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February 1, 2013

JUDGE HADFIELD NAMED PRESIDING IN FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2013
Contact: Nancy Volmer
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545

JUDGE HADFIELD NAMED PRESIDING IN FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Logan, UT---Judge Ben H. Hadfield has been named presiding judge for the First District Court for a two-year term. Judge Hadfield replaces Judge Clint Judkins who is retiring. Judge Jeffrey R. Burbank will remain as Associate Presiding Judge.
The presiding judges are responsible for the effective operation of their courts. According to court Rule 3-104, presiding judges are responsible for implementation and enforcement of statutes, rules, policies, and directives of the Utah Judicial Council as they pertain to the administration of the courts. The presiding judge is responsible for assigning cases and judges.
Presiding judges and associate presiding judges are elected by a majority vote of the judges of their court. When the presiding judge is unavailable, the associate presiding judge assumes his or her responsibilities.

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January 31, 2013

COURT VISITOR PROGRAM PLANS FREE FILM SCREENING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2013
Contact: Nancy Volmer
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545

COURT VISITOR PROGRAM PLANS FREE FILM SCREENING
Salt Lake City, UT - The Court Visitor Volunteer Program is planning a free screening of the documentary film Last Will and Embezzlement on Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Library’s Nancy Tessman Auditorium. The documentary is a film about the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults and covers first-hand accounts from victims as well as interviews with experts who discuss potential solutions to the growing problem.
The Court Visitor Volunteer Program is a pilot guardianship monitoring program established by the Utah Judicial Council in 2011. It is funded by a grant from the State Justice Institute. The purpose of the program is to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, exploitation, neglect, and self-neglect. The program aims to preserve an individual’s independence and self-determination despite diminished capacity. The program currently operates in the 3rd, 4th, and 7th judicial districts.
A panel discussion will follow the film at which representatives from Adult Protective Services, the Salt Lake City Police Department, and the Utah State Courts will participate. For more information about the screening, call Karolina Abuzyarova at (801) 578-3925. Information about the program is available at www.utcourts.gov/visitor.

January 24, 2013

CHIEF JUSTICE DURRANT TO PRESENT STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nancy Volmer
January 24, 2013
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545

WHAT: 2013 State of the Judiciary Address.

WHO: The Honorable Matthew B. Durrant, Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, will address the Senate and the House separately.

WHEN: Monday, January 28:
Senate at 2:15 p.m.
House of Representatives approx. 2:45 p.m.

WHERE: Utah State Capitol

COPIES: Copies of Chief Justice Durrant’s speech will be distributed to reporters at the Capitol at the start of the address. An electronic copy will be available at http://www.utcourts.gov/media/news/ following the address.

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January 17, 2013

Judge for a Day Program Planned

UTAH STATE COURTS PLAN JUDGE FOR A DAY PROGRAM
Salt Lake City, UT—The Utah State Courts are planning the 8th Annual “Judge for a Day,” program in recognition of Law Day, which is celebrated on May 1, 2013. On May 1, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the first Law Day as a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.
Utah high school students are selected to participate in the program based on an essay, civic involvement resume, or teacher nomination letter. The topic, for students who choose to write an essay, is “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.”
Students selected to participate in the program will be paired with a judge in one of the state’s eight judicial districts for one day in either April or May. The students will be given a behind-the-scenes look at court operations, which include observing court proceedings and a judge at work.

Students are asked to submit an application form by March 4, 2013. Application forms and additional information are available on the court’s Web site at www.utcourts.gov/media/lawday.

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Nancy Volmer
Utah State Courts
Public Information Office
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545
Fax: (801) 578-3843

January 9, 2013

Saratoga Springs Justice Court Judge Named

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2013
Contact: Nancy Volmer
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545
NOMINEE NAMED TO FILL SARATOGA SPRINGS JUSTICE COURT VACANCY
Saratoga Springs, UT - Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love has announced the appointment of Carolyn E. Howard to fill the Saratoga Springs Justice Court vacancy. The position will replace Judge Keith Stoney who retired on Dec. 31, 2012.
Howard has worked at the law office of Wasatch Lawyers, Bartholomew & Associates since 2007. She is a tenured associate professor in the Legal Studies Dept. at Utah Valley University in Orem and is a trained mediator. Howard received a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Brigham Young University.
Howard’s appointment to the bench is subject to completion of the court’s new judge orientation and certification by the Utah Judicial Council.
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January 7, 2013

Juvenile Court Executive Appointed for 2nd District Juvenile Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2013
Contact: Nancy Volmer
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545

SECOND DISTRICT JUVENILE COURT EXECUTIVE APPOINTED
Ogden, UT---The Administrative Office of the Utah State Courts has appointed Travis Erickson as the trial court executive for the Second District Juvenile Court, which includes Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties. Mr. Erickson will replace Beani Martinez who retired in December. His first day on the job will be Jan. 22.
As the court executive, Erickson will be responsible for the administration of juvenile courts, which includes providing administrative support to six judges and managing support operations of about 75 professional, technical, and juvenile probation staff, case management, court facilities, and court security. In addition, the court executive will develop, justify, and manage a court budget.
Erickson previously worked for the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida where he served as Circuit director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem program. He was responsible for directing a program of 25 staff and 300 volunteers to represent the best interests of children. Erickson has worked in Utah for the Department of Human Services in Adult Protective Services as a program manager and with the Division of Services for People with Disabilities. Erickson has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Weber State University.

December 28, 2012

Lehi Names New Justice Court Judge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2012
Contact: Nancy Volmer
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545
NOMINEE NAMED TO FILL LEHI CITY JUSTICE COURT VACANCY
Lehi City, UT—Lehi City Manager Bert Wilson has announced the appointment of Douglas J. Nielsen to fill the Lehi City Justice Court vacancy. The position will replace the Honorable Paul R. Farr who will become a full-time judge for the Sandy City Justice Court on January 1, 2013.
Nielsen is currently a partner in the law office of Petro & Nielsen and worked previously for the law office of Young, Kester & Petro. He received a law degree from Oklahoma City University in 2007, and from Utah State University in 2004.
Nielsen’s appointment to the bench is subject completion of the court’s new judge orientation and certification by the Utah Judicial Council.
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Nancy Volmer
Utah State Courts
Public Information Office
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545
Fax: (801) 578-3843

November 19, 2012

SURVEY SHOWS HIGH LEVEL OF PUBLIC TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN UTAH’S COURTS

Salt Lake City, Utah—The public’s trust and confidence in the Utah State Courts remains high, according to results from a survey commissioned by the Utah Judicial Council this past summer. Survey results show that 81 percent of respondents rank Utah’s court system as good to excellent, compared to 78 percent in a 2006 survey.
The Judicial Council commissioned the survey to determine the public’s level of trust and confidence in Utah’s court system and to compare the results to the 2006 survey. The survey measured the public’s knowledge, experience, and expectations of the courts.
When comparing the 2012 survey results to 2006, the most notable changes were in how the public learns about the courts. For example, while TV news programs were listed as a frequent source of information, reliance on the Internet increased dramatically over the past six years from 22 percent to 51 percent. The survey found that 60 percent of citizens—under the age of 45—rely on the Internet for court information, often or sometimes.

Survey results also showed that individuals who were involved with the courts through jury duty were more confident in the system. Fifty percent of jurors reported that they had more confidence in the courts as a result of participating in jury service.

The Judicial Council also learned that economic barriers—including the cost of hiring an attorney, time away from work and court fees—did or would prevent some individuals from going to court.
“The Judicial Council will use the data to look at how the courts can improve services to the public,” said Utah State Court Administrator Dan Becker. “We will concentrate our efforts to improve communication to minority communities and work to minimize the barriers that are keeping the public from accessing their courts.”

Continue reading "SURVEY SHOWS HIGH LEVEL OF PUBLIC TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN UTAH’S COURTS" »

November 9, 2012

Utah State Bar Honors Eleven at Tenth Annual Fall Forum

Lifetime Service, Distinguished Service, Professionalism, Mentors & Pro Bono Service.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Utah State Bar President Lori Nelson honored seven accomplished lawyers, three judges and a prominent local CPA today during the Utah State Bar’s Annual Fall Forum held at the Little America Hotel. “It is such an honor to recognize these amazing people for their hard work and service for the public good. We are proud and grateful for the diligent efforts each one has made to improve the lives of others and by these awards publically express that gratitude for their devotion to being effective problem solvers,” said Nelson. Those recognized today include:

Continue reading "Utah State Bar Honors Eleven at Tenth Annual Fall Forum" »

NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR BLANDING JUSTICE COURT VACANCY

Blanding, UT—The San Juan County Nominating Commission has selected three nominees for a vacancy at the Blanding Justice Court. The position will replace Judge James Harris who is retiring Dec. 31, 2012.

Following are the nominees followed by place of employment and residence:
• Honorable Lyon Hazelton, II, San Juan County and Monticello Justice Court judge, Monticello
• Edward Johnstun, counselor, Canyonlands Youth Center, Blanding
• William Walker, Battalion Ops NCO, U.S. Army, Blanding

A comment period will be held through Nov. 19, 2012, before a final candidate is selected by
Blanding Mayor Toni Turk, who has 30 days to make an appointment, which is subject to ratification by the Blanding City Council. The Utah Judicial Council must then certify the appointment. To submit written comments about the candidates, contact Holly Frischknecht, Administrative Office of the Courts, hollyf@utcourts.gov.

September 26, 2012

West Valley City Justice Court Vacancy Posted

WEST VALLEY CITY JUSTICE COURT VACANCY ANNOUNCED
West Valley City, Utah—Applications are being accepted for a Justice Court judge position in West Valley City. The position will replace Judge Keith L. Stoney who is retiring effective Dec. 31, 2012.

To be considered for the position, candidates must be at least 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a Utah resident for at least three years, and have earned a high school diploma or GED. In addition, candidates must be a resident of the county in which the court is located—or an adjacent county—for at least six months.

Information on judicial retention and performance evaluation is posted on the Utah State Court’s website at www.utcourts.gov under employment opportunities. An application for judicial office form must be completed and is available on the court’s website. The annual salary for the full-time position is $66,725 to $120,105 and benefits may or may not be provided. For additional information, DeAnn Varney with the local hiring authority can be reached at (801) 963-3600.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 15, 2012 at 5 p.m. and should be sent to the attention of Holly Frischknecht, Administrative Office of the Courts, 135 North 100 West, Logan, Utah, 84321, or faxed to (435) 750-1343. For more information, e-mail hollyf@utcourts.gov or call (435) 750-1325.

Utah law requires the Judicial Nominating Commission to submit three to five nominees to the Salt Lake County Nominating Commission within 45 days of its first meeting. The local government executive has 30 days in which to make a selection. The selection must be certified by the Utah Judicial Council.

September 24, 2012

UTAH JUDICIAL COUNCIL MEMBERS NAMED

Salt Lake City, Utah—Two judges and one Utah State Bar representative have been elected to serve three-year terms on the Utah Judicial Council. Second District Court Judge Glen Dawson, Orem City Justice Court Judge Reed S. Parkin, and Utah State Bar representative John Lund have replaced 1st District Court Judge Thomas Willmore, Saratoga Springs and West Valley Justice Court Judge Keith Stoney, and Utah State Bar President Lori Nelson who completed their terms.

The Utah Judicial Council is the policy-making body for the judiciary. The Council has the constitutional authority to adopt uniform rules for the administration of all courts in the state. The Council also sets standards for judicial performance, court facilities, support services, and judicial and non-judicial staff levels.

Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant chairs the Council, which consists of 14 members. Other members are as follows: 3rd District Juvenile Court Judge Kimberly K. Hornak, Council vice chair, Utah Supreme Court Justice Jill N. Parrish, Utah Court of Appeals Judge Gregory K. Orme, 3rd District Court Judge Judith S.H. Atherton, 7th District Court Judge George Harmond, 3rd District Court Judge Paul G. Maughan, West Valley Justice Court Judge Brendan P. McCullagh, 4th District Court Judge David Mortensen, Clinton and Clearfield Justice Court Judge John Sandberg, and Utah State Court Administrator Dan Becker who serves as secretariat to the Council. The judges and Utah State Bar representative all serve three-year terms.

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Media Note: Biographies on the judges are available at http://www.utcourts.gov/judgesbios/

September 17, 2012

UTAH STATE COURTS TO COMMEMORATE CONSTITUTION DAY

Program to Mark the 225th Anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution

WHAT: The Utah State Courts is planning a program to recognize the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution guides American society in law and political culture. It is the oldest written national constitution in continuous use.

Following the program, Utah Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham will present a lesson plan to West High School students as part of the Utah State Bar’s Civics Education Program.

WHEN: Monday, Sept. 17 at 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Scott M. Matheson Courthouse, 450 South State, rotunda

WHO:- Judge Carolyn McHugh, Court of Appeals, Judicial Outreach Committee chair
-Justice Christine M. Durham, Utah Supreme Court
-Utah State Bar President Lori Nelson
-East High School ROTC Color Guard
-National Anthem to be sung by Frank Chavez

NOTE: A 12’ x 18’ American flag will be hung in the rotunda and will provide a photographic backdrop to the program.

September 11, 2012

JUDGES TO HEAR GRAND JURY TESTIMONY

Heber City, UT---A panel of judges is scheduled to meet on Oct. 11, 2012, to hear testimony to determine if reasonable cause exists to call a grand jury. The meeting will take place in the Fourth Judicial District, Heber City Courthouse, 1361 South Highway 40.

Those wanting to testify before the panel of judges should contact District Court Administrator Debra Moore at (801) 578-3800 by Sept. 28, 2012, to schedule an appointment. If no appointments are scheduled by Sept. 28, the meeting will be canceled without further notice.

Individuals testifying must be prepared to give evidence to support claims that justify calling a grand jury. Controversies between individual parties will not be considered. Individuals who need special accommodations during the hearing must notify the court at least three business days prior to the hearing.

Utah’s Grand Jury Statute requires a panel of judges selected from throughout the state to hold hearings in each judicial district every three years. The purpose of the hearings is to determine if a grand jury needs to be summoned based on evidence of criminal activity. The Grand Jury Panel is comprised of the following judges: Supervising Judge A. Lynn Payne, senior judge; Judge Terry L. Christiansen, 3rd District Court; Judge Steven L. Hansen, 4th District Court; Judge Kate Toomey, 3rd District Court; and Judge W. Brent West, 2nd District Court.

The Attorney General, a county attorney, district attorney, or special prosecutor appointed under U.C.A. section 77-10a-1 can also present evidence of criminal activity. The panel of judges will hear, in secret, all persons claiming information that justifies calling a grand jury. All individuals appearing before the panel of judges will be placed under oath. If a grand jury is summoned, the jurors will be called from the state-at-large or any judicial district within the state.

April 12, 2012

Utah State Bar to Sponsor E-Waste Recycling Event

Young Lawyers Division-led program to celebrate Earth Day 2012

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Bar is offering Utah lawyers an opportunity to celebrate Earth Day and do a little spring cleaning at the same time, with a free E-waste recycling event this Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Bar’s Young Lawyers Division is working with Salt Lake City’s Metech Recycling to provide a staging area at the Utah Law & Justice Center, 645 South 200 East in Salt Lake City, where all Utah State Bar Members can drop off unwanted electronic equipment.

Continue reading "Utah State Bar to Sponsor E-Waste Recycling Event" »

April 8, 2009

Judges To Hear Grand Jury Testimony

Vernal, UT---A panel of judges is scheduled to meet on May 7, 2009 to hear testimony to determine if reasonable cause exists to call a grand jury. The meeting will take place in the 8th Judicial District, Uintah County Courthouse, 920 East Highway 40, Vernal.

Those wanting to testify before the panel of judges should contact District Court Administrator Debra Moore at (801) 578-3800 by April 24, 2009, to schedule an appointment. Individuals testifying must be prepared to give evidence to support claims that justify calling a grand jury. Controversies between individual parties will not be considered. Individuals who need special accommodations during the hearing must notify the court at least three business days prior to the hearing.

Utah’s Grand Jury Statute requires a panel of judges selected from throughout the state to hold hearings in each judicial district every three years. The purpose of the hearings is to determine if a grand jury needs to be summoned based on evidence of criminal activity. The Grand Jury Panel is comprised of the following judges: Supervising Judge A. Lynn Payne, Eighth District Court; Judge Terry L. Christiansen, Third District Court; Judge Steven L. Hansen, Fourth District Court; Judge Sandra N. Peuler, Third District Court; and Judge W. Brent West, Second District Court.

The Attorney General, a county attorney, district attorney, or special prosecutor appointed under U.C.A. 77-10a-1 can also present evidence if it is based on criminal activity. The panel of judges will hear, in secret, all persons claiming information that justifies calling a grand jury. All individuals appearing before the panel of judges will be placed under oath. If a grand jury is summoned, the jurors will be called from the state-at-large or any judicial district within the state.

March 13, 2009

Utah State Courts' Statement Following Legislative Session

Salt Lake City, Utah—Chief Justice Christine M. Durham and Utah State Court Administrator Daniel Becker released the following statement towards the close of the 2009 Legislative Session.

“On behalf of the judges and staff of the Utah court system, I would like to express our gratitude to the Utah Legislature for addressing the budgetary needs of the state court system,” said Chief Justice Christine M. Durham. “The courts budget was in large measure restored by the passage of legislation increasing filing fees. We appreciate how difficult the decision to raise filing fees was for the Legislature.”

At the start of the 2009 Legislative Session, the courts faced the prospect of closing courts one day a week and eliminating hundreds of court staff positions. According to Utah State Court Administrator Daniel Becker, “such drastic measures would have severely reduced the public’s access to their courts and resulted in considerable delay in handling the work of the courts.”

Chief Justice Durham added, “The public is the real beneficiary of legislative efforts to address the needs of our court system.”

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