Child Welfare Appeals

Expedited Appeals in Child Welfare Cases Utah Code Ann. § 78A-6-1109

This page explains the procedures and timelines for child welfare appeals and directs parties to additional information if necessary.

Expedited Appeals Forms/Rules

Where are these rules?

The rules governing child welfare appeals are within the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Utah Rules of Juvenile Procedure. Links to forms and instructions, the law, and court rules are provided at the bottom of this page.


Where are the pleadings filed? Which parties must be served with notice?

The original notice of appeal, which must be signed by counsel and the appellant, should be filed with a clerk of the juvenile court. Copies should be sent to all parties from the trial court proceedings. An informational copy is sent to the clerk of the Court of Appeals.

The original Request for Transcript must be filed with the appeals clerk in the juvenile court. An informational copy is sent to the clerk of the Court of Appeals. Remember you are required to request transmittal of the juvenile court's legal file, all exhibits, and any transcripts.

The original petition on appeal + 4 copies must be filed with the clerk of the Court of Appeals. One copy of the petition must be served on all parties from the juvenile court proceedings. The response, which is optional, requires the same number of copies and service as the petition.


When must the pleadings be filed?

Appellant must file the notice of appeal with the clerk in the juvenile court within 15 days of the entry of the juvenile court order. Appellant must file the request for transcript with the appeals clerk in the juvenile court within 4 days of the filing of the notice of appeal. The petition on appeal must be filed within 15 days of the filing of the notice of appeal. Any response must be filed within 15 days of the date of service of the petition + 3 days if service is done by mail (Utah Rule of Appellate Procedure 22(d)).

EVENT DEADLINE EXAMPLE:
Juvenile Court Order entered 1/1/2005
File Notice of Appeal 15 days after Juvenile Court order 1/16/2005
File Cross-Appeal No later than 5 days after the Notice of Appeal is filed  
Request Transcript 4 days after Notice of Appeal 1/20/2005
File Petition on Appeal 15 days after Notice of Appeal 1/31/05
Filing of Response 15 days after Service of Petition 2/15/05
(+3 days if mailed)

What should the attorney do if they can't locate their client?

A notice of appeal can be filed but is not valid without both counsel's and the appellant's signature. It is the client's responsibility to keep in contact with the attorney and to inform the attorney of any phone and address changes. If the client has not done this and is not available to consult with about an appeal, the attorney should file the diligent search form along with the notice of appeal. That form was provided to protect attorneys from liability in the event that the client resurfaces at a later date and complains that no appeal was filed on the client's behalf.


Will the court allow any extensions?

Only upon a showing of good cause or excusable neglect will the juvenile court extend the time for filing a notice of appeal upon motion filed under Utah Rule of Appellate Procedure 59(a)(4). No extension shall exceed 10 days past the prescribed time or 10 days from the date of entry of the order granting the motion, whichever is later.


Trial counsel does not want to do the appeal. Will she be allowed to withdraw?

No, absent extraordinary circumstances. The attorney must represent the client throughout the filing of an appeal unless the court finds extraordinary circumstances to allow withdrawal. It is a tremendous disadvantage for parents to have a new attorney appointed who is unfamiliar with the case given the expedited time limits. The Court of Appeals will usually not allow new counsel an extension to file a petition.


If the client claims ineffective assistance of counsel, who does the appeal?

Trial counsel must raise the ineffective assistance claim in the petition on appeal. The court will not consider a claim of ineffective assistance as extraordinary circumstances to allow withdrawal before the petition on appeal is filed.


The attorney thinks there are no issues of merit to raise on appeal. Can the attorney withdraw and ask the court to dismiss the appeal as frivolous?

No. The attorney must file the petition on appeal.


What happens after the petition is filed?

Once the petition and response (if any) are on file, and the entire record has been received by the clerk of the Court of Appeals, the case is submitted to a panel of 3 judges within the Court of Appeals. The panel quickly makes a decision as to whether full briefing is necessary, and if not, begins working on the opinion. If full briefing is necessary, the parties will receive an order from the court with further instructions.


Is further review by the Supreme Court still available? Has that procedure changed?

Any party may still file a petition for review of the Court of Appeals' decision. A party still has 30 days from the filing date of the Court of Appeals' opinion to file the petition.


Expedited Appeals Forms/Rules


Forms & Instructions

Law

Court Rules


Page Last Modified: 8/28/2013
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