Utah Supreme Court Decisions 2016

In re K.A.S.  
Date: December 6, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 55
Docket Number: 20140966

Justia Opinion Summary: The district court terminated Father’s parental rights with respect to his child, making the child legally available for adoption by her stepfather. Father appealed the termination order. The court of appeals certified t...

In re E.K.S.  
Date: December 6, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 56
Docket Number: 20150435

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother’s parental rights to her daughter were terminated. During the termination proceedings at the juvenile court, Mother was unrepresented by counsel. At the end of the proceeding, the juvenile court found by clear and...

Bennett v. Bigelow  
Date: November 25, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 54
Docket Number: 20140680

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2000, Appellant pleaded guilty to one count of rape of a child. In 2007, Appellant was released on parole. As a condition of parole, Appellant was required to successfully complete a sex offender program. The State su...

In re Estate of Rufus C. Willey  
Date: November 22, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 53
Docket Number: 20150771

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, Don McBroom, grandson of Rufus Call Willey, founder of R.C. Willey, filed a petition with the Second District Court to review his motion under Utah R. Civ. P. 60(b) seeking to set aside two Second District Court...

State v. Met  
Date: November 21, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 51
Docket Number: 20140522

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of one count each of aggravated murder and child kidnapping, each a first degree felony. Defendant was sentenced to two concurrent sentences of life imprisonment without parole for the convictions...

State v. Nielsen  
Date: November 18, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 52
Docket Number: 20140745

Justia Opinion Summary: Based on information received by a confidential informant (CI), police officers pulled over a vehicle in which Defendant was a passenger. Drugs were discovered during a search of the vehicle. Defendant was subsequently c...

Bagley v. Bagley
Date: October 27, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 48
Docket Number: 20150182
Anderson v. Provo City  
Date: October 27, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 50
Docket Numbers: 20160632, 20160633

Justia Opinion Summary: Residents of Orem City and Provo City (collectively, Petitioners) sought to have a referendum placed on the November 2017 ballot. Both Orem City and Provo City refused, concluding that the resolutions could not be referr...

Anderson v. Orem City
Date: October 27, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 50
Docket Number: 20160633
Utah Physicians for a Health Environment v. Executive Director of Utah Department of Environmental Quality  
Date: October 26, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 49
Docket Number: 20141132

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the Director of the Utah Division of Air Quality’s (UDAQ) approval of certain changes at Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company’s Salt Lake City Refinery. Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environmen...

Bagley v. Bagley  
Date: October 26, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 48
Docket Number: 20150182

Justia Opinion Summary: Barbara Bagley and Vom Baur, her common law husband, were traveling in a Range Rover when Bagley lost control of the vehicle and flipped it. Ten days later, Baur died from the injuries he sustained in the accident. Bagle...

State v. Mackin  
Date: October 21, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 47
Docket Number: 20140525

Justia Opinion Summary: Suspecting that his ex-girlfriend was planning to steal a motor home, Defendant snatched his ex-girlfriend’s purse to deliver the evidence to the police. Defendant’s conduct led to a fight between him and his ex-girlfrie...

Little Cottonwood Tanner Ditch Co. v. Sandy City  
Date: October 21, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 45
Docket Number: 20150305

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1910, the district court issued the Little Cottonwood Morse Decree establishing water rights for the Little Cottonwood Creek. In 2013, parties bound by the contractual provisions contained in the Morse Decree filed a...

Brierley v. Layton City  
Date: October 21, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 46
Docket Number: 20150760

Justia Opinion Summary: Layton City charged Defendant with driving under the influence, driving on a denied license, and leaving the scene of a property-damage accident. Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence discovered after police...

Logue v. Court of Appeals  
Date: October 20, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 44
Docket Number: 20160498

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of aggravated murder, possession of a dangerous weapon by restricted person, and obstruction of justice. Brandon Wright, one of the State’s witnesses at trial, testified that...

Washington Townhomes, LLC v. Washington County Water Conservancy Dist.  
Date: October 3, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 34
Docket Number: 20150258

Justia Opinion Summary: This putative class action was filed by a group of property owners who paid certain impact fees imposed by the Washington County Water Conservancy District (District) within a specific time period. Plaintiffs challenged...

Cannon v. Holmes  
Date: September 8, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 42
Docket Number: 20150238

Justia Opinion Summary: Twelve years ago, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Defendants. The district court eventually dismissed the case for failure to prosecute but did not indicate whether the case was dismissed without prejudice or pursuant...

Federated Capital Corp. v. Libby  
Date: September 6, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 41
Docket Numbers: 20140208, 20140249

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, Connor Libby and Elena Chapa (collectively, Defendants) signed credit card agreements with Federated Capital Corporation’s predecessor-in-interest, a Utah corporation with its principal place of business in Penn...

McBroom v. Child  
Date: August 26, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 38
Docket Number: 20140929

Justia Opinion Summary: Rufus Call Willey, the founder of R.C. Willey & Son, died in 1954. The day before he died, he signed a last will and testament. In 2011, two of the decedent’s grandchildren, Helen Immelt and Don McBroom, filed a complain...

Craig v. Provo City  
Date: August 26, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 40
Docket Number: 20150531

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed a tort suit against Provo City under the Governmental Immunity Act. The complaint was dismissed because Plaintiffs failed to submit an undertaking or bond as required by the statute. Plaintiffs filed a s...

Nevares v. Adoptive Couple  
Date: August 26, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 39
Docket Number: 20151073

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed an action seeking to establish his paternity in and custody over a child he believed to be his son (Child). Both Plaintiff and Mother were residents of Colorado. Mother travelled to Utah two days before C...

Benda v. Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City  
Date: August 25, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 37
Docket Number: 20150221

Justia Opinion Summary: A 14-year-old student at Juan Diego Catholic High School suffered serious and life-threatening injuries while using a lift to replace light bulbs in the auditorium, during his drama class. The lift tipped over as student...

Ciardi v. OPC
Date: August 19, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 36
Docket Number: 20140370
State v. Gailey  
Date: August 1, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 35
Docket Number: 20130637

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with burglary, theft, and criminal mischief. In the course of one day, Defendant entered her initial appearance in district court, was appointed counsel, waived her right to a preliminary hearing, p...

Ellis-Hall v. Pub. Serv. Comm’n  
Date: July 28, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 34
Docket Number: 20140616

Justia Opinion Summary: Rocky Mountain Power is required by governing regulations to provide “indicative pricing” to a producer seeking to pursue a power purchase agreement. In 2012, Ellis-Hall Consultants, which is involved in the development...

State v. Griffin  
Date: July 27, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 33
Docket Number: 20090520

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder. The jury imposed a sentence of life without parole. On appeal, the Supreme Court remanded the case for the trial court to conduct a rule 23B hearing addressing Defen...

Discipline of Donald Gilbert
Date: July 20, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 32
Docket Number: 20150628
Gilbert v. Third Dist. Court Judges  
Date: July 20, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 31
Docket Number: 20150664

Justia Opinion Summary: Attorney Donald Gilbert represented the Utah Down Syndrome Association and several of its founders in litigation between the Association and the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation, Inc. Gilbert filed this petition for extraor...

SIRQ, Inc. v. Layton Companies, Inc.  
Date: July 1, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 30
Docket Number: 20140136

Justia Opinion Summary: Alan Peterson, the former president of The Layton Companies, Inc. and Layton Construction Co. (Layton), had a falling out with Layton management and later founded SIRQ, a competing construction company. Alleging that Lay...

In re Baby Q.  
Date: July 1, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 29
Docket Number: 20150143

Justia Opinion Summary: Before the child of Mother and Father was born, a process server personally delivered a prebirth notice (“the Notice”) to Father informing him that Mother intended to place Child up for adoption. The Notice advised Fathe...

Fort Pierce Ind. Park Phases II, III & IV Owners Ass’n v. Shakespeare  
Date: June 22, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 28
Docket Number: 20140137

Justia Opinion Summary: Gloria and Thomas Shakespeare, GLOCO, LC, and Atlas Tower, LLC (collectively, Shakespeares) applied for permission from the Board of Trustees of the Fort Pierce Industrial Park Phases II, III & IV Owners Association (Ass...

Trans-Western Petroleum, Inc. v. U.S. Gypsum Co.  
Date: June 16, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 27
Docket Number: 20140453

Justia Opinion Summary: Trans-Western filed an amended complaint in federal district court asserting claims against U.S. Gypsum for breach of an oil and gas lease and breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. The district court found that U.S....

In re: Tyler James Larsen
Date: June 16, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 26
Docket Number: 20140535
OPC v. Ciardi
Date: June 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 25
Docket Number: 20140370
Westgate Resorts, Ltd. v. Adel  
Date: June 7, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 24
Docket Number: 20131086

Justia Opinion Summary: In this, the second appeal arising out of a lawsuit against Westgate Resorts alleging violations of the Utah Pattern of Unlawful Activity Act, Westgate challenged an arbitration panel’s award of attorney fees to Shawn Ad...

Chilel v. Simler  
Date: June 1, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 23
Docket Number: 20140513

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against defendant in small claims court for physical injuries arising from an alleged automobile collision between the parties. Defendant subsequently filed a petition to appeal the district court's...

Anderson v. Fautin  
Date: May 31, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 22
Docket Number: 20140664

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner owns a vacant parcel adjoining respondent's parcel. Petitioner had failed to visit or inspect his property for a twenty-six year period and, during that time, respondent had occupied her parcel such that it en...

Injured Workers Ass'n of Utah v. State  
Date: May 18, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 21
Docket Number: 20140372

Justia Opinion Summary: Attorneys in Utah representing injured workers in workers’ compensation claims receive their fees out of the compensation awarded to the worker. IWA challenged the statute delegating the authority to regulate these fees...

USA Power, LLC v. PacifiCorp  
Date: May 16, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 20
Docket Number: 20130442

Justia Opinion Summary: USA Power, LLC developed a power plant project in Mona, Utah called the “Spring Canyon vision.” Meanwhile, PacifiCorp entered into negotiations to purchase USA Power’s Spring Canyon assets, and USA Power provided PacifiC...

Nichols v. Jacobsen  
Date: April 28, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 19
Docket Number: 20140866

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was seriously injured during the course of his employment with Defendant. Plaintiff filed suit alleging that Defendant’s negligence caused his injuries. Defendant moved for summary judgment asserting that it wa...

Discipline of Brian Steffensen
Date: April 19, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 18
Docket Number: 20140890
Utah Republican Party v. Cox  
Date: April 8, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 17
Docket Number: 20160077

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States District Court for the District of Utah certified questions of law to the Supreme Court regarding Qualified Political Parties (QPP). The first question asked whether Utah law requires that a QPP permit...

ClearOne, Inc. v. Revolabs, Inc.  
Date: April 1, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 16
Docket Number: 20141184

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff ClearOne is a Utah corporation and Defendant Revolabs is a competitor incorporated in Delaware with its principal place of business in Massachusetts. The underlying dispute arose when Revolabs recruited and hir...

Salt Lake City Corp. v. Evans Dev. Group, LLC  
Date: March 24, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 80
Docket Number: 20130741

Justia Opinion Summary: Salt Lake City Corp. used its power of eminent domain to condemn land owned by Evans Development Group, LLC in order to exchange the property for another piece of property owned by Rocky Mountain Power. The City filed a...

Nielsen v. Bell  
Date: March 24, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 79
Docket Number: 20131047

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was babysitting a four-year-old boy when the boy threw a toy at her, striking her in the eye. The impact caused Plaintiff to lose all vision in that eye. Plaintiff sued the boy’s parents for negligent supervisi...

Meinhard v. State  
Date: March 23, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 12
Docket Number: 20140038

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial held in 1999, Appellant was convicted of murder and tampering with evidence. The convictions were affirmed on appeal and upheld on multiple postconviction challenges in both state and federal court. Ap...

M.J. v. Wisan  
Date: March 23, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 13
Docket Number: 20140189

Justia Opinion Summary: M.J. was allegedly required to enter into an underage marriage at the direction of Warren Jeffs, then the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and trustee of the United Effort Plan Trust...

Gordon v. State  
Date: March 23, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 11
Docket Number: 20140345

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2002, Appellant was convicted of murder. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction on appeal. Appellant later filed a petition under Part 3 of the Post-Conviction Remedies Act seeking testing on previously untested it...

Monarrez v. Utah Dep’t of Transp.  
Date: March 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 10
Docket Number: 20140911

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was injured when forced to stop suddenly near a construction crew on a Utah road. Plaintiff submitted a notice of claim against the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). UDOT did not respond to the notice o...

Poulton v. Cox  
Date: March 3, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 9
Docket Number: 20150665

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners, as members of Utah Term Limits NOW!, sponsored an initiative application in which Petitioners sought to initiate legislation imposing term limits on persons appointed by the Governor to state boards and comm...

Q-2 LLC v. Hughes  
Date: February 16, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 8
Docket Number: 20140131

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was how and when a party acquires title to property under the doctrine of boundary by acquiescence. This case was based on a boundary dispute between Wayne Hughes and Patricia Hampton-Hughes (collec...

Plaintiff v. Defendant  
Date: February 4, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 7
Docket Number: 20140654

Justia Opinion Summary: Saltz Plastic Surgery, P.C. and Renalto Saltz (collectively, Saltz) performed an abdominoplasty and a breast augmentation on Conilyn Judge. Judge was subsequently interviewed by Fox News and posed for post-operative phot...

Mind & Motion Utah Invs., LLC v. Celtic Bank Corp.  
Date: January 27, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 6
Docket Number: 20131168

Justia Opinion Summary: Mind & Motion entered into a real estate purchase contract (REPC) with Celtic Bank to buy a piece of property the Bank had acquired from a developer through foreclosure. The REPC required Celtic Bank to record plats by a...

Royal Consulate v. Hon. Pullen  
Date: January 15, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 5
Docket Number: 20150643

Justia Opinion Summary: Monsour Al Shammari, a citizen of Saudia Arabia, was arrested and charged with rape. The Royal Consulate of Saudia Arabia provided the cash funds to post bail. Al Shammari subsequently attempted to cross the border into...

State v. Jones  
Date: January 11, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 4
Docket Number: 20140753

Justia Opinion Summary: The State charged Defendant with official misconduct under Utah Code 76-8-201 and with witness tampering under Utah Code 76-8-508(1). At a preliminary hearing, the magistrate judge refused to bind Defendant over for tria...

State v. McNeil  
Date: January 6, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 3
Docket Number: 20130664

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner’s son assaulted Petitioner’s co-worker. Petitioner was convicted of aggravated assault because phone records showed that calls were made Petitioner’s phone and his son’s phone just before and after the assault...

Westgate v. Adel  
Date: January 5, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 2
Docket Number: 20131086

Justia Opinion Summary: The litigation surrounding this appeal has lasted more than a decade. Watergate Resorts first sued Shaun Adel and Consumer Protection Group, LLC (together, CPG) for breach of contract. CPG counterclaimed for fraud under...

Rent-A-Center v. Tax Comm’n  
Date: January 5, 2016
Citation: 2016 UT 1
Docket Number: 20140129

Justia Opinion Summary: Rent-A-Center West, Inc. leases and sells a variety of consumer goods. Customers may opt to participate in a liability waiver program for an extra fee. Rent-A-Center charges sales tax on rental payments but not on the li...

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