Author: Utah Courts

Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closed October 12, 2017

CJA01-0205. Standing and ad hoc committees. Amend. Adds a justice court judge to the Standing Committee on Resources for Self-represented Parties.
CJA03-0104. Presiding judges. Amend. Moves and amends paragraph (c)(5) from Rule 7 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, which addresses the use of justice court judges as magistrates.
CJA06-0501. Reporting requirements for guardians and conservators. Amend. In conformity with H.B. 214 (2017), removes the requirement that a non-parent co-guardian report to the court when another co-guardian is the parent of the protected person.
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Rules Governing the State Bar – Comment Period Closed October 7, 2017

USB14-0409 Self-study categories of accredited MCLE defined.  Proposed changes to the rule allow up to six (6) hours of self-study CLE credit during a compliance period for lawyers who lecture on legal topics in community outreach programs and for lawyers who serve on constitutionally or statutorily created public policy making bodies.

USB14-0413 MCLE credit for qualified audio and visual presentations, webcasts, computer interactive telephonic programs, writing, lecturing’ teaching, public service, pro bono service, live attendance.  Proposed changes to the rule state the hours and types of credit that are allowed for lawyers who lecture on legal topics in community outreach programs and for lawyers who serve on constitutionally or statutorily created public policy making bodies.

USB14-0418 MCLE Credit for Pro Bono Legal Services. Proposed new rule that allows lawyers to earn up to six (6) hours of self-study CLE credits during a compliance period for providing pro bono legal services in a case referred by a court or for an approved legal services organization as defined in Rule 14-803.

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Utah Rules of Civil Procedure – Comment Period Closed 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 Closed 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 Closed 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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