Pinder v. DuchesneAnnotate this Case
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 the Fourth District Court's denial of attorney fees, holding that the courts did not err.
More than twenty years ago, Duchesne county law enforcement seized property belonging to Appellants as part of a murder investigation. Although some of the property was admitted into evidence in the murder trial, most of the property was not used in the criminal proceedings. Years later, Appellants sued the State and Duchesne County in the Third District Court to recover the seized property and for damages. While this litigation was ongoing, Appellants filed a petition to recover property in the Fourth District Court. The Third District Court dismissed the case. The Fourth District Court granted Appellants' petition but denied their motion for attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed both district courts, holding (1) the Third District Court correctly dismissed Appellants' causes of action as being barred by the Governmental Immunity Act of Utah, Utah Code 63G-7-101 to -904; and (2) the Fourth District Court correctly denied attorney fees.