Utah Rules of Civil Procedure – Comment Period Closes September 24, 2017

URCP006.Time. Amend. Adopts the prisoner mailbox rule, which provides that pleadings and papers filed or served by an inmate confined in an institution are timely if they are deposited in the institution’s internal mail system on or before the last day for filing. Also provides that if an unrepresented party does not have an electronic filing account, has been served by mail under rule 5(b)(3)(C), and response time is calculated from the filing date, response time will instead be calculated by the service date plus the 3 days under paragraph (c).

URCP026.03. Subpoena. Amend. In response to recent legislative updates to Utah Code section 78B-6-810, changes the language in paragraphs (b)(2) and (c) from “occupancy hearing” to “evidentiary hearing” and removes the language “to determine occupancy” in those paragraphs. Also removes the reference to commercial tenants in paragraph (a).
URCP045. Subpoena. Amend. Makes a technical amendment in conformity with Rule 6.
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Rules of Appellate Procedure – Comment Period Closes September 24, 2017

URAP021. Amended Rule 21 clarifies the “prisoner mailbox rule,” which will promote consistency, clarity, and certainty in inmate litigation. The Advisory Committee on Civil Rules is publishing for public comment a virtually identical amendment to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.

URAP025. This is a conforming amendment to amended URAP 25A.

URAP025A. The proposed amendment gives the Attorney General the right to appear at oral argument whenever an amicus brief has been filed pursuant to the rule.

URAP030. The proposal, which deletes the word “dismissal” in the title, corrects an anomaly because nowhere in the rule does it mention the word or provide for dismissing an appeal.

URAP037. The proposed amendment makes several changes to the rule.

Subdivision (a). The changes are intended to clarify and simplify a party’s obligation to bring to the court’s attention those circumstances that render moot one or more issues presented for review on appeal.

Subdivision (b). The amended subdivision provides that if all parties to an appeal agree that the appeal should be dismissed, and if they stipulate to a motion for voluntary dismissal, then the appeal must be promptly dismissed. The committee felt that the proposed change would encourage prompt and efficient settlements. It also felt that dismissal of the appeal is constitutionally appropriate when the parties have agreed to a voluntary dismissal because there is no longer a justiciable case or controversy. Finally, the committee considered deleting the last sentence on fees and costs, but instead it opted to simply rework the sentence to read: “The stipulation must specify the terms of payment of costs and fees, if any.”

Subdivision (c). The proposed amendment provides an efficient way for an attorney who is unable to contact his or her client to obtain the necessary affidavit to support a motion for voluntary dismissal, while still protecting the appellant’s right to appeal. The proposal also requires the attorney to certify that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the appellant no longer wishes to pursue the appeal. The committee concluded that a certification from the attorney is appropriate because it safeguards the appellant’s right to an appeal, and it also avoids having the attorney reveal confidential communications with the client in an affidavit.

Subdivision (d). Finally, the committee recommends deleting the current subdivision —“[a] suggestion of mootness or motion for voluntary dismissal shall be subject to the appellate court’s approval”— for the same reasons mentioned in subdivision (b).

URAP055. Amended Rule 55 gives the court discretion to dismiss an untimely filed petition in a child welfare case, rather than requiring dismissal.

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Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closes August 24, 2017

CJA 03-111. Performance evaluation of senior judges and court commissioners. Amend. 1) Clarifies when court commissioners’ annual evaluations will be completed, by whom, what the evaluation process will entail; 2) establishes when the presiding judge will prepare a performance plan versus a corrective action plan for a court commissioner; and 3) moves the Judicial Council’s certification process from August to July.

CJA 03-201. Court commissioners. Amend. Clarifies 1) how the districts and court levels that a commissioner will serve will be represented on the court commissioner nominating committee; 2) how a commissioner is selected if they will serve more than one judicial district or court level; 3) that the commissioner certification process addresses retention, not removal; 4) that when a commissioner serves two districts or court levels, the presiding judges will each prepare performance evaluations and performance plans; and 5) how the commissioner public comment period results are reviewed and used.

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Rules of Criminal Procedure – Comment Period Closed August 11, 2017

URCrP 007 Amend. The provisions in existing rule 7 are being divided into separate rules, each dealing with a different subject. Rule 7 will now address initial proceedings for class A misdemeanors and felonies.

URCrP 007A New. The rule addresses procedures for class B & C misdemeanors and infractions. The rule also adds specific provisions on pretrial release conditions.

URCrP 007B New. The rule addresses preliminary hearings. The rule generally reflects existing language.

URCrP 007C New. The rule addresses the procedures for material witnesses. The rule generally follows existing language.

URCrP 009 New. The new rule 9 will establish procedures for warrantless arrests. Of particular interest to practitioners may be the time-frames related to pretrial release decisions and deadlines for filing informations.

URCrP 009A New. The rule creates procedures for arrests pursuant to a warrant and includes specific procedures on pretrial release decisions.

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Rules of Professional Conduct – Comment Period Closed July 28, 2017

RPC 08.04 Misconduct. Amend. Adds new ABA Model Rule paragraph (g), which provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.

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Rules of Civil Procedure – Comment Period Closed June 4, 2017

URCP005. Service and filing of pleadings and other papers. Amend.  Provides that certificates of service are not required for papers that are prepared and served by the court. Also provides that the court submitting a paper to the electronic filing service provider is a valid method of service if the person being served has an electronic filing account.

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Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closed April 24, 2017

CJA 11-0103. Amend. The amendments will require the Supreme Court’s rules advisory committees to submit rules to the Supreme Court before they are published for public comment.

CJA 11-0201. Amend. The first set of amendments helps to distinguish between active senior judges and inactive senior judges. The second set of amendments creates a process for the Supreme Court to review senior judge applications and for the applicant to submit information directly to the Supreme Court.

CJA 11-0203. Amend. The first set of amendments helps to distinguish between active senior judges and inactive senior judges. The second set of amendments creates a process for the Supreme Court to review senior judge applications and for the applicant to submit information directly to the Supreme Court.

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