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
Peng v. Meeks  
Date: February 15, 2024
Citation: 2024 UT 5
Docket Number: 20220815

Justia Opinion Summary: In the medical malpractice case concerning the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from Lillian Birt, her daughter Jenafer Meeks sued the treating doctors, Wei Peng and Christina G. Richards, both individually and on…

Fine v. University of Utah  
Date: February 8, 2024
Citation: 2024 UT 4
Docket Number: 20220638

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, a doctor, Dr. Gabriel Fine, sued the University of Utah School of Medicine, alleging that the University deprived him of his clinical privileges without following the procedures required by its bylaws. The…

Park City v. Woodham  
Date: February 8, 2024
Citation: 2024 UT 3
Docket Number: 20230112

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case at hand, Robert Evan Woodham was convicted for failing to yield to stationary emergency vehicles in violation of Utah Code subsection 41-6a-904(2). The conviction was upheld by the district court, after which…

State v. Paule  
Date: February 1, 2024
Citation: 2024 UT 2
Docket Number: 20220039

Justia Opinion Summary: In a case before the Supreme Court of the State of Utah, the petitioner, Elbert John Paule, was charged with murder, obstruction of justice, reckless endangerment, and assault following a fatal shooting incident…

McKitrick v. Gibson  
Date: January 11, 2024
Citation: 2024 UT 1
Docket Number: 20220738

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, Cathy McKitrick, an investigative journalist, sought access to certain records under the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). The Ogden City Records Review Board ordered the city to release…

Kell v. Benzon  
Date: December 21, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 27
Docket Number: 20180788

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of Utah, the appellant, Troy Michael Kell, appealed the district court's dismissal of his second petition for post-conviction relief. Kell, while serving a life sentence…

State v. Valdez  
Date: December 14, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 26
Docket Number: 20210175

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of Utah, the defendant, Alfonso Valdez, was arrested and charged with kidnapping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend. During the arrest, officers seized Valdez’s cell phone.…

State v. Robinson  
Date: December 7, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 25
Docket Number: 20210293

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the defendant, Floyd Corry Robinson, argued that his sentence was unconstitutional because his counsel was ineffective and because the State suppressed evidence. Robinson brought his motion under Rule 22(e)…

Salt Lake County v. Utah State Tax Commission  
Date: November 9, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 24
Docket Number: 20210938

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the determination of the Utah State Tax Commission that the Property Tax Division correctly followed the requirements of the Aircraft Valuation Law, Utah Code 59-2-201 subsection 4, in…

State v. Ogden  
Date: October 12, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 23
Docket Number: 20210359

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion filed under Utah R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6), which allows a court to grant relief from a judgment under certain circumstances, holding…

State v. Centeno  
Date: October 5, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 22
Docket Number: 20231005

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of two counts of rape, one count of aggravated assault, and two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief…

Granite School District v. Young  
Date: September 28, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 21
Docket Number: 20220471

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting Robyn Young's motion to dismiss this action brought by Granite School District regarding settlement proceeds Young had received for industrial…

State v. Barnett  
Date: September 21, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 20
Docket Number: 20220636

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court rejecting the State's interpretation of Utah Const. art. I, section 8(1) to mandate that a judge deny bail to a defendant charged with a felony if that…

Ashby v. State  
Date: September 14, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 19
Docket Number: 20210330

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal from the denial of a post-conviction determination of factual innocence pursuant to the Post-Conviction Remedies Act the Supreme Court remanded the case to the district court, holding that further…

State v. Carter  
Date: August 17, 2023
Citation: 2023 UT 18
Docket Number: 20220297

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of aggravated arson, holding that the court of appeals did not err in concluding that Defendant's counsel did not render…

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.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

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