South SLC v. Gortat

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South Salt Lake City v. Gortat. Filed June 24, 1999 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS

South Salt Lake City,
Plaintiff and Appellee,


Sheldon Gortat,
Defendant and Appellant.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 981804-CA

June 24, 1999
  1999 UT App 213 -----

Third District, Murray Department
The Honorable Joseph C. Fratto

Sheldon P. Gortat, South Salt Lake City, Appellant Pro Se
H. Craig Hall and Matthew Janzen, South Salt Lake City, for Appellee


Before Judges Greenwood, Bench, and Billings.


Appellant Sheldon Gortat appeals his convictions of driving on a suspended license, a class B misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle without insurance and with unsafe equipment, both class C misdemeanors. Gortat appealed the judgment of the South Salt Lake City Justice Court and was again convicted after trial de novo in district court.

Any person not satisfied with the justice court's judgment may obtain a trial de novo in district court. Utah Code Ann. § 78-5-120 (Supp. 1998). However, "[t]he judgment after trial de novo may not be appealed unless the court rules on the constitutionality of a statute or ordinance." Id.

Gortat did not raise a specific challenge to a statute or ordinance in the justice court or district court. Because the district court did not rule on the constitutionality of a statute or ordinance, the judgment following the trial de novo is not appealable. Id.; see also City of Kanab v. Gusky, 965 P.2d 1065, 1066-68 (Utah Ct. App. 1998). The requirement of a specific constitutional challenge is not satisfied by "an oblique reference . . . to constitutional rights or the invalidity of defendant's conviction." City of Monticello v. Christensen, 769 P.2d 853, 854 (Utah Ct. App. 1989) (per curiam), affirmed, 788 P.2d 513 (Utah), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 841, 111 S. Ct. 120 (1990).

This court lacks jurisdiction over the appeal. When a matter is outside the court's jurisdiction, the court retains only the jurisdiction to dismiss the appeal. See Varian-Eimac, Inc. v. Lamoreaux, 767 P.2d 569, 570 (Utah Ct. App. 1989). Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.

Pamela T. Greenwood,
Associate Presiding Judge

Russell W. Bench, Judge

Judith M. Billings, Judge