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Utah Supreme Court

Pro Freedom
Total Judgeships: 

5 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

Non-Partisan

Location(s): 
Salt Lake City
Caseload: 

600

Recent Cases

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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 37: Shon HopwoodListen Here
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Government Problem or Nature Problem?

Tue, 07/15/2014

Glaittli v. State: Glaittli’s boat was hitched to a State owned dock in a State owned marina when the boat heaved, struck Glaittli, and shattered his shoulder. Glaittli sued the State for negligence because of the dock adjustments. The State motioned to dismiss the case on the grounds of government immunity because the injury was a result of nature.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Utah reversed the decisions of the lower courts by ruling in favor of Glaittli. The Court found that since the reservoir and marina were both entirely man-made and designed, nature cannot be blamed for the injuries that resulted. As a result, the State is not immune under the Utah Government Immunity Act.

Read the full decision here
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Approving a Land Taking First, Proving Constitutionality Second

Tue, 06/24/2014

Utah Department of Transportation v. Carlson: Michael Carlson filed suit against the Utah Department of Transportation after they condemned a 15 acre section of his private property in order to construct a city project. The project plans indicated that only a little over one acre of this land was actually needed for the project and therefore, Carlson believed that his other land was taken from him unjustly.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Utah affirmed the District Court’s ruling of summary judgment in favor of the Department of Transportation. The Court endorsed the condemnation of the excess land for the use of transportation purposes but did remand the case in order to allow the lower court to issue a determination on the constitutionality of the taking of the excess land.

Read the full decision here
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When Mom Calls Every Day

Fri, 03/07/2014

Baird v. Baird: Robert Baird filed a stalking injunction against his mother on the grounds that her calls to him every day caused him emotional distress. Baird suffers from mental illness and is in an independence program through a health clinic in order to adjust to being a responsible, independent adult. The mother, upon not being able to get a hold of her son, threatened to take away his independence and even intercepted his benefits checks. The mother made the argument that under Utah Stalking Statute, a court needs to rule that the stalking actions would cause emotional distress to a reasonable person.

Decision

The Supreme Court ruled that the mother’s actions would not cause emotional distress in a reasonable person and therefore are not adequate grounds to be subject to a stalking injunction. As a result, the Court ruled in favor of the mother, Gloria Baird.

Read the full decision here