Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

House Sponsor: V. Lowry Snow


8     General Description:
9          This bill amends provisions regarding the judiciary and judges.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     requires a mayor of a city or town to fill the vacancy of a municipal justice court
13     judge and, until the position is filled, allows the city or town to contract with
14     another jurisdiction for judicial services;
15          ▸     requires a county appointing authority to fill the vacancy of a county justice court
16     judge;
17          ▸     repeals the provision allowing a will to be deposited with a court for safekeeping
18     during the testator's lifetime;
19          ▸     modifies a provision concerning delivery of a will;
20          ▸     amends provisions regarding the Online Court Assistance Program;
21          ▸     amends provisions regarding an appeal to the district court of a justice court
22     decision;
23          ▸     amends a provision regarding an appeal of a small claims court decision;
24          ▸     amends provisions regarding jury selection and service; and
25          ▸     makes technical changes.
26     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
27          None
28     Other Special Clauses:
29          None

30     Utah Code Sections Affected:
31     AMENDS:
32          20A-1-506, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 3 and 19
33          75-2-902, as repealed and reenacted by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 39
34          77-10a-5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 3 and 382
35          78A-2-501, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapters 94 and 263
36          78A-2-502, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 387
37          78A-7-118, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2016, Chapter 33
38          78A-8-106, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
39          78B-1-102, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
40          78B-1-106, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
41          78B-1-107, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 202
42          78B-1-110, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 17
43     REPEALS:
44          75-2-901, as repealed and reenacted by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 39

46     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
47          Section 1. Section 20A-1-506 is amended to read:
48          20A-1-506. Vacancy in the office of justice court judge.
49          (1) As used in this section:
50          (a) "Appointing authority" means:
51          (i) for a county:
52          (A) the chair of the county commission in a county having the county commission or
53     expanded county commission form of county government; and
54          (B) the county executive in a county having the county executive-council form of
55     government; and
56          (ii) for a city or town, the mayor of the city or town.
57          (b) "Local legislative body" means:

58          (i) for a county, the county commission or county council; and
59          (ii) for a city or town, the council of the city or town.
60          (2) (a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of a municipal justice court judge before the
61     completion of [his] the judge's term of office, the appointing authority [may]:
62          (i) shall fill the vacancy [by appointment for the unexpired term] by following the
63     procedures and requirements for appointments in Section 78A-7-202; [or] and
64          (ii) may contract with a justice court judge of the county, an adjacent county, or another
65     municipality within those counties for judicial services until the vacancy is filled.
66          [(b) When the appointing authority chooses to contract under Subsection (2)(a)(ii), it
67     shall ensure that the contract is for the same term as the term of office of the judge whose
68     services are replaced by the contract.]
69          [(c)] (b) The appointing authority shall notify the Office of the State Court
70     Administrator in writing of [the] an appointment[, resignation, or the contractual agreement for
71     services] of a municipal justice court judge under this section within 30 days after [filling the
72     vacancy] the appointment is made.
73          (3) (a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of a county justice court judge before the
74     completion of [that] the judge's term of office, the appointing authority [may] shall fill the
75     vacancy [by appointment for the unexpired term] by following the procedures and requirements
76     for appointments in Section 78A-7-202.
77          (b) The appointing authority shall notify the Office of the State Court Administrator in
78     writing of [any] an appointment of a county justice court judge under this section within 30
79     days after the appointment is made.
80          (4) (a) When a vacancy occurs in the office of a justice court judge, the appointing
81     authority shall:
82          (i) advertise the vacancy and solicit applications for the vacancy;
83          (ii) appoint the best qualified candidate to office based solely upon fitness for office;
84          (iii) comply with the procedures and requirements of Title 52, Chapter 3, Prohibiting
85     Employment of Relatives, in making appointments to fill the vacancy; and

86          (iv) submit the name of the appointee to the local legislative body.
87          (b) If the local legislative body does not confirm the appointment within 30 days of
88     submission, the appointing authority may either appoint another of the applicants or reopen the
89     vacancy by advertisement and solicitations of applications.
90          Section 2. Section 75-2-902 is amended to read:
91          75-2-902. Duty of custodian of will -- Liability.
92          After the death of a testator and on request of an interested person, a person having
93     custody of a will of the testator shall deliver it with reasonable promptness to a person able to
94     secure its probate [or to an appropriate court]. A person who wilfully fails to deliver a will is
95     liable to [any] a person aggrieved for [any] damages that may be sustained by the failure. A
96     person who wilfully refuses or fails to deliver a will after being ordered by the court in a
97     proceeding brought for the purpose of compelling delivery is subject to penalty for contempt of
98     court.
99          Section 3. Section 77-10a-5 is amended to read:
100          77-10a-5. Grand jurors -- Qualification and selection -- Limits on disclosure.
101          (1) Grand jurors shall meet the qualifications provided for jurors generally in Title
102     78B, Chapter 1, Part 1, Jury and Witness Act. Grand jurors shall be selected from the
103     [qualified] prospective jury list as provided in Section 78B-1-107.
104          (2) The names of grand jurors are classified as protected records under Title 63G,
105     Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act.
106          Section 4. Section 78A-2-501 is amended to read:
107          78A-2-501. Definitions -- Online Court Assistance Program -- Purpose of
108     program -- Online Court Assistance Account -- User's fee.
109          (1) As used in this part:
110          (a) "Account" means the Online Court Assistance Account created in this section.
111          (b) "Board" means the Online Court Assistance Program Policy Board created in
112     Section 78A-2-502.
113          (c) "Program" means the Online Court Assistance Program created in this section.

114          [(1)] (2) There is [established an online court assistance program] created the "Online
115     Court Assistance Program" administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts to provide
116     the public with information about civil procedures and to assist the public in preparing and
117     filing civil pleadings and other papers in:
118          (a) uncontested divorces;
119          (b) enforcement of orders in the divorce decree;
120          (c) landlord and tenant actions;
121          (d) guardianship actions; and
122          (e) other types of proceedings approved by the [Online Court Assistance Program
123     Policy Board] board.
124          [(2)] (3) The purpose of the [online court assistance] program shall be to:
125          (a) minimize the costs of civil litigation;
126          (b) improve access to the courts; and
127          (c) provide for informed use of the courts and the law by pro se litigants.
128          [(3)] (4) (a) An additional $20 shall be added to the filing fee established by Sections
129     78A-2-301 and 78A-2-301.5 if a person files a complaint, petition, answer, or response
130     prepared through the program. There shall be no fee for using the program or for papers filed
131     subsequent to the initial pleading.
132          (b) There is created within the General Fund a restricted account known as the Online
133     Court Assistance Account. The fees collected under this Subsection [(3)] (4) shall be deposited
134     in the restricted account and appropriated by the Legislature to the Administrative Office of the
135     Courts to develop, operate, and maintain the program and to support the use of the program
136     through education of the public.
137          [(4)] (5) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall provide on the front page of the
138     [Online Court Assistance Program] program website a listing of all forms and proceedings
139     available to all pro se litigants within the program.
140          Section 5. Section 78A-2-502 is amended to read:
141          78A-2-502. Creation of policy board -- Membership -- Terms -- Chair -- Quorum

142     -- Expenses.
143          (1) There is created a 13 member policy board to be known as the "Online Court
144     Assistance Program Policy Board," which shall:
145          (a) identify the subject matter included in the [Online Court Assistance Program]
146     program;
147          (b) develop information and [forms in conformity with the rules of procedure and
148     evidence; and] instructions on how to use the program;
149          (c) conform court-approved forms for use in the program; and
150          [(c)] (d) advise the Administrative Office of the Courts regarding the administration of
151     the program.
152          (2) The voting membership shall consist of:
153          (a) two members of the House of Representatives designated by the speaker, with one
154     member from each party;
155          (b) two members of the Senate designated by the president, with one member from
156     each party;
157          (c) two attorneys actively practicing in domestic relations designated by the Family
158     Law Section of the Utah State Bar;
159          (d) one attorney actively practicing in civil litigation designated by the Civil Litigation
160     Section of the Utah State Bar;
161          (e) one court commissioner designated by the chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court;
162          (f) one district court judge designated by the chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court;
163          (g) one attorney from Utah Legal Services designated by its director;
164          (h) one attorney from Legal Aid designated by its director; and
165          (i) two persons from the Administrative Office of the Courts designated by the state
166     court administrator.
167          (3) (a) The terms of the members shall be four years and staggered so that
168     approximately half of the board expires every two years.
169          (b) The board shall meet as needed.

170          (4) The board shall select one of its members to serve as chair.
171          (5) A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum.
172          (6) (a) A member who is not a legislator may not receive compensation or benefits for
173     the member's service, but may receive per diem and travel expenses as allowed in:
174          (i) Section 63A-3-106;
175          (ii) Section 63A-3-107; and
176          (iii) rules made by the Division of Finance according to Sections 63A-3-106 and
177     63A-3-107.
178          (b) Compensation and expenses of a member who is a legislator are governed by
179     Section 36-2-2 and Legislative Joint Rules, Title 5, Legislative Compensation and Expenses.
180          Section 6. Section 78A-7-118 is amended to read:
181          78A-7-118. Appeals from justice court -- Trial or hearing de novo in district
182     court.
183          (1) In a criminal case, a defendant is entitled to a trial de novo in the district court only
184     if the defendant files a notice of appeal within 28 days of:
185          (a) sentencing, except as provided in Subsection (4)(b); or
186          (b) a plea of guilty or no contest in the justice court that is held in abeyance.
187          (2) Upon filing a proper notice of appeal, any term of a sentence imposed by the justice
188     court shall be stayed as provided for in Section 77-20-10 and the Rules of Criminal Procedure.
189          (3) If an appeal under Subsection (1) is of a plea entered pursuant to negotiation with
190     the prosecutor, and the defendant did not reserve the right to appeal as part of the plea
191     negotiation, the negotiation is voided by the appeal.
192          (4) A defendant convicted and sentenced in justice court is entitled to a hearing de
193     novo in the district court on the following matters, if the defendant files a notice of appeal
194     within 28 days of:
195          (a) an order revoking probation;
196          (b) imposition of a sentence, following a determination that a defendant failed to fulfill
197     the terms of a plea in abeyance agreement;

198          (c) an order denying a motion to withdraw a plea, if the plea is being held in abeyance
199     and the motion to withdraw the plea is filed within 28 days of the entry of the plea;
200          (d) a postsentence order fixing total or court ordered restitution; or
201          (e) an order denying expungement.
202          (5) The prosecutor is entitled to a hearing de novo in the district court if an appeal is
203     filed within 28 days of the court entering:
204          (a) a final judgment of dismissal;
205          (b) an order arresting judgment;
206          (c) an order terminating the prosecution because of a finding of double jeopardy or
207     denial of a speedy trial;
208          (d) a judgment holding invalid any part of a statute or ordinance;
209          (e) a pretrial order excluding evidence, when the prosecutor certifies that exclusion of
210     that evidence prevents continued prosecution of an infraction or class C misdemeanor;
211          (f) a pretrial order excluding evidence, when the prosecutor certifies that exclusion of
212     that evidence impairs continued prosecution of a class B misdemeanor;
213          (g) an order granting a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest;
214          (h) an order fixing total restitution at an amount less than requested by a crime victim;
215     or
216          (i) an order granting an expungement, if the expungement was opposed by the
217     prosecution or a victim before the order was entered.
218          (6) Upon entering a decision in a hearing de novo, the district court shall remand the
219     case to the justice court unless:
220          (a) the decision results in immediate dismissal of the case; or
221          (b) [with agreement of the parties,] the hearing de novo was on a pretrial order and the
222     parties and the district court [consents to] agree to have the district court retain jurisdiction[;
223     or].
224          [(c) the defendant enters a plea of guilty or no contest in the district court.]
225          (7) The district court shall retain jurisdiction over the case on trial de novo.

226          (8) The decision of the district court is final and may not be appealed unless the district
227     court rules on the constitutionality of a statute or ordinance.
228          Section 7. Section 78A-8-106 is amended to read:
229          78A-8-106. Appeals -- Who may take and jurisdiction.
230          (1) Either party may appeal the judgment in a small claims action to the district court
231     of the county by filing a notice of appeal in the original trial court within [30] 28 days of entry
232     of the judgment. If the judgment in a small claims action is entered by a judge or judge pro
233     tempore of the district court, the notice of appeal shall be filed with the district court.
234          (2) The appeal is a trial de novo and shall be tried in accordance with the procedures of
235     small claims actions. A record of the trial shall be maintained. The trial de novo may not be
236     heard by a judge pro tempore appointed under Section 78A-8-108. The decision of the trial de
237     novo may not be appealed unless the court rules on the constitutionality of a statute or
238     ordinance.
239          Section 8. Section 78B-1-102 is amended to read:
240          78B-1-102. Definitions.
241          As used in this part:
242          (1) "Clerk" or "clerk of the court" means the person so designated by title and includes
243     any deputy clerk.
244          (2) "Court" means trial court.
245          (3) "Jury" means a body of persons temporarily selected from the citizens of a
246     particular county invested with the power to present and indict a person for a public offense or
247     to try a question of fact.
248          (4) "Master jury list" means the source lists as prescribed by the Judicial Council under
249     Section 78B-1-106.
250          [(6)] (5) "[Qualified] Prospective jury list" means the list of prospective jurors whose
251     names are drawn at random from the master jury list and are determined to be qualified to serve
252     as jurors.
253          [(5)] (6) "Public necessity" means circumstances in which services performed by the

254     prospective juror to members of the public in either a public or a private capacity cannot
255     adequately be performed by others.
256          (7) "Trial jury" means a body of persons selected from the citizens of a particular
257     county before a court or officer of competent jurisdiction and sworn to try and determine by
258     verdict a question of fact.
259          (8) "Undue hardship" means circumstances in which the prospective juror would:
260          (a) be required to abandon a person under his or her personal care or incur the cost of
261     substitute care which is unreasonable under the circumstances;
262          (b) suffer extreme physical hardship due to an illness, injury, or disability; or
263          (c) incur substantial costs or lost opportunities due to missing an event that was
264     scheduled prior to the initial notice of potential jury service.
265          Section 9. Section 78B-1-106 is amended to read:
266          78B-1-106. Master jury list -- Inclusive -- Review -- Renewal -- Public
267     examination.
268          (1) The Judicial Council shall designate one or more regularly maintained lists of
269     persons residing in each county as the source lists for the master jury list [for that county]. The
270     master jury list shall be as inclusive of the adult population [of the county] as is reasonably
271     practicable.
272          (2) The Judicial Council shall by rule provide for the biannual review of the master
273     jury list to evaluate [its] the master jury list's inclusiveness of the adult population [of the
274     county].
275          (3) Not less than once every six months the Administrative Office of the Courts shall
276     renew the master jury list [for a county] by incorporating any additions, deletions, or
277     amendments to the source lists. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall include any
278     additional source lists designated by the Judicial Council upon the next renewal of the master
279     jury list [for a county].
280          (4) The person having custody, possession, or control of any list used in compiling the
281     master jury list shall make the list available to the Administrative Office of the Courts at all

282     reasonable times without charge.
283          Section 10. Section 78B-1-107 is amended to read:
284          78B-1-107. Master prospective jury list -- Juror qualification form -- Content.
285          [(1) Prospective jurors shall be selected at random from the master jury list and, if
286     qualified, placed on the qualified jury list. Except if necessary to complete service in a
287     particular case, a prospective juror shall remain on the qualified jury list for no longer than six
288     months or for such shorter period established by rule of the Judicial Council. The qualified
289     jury list may be used by all courts within the county, but no person shall be summoned to serve
290     as a juror in more than one court.]
291          (1) When a jury trial is anticipated, the jury clerk shall obtain from the master jury list
292     the number of prospective jurors necessary to qualify jurors to empanel a jury in that case.
293          (2) Prospective jurors shall be randomly selected from the county in which the trial will
294     be held. A prospective juror shall remain on the prospective jury list until there is no longer a
295     need to empanel a jury in that case.
296          [(2)] (3) The Judicial Council shall by rule govern the process for the qualification of
297     jurors and the selection of qualified jurors for voir dire.
298          [(3) The state court administrator shall develop a standard form for the qualification of
299     jurors. The form shall include:]
300          (4) The process shall gather the following from a prospective juror:
301          (a) [the] confirmation of the prospective juror's name, address, email address, and
302     daytime telephone number [of the prospective juror];
303          (b) [questions suitable for determining] information on whether the prospective juror is
304     competent under statute to serve as a juror; and
305          (c) the [person's] prospective juror's declaration that the responses to [questions on the
306     qualification form] the requests for information are true to the best of the person's knowledge.
307          Section 11. Section 78B-1-110 is amended to read:
308          78B-1-110. Limitations on jury service.
309          (1) In any two-year period, a person may not:

310          (a) be required to serve on more than one grand jury;
311          (b) be required to serve as both a grand and trial juror;
312          (c) be required to attend court [for prospective jury service] as a trial juror more than
313     one court day, except if necessary to complete service in a particular case; or
314          (d) if summoned for [prospective] jury service and the summons is complied with as
315     directed, be selected for the [qualified] prospective jury list more than once.
316          (2) (a) Subsection (1)(d) does not apply to counties of the fourth, fifth, and sixth class
317     and counties of the third class with populations up to 75,000.
318          (b) (i) All population figures used for this section shall be derived from the most recent
319     official census or census estimate of the United States Census Bureau.
320          (ii) If population estimates are not available from the United States Census Bureau,
321     population figures shall be derived from the estimate of the Utah Population Estimates
322     Committee.
323          Section 12. Repealer.
324          This bill repeals:
325          Section 75-2-901, Deposit of will with court in testator's lifetime.