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H.B. 376





Chief Sponsor: Rebecca P. Edwards

Senate Sponsor: Daniel R. Liljenquist

             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
             15          .    requires that the defendant pay the small claims filing fee.
             16      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             17          None
             18      Other Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             21      AMENDS:
             22          78A-8-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 147
             24      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             25          Section 1. Section 78A-8-102 is amended to read:
             26           78A-8-102. Small claims -- Defined -- Counsel not necessary -- Removal from
             27      district court -- Deferring multiple claims of one plaintiff -- Supreme Court to govern

             28      procedures.
             29          (1) A small claims action is a civil action:
             30          (a) for the recovery of money where:
             31          (i) the amount claimed does not exceed $10,000 including attorney fees but exclusive
             32      of court costs and interest; and
             33          (ii) the defendant resides or the action of indebtedness was incurred within the
             34      jurisdiction of the court in which the action is to be maintained; or
             35          (b) involving interpleader under Rule 22 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, in
             36      which the amount claimed does not exceed $10,000 including attorney fees but exclusive of
             37      court costs and interest.
             38          (2) A defendant in an action filed in the district court that meets the requirement of
             39      Subsection (1)(a)(i) may remove the action to a small claims court within the same district by:
             40          (a) giving notice to the plaintiff and district court of removal during the time afforded
             41      for a responsive pleading; and
             42          (b) paying the applicable small claims filing fee.
             43          [(2)] (3) The judgment in a small claims action may not exceed $10,000 including
             44      attorney fees but exclusive of court costs and interest.
             45          [(3)] (4) Counter claims may be maintained in small claims actions if the counter claim
             46      arises out of the transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim. A
             47      counter claim may not be raised for the first time in the trial de novo of the small claims action.
             48          [(4)] (5) (a) With or without counsel, persons or corporations may litigate actions on
             49      behalf of themselves:
             50          (i) in person; or
             51          (ii) through authorized employees.
             52          (b) A person or corporation may be represented in an action by an individual who is
             53      not an employee of the person or corporation and is not licensed to practice law only in
             54      accordance with the Utah rules of small claims procedure as promulgated by the Supreme
             55      Court.
             56          [(5)] (6) If a person or corporation other than a municipality or a political subdivision
             57      of the state files multiple small claims in any one court, the clerk or judge of the court may
             58      remove all but the initial claim from the court's calendar in order to dispose of all other small

             59      claims matters. Claims so removed shall be rescheduled as permitted by the court's calendar.
             60          [(6)] (7) Small claims matters shall be managed in accordance with simplified rules of
             61      procedure and evidence promulgated by the Supreme Court.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-14-11 12:58 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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