Ruden v. Ruden

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Ruden v. Ruden. Filed November 18, 1999 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS


Joe W. Ruden, Jr.,
Plaintiff and Appellant,


Betty Jo Ruden,
Defendant and Appellee.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 981379-CA

November 18, 1999
  1999 UT App 338


Seventh District, Price Department
The Honorable Bruce K. Halliday

Steven Lee Payton, Salt Lake City, for Appellant
John E. Schlinder, Price, for Appellee


Before Judges Billings, Davis, and Jackson.


To support his claim that he was improperly denied the opportunity to give a closing argument, Mr. Ruden had the burden to provide us with an adequate record on appeal. See State v. Wulffenstein, 657 P.2d 289, 293 (Utah 1982), cert. denied, 460 U.S. 1044, 103 S. Ct. 1443 (1983) (stating when "a defendant predicates error to [an appellate court], he has the duty and responsibility of supporting such allegation by an adequate record"; an appellate court "simply cannot rule on a question which depends for its existence upon alleged facts unsupported by the record").

Mr. Ruden failed to provide an adequate record. He did not order a transcript of the proceedings nor did he complete an agreed upon statement even though we remanded the matter for that purpose. Accordingly, we must presume the regularity of the trial court proceedings. See State v. Rawlings, 829 P.2d 150, 152-53 (Utah Ct. App. 1992) (upholding trial court's order because "[i]n the absence of an adequate record on appeal, we cannot address the issues raised and presume the correctness of the disposition made by the trial court").

We also reject Mr. Ruden's claims that there are unresolved post-trial motions impacting this appeal. Mr. Ruden informally objected to Ms. Ruden's proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in a May 8, 1998, letter to Ms. Ruden's counsel which he copied to the trial court. Ms. Ruden included Mr. Ruden's letter of objection when she submitted proposed findings and conclusions to the court. Thus, it appears the trial court had copies of Mr. Ruden's objections prior to signing the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order on June 10, 1998, and thereby implicitly rejected Mr. Ruden's arguments. Moreover, Mr. Ruden's formal notice of objection was not filed with the trial court until July 7, 1999, well after the five day objection period. See Utah Code Jud. Admin. R4-504(2). Because of the lateness of this objection, the trial court's failure to rule on it is of no consequence to this appeal.


Judith M. Billings, Judge

James Z. Davis, Judge

Norman H. Jackson, Judge