Chief Sponsor: Brian S. King

Senate Sponsor: ____________


8     General Description:
9          This bill amends provisions relating to the attorney general's authority.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     places limitations on the circumstances when the attorney general may participate as
13     amicus curiae (friend of the court) in a proceeding;
14          ▸     requires the attorney general to consult with, and obtain the consent of, the governor
15     before taking action, or participating as amicus curiae, in relation to certain civil
16     action; and
17          ▸     makes technical changes.
18     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19          None
20     Other Special Clauses:
21          None
22     Utah Code Sections Affected:
23     AMENDS:
24          67-5-1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 343
25          67-5-17, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2000, Chapter 212

27     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

28          Section 1. Section 67-5-1 is amended to read:
29          67-5-1. General duties.
30          The attorney general shall:
31          (1) perform all duties in a manner consistent with the attorney-client relationship under
32     Section 67-5-17;
33          (2) except as provided in Sections 10-3-928 and 17-18a-403, attend the Supreme Court
34     and the Court of Appeals of this state, and all courts of the United States, and prosecute or
35     defend all causes to which the state or any officer, board, or commission of the state in an
36     official capacity is a party, and take charge, as attorney, of all civil legal matters in which the
37     state is interested;
38          (3) after judgment on any cause [referred to] described in Subsection (2), direct the
39     issuance of process as necessary to execute the judgment;
40          (4) account for, and pay over to the proper officer, all money that comes into the
41     attorney general's possession that belongs to the state;
42          (5) keep a file of all cases in which the attorney general is required to appear, including
43     any documents and papers showing the court in which the cases have been instituted and tried,
44     and whether they are civil or criminal, and:
45          (a) if civil, the nature of the demand, the stage of proceedings, and, when prosecuted to
46     judgment, a memorandum of the judgment and of any process issued if satisfied, and if not
47     satisfied, documentation of the return of the sheriff;
48          (b) if criminal, the nature of the crime, the mode of prosecution, the stage of
49     proceedings, and, when prosecuted to sentence, a memorandum of the sentence and of the
50     execution, if the sentence has been executed, and, if not executed, the reason for the delay or
51     prevention; and
52          (c) deliver this information to the attorney general's successor in office;
53          (6) exercise supervisory powers over the district and county attorneys of the state in all
54     matters pertaining to the duties of the district and county attorneys' offices, including the
55     authority to:
56          (a) require a district or county attorney of the state to, upon request, report on the status
57     of public business entrusted to the district or county attorney's charge; or
58          (b) review investigation results de novo and file criminal charges, if warranted, in any

59     case involving a first degree felony, if:
60          (i) a law enforcement agency submits investigation results to the county or district
61     attorney of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred and the county or district attorney:
62          (A) declines to file criminal charges; or
63          (B) fails to screen the case for criminal charges within six months of the law
64     enforcement agency's submission of the investigation results; and
65          (ii) after consultation with the county or district attorney of the jurisdiction where the
66     incident occurred, the attorney general reasonably believes action by the attorney general would
67     not interfere with an ongoing investigation or prosecution by the county or district attorney of
68     the jurisdiction where the incident occurred;
69          (7) give the attorney general's opinion in writing and without fee, when required, upon
70     any question of law relating to the office of the requester:
71          (a) in accordance with Section 67-5-1.1, to the Legislature or either house;
72          (b) to any state officer, board, or commission; and
73          (c) to any county attorney or district attorney;
74          (8) when required by the public service or directed by the governor, assist any county,
75     district, or city attorney in the discharge of county, district, or city attorney's duties;
76          (9) purchase in the name of the state, under the direction of the state Board of
77     Examiners, any property offered for sale under execution issued upon judgments in favor of or
78     for the use of the state, and enter satisfaction in whole or in part of the judgments as the
79     consideration of the purchases;
80          (10) when the property of a judgment debtor in any judgment [mentioned] described in
81     Subsection (9) has been sold under a prior judgment, or is subject to any judgment, lien, or
82     encumbrance taking precedence of the judgment in favor of the state, redeem the property,
83     under the direction of the state Board of Examiners, from the prior judgment, lien, or
84     encumbrance, and pay all money necessary for the redemption, upon the order of the state
85     Board of Examiners, out of any money appropriated for these purposes;
86          (11) when in the attorney general's opinion it is necessary for the collection or
87     enforcement of any judgment, institute and prosecute on behalf of the state any action or
88     proceeding necessary to set aside and annul all conveyances fraudulently made by the judgment
89     debtors, and pay the cost necessary to the prosecution, when allowed by the state Board of

90     Examiners, out of any money not otherwise appropriated;
91          (12) discharge the duties of a member of all official boards of which the attorney
92     general is or may be made a member by the Utah Constitution or by the laws of the state, and
93     other duties prescribed by law;
94          (13) institute and prosecute proper proceedings in any court of the state or of the
95     United States to restrain and enjoin corporations organized under the laws of this or any other
96     state or territory from acting illegally or in excess of their corporate powers or contrary to
97     public policy, and in proper cases forfeit their corporate franchises, dissolve the corporations,
98     and wind up their affairs;
99          (14) institute investigations for the recovery of all real or personal property that may
100     have escheated or should escheat to the state, and for that purpose, subpoena any persons
101     before any of the district courts to answer inquiries and render accounts concerning any
102     property, examine all books and papers of any corporations, and when any real or personal
103     property is discovered that should escheat to the state, institute suit in the district court of the
104     county where the property is situated for its recovery, and escheat that property to the state;
105          (15) administer the Children's Justice Center as a program to be implemented in
106     various counties pursuant to Sections 67-5b-101 through 67-5b-107;
107          (16) assist the Constitutional Defense Council as provided in Title 63C, Chapter 4a,
108     Constitutional and Federalism Defense Act;
109          (17) pursue any appropriate legal action to implement the state's public lands policy
110     established in Section 63C-4a-103;
111          (18) investigate and prosecute violations of all applicable state laws relating to fraud in
112     connection with the state Medicaid program and any other medical assistance program
113     administered by the state, including violations of Title 26, Chapter 20, Utah False Claims Act;
114          (19) investigate and prosecute complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of patients
115     at:
116          (a) health care facilities that receive payments under the state Medicaid program; and
117          (b) board and care facilities, as defined in the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
118     Sec. 1396b(q)(4)(B), regardless of the source of payment to the board and care facility;
119          (20) (a) report at least twice per year to the Legislative Management Committee on any
120     pending or anticipated lawsuits, other than eminent domain lawsuits, that might:

121          (i) cost the state more than $500,000; or
122          (ii) require the state to take legally binding action that would cost more than $500,000
123     to implement; and
124          (b) if the meeting is closed, include an estimate of the state's potential financial or other
125     legal exposure in that report;
126          (21) (a) submit a written report to the committees described in Subsection (21)(b) that
127     summarizes any lawsuit or decision in which a court or the Office of the Attorney General has
128     determined that a state statute is unconstitutional or unenforceable since the attorney general's
129     last report under this Subsection (21), including any:
130          (i) settlements reached;
131          (ii) consent decrees entered;
132          (iii) judgments issued;
133          (iv) preliminary injunctions issued;
134          (v) temporary restraining orders issued; or
135          (vi) formal or informal policies of the Office of the Attorney General to not enforce a
136     law; and
137          (b) at least 30 days before the Legislature's May and November interim meetings,
138     submit the report described in Subsection (21)(a) to:
139          (i) the Legislative Management Committee;
140          (ii) the Judiciary Interim Committee; and
141          (iii) the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee;
142          (22) if the attorney general operates the Office of the Attorney General or any portion
143     of the Office of the Attorney General as an internal service fund agency in accordance with
144     Section 67-5-4, submit to the rate committee established in Section 67-5-34:
145          (a) a proposed rate and fee schedule in accordance with Subsection 67-5-34(4); and
146          (b) any other information or analysis requested by the rate committee;
147          (23) before the end of each calendar year, create an annual performance report for the
148     Office of the Attorney General and post the report on the attorney general's website;
149          (24) ensure that any training required under this chapter complies with Title 63G,
150     Chapter 22, State Training and Certification Requirements;
151          (25) notify the legislative general counsel in writing within three business days after

152     the day on which the attorney general is officially notified of a claim, regardless of whether the
153     claim is filed in state or federal court, that challenges:
154          (a) the constitutionality of a state statute;
155          (b) the validity of legislation; or
156          (c) any action of the Legislature; and
157          (26) (a) notwithstanding Title 63G, Chapter 6a, Utah Procurement Code, provide a
158     special advisor to the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Attorney General in matters
159     relating to Native American and tribal issues to:
160          (i) establish outreach to the tribes and affected counties and communities; and
161          (ii) foster better relations and a cooperative framework; [and]
162          (b) annually report to the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations
163     Subcommittee regarding:
164          (i) the status of the work of the special advisor described in Subsection (26)(a); and
165          (ii) whether the need remains for the ongoing appropriation to fund the special advisor
166     described in Subsection (26)(a)[.]; and
167          (27) file, join, or otherwise participate as amicus curiae in a civil, criminal, or
168     administrative matter, only to the extent as necessary to support or protect state interests as
169     reflected by:
170          (a) the Utah Constitution;
171          (b) state statute;
172          (c) legislative resolution;
173          (d) administrative rule; or
174          (e) a policy of the governor that is not inconsistent with a provision described in
175     Subsections (27)(a) through (d).
176          Section 2. Section 67-5-17 is amended to read:
177          67-5-17. Attorney-client relationship.
178          (1) When representing the governor, lieutenant governor, auditor, or treasurer, or when
179     representing an agency under the supervision of any of those officers, the attorney general
180     shall:
181          (a) keep the officer or the officer's designee reasonably informed about the status of a
182     matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information;

183          (b) explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to enable the officer or the
184     officer's designee to make informed decisions regarding the representation;
185          (c) abide by the officer's or designee's decisions concerning the objectives of the
186     representation and consult with the officer or designee as to the means by which [they] the
187     objectives are to be pursued; and
188          (d) jointly by agreement, establish protocols with the officer to facilitate
189     communications and working relationships with the officer or agencies under the officer's
190     supervision.
191          (2) Nothing in Subsection (1) modifies or supercedes any independent legal authority
192     granted specifically by statute to the attorney general.
193          (3) When the attorney general institutes or maintains a civil enforcement action on
194     behalf of the state [of Utah] that is not covered under Subsection (1), the attorney general shall:
195          (a) fully advise the governor, as the officer in whom the executive authority of the state
196     is vested, before instituting the action, entering into a settlement or consent decree, or taking an
197     appeal; and
198          (b) keep the governor reasonably informed about the status of the matter and promptly
199     comply with reasonable requests for information.
200          (4) In a civil action not [covered under] described in Subsection (1) or (3), the attorney
201     general shall:
202          (a) before initiating or pursuing the action:
203          (i) consult with the governor and explain in writing how the action is necessary to
204     support or protect state interests as reflected by:
205          (A) the Utah Constitution;
206          (B) state statute;
207          (C) legislative resolution;
208          (D) administrative rule; or
209          (E) a policy of the governor that is not inconsistent with a provision described in
210     Subsections (4)(a)(i)(A) through (D); and
211          (ii) obtain the governor's approval for initiating or pursuing the action;
212          (b) before filing, joining, or otherwise participating as amicus curiae:
213          (i) consult with the governor and explain in writing how filing, joining, or otherwise

214     participating as amicus curiae is necessary to support or protect state interests described in
215     Subsection 67-5-1(27); and
216          (ii) obtain the governor's consent before filing, joining, or otherwise participating as
217     amicus curiae;
218          [(a)] (c) keep the governor reasonably informed about the status of the matter and
219     promptly comply with reasonable requests for information;
220          [(b)] (d) explain the matter to the extent reasonably necessary to enable the governor to
221     make informed decisions regarding the representation; and
222          [(c)] (e) abide by the governor's decisions concerning the objectives of the
223     representation and consult with the governor as to the means by which they are to be pursued.
224          (5) The governor may appear in any civil legal action involving the state and appoint
225     legal counsel to advise or appear on behalf of the governor. The court shall allow the
226     governor's appearance.