by Rodney R. Parker, Dani Cepernich, Robert Cummings, Nathanael Mitchell, Adam Pace, and Andrew Roth
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following appellate cases of interest were recently decided by the Utah Supreme Court, Utah Court of Appeals, and United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following summaries have been prepared by the authoring attorneys listed above, who are solely responsible for their content.
UTAH COURT OF APPEALS
State v. Wilkerson
2020 UT App 160 (Nov. 27, 2020)
In this appeal from a restitution order requiring the criminal defendant to pay roughly $2,000 to Utah County for his pre-plea detention in the Utah County Jail, the Utah Court of Appeals held that the Pay-to-Stay Statute, Utah Code § 76-3-201(6), applies even if the incarceration was served prior to conviction or prior to sentencing.
State v. Gallegos
2020 UT App 162 (Dec. 10, 2020)
After a shank was found in the cell he shared with another prisoner, Gallegos was tried and convicted for felony possession of a dangerous weapon. On appeal, Gallegos challenged the admission of evidence showing he previously possessed a nearly identical shank as forbidden propensity evidence under Utah R. Evid. 404(b)(1). Despite a line of Utah cases suggesting that evidence of prior possession of similar contraband by the defendant is a relevant factor indicating constructive possession, the court of appeals agreed with Gallegos and reversed. The court held that evidence of prior possession of similar contraband by the defendant is admissible to show constructive possession only if the proponent can offer some non-propensity purpose under Rule 404(b)(2).
UDAK Properties LLC v. Canyon Creek Commercial Center LLC
2020 UT App 163 (Dec. 10, 2020)
UDAK Properties LLC v. Spanish Fork, UT Realty LLC
2020 UT App 164 (Dec. 10, 2020)
The court affirmed the district court’s grant of declaratory relief and attorney fees to UDAK in these two related appeals, concluding that UDAK unambiguously qualified as a “Responsible Owner” as that term is used in restrictive covenants binding owners of parcels in a shopping center. The court held that the defendants’ objections to the award of attorney fees were unpreserved because they failed to file an objection to UDAK’s affidavit of fees within seven days as required by Utah...