Utah Supreme Court Decisions 2019

Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake & Sandy v. SHCH Alaska Trust  
Date: October 16, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 62
Docket Number: 20171044

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
Citation: 2019 UT 63
Docket Number: 20180696

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered three questions certified to it by the United States District Court for the District of Utah in this case challenging a civil fine issued under the Political Activities of Public Entities Act,...

Gardner v. Gardner  
Date: October 15, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 61
Docket Number: 20170598

Justia Opinion Summary: In this divorce case, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's determination that Wife was entitled to alimony but reducing her alimony award in duration and amount because of her extramarital sexual affairs, hold...

Count My Vote, Inc. v. Cox  
Date: October 10, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 60
Docket Number: 20180470

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
Citation: 2019 UT 59
Docket Number: 20180465

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
Citation: 2019 UT 58
Docket Number: 20160646

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
Citation: 2019 UT 57
Docket Number: 20180033

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
Citation: 2019 UT 56
Docket Number: 20180143

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
Citation: 2019 UT 55
Docket Number: 20170501

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
Citation: 2019 UT 54
Docket Number: 20180673

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
Citation: 2019 UT 53
Docket Number: 20180696

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
Citation: 2019 UT 52
Docket Number: 20180390

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
Citation: 2019 UT 51
Docket Number: 20170556

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
Citation: 2019 UT 50
Docket Number: 20180653

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
Citation: 2019 UT 48
Docket Number: 20180187

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...

Amundsen v. University of Utah  
Date: August 15, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 49
Docket Number: 20180207

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's medical malpractice claim against the University of Utah, holding that the district court properly found that Plaintiff's notice of cla...

Steiner v. Utah State Tax Commission  
Date: August 14, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 47
Docket Number: 20180223

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the tax court allowing a second set of deductions sought by Robert and Wendy Steiner on their tax returns but disallowing the first set of deduction...

Raser Technologies, Inc. v. Morgan Stanley & Co.  
Date: August 13, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 44
Docket Number: 20170325

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs' complaint against Defendants for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that the Utah Nonresident Jurisdiction Act compels adoption of t...

WDIS, LLC v. Hi-Country Estates Homeowners Ass'n  
Date: August 13, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 45
Docket Number: 20170342

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute between a homeowner's association (HOA) and a group of landowners (WDIS) within the HOA's boundaries, the Supreme Court reversed the district court's dismissal of WDIS's quiet title claim and the court's...

Moshier v. Fisher  
Date: August 13, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 46
Docket Number: 20180623

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs' malpractice claim against Defendant, their attorney, as untimely, holding that Plaintiffs' claim was timely. Plaintiffs lost their opp...

Monticello Wind Farm, LLC v. Public Service Commission of Utah  
Date: August 12, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 43
Docket Number: 20180572

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Public Service Commission denying PacifiCorp's application for approval of an agreement between PacifiCorp and Monticello Wind Farm, LLC (MWF) for the purchase of wind energy,...

Estate of Faucheaux v. Provo City  
Date: August 6, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 41
Docket Number: 20180812

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals' decision reversing the district court's order granting Provo City's motion to dismiss this wrongful death suit on the ground that an estate lacks the legal capacity to ass...

Grant v. Governor Gary R. Herbert  
Date: August 6, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 42
Docket Number: 20180997

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed this petition for extraordinary relief asserting that the actions of Governor Gary R. Herbert, Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox, and the Utah Legislature in replacing a citizens' initiative...

In re Gestational Agreement  
Date: August 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 40
Docket Number: 20160796

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying the petition filed by Petitioners, a same-sex married couple and a woman and her husband requesting that the court validate their agreement that the w...

State v. Stewart  
Date: August 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 39
Docket Number: 20180847

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion to reinstate his time to appeal his conviction under Utah R. App. P. 4(f), holding t...

State v. Vallejo  
Date: July 29, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 38
Docket Number: 20180041

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of ten counts of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape for sexually abusing two of his sisters-in-law, holding that Defendant's counsel did not provide inef...

Paxman v. King  
Date: July 26, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 37
Docket Number: 20170067

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court declining to grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment in this legal malpractice action, holding that Thomas v. Hillyard, __ P.3d __ (Utah 2019), squarely...

State v. Silva  
Date: July 23, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 36
Docket Number: 20161045

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder, holding that any error the trial court committed when it refused to allow a claim of perfect self-defense was harmless and that the trial court did not abuse i...

Vega v. Jordan Valley Medical Center, LP  
Date: July 19, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 35
Docket Number: 20170866

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the district court's grant of Defendants' motion to dismiss this medical malpractice action pursuant to Utah Code 78B-3-423(7) of the Utah Health Care Malpractice Act because Plaintiff failed t...

Bradburn v. Alarm Protection Technology, LLC  
Date: July 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 33
Docket Number: 20180305

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court allowing Alarm Protection Technology (APT) to substitute itself as the plaintiff in this case and extinguishing Ryan Bradburn's claims against it, holding tha...

Durbano v. Utah State Bar  
Date: July 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 34
Docket Number: 20181017

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for extraordinary relief asking the Court to order his admission to the Utah State Bar by waiving one of the rules governing the Utah Bar, holding that, while Petitioner rai...

Rocky Ford Irrigation Co. v. Kents Lake Reservoir Co.  
Date: July 11, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 31
Docket Number: 20170290

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute between parties that both had water rights in the Beaver River the Supreme Court affirmed the portion of the judgment of the district court against Rocky Ford Irrigation Company on its claims against Kent...

Nixon v. Clay  
Date: July 11, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 32
Docket Number: 20170532

Justia Opinion Summary: In this tort suit arising out of a basketball game the Supreme Court affirmed as modified the district court's determination that Plaintiff's injury arose out of conduct that was not willful or reckless but was inherent...

Biesele v. Mattena  
Date: July 10, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 30
Docket Number: 20180226

Justia Opinion Summary: In this family dispute concerning an inheritance from the mother of two sets of sisters the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court ruling that May Harris and Jody Mattena committed a variety of torts in r...

Thomas v. Hillyard  
Date: July 2, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 29
Docket Number: 20170914

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant on grounds that Plaintiff's malpractice action was barred by the statute of limitations, holding that Plaintif...

Rutherford v. Talisker Canyons Finance, Co.  
Date: June 27, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 27
Docket Number: 20140917

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case arising from a severe injury Levi Rutherford sustained when he skied into a patch of machine-made snow the Supreme Court declined Defendant's invitations to hold that Plaintiffs' claims were barred by a rele...

Utah Office of Consumer Services v. Public Service Commission of Utah  
Date: June 27, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 26
Docket Number: 20170364

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court set aside orders from the Public Service Commission in two related cases, holding that the Commission did not have the authority to impose "interim" rates as an element of the energy balancing account p...

Gardner v. Gardner  
Date: June 27, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 28
Docket Number: 20170598

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's alimony determination in this divorce action, holding that none of Appellant's alleged errors constituted an abuse of the district court's discretion or were plainly incorr...

State v. Sanders  
Date: June 24, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 25
Docket Number: 20160300

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of three counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person in violation of Utah Code 76-10-503(3), holding that the district court did not err in refusing the inst...

Coburn v. Whitaker Construction Co.  
Date: June 18, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 24
Docket Number: 20180668

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals upholding the ruling of the district court that orange construction netting that was strung across a public walking trial was an open and obvious danger and...

Metro Water District of Salt Lake & Sandy v. Sorf  
Date: June 11, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 23
Docket Number: 20160756

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting Defendant's motion for summary judgment on the complaint filed by Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake and Sandy (Metro) seeking injunctive relief a...

Kuchcinski v. Box Elder County  
Date: June 3, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 21
Docket Number: 20160674

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court dismissing on summary judgment Plaintiff's claims against Box Elder County and the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office, including c...

State v. Bess  
Date: June 3, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 22
Docket Number: 20170746

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of one count of threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel, holding that there was no error in the district court...

Keystone Insurance Agency, LLC v. Inside Insurance, LLC  
Date: May 29, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 20
Docket Number: 20170677

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision to exclude all evidence of Keystone Insurance Agency's alleged damage under Utah R. Civ. P. 26(d)(4) in Keystone's suit against Inside Insurance, the court's dismi...

In re Inquiry of Honorable Judge Michael Kwan  
Date: May 22, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 19
Docket Number: 20171041

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court sanctioned Judge Michael Kwan to a six-month suspension without pay for Kwan's violations of the Utah Code of Judicial Conduct, holding that a six-month suspension was an appropriate sanction. Judge Kw...

Pulham v. Kirsling  
Date: May 22, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 18
Docket Number: 20180458

Justia Opinion Summary: In this divorce matter, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals upholding the orders of the district court regarding child support and parent-time, holding that the court of appeals properly found...

Bell Canyon Acres Homeowners Ass'n v. McLelland  
Date: May 21, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 17
Docket Number: 20180072

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court declining to enter summary judgment for Appellants on the grounds that the Utah Declaratory Judgment Act requires neighbors objecting to fences that encroach...

Brady v. Park  
Date: May 8, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 16
Docket Number: 20160425

Justia Opinion Summary: In this contract dispute stemming from a seller-financed real estate transaction, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court, holding primarily that the district court was...

OPC v. Dahlquist
Date: April 30, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 15
Docket Number: 20170550
Sumsion v. J Lyne Roberts & Sons Inc.  
Date: April 26, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 14
Docket Number: 20180347

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case alleging a defect in a ladder, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's claims on the ground that Plaintiff failed to carry the burden of presenting grounds for th...

Sandoval v. State  
Date: April 3, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 13
Docket Number: 20150617

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's summary judgment decision denying Appellant's petition for relief under the Post-Conviction Remedies Act (PCRA), Utah Code 78B-9-101, et seq., holding that Appellant failed...

Carter v. State  
Date: March 21, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 12
Docket Number: 20170641

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court summarily dismissing Appellant’s petition for post-conviction relief, holding that the district court erred in determining that, as a matter of undisputed fa...

State v. Honorable Ann Boyden  
Date: March 20, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 11
Docket Number: 20170936

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action brought by the State seeking to overturn a conviction it recently obtained, the Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court denying the State’s Utah. R. Civ. P. 60(b) motion in the underlying cri...

Pilot v. Hill  
Date: March 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 10
Docket Number: 20180523

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the tree-tier structure established by Utah R. Civ. P. 26, the Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the district court and court of appeals rejecting Petitioner’s motion for post-trial amendment...

Belnap v. Howard  
Date: February 28, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 9
Docket Number: 20170628

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decision denying Dr. LeGrand P. Belnap discovery as to allegedly defamatory statements made by Drs. Ben Howard and Steven Mintz in peer review meetings, holding that there...

C.R. England v. Swift Transportation Co.  
Date: February 27, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 8
Docket Number: 20170561

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court declined to overturn a rule established in St. Benedict’s Development Co. v. St. Benedict’s Hospital, 811 P.2d 194 (Utah 1991), in which the Court held that to prevail on a claim for intentional interfe...

Utah Stream Access Coalition v. VR Acquisitions, LLC  
Date: February 20, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 7
Docket Number: 20151048

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court striking down the Public Waters Access Act (PWAA), Utah Code 73-29-101 to 73-29-208, under “public trust” principles set forth in Utah Const. art. XX, 1, hold...

Salt Lake City v. Josephson  
Date: January 29, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 6
Docket Number: 20150980

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of one count of stalking and one count of threat of violence, holding that neither issue raised by Defendant on appeal was preserved nor...

State v. Trujillo  
Date: January 29, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 5
Docket Number: 20170615

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s conviction under Utah’s witness retaliation statute, Utah Code 76-8-508.3, holding that the statute does not criminalize threats a person makes regarding a witness outside the witne...

Salt Lake City v. Kidd  
Date: January 23, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 4
Docket Number: 20150280

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for offering escort services without a valid license, holding that Defendant’s constitutional claims were either inadequately briefed or not properly raised in the distri...

Noor v. State  
Date: January 18, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 3
Docket Number: 20160797

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s decision denying Appellant’s amended petition under the Post-Conviction Remedies Act (PCRA) seeking relief from his convictions, holding that the district court erred in co...

EnerVest v. Utah State Engineer  
Date: January 11, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 2
Docket Number: 20160394

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the district court’s certification of its summary judgment ruling as final under Utah R. Civ. P. 54(b) was improper, and therefore, the Court...

State v. Van Huizen  
Date: January 7, 2019
Citation: 2019 UT 1
Docket Number: 20170304

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals vacating the juvenile judge’s bindover order in this case involving a juvenile’s criminal conduct, holding that it was error to excuse Defendant from preser...

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