide. The State Bar's website has a lawyer referral directory which you can search online. You can search for attorneys that speak Spanish. You can find a list of free legal clinics online, where you can speak with an attorney at no cost for 10-15 minutes. Many free legal clinics have Spanish speakers available.

    Clic aquí para leer la entrada de blog en Español.

  • October 07, 2011

    Law Library Closed on Columbus Day

    The Law Library, and all Utah State Courts, will be closed on Monday, October 10 in celebration of Columbus Day. The designation of Columbus Day as a legal holiday in Utah can be found at U.C.A. §63G-1-301.

    To learn more about Christopher Columbus and early exploration of American territory, visit the Library of Congress's American Memory page about Columbus Day resources.

    September 20, 2011

    Jury Service in Utah

    jury.jpgHave you been summoned to serve on a jury in a Utah court? You can find information about jury service and even check if you qualify for jury service in the online Jury Room. Find out what to do if you've been summoned or directed to appear at the courthouse.

    Do you still have questions? Check out the
    Frequently Asked Questions
    about jury service or view a video about jury service in Utah.

    For information about your local court and to contact the jury clerk, use this page to find the your county or court location.

    August 24, 2011

    Court Interpreters Available for All Court Proceedings

    languages.JPGAs of April 2011, a court interpreter for non-English speakers is now available and provided and paid for by the judiciary in all court proceedings.

    This includes all cases in all courts. It includes court hearings and conferences and mandatory court-sponsored programs such as court-annexed mediation and divorce classes. It extends to everyone associated with the case, such as parties, witnesses, and parents of juveniles. The full court interpreter policy is found in Rule 3-306(4) of the Judicial Council Rules of Judicial Administration.

    Read more about interpreters and request a court interpreter here. Note that interpreters should be requested at least 3 days before the hearing.

    July 21, 2011

    New Utah Judge Confirmed

    ct mtns.jpgThe Utah State Senate yesterday vote to confirm Todd M. Shaughnessy (Third District Court) to replace Judge Hilder as a new Utah State Court judge.

    For information about Judge Shaughnessy, check out Governor Herbert's news release announcing the nomination. After the governor makes his nomination, the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee convenes to discuss the character and fitness of the nominee. The audio recordings, agenda and committee reports are available online.

    In this case, the committee gave a favorable report to to the senate, so Judge Shaughnessy's name was forwarded to the entire senate, which met yesterday, July 20, in the 2011 2nd Special Session to vote on the governor's nomination. The audio recording and related materials are also available online.

    June 21, 2011

    Access and Fairness Survey

    Survey in rotunda 002.jpgIf you have an upcoming court hearing or need to visit your local court soon, you might get a chance to see something new at the court's exit: survey representatives.

    This summer, the Utah State Courts are conducting their annual Access and Fairness Survey, measuring how well the courts are serving the public. Attorneys, people representing themselves, law enforcement, and any other visitors will be encouraged to take the survey as they leave court.

    Survey representatives are traveling around the state to all district court locations. The survey is anonymous and takes only about five minutes to complete.

    June 14, 2011

    Salt Lake City Justice Court Now on CORIS

    xchange.jpgSalt Lake City Justice Court dockets are now available on CORIS and XChange. Both programs provide summary information about cases. This includes information such as names of parties, party addresses (if available), assigned judges, attorneys of record, documents filed, hearings held, judgments entered, and the outcome of completed cases.

    Since 2002, Salt Lake City Justice Court has had jurisdiction over all Class B and C misdemeanors, violation of ordinances, and infractions committed within Salt Lake City’s corporate limits. The court also has jurisdiction over small claims cases in which the defendant resides or the debt arises within the geographic boundaries of Salt Lake City.

    The majority of cases from 2002 to the present were converted to the CORIS system. However, if the case was purged in the old system, only basic information is available. Parking citation cases were not converted so you will only be able to search for a parking citation if it was entered after the date of conversion.

    CORIS is available to the public at the law library. Questions? Contact us.

    March 04, 2011

    Guardianship of a Minor Presentations

    Hopscotch.JPGThe Utah State Courts' website now offers three short narrated presentations about guardianship of a minor proceedings. The presentations are divided into these broad topics:


    You'll need the free Adobe Flash Player to play these presentations.

    The State Law Library also has an 83-minute DVD of our Guardianship of a Minor Basics class, which you can watch in the library or purchase. See our Library Classes page for more information.

    You can use the Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) to generate the papwerwork to start a minor guardianship case.

    March 02, 2011

    New Utah Judge Confirmed

    ct mtns.jpgThe Utah State Senate yesterday voted to confirm Sherene T. Dillon as a new juvenile court judge for the second district.

    For information about the new judge, see Governor Herbert's news release announcing his nomination.

    After the governor makes his nomination, the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee convenes to discuss the character and fitness of the nominee. If the committee gives a favorable report for the nominee, their name is forwarded to the entire senate.

    January 20, 2011

    2011 State of the Judiciary

    capitol with flowers.jpegOn Monday, January 24 at 2 p.m., Chief Justice Christine Durham will present the State of the Judiciary address to the Utah State Senate on the opening day of the state legislature.

    Listen or watch live; after the speech, you can also read a transcript of the address.

    Transcripts of previous State of the Judiciary addresses are available online from 1998 to 2010.

    December 15, 2010

    New Utah Judge Confirmed

    ct mtns.jpgThe Utah State Senate yesterday voted to confirm Julie Lund (Third District Juvenile) to replace Judge Sharon McCully as a new Utah State Court judge.

    For information about Judge Lund, check out Governor Herbert's news release announcing his nomination. After the governor makes his nomination, the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee convenes to discuss the character and fitness of the nominees. The audio recordings, agenda and committee reports are available online. To find committee recordings and reports about Judge Lund, select the December 8, 2010 meeting date.

    In this case, the committee gave a favorable report to the senate, so Judge Lund's name was forwarded to the entire senate, which met yesterday, December 14, in the 2010 13th Extraordinary Session to vote on the governor's nomination. The audio recording and related materials are also available online.

    November 24, 2010

    Karzai Robe

    IMG_6632.jpgThis Afghan chapan was presented to Utah State Court Administrator Dan Becker by a delegation of judges from Afghanistan. The robe is now on display in our library lobby.

    A chapan is a long-sleeved calf-length men's coat or cape worn over clothes. These coats are typically made of silk, usually in combinations of green, black, purple, yellow and beige. They are adorned with intricate threading and come in a variety of patterns.

    The chapan is worn in Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and other surrounding countries. Afghan president Hamid Karzai is often shown wearing a chapan.

    You can see additional photos of the robe on our Facebook page.

    November 18, 2010

    New Utah Judges

    ct mtns.jpgThe Utah State Senate yesterday voted to confirm Charlene Barlow (Third District) and Andrew Stone (Third District) as new Utah State Court judges.

    For information about the new judges, check out Governor Herbert's news release announcing his nominations. After the governor makes his nominations, the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee convenes to discuss the character and fitness of the nominees. The audio recordings, agenda and committee reports are available online. To find recordings and reports about these two judges, select the November 10, 2010 meeting date.

    In this case, the committee gave a favorable report for the two nominees, so their names were forwarded to the entire senate, which met yesterday, November 17, in the 2010 12th Extraordinary Session to vote on the governor's nominations. The audio recording and related materials are also available online.

    October 08, 2010

    Juvenile Courts Now Accepting Online Payments

    ct balcony.jpgDistrict courts have been accepting ePayments since last year, and now juvenile court payments for restitution and fines and fees can be paid online at https://courtapps.utcourts.gov/JuvenileEpaymentWEB/. In addition to making payments online, if you have your case number and court-issued PIN number, you can view information about your juvenile case, including court orders, money owed and upcoming hearings.

    October 06, 2010

    Judicial Retention Elections

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    Article VIII, Section 9 of the Utah Constitution says that each judge of a court of record must stand for retention in a non-partisan, unopposed election:

  • At the first general election held more than three years after their appointment
  • Supreme Court justices every tenth year after the initial election
  • All other judges (including court of appeals, district and juvenile judges) every sixth year after the initial election

    Justice court judges stand for retention election every six years. Utah Code §78A-7-203.

    Be Informed
    Most people have little or no contact with the court system and its judges, and so may be wondering how to make an informed choice on election day - November 2, 2010.

    Before a judge stands for retention election, he or she is evaluated by the Utah Judicial Council, which has established criteria for evaluating a judge's performance, as well as minimum standards for performance. Attorneys and jurors are also surveyed about their interactions with judges of courts of record. Surveys are not conducted about justice court judges.

    The Judicial Council weighs all of these factors and determines whether a judge is qualified for retention. A summary of the evaluation information is published in the voter information pamphlet, and includes a photo, a brief professional biography and a summary of the attorney and juror survey results for each judge. Remember that appellate and juvenile court judges do not use juries, so there will be no juror surveys for them, and there are no surveys for justice court judges. When you're reviewing the survey results it helps to reference the list of questions on page 4 of the voter information pamphlet so you know which results go with which question.

    One Court of Appeals judge, 23 district judges, 10 juvenile court judges and 92 justice court judges are up for election. Don't worry, you will not see all of those names on your ballot! You only have to decide on the judges who have jurisdiction in your community. Judges of courts of record are listed in the voter information pamphlet first by judicial district, then in alphabetical order. Justice court judges are listed at the end of the pamphlet in judicial district order.

    Want to see your judges in action? The public is welcome to attend nearly all appellate, district and justice court and some juvenile court hearings.

    Additional election information is available on the Lt. Governor's Voter Information page.

    ----------------------

  • This is the last year the Judicial Council will be involved in the judicial evaluation process. As of the 2012 election, judicial performance will be evaluated by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, which is part of the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
  • Evaluation criteria: Rule of Judicial Administration 3-111.02.
  • Standards of judicial performance: Rule of Judicial Administration 3-111.03.


  • September 30, 2010

    Small Claims Update

    moneyAs we noted before on this blog, small claims cases must now be filed in a justice court. The Utah State Courts' Small Claims page has been updated to reflect this change, including providing updated forms and information about where to file.

    More information can also be found in the Utah Code at Title 78A, Chapter 8 (Small Claims Courts) and the Utah Rules of Small Claims Procedure.

    If you still have questions about the small claims process after reviewing the Small Claims page, consider attending the free Small Claims Basics class, held in the Utah State Law Library every month. To register for the class, contact the Law Library.

    September 16, 2010

    New Utah Judges

    ct up.jpgThe Utah State Senate yesterday voted to confirm David Hamilton (Second District), Michelle Heward (Second District Juvenile), Noel Hyde (Second District), Jeffrey Noland (Second District Juvenile), and Karla Staheli (Fith District Juvenile) as new Utah State Court judges.

    For information about the new judges, check out Governor Herbert's news release announcing his nominations. The news release about Judge Staheli is here; the news release about the four other judges is here. After the governor makes his nominations, the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee convenes to discuss the character and fitness of the nominees. The audio recordings, agenda and committee reports are available online. To find recordings and reports about these five judges, select the August 31, 2010 and September 1, 2010 meeting dates.

    In this case, the committee gave a favorable report for the five nominees, so their names were forwarded to the entire senate, which met yesterday, September 15, in the 2010 11th Extraordinary Session to vote on the governor's nominations. The audio recording and related materials are also available online.

    August 31, 2010

    Reminder about Small Claims Cases

    moneyToday is the last day you can file a small claims case in a district court in Utah. Beginning tomorrow, September 1, you must file a small claims action in a justice court. Our previous blog post on Changes to Small Claims Cases has more information about the changes.

    Questions? You might be interested in the Small Claims Basics class offered the first Thursday of each month in the Utah State Law Library. To sign up for the class, contact the law library.

    August 26, 2010

    Judicial Robes

    You may be surprised to learn that Utah judges wear robes by tradition, not by law. It may also surprise you that Utah's Supreme Court justices first began wearing robes on the bench on March 21, 1938.

    The minutes of the Utah Supreme Court session for that day record the remarks commemorating the occasion. W. Q. Van Cott, then-president of the Utah State Bar, said to the court:

    "We believe you are commencing a wholesome and honorable custom which will persist."

    Thurmanphoto.JPGRetired Chief Justice Samuel R. Thurman added:

    "I am pleased to be permitted to see you in your robes this morning. It is a symbol of your high position. It, in a sense, differentiates you while you are on the bench from the rest of the members of the bar. It is a proper distinction, for of all offices in our state, that of the highest judicial body, in my estimation, commands more respect; and anything that adds to the respect or the dignity of the bench by way of symbol, I think is proper."

    Follandphoto.JPGChief Justice William H. Folland replied:

    "... the members of the Court are pleased to accede to the urgent request of the Bar to wear robes during sessions of the Court. Justices of appellate courts, I think in practically all common law countries and particularly in England for five hundred years, have followed this custom of wearing robes as a badge of judicial office.
    * * *
    They are worn as a mark of honor and distinction, and aid the public as well as the wearer to know that it is the office rather than the person which is to be respected as those who administer justice."

    The justices began wearing robes in response to a resolution passed by the Utah State Bar at its 1937 Annual Meeting, which read:

    RESOLVED that the Judicial Council recommends to the State Bar that the State Bar of this State recommends and urges the Supreme Court Justices to wear Judicial robes at all court sessions.
    The Bar also passed a resolution stating that district court judges should also wear judicial robes. It is unknown exactly when those judges began doing so.

    ----------------------------
    Sources:

  • Utah Supreme Court Minute Book 13 at 486-487 (March 21, 1938).
  • Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Utah State Bar 20 (1937). Note that the Judicial Council was a section of the Utah State Bar in 1937.

  • August 25, 2010

    Utah State Court Calendars: Free & Searchable Online

    calendar.jpgLooking for your upcoming court date? Want to attend your friend's arraignment? Or just want to attend a court hearing or trial out of curiosity? Most cases in Utah State Courts are open to the public. Exceptions include most juvenile court cases, adoption cases and involuntary commitment cases.

    To find a case, go to the Court Calendars link and select a court location. Court calendars are posted for all district courts and some justice courts and include two weeks worth of cases. To search a calendar for a specific case, use CTRL+F and search using a name or case number. If you can't find a case, contact the law library with case information. It's possible a case was rescheduled, settled or is happening after the two weeks that appear on the calendar.

    August 20, 2010

    Learn More About the "Third Branch" of Government

    Have you ever heard media coverage about a court case wanted to learn more?

    Utah's court proceedings and records are public, with a few exceptions.

    Want to attend a court proceeding?
    The public is welcome to attend nearly all district court and some juvenile court hearings. Today's court calendars are available online. The calendar will tell you what time, which courtroom, the type of hearing and who the judge is.

    Sitting in on a hearing is a great way to see how the system works, and is especially helpful if you are representing yourself in a case before the court. You may discover that real-life court isn't exactly the way it's shown on tv.

    Child welfare proceedings in juvenile court are open to the public, although the judge does have the discretion to close the hearing. Adoptions and most juvenile delinquency proceedings are not public.

    Want to see what documents have been filed in a case?
    Court records are kept at the courthouse where the case was filed. With few exceptions, district court records are available for public inspection. Most juvenile court records are not public.

    The Utah State Courts' Public Information Officer maintains a high profile cases web page which provides information about cases that have drawn media attention, and includes documents ranging from pleadings of the parties to court orders.

    Older court records are kept at the Utah State Archives, including district court and supreme court records.

    Wonder what it's like have a case before one of Utah's appellate courts?
    The Utah Supreme Court and Utah Court of Appeals provide audio files of their oral arguments, letting you listen in on the proceedings without having to go through court security screening. You can also attend in person. Check the oral argument calendar for the schedule of upcoming cases.

    You can subscribe to the appellate opinion notification service to receive weekly emails of the recently-released opinions of the Utah Supreme Court and Utah Court of Appeals, or read opinions on the courts' website back to the late 1990s.

    Briefs for appellate cases that are current/pending are available in the appellate clerks' office. Once the case is closed, the original briefs are sent to the Utah State Law Library. You can read briefs in the State Law Library, or request copies through our document delivery service.

    August 18, 2010

    New Utah Judges

    ct up.jpgThe Utah State Senate today voted to confirm Judge Clark McClellan (Eighth District) and Judge Katherine Bernards-Goodman (Third District) as new district court judges.

    For information about the new judges, check out Governor Herbert's news release announcing his nominations. After the governor makes his nominations, the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee convenes to discuss the character and fitness of the nominees. The audio recordings, agenda and committee reports are available online.

    In this case, the committee gave a favorable report of the two nominees, so their names were forwarded to the entire senate, which meets in extraordinary session to vote on the governor's nominations. The audio recording and related materials are also available online.

    August 10, 2010

    Changes to Small Claims Cases

    moneyIf you file a small claims case on or after September 1, 2010, you must file the case in a justice court. The only exception is if there is no justice court in the jurisdiction; at the present time, this is only in Cache County.

    So now that you know you have to file your case in a justice court, how do you know which one? There are two main rules to remember: you can file where the defendant resides or where the cause of action arose. For example, if the defendant resides in Salt Lake City and the cause of action (ex. car accident, non-payment of rent, etc.) arose in West Valley, you can file your case in Salt Lake City justice court or West Valley justice court. You cannot, however, file the case in Salt Lake County justice court because a city justice court is available to adjudicate the case.

    Here's a few other examples: if the defendant resides in Hurricane and the cause of action arose in Hurricane, you have to file in Hurricane City justice court. You don't have any other options. The same is true if the defendant resides in unincorporated Salt Lake County and that's where the cause of action arose. You must file in Salt Lake County justice court. If you are having trouble figuring out where to file, remember you can always file where the defendant resides. That may be easier than figuring out where the cause of action arose.

    The new rule is codified in the Code of Judicial Administration Rule 4-801. Effective September 1, 2010, the new rule states:

    "Small claims actions shall be filed in a justice court with territorial jurisdiction. If there is no justice court with territorial jurisdiction, the case may be filed in the district court, and the plaintiff shall state why no justice court has jurisdiction. If a small claims affidavit, without the required statement, is presented for filing in a district court, the clerk should reject it with instructions to file in a justice court with jurisdiction. If the clerk fails to reject it initially, the affidavit and filing fee shall be returned to the plaintiff when the deficiency is first noticed."

    June 23, 2010

    New Utah Judges

    ct frontview.jpgWe recently blogged about How Utah Judges are Selected. Now that you've read that entry, you may also be looking for information about judicial vacancies and announcement after a judge has been appointed or confirmed.

    Press releases announcing judicial vacancies and names submitted to the governor for nomination to the bench are posted on the Utah State Courts News Releases and Media Advisories page. This page also has an RSS feed and you can follow court news on Facebook and Twitter.

    The governor's office also issues a press release when the governor submits his nomination to the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee.

    There isn't an easy way to follow what happens when the full senate convenes to vote on a nominee, other than watching for media stories or listening to live or archived audio recordings of these sessions. If the senate convenes to vote on a confirmation when the legislature is not already in session, the sessions are called Extraordinary Sessions. The audio from those sessions is available here.

    Since August, Governor Herbert has nominated 9 judges for confirmation by committee and after that, approval by the entire senate.

    The district court and appellate court judges nominated and confirmed are:
    1. Judge Edwin Peterson, 8th District Court, replaced Judge John Anderson, confirmed on Sept. 16, 2009
    2. Judge Frederic Voros, Court of Appeals, replaced Judge Judith Billings, confirmed on Nov. 18, 2009
    3. Judge Thomas Low, 4th District Court, replaced Judge Gary Stott, confirmed on Jan. 12, 2010
    4. Judge Keith Kelly, 3rd District Court, replaced Judge Sheila McCleve, confirmed on Jan. 12, 2010
    5. Judge Stephen Roth, Court of Appeals, replaced Judge Pamela Greenwood, confirmed on Feb. 25, 2010
    6. Judge Michele Christiansen, Court of Appeals, replaced Judge Russell Bench, confirmed May 19, 2010
    7. Judge Robert Dale, 2nd District Court, replaced Judge Rodney Page, confirmed June 23, 2010
    8. Judge James Brady, 4th District Court, replaced Judge Howard Maetani, confirmed June 23, 2010
    9. Justice Thomas Lee, Supreme Court, replaced Justice Michael Wilkins, confirmed June 23, 2010


    March 31, 2010

    Free CLE: The Utah State Courts Want You!

    Volunteer to represent service members facing default judgment. Attend a free CLE to find out more.

    The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides active duty service members with protections in civil cases. In cases where service members are facing default judgment, the court must appoint an attorney to locate and contact them to determine how they'd like to proceed with their case.

    The court seeks attorneys to volunteer to provide limited representation to service members in this situation. This free CLE explains what protections the SCRA provides service members and describes the responsibilities of volunteer attorneys providing limited representation to service members in default cases.

    When & Where

    Friday, April 23, 2010, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
    Matheson Courthouse
    450 South State Street
    Room W-19, Conference Room A

    Speakers
    Mary Jane Ciccarello, Self-Help Center Attorney, Utah State Courts
    Timothy Shea, Senior Staff Attorney, Utah State Courts
    Judge Marsha Thomas, Taylorsville Justice Court

    CLE Credit
    2 hours; 1 hour ethics credit

    Register for the CLE by contacting the Utah State Law Library at 801-238-7990 or at library@email.utcourts.gov.

    Can't attend the CLE? You can still sign up to be a volunteer attorney at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HF6JTTG

    March 30, 2010

    Law Day 2010

    Law Day 2010: Law in the 21st Century

    May 1, 2009 is Law Day. This year's theme is Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges.

    A number of activities are planned on and around Law Day, including the Judge for a Day contest and the Hinckley Institute of Politics Panel scheduled for April 5, 2010.

    More information about this year's Law Day activities is available on the Utah State Courts' website and the American Bar Assocation's Law Day website.

    October 15, 2009

    2009 Juvenile Court Report Card to the Community

    Hopscotch.JPGUtah's Juvenile Courts release a report every year that charts the Juvenile Courts' progress in improving community safety and reducing youth crime recidivism.

    The Report Card measures improvement in the following categories:

    • Delinquency Referrals
    • Juvenile Crime
    • Restitution Paid
    • Law Abiding Behavior
    • Drug Testing
    • Community Service

    The 2009 Report Card to the Community is now available at the Utah State Courts website. Among the report's findings:

    • Delinquency referrals for male felony cases dropped 1% from 2007 to 2008, while the referrals for female status offenses dropped 2%.
    • The Re-Offense rate for both male and female offenders rose 2% between 2005 and 2006.
    • Offenders paid over $750,000 in restitution in 2008, an increase of over $100,000 from 2007.
    • Offenders completed over 410,000 hours of community service in 2008.

    September 22, 2009

    Pay Traffic or Criminal Fines Online

    VisaMasterCardLogo.gif
    Do you need to pay a traffic or criminal fine?

    Instead of mailing your fine or visiting the courthouse to make your payment, you can now pay online using your Visa or MasterCard. Begin at www.utcourts.gov/payments and enter the case or citation number.

    If you're having trouble finding your case or are unable to make a payment, it may mean the citation has not been filed with the court; your case requires an appearance before a judge; or, if the case is in Juvenile Court, online payments are not available at this time.