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
Pinder v. Duchesne  
Date: October 22, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 68
Docket Number: 20181026

Justia Opinion Summary: In these consolidated appeals related to the seizure of Appellants' property as part of a murder investigation the Supreme Court affirmed the Third District Court's dismissal of Appellants' causes of action and affirmed...

Arave v. Pineview West Water Co.  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 67
Docket Number: 20180067

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the district court in favor of Plaintiffs on their claims of interference and negligence, holding that the district court erred in determining that Defendants interfered...

State v. Stricklan  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 65
Docket Number: 20180944

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that there was sufficient evidence to sustain Defendant's convictions....

State v. Marquina  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 66
Docket Number: 20180994

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of aggravated robbery, holding that the trial court did not plainly err in its handling of the State's reports of a sleeping juror and that defense counsel did not provid...

In re Adoption of B.H.  
Date: September 16, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 64
Docket Number: 20190560

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals setting aside the adoption decree in this case, holding that the district court's conclusions of law in support of the adoption decree were inadequate. Mot...

Archuleta v. State  
Date: August 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 62
Docket Numbers: 20160992, 20160419

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the post-conviction court's grant of summary judgment against Defendant's post-conviction claims, holding that Defendant's Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), claim was not cognizable unde...

Luna v. Luna  
Date: August 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 63
Docket Number: 20190396

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Maria Luna on Luis Luna's negligence claim, holding that the court of appeal...

State v. Lopez  
Date: August 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 61
Docket Numbers: 20180945, 20180952, 20190272

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that any power a defendant has to subpoena witnesses at a preliminary hearing is limited by the court's authority to quash unreasonable subpoenas, and that reasonableness inquiry must be informed b...

State v. Nielsen
Date: August 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 61
Docket Numbers: 20190272, 20180940, 20180945, 20180952
Utah Department of Transportation v. Coalt, Inc.  
Date: August 17, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 58
Docket Number: 20161062

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the portion of the court of appeals' opinion reversing the district court's valuation decision regarding the just compensation as to a certain parcel of land, holding that Appellant did not pro...

Jensen v. IHC Health Services, Inc.  
Date: August 17, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 57
Docket Number: 20190026

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court against Plaintiff on his medical malpractice claims against LDS Hospital, holding that the trial court did not err in instructing the jury. While undergoing abd...

Arreguin-Leon v. Hadco Construction, LLC  
Date: August 17, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 59
Docket Number: 20190121

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the district court in favor of Plaintiff in this personal injury action, holding that the district court abused its discretion in...

In re B.T.B.  
Date: August 14, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 60
Docket Number: 20180805

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals remanding this termination of parental rights case to the juvenile court after clarifying the analysis the juvenile court should have applied when interpret...

Ragsdale v. Fishler  
Date: August 5, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 56
Docket Number: 20180993

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying a civil stalking injunction sought by Kristi Ragsdale against George Fishler, holding that the district court erred. Ragsdale ran Eva Carlton Academy...

Ramos v. Cobblestone Centre  
Date: July 31, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 55
Docket Number: 20190348

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Labor Commission awarding Appellant permanent partial disability under the Workers' Compensation Act (WCA), Utah Code 34A-2-101 to -1005, holding that the Commission's proce...

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.