Utah Law Developments Appellate Highlights

JurisdictionUtah,United States
CitationVol. 26 No. 3 Pg. 32
Publication year2013
Utah Law Developments Appellate Highlights
Vol. 26 No. 3 Pg. 32
Utah Bar Journal
June 2013

May/June 2013

Rodney R. Parker and Julianne P. Blanch.

Peak Alarm Co., Inc. v. Salt Lake City Corp., 2013 UT 8 (February 15, 2013)

The Utah Supreme Court held in this case that the Utah Governmental Immunity Act (the Act) “comprehensively governs claims against governmental parties such that plaintiffs are not bound to observe the statute of limitations that would apply to claims against private parties.” Id. ¶ 2. Plaintiff had asserted defamation and false arrest claims against the city, both of which would ordinarily be governed by the one-year statute of limitations. He timely filed a notice of claim with the city. Suit was filed within one year after “denial” of the notice claim, but not within one year after the underlying claims originally accrued. The court held that the Act comprehensively governs claims against governmental entities, and that the claims are not barred as long as suit is filed within one year after the Notice of Claim is denied. The court states in a footnote that it does not consider in its opinion the interplay of the Act on claims where limitations periods of a different length have been established in the Utah Code for claims against the government. Id. ¶ 27 n.4. Specifically, the court declined to either reject or adopt reasoning in such cases as Thorpe v. Washington City, 2010 UT App 297, 243 P.3d 500, which had held that persons bringing suit under the so-called Utah Whistleblower Act must both comply with the Notice of Claim requirement and file suit within 180 days after the claim arises, a limitations period which is specified in the Whistleblower Act itself.

Antion Financial, LC v. Christensen, 2013 UT App 60 (March 7, 2013)

This case clarifies the liability of bidders and calculation of damages provided for in Utah Code section 57-1-27, which governs the public sale of property under a trust deed. See Utah Code Ann. § 57-1-27 (LexisNexis 2010). A creditor acquired property on its credit bid through a foreclosure auction after the highest and second highest bidders both failed to perform on their bids. The creditor then sued the second highest bidder for breach of contract, and was awarded damages after a bench trial. All bids at a trustee’s sale are irrevocable, but only until the trustee accepts the highest bid. If the highest bidder fails to perform, the next highest bidder is liable for his bid only if he resubmits it. The proper measure of damages for a party who fails to perform its bid is the difference between the bid and the amount for which the property actually sold — which in this case amounted to one dollar. The damage award should also include incidental costs and attorney’s fees incurred from the bidder’s refusal to purchase the property, but not...

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