Article Title: Important Utah Decisions, 2002

Publication year2003
CitationVol. 2003 No. 04 Pg. 04-8
Utah Bar Journal
Volume 4.

04-8 (2003). Article Title: Important Utah Decisions, 2002

April, 2003

Last Update: 15/11/04

Article Title: Important Utah Decisions, 2002

Author: Justice Michael J. Wilkins & Judge Gregory K Orme

Article Type

Utah Law Developments


EDITOR'S NOTE:Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Wilkins and Court of Appeals Judge Gregory K. Orme addressed some of last year's important Utah appellate decisions at a Salt Lake County Bar Luncheon on February 26, 2003. Although the information will be of more limited utility for those not in attendance, the Utah Bar Journal thought its readers might find the case summaries distributed as handouts during the presentations, to be of interest. Accordingly, the handouts are reprinted here, with the speakers' permission. Especially because readers will not have the benefit of the narrative commentary provided by the speakers, readers are cautioned that the summaries should not be relied on for any purposes other than calling attention to these opinions and explaining what each case generally involves.

Selected Cases Decided by the Utah Supreme Court in 2002

by Justice Michael J. Wilkins

Common Law

Riddle v. Perry, 2002 UT 10

A witness in a legislative hearing has a common law privilege to speak unmolested, even if the comments amount to defamatory statements, so long as the testimony given has some relation to the proceedings in which they are made.


Breiggar Properties v. H. E. Davis & Sons, 2002 UT 53

Road debris was dumped on adjoining property. Suit for trespass was dismissed under the three year statute of limitations. The court clarified that "permanent trespass" means that the act of trespass has ceased, and the statute of limitation has begun to run from the date of the last act of trespass. Similarly, "continuing trespass" means that the acts of trespass have not ceased, and that the statute of limitations begins to run anew from each new act of trespass for damages arising from that new act.

Juvenile Court Cases

Search and seizure:

State in the interests of A.C.C., 2002 UT 22

A juvenile court probation order providing for random searches of the juvenile deprived the juvenile of any reasonable expectation of privacy, as a matter of law, and the drug paraphernalia seized was not subject to suppression as the result. The search did not violate the Fourth Amendment, or Article I, Section 14 of the Utah Constitution. The order was a lesser intrusion than secure confinement, which the court could have imposed.

Juvenile Court jurisdiction:

State v. Houskeeper, 2002 UT 118

State v. Tunzi, 2002 UT 119

Once certified to stand trial as an adult, the district court retains jurisdiction for all purposes unless the juvenile is acquitted on the charged offense, and on all related charges arising from the same incident.

State in the interests of W.A., 2002 UT 126

State in the interests of W.A., 2002 UT 127

Termination of parental rights actions involving child legally in Utah, and parents located in two other states. Parents challenge personal jurisdiction. The court affirmed juvenile court's finding of jurisdiction on two basis: 78-3a-110(13) specifically grants the juvenile court jurisdiction over the absent parents; and the status of the child vis-a-vis the parents constitutes an exception to the ordinary requirements of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

State v. Schofield, 2002 UT 132

A person over the age of 21, no matter at what age the offense occurred, is subject to the jurisdiction of the district court, and not eligible for the 'exclusive' jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Juvenile court jurisdiction is an aid in reforming juveniles prior to adulthood, not a lesser penalty for adults whose crimes occurred while they were juveniles.

Criminal Cases

State v. Martinez, 2002 UT 80

Nineteen-year-old defendant had sexual intercourse with a fifteen-year-old girl. Defendant sought to introduce evidence that girl had represented herself as seventeen-years-old to address question of intent to have sex with 14 or 15 year old. In affirming the conviction, and the exclusion of the proffered age evidence, the Court held crime of sexual activity with a minor is one of strict liability, and the only intent necessary has to do...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT