Month: May 2020

UTAH SUPREME COURT ISSUES UPDATED ORDER VIRTUAL HEARINGS EXPANDED

Salt Lake City, UT—Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant has issued an updated Administrative Order. The order instructs judges to begin expanding virtual hearings for more cases in both criminal and civil matters, including bench trials.
During the moderate-risk phase of the pandemic courts will not resume in-person proceedings, including jury trails, until further notice. There are limited exceptions to the prohibition of in-person proceedings for unusual circumstances.
The Supreme Court has directed the creation of a judicial working group to establish a way to conduct safe and effective in-person court proceedings that follow state and federal pandemic safety guidelines. The working group is expected to submit its recommendations to the Utah Judicial Council for approval before in-person hearings will resume.
Most hearings can be held remotely in the meantime with the consent of parties, including bench trials. If a judge believes that a party’s consent to a remote bench trail is being unreasonably withheld, the updated administrative order allows a judge to order the bench trial to proceed.
Click here to read the May 11, 2020 Administrative Order:
https://www.utcourts.gov/alerts/docs/20200511%20-%20Amended%20Pandemic%20Administrative%20Order.pdf

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CHIEF JUSTICE ISSUES NEW ORDER REMOTE HEARINGS CAN BE INCREASED

Salt Lake City, UT—Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant has issued an updated Administrative Order. The new order expands the ability for judges to hold more hearings via remote video or telephone, including bench trials.
The order offers further guidance to Utah judges. It addresses courthouse operations, requiring that each court across the state will perform the mission-critical work of the judiciary while also providing for the safety of court personnel and the public.
The order also directs the creation of a judicial working group to establish a way to conduct safe and effective in-person court proceedings. The working group will consist of judges from all court levels, with rural and urban representation.
Among consideration will be a proposed plan to hold jury trails while conforming to the latest state and federal COVID-19 safety guidelines. The Utah Judicial Council must approve any proposal before it is implemented.
Click here to read the May 1, 2020 Administrative Order:
https://www.utcourts.gov/alerts/docs/20200501%20-%20Pandemic%20Administrative%20Order.pdf
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