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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

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Court Operating Color Levels: Statewide


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A new Administrative Order regarding the wearing of facemasks has been issued (4/14/20)


People representing themselves may file documents by emailing them to the court.


The Utah Supreme Court and Utah Judicial Council have issued an updated Administrative Order. The order addresses in-person hearings, bench trials, and in-person jury trials. The following paragraphs contain substantive amendments:    

Paragraph 9:

·       The amendments to Paragraph 9 require a judge to obtain approval from the presiding judge before conducting an in-person hearing based on exigent circumstances. The change was made in response to concerns that the practices are inconsistent throughout the state.

·       Amendments to Paragraph 9 also allow courts to address some matters when a person shows up to court on the person's own initiative and the person does not have access to the necessary technology to participate remotely.  

Paragraph 10:

·       Paragraph 10 has two new subparagraphs containing rule changes to allow for more bench trials and the jury trial pilot project.

·       The Management Committee of the Judicial Council is working on standards for conducting jury trials during the Red Phase and cases are being identified for the pilot.

·       The amendments also provide that, during the Red Phase, a defendant will be able to waive the right to a jury trial in a felony case. Defendants will be able to consent to a remote bench trial, and remote testimony will be allowed under certain circumstances.

·       The jury selection processes are modified for Red Phase jury trials in both criminal and civil cases. 

Paragraphs 17 and 27:

·       Paragraphs 17 and 27 have amendments that are similar to those in Paragraph 9.

·       The amendments allow defendants to consent to remote bench trials in misdemeanor and felony cases.

·       The amendments will also allow courts to conduct remote bench trials in infraction cases without the parties' consent. 

Paragraphs 20 through 23:

·       These sections apply to the juvenile courts and have been rewritten to allow the juvenile courts to schedule more proceedings on their own initiative.


The Utah Courts remain open and available to the public while balancing the health and safety of court patrons, court staff, and judges. A prior announcement explained that the Utah Judicial Council has established three levels of court operations (Red, Yellow, Green), based on safety recommendations established by the Centers for Disease Control and the Utah Department of Health. The COVID Alerts and Information page contains more information on the Risk Phase Response Plan. The courts are working on minor modifications to the plan that will be released in the next few weeks. The modifications address 1) new CDC guidance on quarantine after exposure to someone who has contracted COVID-19; and 2) the use of masks. 



The Utah State Law Library is open to the public both in person and virtually, Monday - Friday, 9:00-4:30.

  • Phone:  801-238-7990.
  • Email:  library@utcourts.gov
  • Text:  801-432-0898

Please contact the library or go to the library's website for more information.


THE UTAH SUPREME COURT

DEPOSITION ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER

April 13, 2020

It has come to the attention of the Utah Supreme Court that a question has arisen about conducting remote depositions and whether a witness must be in the physical presence of a court reporter in order for the court reporter to administer an oath to the witness. The Court issues this order to provide assurances that a witness need not be in the physical presence of the court reporter. An oath may be administered remotely through electronic means.

Rule 30(b)(5) of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure states that a “deposition may be taken by remote electronic means.” The rule does not require any person to be in the same room as another person. The rule considers the deposition to have been “taken at the place where the witness is located.” Utah Code § 78A-2-404(2) states that “a certified court reporter is an officer of the court, authorized to administer oaths.” Unlike the statutes governing notaries public, the court reporter statutes do not require a person to be in the physical presence of a court reporter when taking an oath. The practice of witnesses taking oaths through electronic means is regularly occurring in the trial courts

as proceedings are being conducted remotely.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

Court reporters, as officers of the court, are authorized to administer oaths through remote electronic means without the witness being physically present. Because this order is based on existing law, court reporters may continue to administer oaths remotely unless existing laws are amended to require a witness to be in the physical presence of a court reporter.

DATED this 13th day of April 2020.

Signed,

MATTHEW B. DURRANT

Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court


The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

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