Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

House Sponsor: V. Lowry Snow


8     General Description:
9          This bill amends provisions related to the judiciary.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     addresses the interest on judgment a court enters under certain circumstances;
13          ▸     provides for how proof of security may be submitted to the clerk of the court;
14          ▸     addresses length of a plea in abeyance;
15          ▸     repeals certain requirements for an indictment to be valid;
16          ▸     addresses which days a court is closed;
17          ▸     addresses dissolution of a justice court created by interlocal agreement;
18          ▸     modifies a provision related to an unsworn declaration;
19          ▸     addresses which documents are sealed related to adoption;
20          ▸     addresses court authorizing service by publication or mail under certain
21     circumstances; and
22          ▸     makes technical and conforming amendments.
23     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
24          None
25     Other Special Clauses:
26          None
27     Utah Code Sections Affected:

28     AMENDS:
29          15-1-4, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 379
30          41-12a-303.2, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 416
31          77-2a-2, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1993, Chapter 82
32          77-10a-14, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1990, Chapter 318
33          78A-2-212, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
34          78A-7-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 205
35          78B-5-705, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 119
36          78B-6-141, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 417
37          78B-6-807, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2016, Chapter 33

39     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
40          Section 1. Section 15-1-4 is amended to read:
41          15-1-4. Interest on judgments.
42          (1) As used in this section, "federal postjudgment interest rate" means the interest rate
43     established for the federal court system under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1961, as amended.
44          (2) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(b), a judgment rendered on a lawful
45     contract shall conform to the contract and shall bear the interest agreed upon by the parties,
46     which shall be specified in the judgment.
47          (b) A judgment rendered on a deferred deposit loan subject to Title 7, Chapter 23,
48     Check Cashing and Deferred Deposit Lending Registration Act, shall bear interest at the rate
49     imposed under Subsection (3)(a) on an amount not exceeding the sum of:
50          (i) the total of the principal balance of the deferred deposit loan;
51          (ii) interest at the rate imposed by the deferred deposit loan agreement for a period not
52     exceeding 10 weeks as provided in Subsection 7-23-401(4);
53          (iii) costs;
54          (iv) attorney fees; and
55          (v) other amounts allowed by law and ordered by the court.
56          (3) (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, or as governed by Subsection (4), all other
57     final civil and criminal judgments of the district court and justice court shall bear interest at the
58     federal postjudgment interest rate as of January 1 of each year, plus 2%.

59          (b) The postjudgment interest rate in effect at the time of the judgment shall remain the
60     interest rate for the duration of the judgment.
61          (c) The interest on criminal judgments shall be calculated on the total amount of the
62     judgment.
63          (d) Interest paid on state revenue shall be deposited in accordance with Section
64     63A-3-505.
65          (e) Interest paid on revenue to a county or municipality shall be paid to the general
66     fund of the county or municipality.
67          (4) A judgment under $10,000 in an action regarding the purchase of goods and
68     services shall bear interest from the date on which the district court or justice court enters the
69     [judgement] judgment at 10% plus the federal postjudgment interest rate in effect on January 1
70     of the year in which the judgment is entered.
71          Section 2. Section 41-12a-303.2 is amended to read:
72          41-12a-303.2. Evidence of owner's or operator's security to be carried when
73     operating motor vehicle -- Defense -- Penalties.
74          (1) As used in this section:
75          (a) "Division" means the Motor Vehicle Division of the State Tax Commission.
76          (b) "Registration materials" means the evidences of motor vehicle registration,
77     including all registration cards, license plates, temporary permits, and nonresident temporary
78     permits.
79          (2) (a) (i) A person operating a motor vehicle shall:
80          (A) have in the person's immediate possession evidence of owner's or operator's
81     security for the motor vehicle the person is operating; and
82          (B) display it upon demand of a peace officer.
83          (ii) A person is exempt from the requirements of Subsection (2)(a)(i) if the person is
84     operating:
85          (A) a government-owned or leased motor vehicle; or
86          (B) an employer-owned or leased motor vehicle and is driving it with the employer's
87     permission.
88          (iii) A person operating a vehicle that is owned by a rental company, as defined in
89     Section 31A-22-311, may comply with Subsection (2)(a)(i) by having in the person's

90     immediate possession, or displaying, the rental vehicle's rental agreement, as defined in Section
91     31A-22-311.
92          (b) Evidence of owner's or operator's security includes any one of the following:
93          (i) a copy of the operator's valid:
94          (A) insurance policy;
95          (B) insurance policy declaration page;
96          (C) binder notice;
97          (D) renewal notice; or
98          (E) card issued by an insurance company as evidence of insurance;
99          (ii) a certificate of insurance issued under Section 41-12a-402;
100          (iii) a certified copy of a surety bond issued under Section 41-12a-405;
101          (iv) a certificate of the state treasurer issued under Section 41-12a-406;
102          (v) a certificate of self-funded coverage issued under Section 41-12a-407; or
103          (vi) information that the vehicle or driver is insured from the Uninsured Motorist
104     Identification Database Program created under Title 41, Chapter 12a, Part 8, Uninsured
105     Motorist Identification Database Program.
106          (c) A card issued by an insurance company as evidence of owner's or operator's
107     security under Subsection (2)(b)(i)(E) on or after July 1, 2014, may not display the owner's or
108     operator's address on the card.
109          (d) (i) A person may provide to a peace officer evidence of owner's or operator's
110     security described in this Subsection (2) in:
111          (A) a hard copy format; or
112          (B) an electronic format using a mobile electronic device.
113          (ii) If a person provides evidence of owner's or operator's security in an electronic
114     format using a mobile electronic device under this Subsection (2)(d), the peace officer viewing
115     the owner's or operator's security on the mobile electronic device may not view any other
116     content on the mobile electronic device.
117          (iii) Notwithstanding any other provision under this section, a peace officer is not
118     subject to civil liability or criminal penalties under this section if the peace officer inadvertently
119     views content other than the evidence of owner's or operator's security on the mobile electronic
120     device.

121          (e) (i) Evidence of owner's or operator's security from the Uninsured Motorist
122     Identification Database Program described under Subsection (2)(b)(vi) supercedes any
123     evidence of owner's or operator's security described under Subsection (2)(b)(i)(D) or (E).
124          (ii) A peace officer may not cite or arrest a person for a violation of Subsection (2)(a) if
125     the Uninsured Motorist Identification Database Program created under Title 41, Chapter 12a,
126     Part 8, Uninsured Motorist Identification Database Program, information indicates that the
127     vehicle or driver is insured.
128          (3) It is an affirmative defense to a charge or in an administrative action under this
129     section that the person had owner's or operator's security in effect for the vehicle the person
130     was operating at the time of the person's citation or arrest.
131          (4) (a) The following are considered proof of owner's or operator's security for
132     purposes of Subsection (3) and Section 41-12a-804:
133          (i) evidence defined in Subsection (2)(b);
134          (ii) a written statement from an insurance producer or company verifying that the
135     person had the required motor vehicle insurance coverage on the date specified; or
136          (iii) a written statement from an insurance producer or company, or provision in an
137     insurance policy, indicating that the policy provides coverage for a newly purchased car and the
138     coverage extended to the date specified.
139          (b) The court considering a citation issued under this section shall allow the evidence
140     or a written statement under Subsection (4)(a) and a copy of the citation to be [faxed]
141     electronically submitted or mailed to the clerk of the court to satisfy Subsection (3).
142          (c) The notice under Section 41-12a-804 shall specify that the written statement under
143     Subsection (4)(a) and a copy of the notice shall be faxed or mailed to the designated agent to
144     satisfy the proof of owner's or operator's security required under Section 41-12a-804.
145          (5) A violation of this section is an infraction, and the fine shall be not less than:
146          (a) $400 for a first offense; and
147          (b) $1,000 for a second and subsequent offense within three years of a previous
148     conviction or bail forfeiture.
149          (6) Upon receiving notification from a court of a conviction for a violation of this
150     section, the department:
151          (a) shall suspend the person's driver license; and

152          (b) may not renew the person's driver license or issue a driver license to the person
153     until the person gives the department proof of owner's or operator's security.
154          (i) This proof of owner's or operator's security shall be given by any of the ways
155     required under Section 41-12a-401.
156          (ii) This proof of owner's or operator's security shall be maintained with the department
157     for a three-year period.
158          (iii) An insurer that provides a certificate of insurance as provided under Section
159     41-12a-402 or 41-12a-403 may not terminate the insurance policy unless notice of termination
160     is filed with the department no later than 10 days after termination as required under Section
161     41-12a-404.
162          (iv) If a person who has canceled the certificate of insurance applies for a license
163     within three years from the date proof of owner's or operator's security was originally required,
164     the department shall refuse the application unless the person reestablishes proof of owner's or
165     operator's security and maintains the proof for the remainder of the three-year period.
166          Section 3. Section 77-2a-2 is amended to read:
167          77-2a-2. Plea in abeyance agreement -- Negotiation -- Contents -- Terms of
168     agreement -- Waiver of time for sentencing.
169          (1) At any time after acceptance of a plea of guilty or no contest but [prior to] before
170     entry of judgment of conviction and imposition of sentence, the court may, upon motion of
171     both the prosecuting attorney and the defendant, hold the plea in abeyance and not enter
172     judgment of conviction against the defendant nor impose sentence upon the defendant within
173     the time periods contained in Rule 22(a), Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure.
174          (2) [The] A defendant shall be represented by counsel during negotiations for a plea in
175     abeyance and at the time of acknowledgment and affirmation of any plea in abeyance
176     agreement unless the defendant [shall have] knowingly and intelligently [waived his] waives
177     the defendant's right to counsel.
178          (3) [The] A defendant has the right to be represented by counsel at any court hearing
179     relating to a plea in abeyance agreement.
180          (4) (a) Any plea in abeyance agreement entered into between the prosecution and the
181     defendant and approved by the court shall include a full, detailed recitation of the requirements
182     and conditions agreed to by the defendant and the reason for requesting the court to hold the

183     plea in abeyance.
184          (b) If the plea is to a felony or any combination of misdemeanors and felonies, the
185     agreement shall be in writing and shall, [prior to] before acceptance by the court, be executed
186     by the prosecuting attorney, the defendant, and the defendant's counsel in the presence of the
187     court.
188          (5) [A] Unless the prosecutor and the defendant agree to a longer term or to an
189     extension, a plea [shall] may not be held in abeyance for a period longer than 18 months if the
190     plea [was] is to:
191          (a) any class of misdemeanor [or] of longer than three years [if the plea was to];
192          (b) any degree of felony; or [to]
193          (c) any combination of misdemeanors and felonies.
194          (6) A plea in abeyance agreement [shall] may not be approved unless the defendant,
195     before the court, and any written agreement, knowingly and intelligently waives time for
196     sentencing as designated in Rule 22(a), Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure.
197          Section 4. Section 77-10a-14 is amended to read:
198          77-10a-14. Concurrence for indictment -- Proof -- Validity -- Disclosure.
199          (1) An indictment may be found only upon the concurrence of at least three-fourths, or
200     the next highest whole number, of the grand jurors.
201          (2) An indictment may not be found unless the grand jurors who vote in favor of the
202     indictment find there is clear and convincing evidence to believe the crime to be charged was
203     committed and the person to be indicted committed [it] the crime. An indictment may not be
204     returned solely on the basis of incompetent hearsay.
205          [(3) To be valid, the indictment shall be signed by the foreman and the attorney for the
206     state or special prosecutor and returned to the managing judge in open court. The clerk of the
207     managing court shall file the indictment upon receipt.]
208          [(4)] (3) To be valid, the indictment shall be signed by the foreman and then returned
209     to the managing judge in open court. The clerk of the managing court shall file the indictment
210     upon receipt.
211          [(5)] (4) (a) The managing judge who takes the return of the indictment may direct that
212     the indictment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending
213     trial.

214          (b) The clerk shall then seal the indictment and, except for transferring the indictment
215     to the appropriate court for trial as provided by this chapter, may not permit any person to
216     disclose the return of the indictment except when necessary for the issuance and execution of a
217     warrant or summons.
218          Section 5. Section 78A-2-212 is amended to read:
219          78A-2-212. Days on which court closed -- Exceptions.
220          Judicial business on Sunday, on any day on which a regular general election is held, or
221     on any legal holiday, is limited to the following purposes:
222          (1) to give, upon their request, instructions to a jury when deliberating on [their] the
223     jury's verdict;
224          (2) to receive a verdict or discharge a jury;
225          (3) for the exercise of the powers of a magistrate in a criminal action, or in a
226     proceeding of a criminal nature; and
227          (4) judicial business not involving a trial or hearing unless the judge finds it necessary
228     for the fair administration of justice.
229          Section 6. Section 78A-7-102 is amended to read:
230          78A-7-102. Establishment of justice courts.
231          (1) (a) [For the purposes of] As used in this section, to "create a justice court" means
232     to:
233          (i) establish a justice court; or
234          (ii) establish a justice court under Title 11, Chapter 13, Interlocal Cooperation Act.
235          (b) For the purposes of this section, if more than one municipality or county is
236     collectively proposing to create a justice court, the class of the justice court shall be determined
237     by the total citations or cases filed within the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed justice
238     court.
239          (2) [Municipalities or counties] A municipality or county of the first or second class
240     may create a justice court by filing a written declaration with the Judicial Council on or before
241     July 1 at least two years [prior to] before the effective date of the election. Upon demonstration
242     of compliance with operating standards as established by statute and the Judicial Council, the
243     Judicial Council shall certify the creation of the justice court [pursuant to] under Section
244     78A-7-103.

245          (3) (a) [Municipalities or counties] A municipality or county of the third, fourth, or fifth
246     class may create a justice court by demonstrating the need for the justice court and filing a
247     written declaration with the Judicial Council on or before July 1 at least one year [prior to]
248     before the effective date of the election.
249          (b) A municipality or county [establishing] creating a justice court shall demonstrate to
250     the Judicial Council that a justice court is needed. In evaluating the need for a justice court, the
251     Judicial Council shall consider factors of population, case filings, public convenience,
252     availability of law enforcement agencies and court support services, proximity to other courts,
253     and any special circumstances.
254          (c) The Judicial Council shall certify the [establishment of a] creation of the justice
255     court [pursuant to] under Section 78A-7-103, if the [council] Judicial Council determines:
256          (i) a need exists;
257          (ii) the municipality or county has filed a timely application; and
258          (iii) the proposed justice court will be in compliance with all of the operating standards
259     established by statute and the Judicial Council.
260          (4) (a) A municipality that has [an established] a justice court may expand the
261     territorial jurisdiction of [its] the justice court by entering into an agreement [pursuant to] under
262     Title 11, Chapter 13, Interlocal Cooperation Act, with one or more other municipalities, or the
263     county in which the municipality exists.
264          (b) A justice court enlarged under this [section] Subsection (4) may not be considered
265     as [establishing] creating a new justice court. An expanded justice court shall demonstrate that
266     it will be in compliance with all of the requirements of the operating standards as established
267     by statute and the Judicial Council before the justice court expands.
268          (c) A municipality or county seeking to expand the territorial jurisdiction of a justice
269     court shall notify the Judicial Council:
270          (i) no later than the notice period required in Section 78A-7-123, when the expanded
271     justice court is a result of the dissolution of one or more justice courts; or
272          (ii) no later than 180 days before the expanded court seeks to begin operation when the
273     expanded justice court is a result of other circumstances.
274          (d) The Judicial Council shall certify the expansion of a justice court if it determines
275     that the expanded justice court is in compliance with the operating standards established by

276     statute and the Judicial Council.
277          (e) (i) A municipality or county that has a justice court at the time of executing an
278     interlocal agreement, under Title 11, Chapter 13, Interlocal Cooperation Act, to become part of
279     an expanded court shall resume operation of the justice court upon termination of the interlocal
280     agreement in accordance with this Subsection (4)(e) or dissolve its justice courts in accordance
281     with Subsection (4)(e)(iii).
282          (ii) The municipality or county shall notify the Judicial Council at least 90 days before
283     resuming operations. The municipality or county shall demonstrate that the municipality's or
284     county's justice court will be in compliance with the operating standards.
285          (iii) If the Judicial Council determines that a justice court will not be in compliance
286     with the operating standards, the Judicial Council shall direct the expanded justice court to
287     continue operation until the Judicial Council is satisfied the municipality's or county's justice
288     court will meet the operating standards or until the municipality or county dissolves the
289     municipality's or county's justice court in accordance with Section 78A-7-123.
290          (iv) If the interlocal agreement includes a municipality or county that did not have a
291     justice court at the time the interlocal agreement was executed, the municipality or county shall
292     notify the Judicial Council at least 180 days before termination of the interlocal agreement. In
293     the notification, the municipality or county shall set forth its intentions in regard to adjudicating
294     offenses committed within the municipality's or county's territorial boundaries. The Judicial
295     Council may require the expanded justice court to continue operation until the Judicial Council
296     is satisfied that the municipality's or county's caseload will be adequately subsumed by another
297     justice court.
298          (5) Upon request from a municipality or county seeking to create a justice court, the
299     Judicial Council may shorten the time required between the [city's] municipality's or county's
300     written declaration or election to create a justice court and the effective date of the election.
301          (6) The Judicial Council may by rule provide resources and procedures adequate for
302     the timely disposition of all matters brought before the courts. The [administrative office of the
303     courts] Administrative Office of the Courts and local governments shall cooperate in allocating
304     resources to operate the courts in the most efficient and effective manner based on the
305     allocation of responsibility between courts of record and not of record.
306          Section 7. Section 78B-5-705 is amended to read:

307          78B-5-705. Unsworn declaration in lieu of affidavit.
308          (1) If the [Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, or Evidence] Utah
309     Supreme Court rules of procedure or evidence require or permit a written declaration upon
310     oath, an individual may, with like force and effect, provide an unsworn written declaration,
311     subscribed and dated under penalty of this section, in substantially the following form:
312          "I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under criminal penalty of the State of Utah that the
313     foregoing is true and correct.
314          Executed on (date).
315          (Signature)".
316          (2) A person who knowingly makes a false written statement [as provided] under
317     Subsection (1) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
318          Section 8. Section 78B-6-141 is amended to read:
319          78B-6-141. Court hearings may be closed -- Petition, report, and documents
320     sealed -- Exceptions.
321          (1) Notwithstanding Section 78A-6-114, court hearings in adoption cases may be
322     closed to the public upon request of a party to the adoption petition and upon court approval. In
323     a closed hearing, only the following individuals may be admitted:
324          (a) a party to the proceeding;
325          (b) the adoptee;
326          (c) a representative of an agency having custody of the adoptee;
327          (d) in a hearing to relinquish parental rights, the individual whose rights are to be
328     relinquished and invitees of that individual to provide emotional support;
329          (e) in a hearing on the termination of parental rights, the individual whose rights may
330     be terminated;
331          (f) in a hearing on a petition to intervene, the proposed intervenor;
332          (g) in a hearing to finalize an adoption, invitees of the petitioner; and
333          (h) other individuals for good cause, upon order of the court.
334          (2) An adoption document[, the written report described in Section 78B-6-135,] and
335     any other documents filed in connection with a petition for adoption are sealed.
336          (3) The documents described in Subsection (2) may only be open to inspection and
337     copying:

338          (a) in accordance with Subsection (5)(a), by a party to the adoption proceeding:
339          (i) while the proceeding is pending; or
340          (ii) within six months after the day on which the adoption decree is entered;
341          (b) subject to Subsection (5)(b), if a court enters an order permitting access to the
342     documents by an individual who has appealed the denial of that individual's motion to
343     intervene;
344          (c) upon order of the court expressly permitting inspection or copying, after good cause
345     has been shown;
346          (d) as provided under Section 78B-6-144;
347          (e) when the adoption document becomes public on the one hundredth anniversary of
348     the date the final decree of adoption was entered;
349          (f) when the birth certificate becomes public on the one hundredth anniversary of the
350     date of birth;
351          (g) to a mature adoptee or a parent who adopted the mature adoptee, without a court
352     order, unless the final decree of adoption is entered by the juvenile court under Subsection
353     78B-6-115(3)(b); or
354          (h) to an adult adoptee, to the extent permitted under Subsection (4).
355          (4) (a) For an adoption finalized on or after January 1, 2016, a birth parent may elect,
356     on a written consent form provided by the office, to permit identifying information about the
357     birth parent to be made available for inspection by an adult adoptee.
358          (b) A birth parent may, at any time, file a written document with the office to:
359          (i) change the election described in Subsection (4)(a); or
360          (ii) elect to make other information about the birth parent, including an updated
361     medical history, available for inspection by an adult adoptee.
362          (c) A birth parent may not access any identifying information or an adoption document
363     under this Subsection (4).
364          (5) (a) An individual who files a motion to intervene in an adoption proceeding:
365          (i) is not a party to the adoption proceeding, unless the motion to intervene is granted;
366     and
367          (ii) may not be granted access to the documents described in Subsection (2), unless the
368     motion to intervene is granted.

369          (b) An order described in Subsection (3)(b) shall:
370          (i) prohibit the individual described in Subsection (3)(b) from inspecting a document
371     described in Subsection (2) that contains identifying information of the adoptive or prospective
372     adoptive parent; and
373          (ii) permit the individual described in Subsection (5)(b)(i) to review a copy of a
374     document described in Subsection (5)(b)(i) after the identifying information described in
375     Subsection (5)(b)(i) is redacted from the document.
376          Section 9. Section 78B-6-807 is amended to read:
377          78B-6-807. Allegations permitted in complaint -- Time for appearance -- Service
378     of summons.
379          (1) The plaintiff, in [his] the plaintiff's complaint:
380          (a) shall set forth the facts on which [he] the plaintiff seeks to recover;
381          (b) may set forth any circumstances of fraud, force, or violence which may have
382     accompanied the alleged forcible entry, or forcible or unlawful detainer; and
383          (c) may claim damages or compensation for the occupation of the premises, or both.
384          (2) If the unlawful detainer charged is after default in the payment of rent, the
385     complaint shall state the amount of rent due.
386          (3) The summons shall include the number of days within which the defendant is
387     required to appear and defend the action, which shall be three business days from the date of
388     service, unless the defendant objects to the number of days, and the court determines that the
389     facts of the case should allow more time.
390          (4) The court may authorize service by publication or mail [for cause shown] in
391     accordance with the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.
392          (5) Service by publication is complete one week after publication.
393          (6) Service by mail is complete three days after mailing.
394          (7) The summons shall be changed in form to conform to the time of service as
395     ordered, and shall be served as in other cases.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel