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H.B. 376 Enrolled

             1     

SMALL CLAIMS COURT JURISDICTION

             2     
2011 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Rebecca P. Edwards

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Daniel R. Liljenquist

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill allows a defendant in an action in district court to remove it to small claims
             10      court if it fits the jurisdictional amounts.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    allows a defendant in an action in district court to remove it to a small claims court
             14      in the same jurisdiction if it is less than $10,000 and the plaintiff agrees;
             15          .    requires that the defendant pay the small claims filing fee; and
             16          .    provides that the court may not charge the plaintiff a filing fee if the plaintiff
             17      appeals the small claims court judgment.
             18      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             19          None
             20      Other Special Clauses:
             21          None
             22      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             23      AMENDS:
             24          78A-8-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 147
             25     
             26      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             27          Section 1. Section 78A-8-102 is amended to read:
             28           78A-8-102. Small claims -- Defined -- Counsel not necessary -- Removal from
             29      district court -- Deferring multiple claims of one plaintiff -- Supreme Court to govern


             30      procedures.
             31          (1) A small claims action is a civil action:
             32          (a) for the recovery of money where:
             33          (i) the amount claimed does not exceed $10,000 including attorney fees but exclusive
             34      of court costs and interest; and
             35          (ii) the defendant resides or the action of indebtedness was incurred within the
             36      jurisdiction of the court in which the action is to be maintained; or
             37          (b) involving interpleader under Rule 22 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, in
             38      which the amount claimed does not exceed $10,000 including attorney fees but exclusive of
             39      court costs and interest.
             40          (2) (a) A defendant in an action filed in the district court that meets the requirement of
             41      Subsection (1)(a)(i) may remove, if agreed to by the plaintiff, the action to a small claims court
             42      within the same district by:
             43          (i) giving notice, including the small claims filing number, to the district court of
             44      removal during the time afforded for a responsive pleading; and
             45          (ii) paying the applicable small claims filing fee.
             46          (b) No filing fee may be charged to a plaintiff to appeal a judgment on an action
             47      removed under Subsection (2)(a) to the district court where the action was originally filed.
             48          [(2)] (3) The judgment in a small claims action may not exceed $10,000 including
             49      attorney fees but exclusive of court costs and interest.
             50          [(3)] (4) Counter claims may be maintained in small claims actions if the counter claim
             51      arises out of the transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim. A
             52      counter claim may not be raised for the first time in the trial de novo of the small claims action.
             53          [(4)] (5) (a) With or without counsel, persons or corporations may litigate actions on
             54      behalf of themselves:
             55          (i) in person; or
             56          (ii) through authorized employees.
             57          (b) A person or corporation may be represented in an action by an individual who is


             58      not an employee of the person or corporation and is not licensed to practice law only in
             59      accordance with the Utah rules of small claims procedure as promulgated by the Supreme
             60      Court.
             61          [(5)] (6) If a person or corporation other than a municipality or a political subdivision
             62      of the state files multiple small claims in any one court, the clerk or judge of the court may
             63      remove all but the initial claim from the court's calendar in order to dispose of all other small
             64      claims matters. Claims so removed shall be rescheduled as permitted by the court's calendar.
             65          [(6)] (7) Small claims matters shall be managed in accordance with simplified rules of
             66      procedure and evidence promulgated by the Supreme Court.


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