HOW DO I SEARCH UTAH COURT RECORDS?
Utah court records are maintained by different bodies under the Utah judicial system. Official court records are kept in both paper and electronic formats for easy access. All court records are deemed public records of the state, which means anyone can inspect and copy them. Note, confidential court records that are sealed or expunged are not open to the public. Hence, citizens may request to view available Utah court records in any of these ways:
- Visit the local courthouse and request to inspect the paper records
- Visit the local courthouse, request to view the electronic copies of available court records
- Visit the local courthouse to make use of the courthouse Public terminals
- Remotely access electronic court records via the internet for courts that offer this service.
- Utah Division of Archives and Records Service 346 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1106
- Visit the Public terminal at the Utah State Law Library at 450 S. State Street
To determine the address of a local courthouse, use the Utah State Court directory available on the Utah Judicial website. Copying the available court records may incur a fee depending on the volume of a request.
HOW TO GET UTAH COURT RECORDS ONLINE FOR FREE
There are no free court records, however, as a service to the public, courts usually provide electronic case information of its records on its website. The different courts under the Utah Judicial System provide such electronic copies. However, users in need of official copies of court records need to visit the courthouse where the action was filed to request copies.
Utah District and Justice Courts case records are available on the XChange engine search provided on the Utah Courts website. XChange is a fee-based subscription service; this means for a user to search court records, a login is required. Utah appellate courts' records can be viewed via the Appellate Docket Search. This search tool allows users to input appellate docket number of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals case.
Court records are considered open to the public and are usually accessible through government sources, though they may also be accessed through third-party websites. These websites offer an easier method in most cases, as they are not limited by geographical area, or by limitations in search engine technology. They can often serve as a starting point when looking for a specific record, or multiple records. Interested parties must usually provide:
- The name of the person listed in the record. This may not apply to records on juveniles.
- The assumed or known location of the person listed in the record. This will most often be a city, county, or state.
Because they are not government-sponsored, record availability on third party websites may vary when compared to government sources.
HOW DOES THE UTAH COURT SYSTEM WORK?
The Utah court system is categorized into two levels; the appellate courts and the trial courts. The trial court system is made up of the District Court, Justice Court, And the Juvenile Court. The appellate court is made up of the Utah Supreme Court and Utah Court of Appeals.
The District Court is divided into eight judicial districts serving all 29 counties in the state of Utah. The District Court consists of 71 full-time judges, while the Justice Court consists of 81 judges, and the Juvenile Court consist of 31 judges. In the Court of Appeals, the judges elected are seven judges who sit in a three-man panel. The Supreme Court consists of five justices, which is headed by the chief justice.
Annually, the state trial court handles about 630,000 cases. About 800 of these decided cases of the District Court are appealed to Court of Appeals, while some 500 appeal cases are entertained at the Supreme Court.
HOW DOES THE UTAH DISTRICT COURT WORK?
The District Court is the state trial court of general jurisdiction. The District Court has the jurisdiction to handles the following types of cases:
- Civil cases
- Criminal felonies (homicide, assaults, sex and drug offenses, forgery, arson, robbery, and misdemeanors)
- Domestic relations
The District Court handles appeals to review informal adjudicative proceedings from Administrative Agencies. The 71 judges serving Utah District Courts are appointed to four-year terms. However, these judges may face the first retention election within three years of the appointment. Each of the eight judicial districts within the state serves at least three counties.
- First Judicial District Box Elder, Cache, and Rich
- Second Judicial District Davis, Morgan, and Weber
- Third Judicial District Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele
- Fourth Judicial District Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch
- Fifth Judicial District Beaver, Iron, and Washington
- Sixth Judicial District Garfield, Kane, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne
- Seventh Judicial District Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan
- Eighth Judicial District Daggett, Duchesne, and Uintah
HOW DOES THE UTAH JUSTICE COURT WORK?
Justice Courts in Utah are created by counties and municipalities; hence the jurisdiction of these courts is defined within the ambits of the local government. Justice Court has jurisdiction to handle:
- Class B and C misdemeanors
- Violations of ordinances
- Small claims
- Infractions committed within their territorial jurisdiction.
Over eighty Justice Court judges are serving in the 115 County and Municipal Courts.
Justice Court judges serving County Courts are appointed by the County Commission and stand for a retention election every six years. While the judges serving the Municipal Courts are appointed by the City Officials for a term of 6 years.
Appointed Justice Court judges who are not attorneys are required to go for extensive and continuing legal training. These judges must attend 30 hours of continuing judicial education each year to remain certified.
HOW DOES THE UTAH JUVENILE COURT WORK?
The Juvenile Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over youths under the age of 18 years who has violated any federal, state, municipal law, as well as, any child who is abused, neglected or dependent. It also has exclusive jurisdiction over traffic offenses committed by these youths such as:
- Automobile homicide,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving,
It shares concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court and the Justice Court over adults contributing to delinquency and neglect of a minor. The Juvenile Court also administers a probation department. Utah Juvenile Courts are equal in status with the District Courts therefore all appeals from the Juvenile Court go straight to the Court of Appeals.
WHAT ARE UTAH'S APPELLATE COURTS?
The Supreme Court is the court of highest jurisdiction in Utah. The court's original jurisdiction covers cases of state law certification from federal courts and to issue extraordinary writs. It has appellate jurisdiction over first-degree and capital felony convictions from the District Court and civil judgment other than domestic cases. It also has jurisdiction over judgments of the Court of Appeals by writ of certiorari, proceedings of the judicial conduct commission, and both constitution an election question.
The Supreme Court consists of five justices, each elected to serve a term of 10 years which is renewable. One of the justices is elected by the rest to serve as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for four years while another is elected as an Associate Chief Justice to serve for two years.
As the highest court, the Supreme Court the duty to oversee operations all Utah courts and the practice of law in the state.The court also reviews formal administrative proceedings of the following state entities:
- Public Service Commission,
- Tax Commission,
- School and Institutional Trust Lands Board of Trustees,
- Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining,
- the State Engineer.
The Utah Court of Appeals' jurisdiction is complementary to that of the Supreme Court. All appeals from the Juvenile and District Courts except the ones the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over are heard by the court. The Court of Appeals also reviews appeals of administrative proceedings by state agencies which include the Utah Industrial Commission and the Department of Employment Security Career Service Review Board. Also hear cases transferred to it by the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeals consists of seven judges elected to serve a renewable six-year term. The judge of the Court of Appeals elects the presiding judge in a majority vote every two years. The court sits in a rotating panel of three judges. The statute prohibits the court from sitting in full, that is all seven judges sitting on the panel. The court also designates three judges to sit on law and motion panel. This panel determines procedural and substantive motions and hears cases on one day per month.
The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals conducts sessions regularly in Salt Lake City, but the Courts may sit in other locations occasionally.
WHAT ARE UTAH'S DRUG COURTS?
Utah's Drug Courts were established to eliminate drug addiction as a long term solution to crime. The state has seen an estimated 700-800 participants statewide and hundreds of successful graduates. The Drug Courts handle matters such as treatment providers and participatory restriction, as well as what is provided for in the guidelines which establish structural components. Each of the eight districts in the state has a Drug Court.
HOW MANY CASES DOES THE UTAH COURT SYSTEM HANDLE ANNUALLY?
Over 630,000 cases are filed by litigants and attorneys in the Utah court system. For instance, in the fiscal year of 2018, the District Court of Utah recorded a total of 169,047 cases. This represents 43,775 criminal cases, 69,405 civil cases, 21,072 domestic cases, probate, property, torts, and traffic/parking cases. A total of 161,659 dispositions were issued in the year.
In that same year, Justice Court recorded a total of 439,358 filed cases. This figure represents 70,561 criminal cases, 25,943 small claims, and 342,854 traffic cases. A total of 443,797 dispositions were issued at the Justice court of Utah. The Juvenile Court in its stead also handled a total of 24,649.
The Supreme Court of Utah in its fiscal year of 2018 handled 563 appeal cases with a total of 212 dispositions made. At the Court of Appeal for that same fiscal year, a total of 836 appeal cases were handled and at the end of the fiscal year, a total of 890 dispositions were issued.
Utah Supreme Court Total Filings, Fiscal Years 2015 Through 2018
|Writ of Certiorari||112||126||117||143|
Data provided by the Utah Judiciary
Utah Court of Appeals Total Filings, Fiscal Years 2015 Through 2018
|Domestic Civil Appeals||69||93||55||77|
Data provided by the Utah Judiciary
Utah District Courts Total Filings, Fiscal Years 2014 Through 2018
|Criminal||Domestic||General Civil||Probate||Property rights||Torts||Traffic/parking||Total|
Data provided by Utah Judiciary
Utah Juvenile Courts Referrals Total Filings, Fiscal Years 2014 Through 2018
|Termination of Parental Rights||729||1,599||801||894||937|
Data provided by Utah Judiciary
Utah Justice Courts Total Filings, Fiscal Years 2015 Through 2018
Data provided by Utah Judiciary