Utah Supreme Court Decisions

The Utah Supreme Court originates from a territorial supreme court that existed before Utah became a state. It holds the authority to issue extraordinary writs, and it has original jurisdiction to answer questions regarding Utah law that have been certified from federal courts. The Court may review a decision in any civil case except for a family law matter, and it may review decisions by certain state administrative agencies, but it may review only criminal cases that involve convictions of first-degree felonies or capital felonies. It holds the authority to resolve questions related to constitutional law or the election process, and it may review a case decided by the Utah Court of Appeals if it arrives at the Supreme Court through a writ of certiorari.

To serve on the Utah Supreme Court, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 30 years old and has been a resident of the state for at least five years. They must have been admitted to practice law in Utah. When a vacancy arises, the appellate judicial nominating commission will develop a list of five to seven nominees to submit to the Governor of Utah. The commission consists of eight members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor except for the Chief Justice or their representative. This last member does not vote in the decisions of the commission.

After receiving the list, the Governor must choose a nominee within 30 days, or otherwise the Chief Justice will appoint the new justice. The Utah Senate then has 60 days to confirm or reject the nominee. Each of the five justices on the Court serves a 10-year term, but the Chief Justice and the Associate Chief Justice serve in those capacities for shorter periods. While the Chief Justice serves for four years, the Associate Chief Justice serves for only two years.

Browse Opinions From the Utah Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Utah Supreme Court
Estate of Huitron v. Kaye  
Date: August 25, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 36
Docket Number: 20210194

Justia Opinion Summary: On interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying partial summary judgment in favor of the Estate of Miguel Huitron in the underlying tort action, holding that the Estate was…

Taylor v. Taylor  
Date: August 18, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 35
Docket Number: 20191090

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying David Taylor's motion to invalidate an arbitration award in this divorce case on the grounds that it was contrary to public policy to arbitrate…

State v. Randolph  
Date: August 4, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 34
Docket Number: 20200881

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting the State's motion for pretrial detention after charging Defendant with four first-degree felonies connected to an alleged sexual assault, holding…

WDIS, LLC v. Hi-Country Estates Homeowners Ass'n  
Date: August 2, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 33
Docket Number: 20200849

Justia Opinion Summary: In this quiet title action, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's denial of Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, holding that the Wrongful Lien Act, the statute of frauds, and caselaw have not declared that…

F.L. v. Court of Appeals  
Date: July 7, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 32
Docket Number: 20210411

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals construing F.L.'s motion to intervene in David Chadwick's appeal from his sexual abuse of a child conviction as a motion to file an amicus brief under Utah…

Smith v. Volkswagen Southtowne, Inc.  
Date: June 30, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 29
Docket Number: 20190382

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part the judgment of the district court granting Volkswagen SouthTowne's motion for judgment as a matter of law and a new trial after Plaintiff was awarded $2,700,000 on…

State v. Bonds  
Date: June 30, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 30
Docket Number: 20191041

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals vacating Defendant's convictions on the grounds that his counsel had been ineffective, holding that errors on the part of trial counsel did not prejudice…

JBS Carriers v. Hickey  
Date: June 30, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 31
Docket Number: 20210321

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the determination of the court of appeals that Claimant's long drive in a commercial truck was not an unusual or extraordinary activity in comparison to the ordinary activities people perform…

OPC v. Spencer
Date: June 30, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 28
Docket Number: 20210458
Salt Lake City Corp. v. Inland Port Authority  
Date: June 29, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 27
Docket Number: 20200118

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing the challenges brought by Salt Lake City to four provisions of the Utah Inland Port Authority Act, holding that the challenged zoning provisions…

State v. Soto  
Date: June 24, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 26
Docket Number: 20180810

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals holding that the conduct of two court personnel while sharing a nonpublic courthouse elevator with a jury during trial triggered a rebuttable presumption of…

ICS Corrections, Inc. v. Procurement Policy Board  
Date: June 23, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 24
Docket Number: 20200930

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding the decision of the Utah Procurement Policy Board to dismiss ICS Corrections, Inc.'s appeal of the decision of the Utah Division of Purchasing and…

Office of Professional Conduct v. Bernacchi
Date: June 23, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 25
Docket Number: 20210034
Cove at Little Valley Homeowners Ass'n v. Traverse Ridge Special Service District  
Date: June 16, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 23
Docket Number: 20200781

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court dismissing this case claiming that the Traverse Ridge Special Service District needed either to stop charging members The Cove at…

UMIA Insurance, Inc. v. Saltz  
Date: June 9, 2022
Citation: 2022 UT 21
Docket Number: 20200008

Justia Opinion Summary: Saltz, a plastic surgeon, was sued by a former patient for releasing her photographs to a news outlet. Saltz submitted his legal defense to his malpractice insurance provider, UMIA, which initially defended Saltz but…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.