State v Abelon

Abelon appealed his child pornography convictions arguing the district court improperly denied his request for new counsel and failed to resolve factual disputes in his presentence report. The panel affirmed the convictions, but, remanded for resolution of the disputes relating to the report. It held that the district court adequately investigated Abelon’s fourth request for counsel as Abelon raised the same issue as his first three requests, counsel described his efforts to get prepared for trial and Abelon only offered generalities in support of his motion. The panel remand on the report issue as the district court failed to make the mandatory findings required by Utah Code 77-18-1(6)(a).

Fallstrom v Department of Workforce Services

Fallstrom appealed Department’s denial of his application or unemployment benefits arguing he did not quit his job without good cause. The panel affirmed holding there was substantial evidence to support Department’s finding including Fallstrom’s unreasonable request for months of vacation and his employer’s agreement to rehire him after the vacation period.

Prime Insurance Company v Graves

Graves appealed the denial of her motion for additional discovery and summary judgment granted to Prime. The panel affirmed. It held Graves failed to preserve her argument that a certain person was Prime’s agent for notice purposes as she did not raise it below and she further failed to provide any basis to believe discovery would lead to information defeating summary judgment.  It held summary judgment was proper here as Prime never received notice of Grave’s claim during the coverage period and thus there was no coverage for Grave’s injuries.

Asset Acceptance, LLC v Utah State Treasurer

Asset appealed the district court’s order quashing its writ of garnishment served on the unclaimed property administrator in the Treasurer’s office. The panel, with one judge adding a concurrence and another concurring dubitante, affirmed. The majority held that Utah Code 63G-7-603 bars garnishment of government entities and employees and thus preserves sovereign immunity from garnishment. It held that Utah Code 78B-5-808 does not apply the result as garnishment there is only authorized if the funds garnished are wages  or salary due a public officer or employee and Utah Supreme court precedent to the contrary is no longer viable given the removal of the phrase “or otherwise” from the statute. The majority noted that a claim procedure exists for Asset to file a claim for any property which the administrator may possess of Asset’s debtor. The concurrence argued current law shielding debtor’s property in government hands from garnishment makes no sense and called on the legislature to change the law. The dubitante argued that the Utah Supreme Court precedent was unsound as “suit’ does not include garnishment issued in a case between two nongovernment parties, garnishment is not a claim on a government entity or employee and 808 does not discuss sovereign immunity let alone waive it. It also agreed that shielding government held funds from garnishment makes no sense and will have significant negative consequences.

Federal Pacific Credit Company, LLC v Utah State Treasurer

Federal appealed the quashing of its writ of garnishment. The panel held this case was indistinguishable from Assets Acceptance and affirmed.