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S.B. 200 Enrolled
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies the creation, procedures, and standards of Justice Courts.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 . establishes and amends procedures to establish and expand the territorial
13 jurisdiction of justice courts;
14 . amends and consolidates the minimum operating standards of justice courts;
15 . amends the Judicial Council's authority to establish rules and procedures concerning
16 the creation and expansion of justice courts;
17 . provides for uniform fees of the justice courts;
18 . under certain circumstances, entitles a plea of "no contest" in a criminal justice
19 court case to receive a trial de novo in the district court;
20 . authorizes cities and counties to alter the disposition of fines with interlocal
22 . requires every prospective justice court judge to attend an orientation program
23 conducted under the direction of the Judicial Council before the justice court judge
24 can be certified and qualified to hold office;
25 . authorizes the governing body of a justice court to create specialized judicial
26 calendars and exempts judges who hear these calendars from being assigned cases
27 at random;
28 . modifies the procedures and penalties for failure to comply with continuing
29 education requirements;
30 . modifies the procedures and penalties for failure to comply with compensation
31 limits, limits on secondary employment, and limits on holding elected or political
32 offices and requires the Judicial Council to file a formal complaint for violations;
33 . amends the procedures to appoint a temporary justice court judge and prohibits a
34 retired justice court judge from serving as a temporary justice court judge;
35 . modifies and establishes new standards for when and where a municipality and
36 county may hold justice court and authorizes the Judicial Council to determine
37 when and where justice courts my hold court; and
38 . makes technical corrections.
39 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
41 Other Special Clauses:
43 Utah Code Sections Affected:
45 78A-7-101, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
46 78A-7-102, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
47 78A-7-105, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 208
48 78A-7-106, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapters 34 and 47
49 78A-7-118, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 215
50 78A-7-120, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 22 and renumbered and
51 amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
52 78A-7-121, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
53 78A-7-201, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 93 and renumbered and
54 amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
55 78A-7-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Second Special Session, Chapter 3
56 78A-7-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 146
57 78A-7-204, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 208
58 78A-7-205, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
59 78A-7-206, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 93 and renumbered and
60 amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
61 78A-7-208, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
62 78A-7-210, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
63 78A-7-213, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 93 and renumbered and
64 amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
65 78A-7-215, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
66 78A-8-101, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
68 78A-2-301.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
69 REPEALS AND REENACTS:
70 78A-7-103, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 238
72 78A-7-104, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
73 78A-7-108, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
74 78A-7-109, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
75 78A-7-110, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
76 78A-7-111, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
77 78A-7-112, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
78 78A-7-113, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
79 78A-7-114, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
80 78A-7-115, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
81 78A-7-116, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
82 78A-7-117, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
83 78A-7-119, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
84 78A-7-209, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
85 78A-7-211, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
86 78A-7-214, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
88 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
89 Section 1. Section 78A-2-301.5 is enacted to read:
90 78A-2-301.5. Civil fees for justice courts.
91 (1) The fee for filing a small claims affidavit is:
92 (a) $60 if the claim for damages or amount in interpleader exclusive of justice court
93 costs, interest, and attorney fees is $2,000 or less;
94 (b) $100 if the claim for damages or amount in interpleader exclusive of justice court
95 costs, interest, and attorney fees is greater than $2,000, but less than $7,500; and
96 (c) $185 if the claim for damages or amount in interpleader exclusive of justice court
97 costs, interest, and attorney fees is $7,500 or more.
98 (2) The fee for filing a small claims counter affidavit is:
99 (a) $50 if the claim for relief exclusive of justice court costs, interest, and attorney fees
100 is $2,000 or less;
101 (b) $70 if the claim for relief exclusive of justice court costs, interest, and attorney fees
102 is greater than $2,000, but less than $7,500; and
103 (c) $120 if the claim for relief exclusive of justice court costs, interest, and attorney
104 fees is $7,500 or more.
105 (3) The fee for filing a petition for expungement is $135.
106 (4) The fee for a petition to open a sealed record is $35.
107 (5) The fee for a writ of replevin, attachment, execution, or garnishment is $50 in
108 addition to any fee for a complaint or petition.
109 (6) The fee for filing a notice of appeal to a court of record is $10. This fee covers all
110 services of the justice court on appeal but does not satisfy the trial de novo filing fee in the
111 court of record.
112 (7) The fee for a certified copy of a document is $4 per document plus 50 cents per
114 (8) The fee for an exemplified copy of a document is $6 per document plus 50 cents
115 per page.
116 (9) The fee schedule adopted by the Judicial Council for copies of documents and
117 forms and for the search and retrieval of records under Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government
118 Records Access and Management Act, shall apply.
119 (10) There is no fee for services or the filing of documents not listed in this section or
120 otherwise provided by law.
121 (11) The filing fees under this section may not be charged to the state, its agencies, or
122 political subdivisions filing or defending any action.
123 Section 2. Section 78A-7-101 is amended to read:
124 78A-7-101. Creation of justice court -- Not of record -- Classes of justice.
125 (1) Under Article VIII, Section 1, Utah Constitution, there is created a court not of
126 record known as the justice court. The judges of this court are justice court judges.
127 (2) Justice courts shall be divided into the following classes:
128 (a) Class I: 501 or more case filings per month;
129 (b) Class II: 201-500 case filings per month;
130 (c) Class III: 61-200 case filings per month; and
131 (d) Class IV: 60 or fewer case filings per month.
132 Section 3. Section 78A-7-102 is amended to read:
133 78A-7-102. Establishment of justice courts.
134 (1) (a) For the purposes of this section, to "create a justice court" means to:
135 (i) establish a justice court; or
136 (ii) establish a justice court under Title 11, Chapter 13, Interlocal Cooperation Act.
145 (b) For the purposes of this section, if more than one municipality or county is
146 collectively proposing to create a justice court, the class of the justice court shall be determined
147 by the total citations or cases filed within the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed justice
150 or second class may create a justice court by filing a written declaration with the Judicial
151 Council on or before July 1 at least two years prior to the effective date of the election. Upon
152 demonstration of compliance with operating standards as established by statute and the Judicial
153 Council, the Judicial Council shall certify the creation of the court pursuant to Section
154 78A-7-103 .
157 may create a justice court by [
158 written declaration with the Judicial Council on or before July 1 at least one year prior to the
159 effective date of the election.
160 (b) A municipality or county establishing a justice court shall demonstrate to the
161 Judicial Council that a justice court is needed. In evaluating the need for [
163 case filings, public convenience, availability of law enforcement agencies and court support
164 services, proximity to other courts, and any special circumstances.
169 establishment of a justice court pursuant to Section 78A-7-103 [
170 (i) a need exists;
171 (ii) the municipality or county has filed a timely application; and
172 (iii) the proposed justice court will be in compliance with all of the operating standards
173 established by statute and the Judicial Council.
188 (4) (a) A municipality that has an established justice court may expand the territorial
189 jurisdiction of its justice court by entering into an agreement pursuant to Title 11, Chapter 13,
190 Interlocal Cooperation Act, with one or more other municipalities, or the county in which the
191 municipality exists.
192 (b) A justice court enlarged under this section may not be considered as establishing a
193 new justice court. An expanded justice court shall demonstrate that it will be in compliance
194 with all of the requirements of the operating standards as established by statute and the Judicial
195 Council before the justice court expands.
196 (c) A municipality or county seeking to expand the territorial jurisdiction of a justice
197 court shall notify the Judicial Council:
198 (i) no later than the notice period required in Section 78A-7-123 , when the expanded
199 justice court is a result of the dissolution of one or more justice courts; or
200 (ii) no later than 180 days before the expanded court seeks to begin operation when the
201 expanded justice court is a result of other circumstances.
202 (d) The Judicial Council shall certify the expansion of a justice court if it determines
203 that the expanded justice court is in compliance with the operating standards established by
204 statute and the Judicial Council.
206 the Judicial Council may shorten the time required between the city's or county's written
207 declaration or election to create a justice court and the effective date of the election.
209 for the timely disposition of all matters brought before the courts. The administrative office of
210 the courts and local governments shall cooperate in allocating resources to operate the courts in
211 the most efficient and effective manner based on the allocation of responsibility between courts
212 of record and not of record.
213 Section 4. Section 78A-7-103 is repealed and reenacted to read:
214 78A-7-103. Minimum standards of justice courts -- Authority of Judicial Council
215 over justice courts.
216 (1) The Judicial Council shall ensure that:
217 (a) procedures include requirements that every municipality or county that establishes
218 or maintains a justice court provide for the following minimum operating standards:
219 (i) a system to ensure the justice court records all proceedings with a digital audio
220 recording device and maintains the audio recordings for a minimum of one year;
221 (ii) sufficient prosecutors to perform the prosecutorial duties before the justice court;
222 (iii) adequate funding to defend all persons charged with a public offense who are
223 determined by the justice court to be indigent under Title 77, Chapter 32, Indigent Defense Act;
224 (iv) sufficient local peace officers to provide security for the justice court and to attend
225 to the justice court when required;
226 (v) sufficient clerical personnel to serve the needs of the justice court;
227 (vi) sufficient funds to cover the cost of travel and training expenses of clerical
228 personnel and judges at training sessions mandated by the Judicial Council;
229 (vii) adequate courtroom and auxiliary space for the justice court, which need not be
230 specifically constructed for or allocated solely for the justice court when existing facilities
231 adequately serve the purposes of the justice court; and
232 (viii) for each judge of its justice court, a current copy of the Utah Code, the Utah
233 Court Rules Annotated, the justice court manual published by the state court administrator, the
234 county, city, or town ordinances as appropriate, and other legal reference materials as
235 determined to be necessary by the judge; and
236 (b) the Judicial Council's rules and procedures shall:
237 (i) presume that existing justice courts will be recertified at the end of each four-year
238 term if the court continues to meet the minimum requirements for the establishment of a new
239 justice court; or
240 (ii) authorize the Judicial Council, upon request of a municipality or county or upon its
241 own review, when a justice court does not meet the minimum requirements, to:
242 (A) decline recertification of a justice court;
243 (B) revoke the certification of a justice court;
244 (C) extend the time for a justice court to comply with the minimum requirements; or
245 (D) suspend rules of the Judicial Council governing justice courts, if the council
246 believes suspending those rules is the appropriate administrative remedy for the justice courts
247 of this state.
248 Section 5. Section 78A-7-105 is amended to read:
249 78A-7-105. Territorial jurisdiction -- Voting.
250 (1) The territorial jurisdiction of county justice courts extends to the limits of the
251 precinct for which the justice court is created and includes all cities or towns within the
252 precinct, except cities where a municipal justice court exists.
253 (2) The territorial jurisdiction of municipal justice courts extends to the corporate
254 limits of the municipality in which the justice court is created.
260 (3) Justice court judges have the same authority regarding matters within their
261 jurisdiction as judges of courts of record.
262 (4) A justice court may issue all extraordinary writs and other writs as necessary to
263 carry into effect its orders, judgments, and decrees.
264 (5) (a) Except as provided in this Subsection (5), a judgment rendered in a justice court
265 does not create a lien upon any real property of the judgment debtor unless the judgment or
266 abstract of the judgment:
267 (i) is recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the real
268 property of the judgment debtor is located; and
269 (ii) contains the information identifying the judgment debtor in the judgment or
270 abstract of judgment as required in Subsection 78B-5-201 (4) or as a separate information
271 statement of the judgment creditor as required in Subsection 78B-5-201 (5).
272 (b) The lien runs for eight years from the date the judgment was entered in the district
273 court under Section 78B-5-202 unless the judgment is earlier satisfied.
274 (c) State agencies are exempt from the recording requirement of Subsection (5)(a).
275 Section 6. Section 78A-7-106 is amended to read:
276 78A-7-106. Jurisdiction.
277 (1) Justice courts have jurisdiction over class B and C misdemeanors, violation of
278 ordinances, and infractions committed within their territorial jurisdiction by a person 18 years
279 of age or older.
280 (2) Except those offenses over which the juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction,
281 justice courts have jurisdiction over the following class B and C misdemeanors, violation of
282 ordinances, and infractions committed within their territorial jurisdiction by a person 16 years
283 of age or older:
284 (a) Title 23, Wildlife Resources Code of Utah;
285 (b) Title 41, Chapter 1a, Motor Vehicle Act;
286 (c) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Traffic Code;
287 (d) Title 41, Chapter 12a, Financial Responsibility of Motor Vehicle Owners and
288 Operators Act;
289 (e) Title 41, Chapter 22, Off-Highway Vehicles;
290 (f) Title 73, Chapter 18, State Boating Act;
291 (g) Title 73, Chapter 18a, Boating - Litter and Pollution Control;
292 (h) Title 73, Chapter 18b, Water Safety; and
293 (i) Title 73, Chapter 18c, Financial Responsibility of Motorboat Owners and Operators
295 (3) Justice Courts have jurisdiction over class C misdemeanor violations of Title 53,
296 Chapter 3, Part 2, Driver Licensing Act.
297 (4) As used in this section, "the court's jurisdiction" means the territorial jurisdiction of
298 a justice court.
299 (5) An offense is committed within the territorial jurisdiction of a justice court if:
300 (a) conduct constituting an element of the offense or a result constituting an element of
301 the offense occurs within the court's jurisdiction, regardless of whether the conduct or result is
302 itself unlawful;
303 (b) either a person committing an offense or a victim of an offense is located within the
304 court's jurisdiction at the time the offense is committed;
305 (c) either a cause of injury occurs within the court's jurisdiction or the injury occurs
306 within the court's jurisdiction;
307 (d) a person commits any act constituting an element of an inchoate offense within the
308 court's jurisdiction, including an agreement in a conspiracy;
309 (e) a person solicits, aids, or abets, or attempts to solicit, aid, or abet another person in
310 the planning or commission of an offense within the court's jurisdiction;
311 (f) the investigation of the offense does not readily indicate in which court's
312 jurisdiction the offense occurred, and:
313 (i) the offense is committed upon or in any railroad car, vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft
314 passing within the court's jurisdiction;
315 (ii) (A) the offense is committed on or in any body of water bordering on or within this
316 state if the territorial limits of the justice court are adjacent to the body of water; and
317 (B) as used in Subsection (5)(f)(ii)(A), "body of water" includes any stream, river, lake,
318 or reservoir, whether natural or man-made;
319 (iii) a person who commits theft exercises control over the affected property within the
320 court's jurisdiction; or
321 (iv) the offense is committed on or near the boundary of the court's jurisdiction;
322 (g) the offense consists of an unlawful communication that was initiated or received
323 within the court's jurisdiction; or
324 (h) jurisdiction is otherwise specifically provided by law.
329 a child to the juvenile court for further proceedings if the justice court judge determines and the
330 juvenile court concurs that the best interests of the [
331 continuing jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
334 (7) Justice courts have jurisdiction of small claims cases under Title 78A, Chapter 8,
335 Small Claims Courts, if a defendant resides in or the debt arose within the territorial
336 jurisdiction of the justice court.
337 Section 7. Section 78A-7-118 is amended to read:
338 78A-7-118. Appeals from justice court -- Trial or hearing de novo in district
340 (1) In a criminal case, a defendant is entitled to a trial de novo in the district court only
341 if the defendant files a notice of appeal within 30 days of:
344 (a) sentencing, except as provided in Subsection (3)(b); or
345 (b) a plea of guilty or no contest in the justice court that is held in abeyance.
346 (2) If an appeal under Subsection (1) is of a plea entered pursuant to negotiation with
347 the prosecutor, and the defendant did not reserve the right to appeal as part of the plea
348 negotiation, the negotiation is voided by the appeal.
349 (3) A defendant convicted and sentenced in justice court is entitled to a hearing de
350 novo in the district court on the following matters, if the defendant files a notice of appeal
351 within 30 days of:
352 (a) an order revoking probation;
353 (b) an order entering a judgment of guilt pursuant to the person's failure to fulfil the
354 terms of a plea in abeyance agreement;
355 (c) a sentence entered pursuant to Subsection (3)(b); or
356 (d) an order denying a motion to withdraw a plea.
357 (4) The prosecutor is entitled to a hearing de novo in the district court on:
358 (a) a final judgment of dismissal;
359 (b) an order arresting judgment;
360 (c) an order terminating the prosecution because of a finding of double jeopardy or
361 denial of a speedy trial;
362 (d) a judgment holding invalid any part of a statute or ordinance;
363 (e) a pretrial order excluding evidence, when the prosecutor certifies that exclusion of
364 that evidence prevents continued prosecution of an infraction or class C misdemeanor;
365 (f) a pretrial order excluding evidence, when the prosecutor certifies that exclusion of
366 that evidence impairs continued prosecution of a class B misdemeanor; or
367 (g) an order granting a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest.
368 (5) A notice of appeal for a hearing de novo in the district court on a pretrial order
369 excluding evidence under Subsection (4)(e) or (f) shall be filed within 30 days of the order
370 excluding the evidence.
371 (6) Upon entering a decision in a hearing de novo, the district court shall remand the
372 case to the justice court unless:
373 (a) the decision results in immediate dismissal of the case;
374 (b) with agreement of the parties, the district court consents to retain jurisdiction; or
375 (c) the defendant enters a plea of guilty or no contest in the district court.
376 (7) The district court shall retain jurisdiction over the case on trial de novo.
377 (8) The decision of the district court is final and may not be appealed unless the district
378 court rules on the constitutionality of a statute or ordinance.
379 Section 8. Section 78A-7-120 is amended to read:
380 78A-7-120. Disposition of fines.
381 (1) Except as otherwise specified by this section, fines and forfeitures collected by a
382 justice court shall be remitted, 1/2 to the treasurer of the local government responsible for the
383 court and 1/2 to the treasurer of the local government which prosecutes or which would
384 prosecute the violation. An interlocal agreement created pursuant to Title 11, Chapter 13,
385 Interlocal Cooperation Act, related to justice courts may alter the ratio provided in this section
386 if the parties agree.
387 (2) (a) For violation of Title 23, Wildlife Resources Code, the court shall allocate 85%
388 to the Division of Wildlife Resources and 15% to the general fund of the city or county
389 government responsible for the justice court.
390 (b) For violation of Title 41, Chapter 22, Off-highway Vehicles, or Title 73, Chapter
391 18, State Boating Act, the court shall allocate 85% to the Division of Parks and Recreation and
392 15% to the general fund of the city or county government responsible for the justice court.
393 (3) The surcharge established by Section 51-9-401 shall be paid to the state treasurer.
394 (4) Fines, fees, court costs, and forfeitures collected by a municipal or county justice
395 court for a violation of Section 72-7-404 or 72-7-406 regarding maximum weight limitations
396 and overweight permits, minus court costs not to exceed the schedule adopted by the Judicial
397 Council, shall be paid to the state treasurer and distributed to the class B and C road account.
398 (5) Revenue deposited in the class B and C road account pursuant to Subsection (4) is
399 supplemental to the money appropriated under Section 72-2-107 but shall be expended in the
400 same manner as other class B and C road funds.
401 (6) (a) Fines and forfeitures collected by the court for a second or subsequent violation
402 under Section 41-6a-1713 or Subsection 72-7-409 (8)(b) shall be remitted:
403 (i) 60% to the state treasurer to be deposited in the Transportation Fund; and
404 (ii) 40% in accordance with Subsection (1).
405 (b) Fines and forfeitures collected by the court for a second or subsequent violation
406 under Subsection 72-7-409 (8)(c) shall be remitted:
407 (i) 50% to the state treasurer to be deposited in the Transportation Fund; and
408 (ii) 50% in accordance with Subsection (1).
409 Section 9. Section 78A-7-121 is amended to read:
410 78A-7-121. Funds collected -- Deposits and reports -- Special account --
412 (1) (a) [
413 Section 51-4-2 .
414 (b) The city or county treasurer shall report to the city recorder or county auditor, as
415 appropriate, the sums collected and deposited. The recorder or auditor shall then apportion and
416 remit the collected proceeds as provided in Section 78A-7-120 .
428 court shall be paid within seven days to the party entitled or authorized to receive it.
430 be established in the name of the justice court and the treasurer for the deposit of money
431 collected including bail, restitution, unidentified receipts, and other money that requires special
433 (b) Disbursements from this account do not require the approval of the auditor,
434 recorder, or governing body.
435 (c) The account shall be reconciled at least quarterly by the auditor of the governing
437 Section 10. Section 78A-7-201 is amended to read:
438 78A-7-201. Justice court judge eligibility -- Mandatory retirement.
439 (1) A justice court judge shall be:
440 (a) a citizen of the United States;
441 (b) 25 years of age or older;
442 (c) a resident of Utah for at least three years immediately preceding his appointment;
443 (d) a resident of the county in which the court is located or an adjacent county for at
444 least six months immediately preceding appointment; and
445 (e) a qualified voter of the county in which the judge resides.
446 (2) Justice court judges are not required to be admitted to practice law in the state as a
447 qualification to hold office but shall have at the minimum a diploma of graduation from high
448 school or its equivalent.
449 (3) A justice court judge shall be a person who has demonstrated maturity of judgment,
450 integrity, and the ability to understand and apply appropriate law with impartiality.
451 (4) Justice court judges shall retire upon attaining the age of 75 years.
458 Section 11. Section 78A-7-202 is amended to read:
459 78A-7-202. Justice court judges to be appointed -- Procedure.
460 (1) As used in this section:
461 (a) "Local government executive" means:
462 (i) for a county:
463 (A) the chair of the county commission in a county operating under the county
464 commission or expanded county commission form of county government;
465 (B) the county executive in a county operating under the county executive-council form
466 of county government; and
467 (C) the county manager in a county operating under the council-manager form of
468 county government; and
469 (ii) for a city or town:
470 (A) the mayor of the city or town; or
471 (B) the city manager, in the council-manager form of government described in
472 Subsection 10-3b-103 (6).
473 (b) "Local legislative body" means:
474 (i) for a county, the county commission or county council; and
475 (ii) for a city or town, the council of the city or town.
476 (2) There is created in each county a county justice court nominating commission to
477 review applicants and make recommendations to the appointing authority for a justice court
478 position. The commission shall be convened when a new justice court judge position is created
479 or when a vacancy in an existing court occurs for a justice court located within the county.
480 (a) Membership of the justice court nominating commission shall be as follows:
481 (i) one member appointed by:
482 (A) the county commission if the county has a county commission form of
483 government; or
484 (B) the county executive if the county has an executive-council form of government;
485 (ii) one member appointed by the municipalities in the counties as follows:
486 (A) if the county has only one municipality, appointment shall be made by the
487 governing authority of that municipality; or
488 (B) if the county has more than one municipality, appointment shall be made by a
489 municipal selection committee composed of the mayors of each municipality in the county;
490 (iii) one member appointed by the county bar association; and
491 (iv) two members appointed by the governing authority of the jurisdiction where the
492 judicial office is located.
493 (b) If there is no county bar association, the member in Subsection (2)(a)(iii) shall be
494 appointed by the regional bar association. If no regional bar association exists, the state bar
495 association shall make the appointment.
496 (c) Members appointed under Subsections (2)(a)(i) and (ii) may not be the appointing
497 authority or an elected official of [
498 (d) The nominating commission shall submit at least two names to the appointing
499 authority of the jurisdiction expected to be served by the judge. The local government
500 executive shall appoint a judge from the list submitted and the appointment ratified by the local
501 legislative body.
502 (e) The state court administrator shall provide staff to the commission. The Judicial
503 Council shall establish rules and procedures for the conduct of the commission.
504 (3) Judicial vacancies shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation, through
505 the Utah State Bar, and other appropriate means.
506 (4) Selection of candidates shall be based on compliance with the requirements for
507 office and competence to serve as a judge.
508 (5) Once selected, [
510 judge shall attend an orientation seminar conducted under the direction of the Judicial Council.
511 Upon completion of the orientation program, the Judicial Council shall certify the justice court
512 judge as qualified to hold office.
513 (6) The selection of a person to fill the office of justice court judge is effective upon
514 certification of the judge by the Judicial Council. A justice court judge may not perform
515 judicial duties until certified by the Judicial Council.
536 Section 12. Section 78A-7-203 is amended to read:
537 78A-7-203. Term of office for justice court judge -- Retention.
538 (1) The term of a justice court judge is six years beginning the first Monday in January
539 following the date of election.
548 (2) Upon the expiration of a justice court judge's term of office, the judge shall be
549 subject to an unopposed retention election in accordance with the procedures set forth in
550 Section 20A-12-201 :
551 (a) in the county or counties in which the court to which the judge is appointed is
552 located if the judge is a county justice court judge or a municipal justice court judge in a town
553 or city of the fourth or fifth class; or
554 (b) in the municipality in which the court to which the judge is appointed is located if
555 the judge is a municipal justice court judge and Subsection (2)(a) does not apply.
556 (3) Before each retention election, each justice court judge shall be evaluated in
557 accordance with the performance evaluation program established in Title 78A, Chapter 12,
558 Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission Act.
559 (4) Notwithstanding Subsection (3), each justice court judge who is subject to a
560 retention election in 2012, 2014, and 2016, and who is not a full-time justice court judge on
561 July 1, 2012, shall be evaluated by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission according
562 to the following performance standards:
563 (a) the justice court judge shall have at least 30 annual hours of continuing legal
564 education for each year of the justice court judge's current term;
565 (b) the justice court judge may not have more than one public reprimand issued by the
566 Judicial Conduct Commission or the Supreme Court during the justice court judge's current
567 term; and
568 (c) the justice court judge may not have had any cases under advisement for more than
569 two months.
570 Section 13. Section 78A-7-204 is amended to read:
571 78A-7-204. Offices of justice court judges.
572 (1) Justice court judges holding office in:
573 (a) county precincts are county justice court judges; and
574 (b) cities or towns are municipal justice court judges.
575 (2) The county legislative body may establish a single precinct or divide the county
576 into multiple precincts to create county justice courts for public convenience.
577 (3) (a) The governing body may [
579 (b) If more than one judge is assigned to a court, [
581 governing body has been authorized to create specialized judicial calendars to serve the
582 interests of justice.
588 Section 14. Section 78A-7-205 is amended to read:
589 78A-7-205. Required annual training -- Expenses -- Failure to attend.
595 instruction regarding competency and understanding of constitutional provisions and laws
596 relating to the jurisdiction of the court, rules of evidence, and rules of civil and criminal
597 procedure as indicated by a certificate awarded by the Judicial Council.
605 the Judicial Conduct Commission against each justice court judge who does not comply with
606 this section.
607 Section 15. Section 78A-7-206 is amended to read:
608 78A-7-206. Determination of compensation and limits -- Salary survey -- Limits
609 on secondary employment -- Prohibition on holding political or elected office -- Penalties.
610 (1) Every justice court judge shall be paid a fixed compensation determined by the
611 governing body of the respective municipality or county.
612 (a) The governing body of the municipality or county may not set a full-time justice
613 court judge's salary at less than 50% nor more than 90% of a district court judge's salary.
614 (b) The governing body of the municipality or county shall set a part-time justice court
615 judge's salary as follows:
616 (i) The governing body shall first determine the full-time salary range outlined in
617 Subsection (1)(a).
618 (ii) The caseload of a part-time judge shall be determined by the office of the state
619 court administrator and expressed as a percentage of the caseload of a full-time judge.
620 (iii) The judge's salary shall then be determined by applying the percentage determined
621 in Subsection (1)(b)(ii) against the salary range determined in Subsection (1)(a).
622 (c) A justice court judge shall receive an annual salary adjustment at least equal to the
623 average salary adjustment for all county or municipal employees for the jurisdiction served by
624 the judge.
625 (d) Notwithstanding Subsection (1)(c), a justice court judge may not receive a salary
626 greater than 90% of the salary of a district court judge.
627 (e) A justice court judge employed by more than one entity as a justice court judge,
628 may not receive a total salary for service as a justice court judge greater than the salary of a
629 district court judge.
630 (2) A justice court judge may not appear as an attorney in [
632 (a) justice court;
633 (b) criminal matter in any federal, state, or [
635 (c) juvenile court case involving conduct which would be criminal if committed by an
637 (3) A justice court judge may not hold any office or employment including contracting
638 for services in any justice agency of state government or any political subdivision of the state
639 including law enforcement, prosecution, criminal defense, corrections, or court employment.
640 (4) A justice court judge may not hold any office in any political party or organization
641 engaged in any political activity or serve as an elected official in state government or any
642 political subdivision of the state.
643 (5) A justice court judge may not own or be employed by any business entity which
644 regularly litigates in small claims court.
647 (6) The Judicial Council shall file a formal complaint with the Judicial Conduct
648 Commission for each violation of this section.
649 Section 16. Section 78A-7-208 is amended to read:
650 78A-7-208. Temporary justice court judge.
652 necessary, the governing body may appoint [
653 court judge currently holding office within the judicial district or in an adjacent county, to serve
654 as a temporary justice court judge. [
656 Section 17. Section 78A-7-210 is amended to read:
657 78A-7-210. Justice court judge administrative responsibilities.
658 (1) Justice court judges shall comply with and ensure that court personnel comply with
659 applicable county or municipal rules and regulations related to personnel, budgets, and other
660 administrative functions.
661 (2) Failure by the judge to comply with applicable administrative county or municipal
662 rules and regulations may be referred, by the county executive or municipal legislative body, to
663 the state Justice Court Administrator.
667 or municipal legislative body, to the Judicial Conduct Commission.
668 Section 18. Section 78A-7-213 is amended to read:
669 78A-7-213. Trial facilities -- Hours of business.
670 (1) A justice court judge shall conduct all official court business in a courtroom or
671 office located in a public facility which is conducive and appropriate to the administration of
676 (2) (a) A county justice court may, at the direction of the county legislative body, hold
677 justice court anywhere in the county as needed but may only hear cases arising within its
679 (b) A municipal justice court judge shall hold court in the municipality where the court
680 is located.
681 (c) Justice courts may also hold court or conduct hearings or court business in any
682 facility or location authorized by rule of the Judicial Council.
683 (3) Justice courts shall be open and judicial business shall be transacted:
684 (a) five days per week; or
685 (b) no less than four days per week for at least 11 hours per day.
686 (4) The legislative body of the county, city, or town shall establish operating hours for
687 the justice courts within the requirements of Subsection (3) and the code of judicial
689 (5) The hours the courts are open shall be posted conspicuously at the courts and in
690 local public buildings.
691 (6) The clerk of the court and judges of justice courts shall attend the court at regularly
692 scheduled times.
693 (7) By July 1, 2011, all justice courts shall use a common case management system and
694 disposition reporting system as specified by the Judicial Council.
695 Section 19. Section 78A-7-215 is amended to read:
696 78A-7-215. Monthly reports to court administrator and governing body.
697 (1) Every justice court [
698 report of the judicial business of the judge. The report shall be on forms supplied by the state
699 court administrator.
700 (2) The report shall state the number of criminal and small claims actions filed, the
701 dispositions entered, and other information as specified in the forms.
702 (3) A copy of the report shall be furnished by the justice court [
704 designated by the governing body to receive the report.
705 Section 20. Section 78A-8-101 is amended to read:
706 78A-8-101. Creation.
707 There is created a limited jurisdiction division of the district [
708 designated small claims court.
709 Section 21. Repealer.
710 This bill repeals:
711 Section 78A-7-104, Justice court judge authority.
712 Section 78A-7-108, Justice court judge to collect fees before filing action -- Penalty.
713 Section 78A-7-109, Process to any part of the state -- Service.
714 Section 78A-7-110, Docket to be kept -- Enumeration of entries required.
715 Section 78A-7-111, Docket entries -- Prima facie evidence.
716 Section 78A-7-112, Docket index.
717 Section 78A-7-113, Delivery of docket and papers to successor.
718 Section 78A-7-114, Filing and docketing of abstract.
719 Section 78A-7-115, All papers issued, except subpoenas, to be filled out without
721 Section 78A-7-116, Execution on judgment.
722 Section 78A-7-117, Judgment not a lien unless so recorded.
723 Section 78A-7-119, Disposition of money received.
724 Section 78A-7-209, Justice court staff to be provided.
725 Section 78A-7-211, Compensation and expenses -- Clerical personnel.
726 Section 78A-7-214, Laws, ordinances, and reference materials provided by
727 counties, cities, and towns.
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