In the Interests of P.F. (G.F. v State)

G.F. appealed the termination of her parental rights. The panel affirmed. It held the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in considering the bond between P.F. and her foster family to be good cause to not follow the Indian Child Welfare Act preferences for placement as P.F. was not an Indian child as of the time of her placement, Court precedent and precedent from out of state distinguishes between placements which violate the Act and those that do not and allow a proper placement and bonding to be good cause and the juvenile court here also followed the Act by having the State notify the Cherokee tribe of the possible claim of membership by G.F. and P.F. It held there was no error in the juvenile court’s treatment of G.F.’s expert witness on whether active efforts to reunify were made as G.P. did not challenge the findings of fact, expert testimony is not required on the issue and the juvenile court permissibly found the expert to be not credible. It finally held G.P.’s motion to invalidate the initial placement order was properly denied as P.F. was not an Indian child as the time of placement.

Salt Lake City v Reyes-Gutierrez

Reyes-Gutierrez appealed his shoplifting conviction arguing double jeopardy based on a prosecution goaded mistrial motion. The panel affirmed. It held the district court did not clearly err in finding no intent by the prosecutor to goad a defense mistrial motion as the prosecutor stated as much under oath, when told by defense counsel she would move for a mistrial if called to testify about a video that was delivered to her that did ton work the prosecutor tried to find another person in defense counsel’s office to testify and offered to testify himself about the video as no one else in City’s prosecutor’s office could do so.

Nicholson v Nicholson

Husband appealed termination of his alimony award. The panel affirmed. It held the district court analyzed the required factors, found no unmet needs and thus no relevance to wife’s ability to pay, reconsideration of factors is required in alimony modification proceedings and res judicata thus does not apply, the district court had discretion to consider current needs, allegations of bad faith were unpreserved and wife was not entitled to attorney fees as husband’s appeal was done in good faith.

Total Restoration, Inc. v Merritt

Total appealed the denial of its request for attorney fees and the grant of costs to Merritt. The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part. It affirmed on attorney fees, as Total’s lien was invalid and reversed as to costs because Merritt failed to file a timely bill of costs.

SA Group Properties Inc. v Highland Marketplace LC et al.

Highland appealed the deficiency judgment entered absent it arguing its motion to amend its answer should have been granted and the district court erred in valuing the property. The panel affirmed. It held the motion to amend was properly denied as untimely being field 18 months into the litigation after discovery was completed and a summary judgment motion had been field and also for being unjustified as Highland knew the factual basis for the amendment for over a year before filing its motion. It affirmed on the valuation as Highland’s attack on the credibility of SA’s expert failed to identify and deal with the evidence which supported the district court’s finding of credibility and the issue identified by Highland was actually evaluated by the district court and Highland’s argument that its expert should have been believed failed as the district court properly found that valuing a proposed building involved a landlord that no longer owned the property and was thus an attempt o manufacture evidence undermined the expert’s credibility, choosing between two conflicting sets of testimony cannot be clear error, arguing higher value based on a proposal that did not meet zoning require nets undermined the expert’s credibility and the analysis of the underlying assumptions was mainly correct and supported the rejection of Highland’s expert.

Liley v Cedar Springs Ranch, Inc.

Ranch appealed the denial of its motions for summary judgment and directed verdict in Liley’s negligence claim. The panel reversed. It held that under the plain language of Utah Code 41-6a-407, Ranch owed no duty Liley to keep cattle off the roadway as it was merely the landlord of the land in question and did not possess the cattle here who escaped nor did it exercise any control over the cattle and there is no duty in Utah for a landlord to control a tenant’s cattle and any dangerous condition due to failure to maintain the fence near the road was the fault of tenant not Ranch. Thus, the directed verdict motion should have been granted and the panel held the summary judgment motion should also have bene granted, but declined to case its holding on the summary judgment motion as there was an incomplete record.

Fadel v Deseret First Credit Union

Fadel appealed the dismissal of his attorney lien complaint and the award of attorney fees to Deseret for bad faith. The panel affirmed. It held the complaint was properly dismissed as the district court was authorized to convert the motion to dismiss to a summary judgment motion, Fedel’s collateral attack on an earlier finding a mediation occurred and resulted in settlement was barred and Liley failed to record his lien before his client conveyed the real property in question to Deseret and thus Deseret took the property free of the lien. It affirmed the attorney fee award under Utah code 78B-5-825 as Fedel’s claim had no basis in fact and Fedel had no good faith basis to bring claims of his former client. It finally awarded Deseret attorney fees for the appeal.

Morris v Off-Piste Capital LLC v American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.

Capital appealed the judgment quieting title to certain real property in Morris and American appealed the summary judgment ruling it was bound by a default judgment. The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part. It affirmed as to Capital holding the use of a nonexistent corporation in one transfer in Morris’ chain of title did not affect the validity of the transfer as the wrong name was used by the real corporation and third parties as an alternate name, the parties to the transfer acted as if they intended the real corporation to take title and the recorded notice of the transfer gave correct contact information for the real corporation and that the transfer in Capital’s chain of title did not take priority over the transfer in Morris’ chain because the real corporation in the Morris’ chain transfer recorded a notice of interest which put the company in Capital’s chain of title on notice the trust deed in question had been transferred and thus there would be no bona fide purchaser. It rejected capital’s other arguments as any error in one ground to reject Capital’s priority claim was harmless given the proper ruling as to notice, evidentiary errors as to consideration were harmless given the notice ruling, failure to add judicial foreclose to the complaint was proper as Capital had no interest in the property, and a new trial motion based on consideration was properly denied based on the notice ruling. It reversed as to American holding Morris and Capital knew American claimed an interest in the property, did not add American to the quiet tile suits and serve it, Utah precedent requires both the agent entity named in Capital’s suit and entities known to claim title like American be named and served and this outcome is consistent with Utah’s quiet title statue. The case was remanded for further proceedings.

State v Fairborne

Fairborne appealed his attempted murder conviction. The panel affirmed. It rejected Fairborne’s prosecutorial misconduct claim under plain error review holding it was not clear that asking Fairborne about why he did tell his story to the detective in the hospital was a question about silence instead of impeachment and the prosecutor did not ask the jury to infer guilt from any silence  and there was significant testimony supporting the finding of guilt; highlighting differences in testimony between defendants and other witnesses and asking defendants to clarify is proper cross examination; and asking the officer victim here about his family were improper appeals to emption, but, harmless as evidence of guilt was strong and the jury was instructed not to base its verdict on how bad they felt for the officer. It held that the officer’s testimony that he was trained that someone with a knife within 21 feet was a threat to kill the officer was relevant to officer’s credibility and thus properly admitted.

State v Rogers

Rogers appealed the termination of his probation and imposition of his original sentence. The panel affirmed holding there was no plain err in not making a finding about the alleged violation as Rogers had earlier admitted the violation at an earlier hearing, there was no requirement that Rogers be released to drug treatment and there was no plain error or ineffective assistance of counsel as to the sentence as thee was an existing recommendation as to sentence and defense counsel reasonably argued for a lower sentence.

State v Karren

Karren appealed his prison sentence arguing he should have bene granted probation. The panel affirmed holding Karren was arguing for a different balancing of factors which is not a basis for reversal.

Neese v State

Neese appealed the dismissal of his post-conviction relief petition. The panel affirmed holding the statue of limitations had run, Neese knew or should have known the factual basis for his claim no later than the rejection of his appeal and uncontroverted evidence demonstrates he had sufficient metal capacity to file the petition during the limitations period.