Asking to reopen a dismissed case
In some situations, a party can ask to reopen a civil case that has been dismissed (closed) by the court.
If the case was dismissed by the court because of:
- lack of prosecution, meaning there has been no activity in the case for a long time, or
- failure to serve within 120 days of filing, or
- failure to pay the filing fee,
a party can ask to set aside or "undo" the dismissal, and continue moving forward with the case.
Utah Rule of Judicial Administration 4-103 and Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1).
The person asking to reopen the case must do so within 90 days of the dismissal.
The request must include an explanation of what mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect caused the case to be dismissed.
In Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, commissioners are assigned to hear motions in divorce cases and several other types of family law cases. Motions decided by a judge and motions decided by a commissioner follow different procedures.
If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion will probably be decided by a commissioner.
Motions decided by a judge are governed by URCP 7. A judge will not rule on a motion until the time for filing an opposition to the motion has passed and a Request to Submit for Decision has been filed.
Motions decided by a commissioner are governed by URCP 101.
See the Motions web page for information about the difference in procedures and timelines depending on who is deciding the motion.
Information about filing documents in existing cases by email
The forms you need depend on your case. What is your case about?