Utah Supreme Court Decisions 2020

Pleasant Grove City v. Terry  
Date: October 29, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 69
Docket Number: 20160092

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's conviction on the offense of domestic violence in the presence of a child, holding that a jury could not both convict Defendant of the compound offense of domestic violence in the pr...

Pinder v. Duchesne  
Date: October 22, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 68
Docket Number: 20181026

Justia Opinion Summary: In these consolidated appeals related to the seizure of Appellants' property as part of a murder investigation the Supreme Court affirmed the Third District Court's dismissal of Appellants' causes of action and affirmed...

Arave v. Pineview West Water Co.  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 67
Docket Number: 20180067

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the district court in favor of Plaintiffs on their claims of interference and negligence, holding that the district court erred in determining that Defendants interfered...

State v. Stricklan  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 65
Docket Number: 20180944

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that there was sufficient evidence to sustain Defendant's convictions....

State v. Marquina  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 66
Docket Number: 20180994

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of aggravated robbery, holding that the trial court did not plainly err in its handling of the State's reports of a sleeping juror and that defense counsel did not provid...

In re Adoption of B.H.  
Date: September 16, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 64
Docket Number: 20190560

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals setting aside the adoption decree in this case, holding that the district court's conclusions of law in support of the adoption decree were inadequate. Mot...

Archuleta v. State  
Date: August 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 62
Docket Numbers: 20160992, 20160419

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the post-conviction court's grant of summary judgment against Defendant's post-conviction claims, holding that Defendant's Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), claim was not cognizable unde...

Luna v. Luna  
Date: August 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 63
Docket Number: 20190396

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Maria Luna on Luis Luna's negligence claim, holding that the court of appeal...

State v. Lopez  
Date: August 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 61
Docket Numbers: 20180945, 20180952, 20190272

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that any power a defendant has to subpoena witnesses at a preliminary hearing is limited by the court's authority to quash unreasonable subpoenas, and that reasonableness inquiry must be informed b...

State v. Nielsen
Date: August 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 61
Docket Numbers: 20190272, 20180940, 20180945, 20180952
Utah Department of Transportation v. Coalt, Inc.  
Date: August 17, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 58
Docket Number: 20161062

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the portion of the court of appeals' opinion reversing the district court's valuation decision regarding the just compensation as to a certain parcel of land, holding that Appellant did not pro...

Jensen v. IHC Health Services, Inc.  
Date: August 17, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 57
Docket Number: 20190026

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court against Plaintiff on his medical malpractice claims against LDS Hospital, holding that the trial court did not err in instructing the jury. While undergoing abd...

Arreguin-Leon v. Hadco Construction, LLC  
Date: August 17, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 59
Docket Number: 20190121

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the district court in favor of Plaintiff in this personal injury action, holding that the district court abused its discretion in...

In re B.T.B.  
Date: August 14, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 60
Docket Number: 20180805

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals remanding this termination of parental rights case to the juvenile court after clarifying the analysis the juvenile court should have applied when interpret...

Ragsdale v. Fishler  
Date: August 5, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 56
Docket Number: 20180993

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying a civil stalking injunction sought by Kristi Ragsdale against George Fishler, holding that the district court erred. Ragsdale ran Eva Carlton Academy...

Ramos v. Cobblestone Centre  
Date: July 31, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 55
Docket Number: 20190348

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Labor Commission awarding Appellant permanent partial disability under the Workers' Compensation Act (WCA), Utah Code 34A-2-101 to -1005, holding that the Commission's proce...

Scott v. Scott  
Date: July 29, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 54
Docket Number: 20180210

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's judgment granting Bradley Scott's motion to terminate alimony, holding that the court correctly terminated alimony under the couple's divorce...

In re Adoption of B.B.  
Date: July 28, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 53
Docket Number: 20180612

Justia Opinion Summary: In this adoption proceeding involving a child, B.B., whose biological parents were members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (the Tribe), the Supreme Court reversed the district court's judgment transferring this case to...

S.A.S. v. K.H.B.  
Date: July 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 52
Docket Number: 20180239

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Father's motion to revoke his relinquishment of parental rights, holding that the district court correctly concluded that Father's relinquishment was...

In re K.T.B.  
Date: July 21, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 51
Docket Number: 20150821

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the strict compliance requirement of section 110 of Utah's Adoption Act, which permits a district court to terminate parental rights if the parent does not "fully and strictly comply" with the...

State v. Drommond  
Date: July 17, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 50
Docket Number: 20080252

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for aggravated murder, holding that Defendant was not entitled to a new penalty-phase trial. Specifically, the Supreme...

State v. Peraza  
Date: July 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 48
Docket Number: 20180487

Justia Opinion Summary: In this criminal case, the Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the court of appeals that the trial court erred in admitting the testimony of the State's expert witness, holding that the court of appeals conflated the re...

Wittingham v. TNE Limited Partnership  
Date: July 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 49
Docket Number: 20190220

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the determination of the district court that a contract entered into by a dissolved partnership was void, holding that the contract was voidable. Two years after the Muir Second Family Limited...

Rocky Ford Irrigation Co. v. Kents Lake Reservoir Co.  
Date: July 13, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 47
Docket Number: 20170290

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the judgment of the district court against Rocky Ford Irrigation Company on its lawsuit against Kents Lake Reservoir Company seeking clarification rega...

State v. Norton  
Date: July 13, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 46
Docket Number: 20180514

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court largely affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's convictions of violating a protective order, aggravated sexual assault relating to rape and digital penetration, kidnapping, b...

State v. Malo  
Date: July 6, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 42
Docket Number: 20180970

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Appellant's expungement petition, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition. Appellant was charged with on...

Trapnell & Associates, LLC v. Legacy Resorts, LLC  
Date: July 6, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 44
Docket Number: 20190048

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal arising from a dispute between lien holders regarding the distribution of the money a foreclosure sale of Zermatt Resort had generated the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals conclud...

Christensen v. Utah State Tax Commission  
Date: July 6, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 45
Docket Number: 20190115

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying the Utah State Tax Commission's motion to dismiss Gail and Margaret Christensens' petition seeking judicial review of an order of an administrative law j...

Pinney v. Carrera  
Date: July 6, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 43
Docket Number: 20190117

Justia Opinion Summary: In this automobile accident case, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the district court's general-damages award granted to Plaintiff, holding that Plaintiff satisfied the requiremen...

State v. Grunwald  
Date: July 2, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 40
Docket Number: 20180459

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction for being an accomplice to the crime of aggravated murder, holding that it was reasonably probable that the jury would not...

State v. Argueta  
Date: July 2, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 41
Docket Number: 20180814

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction for burglary and sexual abuse, holding that any error found or assumed in this case was not prejudicial. On appeal, Defend...

Blanke v. Utah Board of Pardons & Parole  
Date: June 24, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 39
Docket Number: 20160766

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that when a Utah prison inmate must register as a sex or kidnap offender the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole need not afford the inmate the due process protections required by Neese v. Utah Board...

Arriaga v. State  
Date: June 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 37
Docket Number: 20180870

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the opinion of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the post-conviction court denying Petitioner's pro se petition under the Post-Conviction Remedies Act, Utah Code 78B-9-101 to -503,...

State v. Bell  
Date: June 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 38
Docket Number: 20190043

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Defendant's request to view the alleged sexual abuse victim's privileged mental health therapy records, holding that Defendant failed to demonstrate t...

In re B.T.B.  
Date: June 22, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 36
Docket Number: 20180805

Justia Opinion Summary: In this termination of parental rights action the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals remanding this case to the juvenile court so that it may reexamine the termination petition in light of the cl...

Mitchell v. Roberts  
Date: June 11, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 34
Docket Number: 20170447

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case brought by an alleged victim of child-sex abuse years after the alleged abuse occurred, the Supreme Court held that the Utah Legislature is constitutionally prohibited from retroactively reviving a time-barr...

Utah Department of Transportation v. Boggess-Draper Co.  
Date: June 11, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 35
Docket Number: 20180262

Justia Opinion Summary: In this eminent domain action, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court endorsing a "general rule that a party may not rely on post-valuation facts and circumstances to prove severance damages," hold...

Griffin v. Snow Christensen & Martineau  
Date: June 10, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 33
Docket Number: 20180813

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court that Plaintiff's post-judgment motion was timely, holding that the district court's order of dismissal did not constitute a separate judgment under Utah R. Civ....

State v. Bridgewaters  
Date: May 28, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 32
Docket Number: 20180190

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case where Defendant was charged with two separate instances of violating a protective order the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion to quash his bindover to stand...

ACLU of Utah v. State  
Date: May 21, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 31
Docket Number: 20200281

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed the petition for extraordinary relief brought by ACLU of Utah, Disability Law Center, and Utah Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (collectively, Petitioners) seeking relief on behalf of...

Ipsen v. Diamond Tree Experts, Inc  
Date: May 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 30
Docket Number: 20181052

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the professional rescuer rule that this Court adopted in Fordham v. Oldroyd, 171 P.3d 411 (Utah 2007), extends no further than Fordham's detailed formulation and that a person does owe a duty...

Cougar Canyon Loan, LLC v. Cypress Fund, LLC  
Date: May 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 28
Docket Number: 20180502

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court declined to accept Cypress Fund, LLC's request that the Court declare, as a matter of public policy, that Cougar Canyon Loan, LLC cannot foreclose on Cypress's cause of action for legal malpractice, hol...

Salt Lake County v. State  
Date: May 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 27
Docket Number: 20180586

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court dismissing two of Plaintiffs' claims as unripe and the remainder of the claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, holding that none of Plaintiffs...

Salt Lake City Corp. v. Haik  
Date: May 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 29
Docket Number: 20190091

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the district court's dismissal of the Pearl Raty Trust's claim that it is an inhabitant of Salt Lake City and thereby entitled to the City's water...

Jones v. Mackey Price Thompson & Ostler  
Date: May 14, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 25
Docket Number: 20170604

Justia Opinion Summary: In this longstanding dispute between attorney Gregory Jones and his former law firm, Mackey Price Thompson & Ostler, P.C. (MPTO), over the distribution of litigation proceeds the Supreme Court upheld the jury's $647,090...

State v. Newton  
Date: May 14, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 24
Docket Number: 20180915

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated assault, holding that Defendant was not prejudiced by any alleged error in the...

Taylorsville City v. Mitchell  
Date: May 14, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 26
Docket Number: 20180930

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Utah Code 78A-7-118(4), (8) providing a hearing de novo in the district court on justice court convictions but foreclosing further appeal unless the district court rules...

Harrison v. SPAH Family Ltd.  
Date: May 8, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 22
Docket Number: 20180537

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court, on summary judgment, ruling that a prescriptive easement had been formed, but held that the court incorrectly instructed the jury regarding the scope of the...

SRB Investment Co., Ltd. v. Spencer  
Date: May 8, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 23
Docket Number: 20190034

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court determining that SRB Investment Company had established a prescriptive easement but prohibiting SRB from using the easement for any reason other than to acces...

Taylor v. University of Utah  
Date: May 8, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 21
Docket Number: 20190127

Justia Opinion Summary: In this medical malpractice action, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the district court excluding Plaintiffs' proximate cause expert's testimony, holding that the...

Chamberlain v. Golds Gym International, Inc.  
Date: May 4, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 20
Docket Number: 20170146

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying the motion for attorney fees filed by Gold's Gym International, Inc. after it prevailed in a suit filed by members of a limited liability company (mem...

State v. Gallegos  
Date: April 29, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 19
Docket Number: 20180890

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of attempted murder, holding that the court of appeals did not err in denying Defendant's Utah R. App. P. 23B motion, nor w...

Bright v. Sorensen  
Date: April 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 18
Docket Number: 20180528

Justia Opinion Summary: In these three medical malpractice actions the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's denial of Defendants' motions to dismiss and remanded to uphold Plaintiffs' opportunity to develop a...

Davis County v. Purdue Pharma, LP  
Date: April 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 17
Docket Number: 20190487

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, one of thousands filed by state and local governments against opioid manufacturers across the country, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the second district court granting a manufacturer defendant'...

Blanke v. Board of Pardons & Parole  
Date: April 16, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 16
Docket Number: 20160766

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the district court's denial of Appellant's petition for extraordinary relief, holding that, under the circumstances, the Utah Board of Pardons and...

Graham v. Albertsons  
Date: March 31, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 15
Docket Number: 20180885

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court granting Albertson's LLC's motion for partial summary judgment concluding that the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Act (UOSHA) preempted Plaintiff's wrong...

Cochegrus v. Herriman City  
Date: March 26, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 14
Docket Number: 20161073

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment to Defendants and dismissing Plaintiff's personal injury lawsuit, holding that Plaintiff produced evidence in support of the dispute...

State v. Scott  
Date: March 9, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 13
Docket Number: 20170518

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's conviction for the murder of his wife on grounds that Defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel, holding that there was ins...

State v. Ray  
Date: March 9, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 12
Docket Number: 20170524

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals concluding that Defendant's trial counsel provided ineffective assistance during Defendant's criminal trial, holding that defense counsel's performance was...

McDonald v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland  
Date: February 28, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 11
Docket Number: 20170609

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs in this action seeking to recover delinquent contributions to various trust funds for construction on a state...

Utah Department of Transportation v. Target Corp.  
Date: February 28, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 10
Docket Number: 20180283

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action brought by Claimants seeking recovery for physical takings as well as severance damages for their property's decrease in market value after the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) condemned portions o...

State v. Grunwald  
Date: February 21, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 9
Docket Number: 20180459

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction as an accomplice to the crime of aggravated murder, holding that it was reasonably probable that the jury would not have convicted Defendant absent three jury instruction...

Hand v. State  
Date: February 19, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 8
Docket Number: 20180926

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's claim brought under the Post-Conviction Remedies Act (PCRA), holding that, contrary to the conclusions of the district court, Appellant...

Bright v. Sorensen  
Date: February 18, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 7
Docket Number: 20180528

Justia Opinion Summary: In three consolidated cases, the Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the district judges denying in large part Defendants' motions to dismiss these medical malpractice lawsuits on time-bar grounds and reversed the ju...

Ruiz v. Killebrew  
Date: February 13, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 6
Docket Number: 20180882

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment for Defendants, a hospital and a midwife, holding that Plaintiff failed to produce expert evidence that created a genuine dispute of...

State v. Lujan  
Date: February 11, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 5
Docket Number: 20150840

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's conviction of aggravated robbery on the ground that the legal framework established in State v. Ramirez, 817 P.2d 774 (Utah 1991), is...

In re G.J.P.  
Date: February 5, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 4
Docket Number: 20190733

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court granted the Office of Public Guardian's (OPG) petition for extraordinary relief after the juvenile court appointed OPG as guardian ad litem for Mother in a parental rights proceeding, holding that the j...

State v. Flora  
Date: January 30, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 2
Docket Number: 20170241

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeal, in which Appellant raised two new arguments, from the district court's denial of his motion to withdraw his plea under Utah Code 77-13-6, the Plea Withdrawal Statute, holdi...

State v. Badikyan  
Date: January 30, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 3
Docket Number: 20180883

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals holding that it acted jurisdiction to hear Defendant's unpreserved claim on appeal, holding that Utah's Plea Withdrawal Statute, Utah Code 77-13-6, bars rev...

State v. Hatfield  
Date: January 27, 2020
Citation: 2020 UT 1
Docket Number: 20180386

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court convicting Defendant of two of four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor but reversed the district court on the remaining two convictions, holding that th...

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