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.
Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake & Sandy v. SHCH Alaska Trust
Date: October 16, 2019
2019 UT 62
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the district court's determination that the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake & Sandy (Metro) has authority to impose land use restrictions on real property it does not own, holding that...
Downs v. Thompson
Date: October 16, 2019
2019 UT 63
Gardner v. Gardner
Date: October 15, 2019
2019 UT 61
Count My Vote, Inc. v. Cox
Date: October 10, 2019
2019 UT 60
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied the petition for extraordinary writ sought by advocates for a statewide ballot initiative called the Direct Primary Initiative, holding that Petitioners' statutory claims and all but one of the c...
Northgate Village Development, LC v. City of Orem
Date: October 2, 2019
2019 UT 59
Justia Opinion Summary: In this breach of contract action the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing two of the district court's pretrial evidentiary rulings, holding that the court of appeals did not err in holdi...
South Salt Lake City v. Maese
Date: September 20, 2019
2019 UT 58
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming Defendant's conviction of failure to signal for two seconds and failure to obey traffic control devices, holding that the Utah Constitution does not...
Richards v. Cox
Date: September 11, 2019
2019 UT 57
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court issuing an injunction enjoining the implementation of Senate Bill 78 (SB 78) on the grounds that it violates article X, section 8 of the Utah Constitution, ho...
Burningham v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc.
Date: September 5, 2019
2019 UT 56
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court accepted certified questions of law from the federal court related to a case involving artificial hip implants, answering to what extent implanted medical devices should be immune from strict liability...
Intercontinental Hotels Group v. Utah Labor Commission
Date: September 4, 2019
2019 UT 55
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the award of benefits entered by the Utah Labor Commission in favor of Jessica Wilson, holding that the Commission did not err in concluding that Wilson's injuries arose out of, and in the cour...
State v. Apodaca
Date: August 29, 2019
2019 UT 54
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's convictions for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and obstruction of justice, holding that the court of appeals properly conc...
Downs v. Thompson
Date: August 27, 2019
2019 UT 53
Justia Opinion Summary: In answer to three questions certified to it by the federal district court the Supreme Court answered, among other things, that a Utah state district court does not have appellate jurisdiction to review the Utah County B...
Holste v. State
Date: August 23, 2019
2019 UT 52
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's motion for declaratory judgment, holding that Utah Code 77-41-105 requires individuals t...
Latham v. Office of Recovery Services
Date: August 22, 2019
2019 UT 51
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court ruling against Appellant in this declaratory judgment action and holding that the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) was entitled to recover from the portion o...
Cheek v. Iron County Attorney
Date: August 16, 2019
2019 UT 50
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's claims against the Iron County attorney, holding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate th...
Ross v. State
Date: August 15, 2019
2019 UT 48
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the post-conviction district court's conclusion that appellate counsel's performance did not prejudice Appellant, holding that Appellant was not prejudiced by his appellate counsel's failure to...