State v Goins

Goins appealed his assault and brandishing convictions arguing a witness’s preliminary hearing testimony was improperly admitted. The panel affirmed. It held that the state’s efforts to bring the absent witness to trial including sending police bike patrol officers to locate him for preliminary hearing, sending updates and notifications through a pastor who knew the witness and attempting contact the witness in jail when it learned he had been jailed were reasonable under the circumstances and thus the declaration of the witness as unavailable was appropriate. The panel held the preliminary hearing testimony was properly allowed in as witness was under oath and Goins’ attorney had the opportunity to cross examine even though he did not and the Utah Supreme court has hele the interest of the defendant are identical at preliminary hearing and trial and thus all the condition under Rule of evidence 801(b)(1)(B) were met.

Fire Insurance Exchange v Oltmanns

Oltmanns appeal the denial of his claim for attorney fees based on bad faith. The panel affirmed. It held that at the time Exchange sought declaratory judgment as to its coverage liability, it was debatable as to what the phrase “jet ski” meant based on the conflicting out of state case law at the time, Wikipedia’s entry on the term and the fact that the district court here actually agreed with Exchange as to what it meant. Thus, there was no bad faith in seeking declaratory relief and, consequently, no basis for attorney fees.

State v Nichols

Nichols appealed her prison sentence for drug trafficking. The panel affirmed holding the district court considered Nichols family situation and candor in admitting guilt, but permissibly her role as major drug supplier and criminal conduct after her initial arrest outweighed those considerations.

State v Robertson

Robertson appealed the denial of his motion to set aside his sentence as illegal. The panel affirmed holding the district court properly found that Robertson had two predicate felonies within 10 years of sentencing for his theft conviction in this case and thus the sentence for the theft conviction was in fact authorized by statute.

Robertson v Robertson

Husband appealed the order allowing wife to relocate with their children to Colorado. The panel affirmed. It held there no error in denying a continuance of trial as evidence about wife’s new house was available at trial, there were other factors besides eth house to consider and prompt resolution was appropriate. It held there was no clear error in finding the parties moral standing supported relocation as marriage is more stable that cohabiting, no clear error in finding wife slightly more open to maintain relationships as she was willing to discuss relocation while husband was not and no clear error in finding Colorado schools and health care adequate without undertaking a comparative approach. The panel held there was no clear error in determining keeping the children with wife as their primary caretaker was in their best interest and thus relocation was appropriately allowed here. It finally held there is no requirement in the relocation statute for information beyond the fact of moving and in any event husband learned everything he sought at the hearing.

State v Waldoch

Waldoch appealed his sex crime convictions. The panel, with one judge concurring in part and result in part, affirmed. The majority held that there was sufficient evidence to prove object rape as the victim testified Waldoch put his finger or fingers in her vagina and several health care providers testified victim told them the same thing and had injuries consistent with her account. It held Waldoch failed to preserve any challenges to a husband and wife servicing on the jury together and in any event showed no prejudice as only husband actually deliberated. It finally held that while there was not strict compliance with the rule to admonish the jury, it was frequently admonished over the two day trial. The concurrence argued that the husband wife relationship should have been explored at voir dire to insure each could independently arrive at a verdict and the district court erred in not doing so and trial counsel deficiently performed by not doing so. It concluded, however, there was no prejudice as wife did not deliberate.

Bol v Campbell

Bol appealed the denial of her motion for directed verdict on Campbell’s claim of comparative fault by her son. The panel affirmed. It held that under controlling Utah precedent, the issue of a child’s duty to protect themselves is evaluated based upon the age and experience of the child, the jury heard from the boy that he knew it was dangerous to cross the street without looking and he chose to not look because his sister has just safely crossed was enough for the jury, which was properly instructed, to conclude the boy’s actions were mostly responsible for the collision which injured him.