The Utah Court of Appeals

Today’s blog covers some of the basic questions you may have about the Utah Court of Appeals and the types of cases they are responsible for handling.

Photo: Bruce Fingerhood

The Utah Court of Appeals was created in 1987 and has seven judges who each hold a six-year term. One of the judges is elected by a majority vote of the others to be the presiding judge every two years.

The Utah Court of Appeals hears all appeals from the juvenile and district courts in the state, except for small claims department appeals from a district court. The Court of Appeals also handles appeals from district court involving domestic relations cases, including:

• Divorce
• Annulment
• Property division
• Child custody
• Support
• Visitation
• Adoption and paternity

The Appeals Court is also responsible for criminal matters of less than a first-degree felony or capital felony. This Court also reviews appeals of administrative proceedings by state agencies including the Utah Industrial Commission and the Department of Employment Security Career Service Review Board. The Court also has jurisdiction to hear cases that are transferred to it by the Utah Supreme Court.

Court of Appeals sessions take place most often in Salt Lake City, but the Court does travel throughout the year to hold sessions in different locations within the state. Even though there are seven judges on the Court of Appeals, each session is handled by a rotating panel of three judges.

A panel will hear oral arguments in cases during the third and fourth weeks of each month. After an oral argument has been presented, the three judges on the panel meet together to discuss the points raised by both sides. Only one of the three judges will write the Court’s opinion.

If you have a case that you would like to have appealed, or if you want to understand the appeals process better, contact a Utah criminal defense attorney. Utah law is complex and your case deserves to be handled by someone who is skilled in legal language and procedures. Call an attorney today and find out what options are available to you.


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