Siebach v Brigham Young University

Siebach sued University seeking return of funds donated for a research fund. The district court dismissed for lack of standing, voided an order of reconsideration based on lack of jurisdiction and the presiding judge denied a motion to disqualify the district court judge. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It affirmed on the standing issue adopting the common law rule denying standing to donors who have completed their gift to a charitable institution and seek to enforce the terms of the gift. The panel held that the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act did not apply as it was silent on the issue of donor standing, the preface suggests it was not intended to confer standing here and other jurisdictions have held the Act does not create standing for donors. It also held that Siebach did not prove any residual interest in the funds and thus lack special interest standing. The panel held that under Utah’s Charitable Solicitations Act, Siebach can pursue a claim that University fraudulently induced the gift as the focus is on the solicitation not on the terms of the completed gift. It also held that University’s offer to return the parts of the funds attributable to Siebach may have created a settlement agreement and Siebach have standing to pursue a breach of contract claim as there is no issue of enforcing terms of the original gift. The fraud and breach of contract claims were remanded for consideration of whether they were adequately pled. The panel affirmed the denial of the disqualification motion holding the motion was untimely as Siebach’s attorney knew of the factual basis for the motion more than 20 days before filing and thus the motion was at least 3 days late which is sufficient to deny under Rule of Civil Procedure 63. The panel finally held that the reconsideration issue was moot as the relief sought was granted on appeal namely reinstatement of the contract claim.

Sterns Landing Inc. v Pyle (GRA Legal Title Trust 2013-1 v Salman)

Salman appealed an order declaring a trustee’s deed purporting to transfer title in certain property to Salman void. The panel affirmed. It held that an accord and satisfaction occurred here as Salman’s debtors refinanced their house for the benefit of Salman, Salman’s attorney received checks intended to pay Salman’s trust deed and reconvey the property and the checks with the restrictive endorsement of satisfaction were deposited and the refinancing company believed there was an accord in place.

State v Powell

Powell appealed the denial of motions to withdraw six guilty pleas. The panel affirmed. It held that there was no abuse of discretion given the district court’s observations of Powell at eh pela hearing, Powell’s statements that her was not under the influence of medications and Powell’s attorney’s statements that Powell understood the plea offer and the proceedings.

Brown v state

Brown appealed the denial of his motion for post-conviction relief as untimely. The panel affirmed. It held that the limitations period for post-conviction relief claims starts when a defendant knows or through reasonable diligence should know the factual basis of the claims and does not start when the defendant realizes the legal importance of the facts. The panel reasoned allowing legal significance to trigger the clock would effectively abolish the one year limitation period for post-conviction relief claims. The panel affirmed the factual finding of untimeliness holding Brown knew all the facts supporting his claims at the time he pled guilty which was more than two years before he field his petition.