State v Lowther

Lowther appealed the granting of the State’s motion to introduce other bad acts evidence in his reap trial. The panel reversed. It held that the district court considered the evidence for the proper purpose of evaluating consent. Evaluating under the doctrine of chances, the panel held the other bad act victims were sufficiently similar to the complaining witness given the location of the alleged rapes, the use of alcohol by the victim’s and Lowther’s knowledge of the victim’s impairment, the acts were relevant to the consent defense, each alleged victim was independent of the others and all the acts were done within a 10 month period and thus the evidence was probative. The panel held that the evidence from one of the alleged victim’s was significantly dissimilar to that of the complaining witness and should have been excluded for prejudice. The case was remanded to evaluate the remaining bad acts under proper standards without considering the excluded witness’ testimony.

Binkerd v South Salt Lake City

Binkerd appealed the dismissal of his post-conviction relief petition. The panela affirmed holding the evidence withheld in Binkerd’s case was merely impeaching and thus no relief was warranted.

Favero Farms, LC v Baugh

Baugh appealed the judgment entered by the district court against him after a bench trial for breach of contract, bad faith and breach of covenant against encumbrances. The panel affirmed. It held that read as a whole, the escrow instructions included the requirement that the land sold to farms had to be in generally acceptable agricultural condition and problems with wetlands render eth land unacceptable. Similarly, the outstanding wetlands issue was an encumbrance as it involved a documented violation of federal regulations which existed at the time of the sale and thus not disclosing it was a breach of covenant. The panel held that failing to disclose the wetland issues was bad faith in that Farms was deprived of the right to cancel the sale. The panel finally ordered attorney fees be awarded to Farms under eh parties’ sales contract.

State v Roman

Roman appealed his conviction for illegal gun possession. The panel affirmed. Under plain error review, the panel held that it was not obvious error to not read a previously admitted stipulation into the record again after verdict as there was no on point Utah law at the time of the alleged error.

Lindsay v Walker

Lindsay appealed the denial of her petition for grandparent visitation and the denial of her motion for relief against summary judgment on a civil conspiracy. The panel affirmed. It held that Lindsay lacked standing to seek visitation because the child was adopted by his aunt and uncle who were not the child’s stepparents and visitation rights only survive a stepparent adoption. It held relief from summary judgment was properly denied as Lindsay failed to prove that her attorney’s medical condition constitutes excusable neglect.

State v Boyles

Boyles appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. The panel affirmed. It held the warrant to search the house was valid as there was no evidence that the officers seeking the warrant knew that Boyles maintained exclusive control over one of the bedrooms in the house. It also held that officers were not put on notice during the search that the bedroom was Boyles’ exclusive residence given the officers were not required to accept his statement at face value, and neither the locked door nor the no trespass sign gave notice the bedroom was a separate residence.

State v Liti

Liti appealed his convictions for manslaughter and illegal gun possession. The panel reversed the manslaughter conviction and remanded for entry of judgment to a lesser offense on the gun conviction. The panel held Liti’s trial counsel was ineffective as the jury instruction defining “reckless” omitted the gross deviation element and there was no tactical reason not to object and there was a reasonable likelihood that a properly instructed jury may have acquitted given the victim here was also armed. The panel vacated and remanded the gun conviction because the trial court, not the jury, found Liti was restricted based on a violent felony conviction while the jury was only presented evidence of drug use and the jury must consider elements not the trial court after verdict.