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
State v. Aziakanou  
Date: September 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 57
Docket Number: 20180284

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of distribution of or arranging to distribute a controlled substance, holding that the trial court did not err in denying Defendant's challenge brought under Batson v. Ke...

State v. Watts  
Date: September 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 38
Docket Number: 20180976

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of dealing in material harmful to a minor, a third degree felony under Utah Code 76-10-1206, holding that Defendant's argument that the statute was unconstitutional as ap...

Laws v. Grayeyes  
Date: September 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 59
Docket Number: 20190088

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed in part Plaintiff's appeal from the decision of the district court declining to overturn the results of the election for the office of San Juan County Commissioner, holding that Plaintiff lack...

Donovan v. Sutton  
Date: September 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 58
Docket Number: 20190914

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants in this personal injury action, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, Defendants were not negli...

State v. Speights  
Date: September 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 56
Docket Number: 20190492

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of driving under the influence, holding that law enforcement officers' touch of Defendant's vehicle was supported by probable cause and prov...

OPC v. Bowen
Date: September 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 53
Docket Number: 20190288
Kiernan Family Draper v. Hidden Valley  
Date: September 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 54
Docket Number: 20190588

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court in this case involving a challenge to one party's failure to abide by a provision in the parties' contract, holding that Plaintiff was not entitled to relief....

Drew v. Pacific Life Insurance Co.  
Date: September 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 55
Docket Number: 20190695

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the determination of the court of appeals that R. Scott National, Inc. (RSN) was an "agent" of Pacific Life Insurance Company (Pacific Life) based on Utah Code 31A-1-301(88)(b), and therefore gr...

Patterson v. State  
Date: August 26, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 52
Docket Number: 20180108

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Petitioner's post-conviction challenge to his convictions of child sex abuse and other offenses as time-barred under the Post-Conviction Remedies A...

McCloud v. State  
Date: August 19, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 51
Docket Number: 20190300

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals ruling that the Post-Conviction Remedies Act (PCRA), Utah Code 78B-9-101-110, barred Appellant's claims because they "could have been" brought on appeal, ho...

McKitrick v. Gibson  
Date: August 19, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 48
Docket Number: 20190811

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the interlocutory order of the district court denying Cathy McKitrick's motion to dismiss Kerry Gibson's petition for judicial review of the decision of the Ogden City Records Review Board gran...

Wood v. United Parcel Service, Inc.  
Date: August 19, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 49
Docket Number: 20200052

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal injury action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to the United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) and concluding that the negligence of KNS International, LL...

State v. Richins  
Date: August 19, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 50
Docket Number: 20200228

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of lewdness by a sex offender and vacated the conviction, holding that the court of appeals erred in upholding the district...

Rossi v. University of Utah  
Date: August 12, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 43
Docket Number: 20180549

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's claims against the University of Utah for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and negligence, ho...

Al-In Partners, LLC v. LifeVantage Corp.  
Date: August 12, 2021
Citation: 2021 UT 42
Docket Number: 20190565

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying a wellness company's motion to dismiss this breach of contract action brought by an independent distributor, holding that the distributor's allegation...

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.