Christensen v Christensen

Husband appealed the denial of his motion to end alimony and child support. The panel reversed and remanded in part and affirmed in part. It reversed the district court ruling that wife was not cohabiting with her boyfriend and it considered whether or not they held themselves out as married which is legally irrelevant and the evidence was insufficient to determine if wife and boyfriend make joint life decisions, the length of the relationship and the time spent together including family outings and vacations so the issue was remanded for analysis. It affirmed the district court ruling that husband is voluntarily unemployed and capable of work as husband failed to marshal the evidence in support or make reasoned argument why the district court erred. It affirmed the denial of husband’s request for a retroactive reduction in alimony as retroactive reduction is discretionary and there was abuse of discretion here as the evidence supported the district court’s ruling husband had the means to pay his arrearage. It finally affirmed the denial of the motion to modify child support as husband failed to prove a material change in his income and the fact he paid school expenses instead of support does not excuse his failure to pay support.

Lopez v Ogden City

Lopez appealed the dismissal of his post-conviction relief petition. The panel reversed and remanded. It held that whether or not it was error for the district court to consider a docket exhibit attached to the motion to dismiss, current law makes the whole record of the underlying criminal case part of the record in the post-conviction proceeding and thus for judicial efficiency the panel considered the exhibit as part of eth record. The panel reversed however because the district court did not accept Lopez’s factual allegation in his petition that he was not informed of the immigration consequences of his plea and used the exhibit to discount the allegation when the exhibit did not prove the allegation was incorrect.

Cox v Labor Commission

Cox petitioned for review of the denial of his worker compensation claim. The panel reversed and remanded as Commission applied the wrong legal standard in analyzing the claim in that it required proof the industrial accident here was the medical cause of injury rather than the correct standard of the accident aggravating an underlying condition in any degree and that the aggravation is permanent.

State v Galindo

Galindo appealed his consecutive sentences arguing pain error and ineffective assistance of counsel. The panel affirmed. It held there was no prejudice from the prosecutor’s statement that the victim was Galindo’s stepdaughter as the district court accurately characterized him as an authority figure like a stepfather and there were no exceptional circumstances here as Galindo had the opportunity to raise the issue at sentencing which he did not do. It held there was no prejudice as to the alleged failure of the district court to consider al legally relevant factors because Galindo waived presentence investigation, asked to be sentenced immediate and has no identified any evidence as to his history, character or rehabilitative needs and this lack of evidence also means his ineffective assistance claim as to failure to present mitigation evidence fails.

Brechlin v Board of Pardons and Parole

Brechlin appealed summary judgment to Board on his petition for extraordinary relief. The panela affirmed. It held that there was no due process violation in revoking parole and setting Brechlin’s next hearing beyond the normal date under guidelines as the guidelines have no force of law and Brechlin had pled guilty to possessing a knife on parole; the Board had all relevant information needed to make its decision and Brechlin had the opportunity to present more at the hearing; Brechlin’s discovery request was correctly denied as he failed to identify the evidence sought; and Brechlin’s challenges to the Board’s weighing of evidence was not reviewable.

In the interests of Z.J. and Z.J. (C.J. v State)

C.J. appealed the termination of his parental rights. The panel affirmed holding the juvenile court’s best interest ruling was legally sufficient as the children are in a home where they have bonded with the parents who want to adopt them and C.J. had several outstanding warrants in Utah, abandoned the children and had no viable path to establishing a parental relationship with the children.