Thayer v Thayer

Wife appealed the order diving husband’s military pension arguing the division should occur without deducting taxes. The panel reversed and remanded. It held that federal law controlled what part of a military pension can be divided in a divorce proceeding and state courts are required to follow the federal statutory definition of disposable retirement pay. It held the Utah case referenced in the parties’ decree held that the definition must be followed but did not, contrary to husband’s position, adopt the then existing definition which netted out taxes. It held that by including the Utah case in the decree, the parties reasonably can be understood to have meant the reference to stand for the proposition that federal law is to be followed and in fact the decree adopts the existing federal definition which does not authorize deduction of taxes before division occurs, this interpretation harmonizes treatment of the parties’ pensions as wife’s pension was divided without taking taxes into account and results in a more equitable division of the parties retirement benefits. It finally held wife had substantially prevailed and remanded for consideration of an attorney fee award for trial and appellate work.

In the Interests of G.J.C. (D.D.B. v J.L.C.)

Mother appealed the denial of her petition to terminate father’s parental rights. The panel reversed and remanded for an order terminating his rights. It held the ruling that termination was not in the best interests of G.J.C. was against the clear weight of the evidence as father had failed to pay support, had kidnapped wife’s parents at gunpoint, had criminally interfered with wife’s custodial rights, had threated wife’s attorney with physical harm, had failed to communicate with child for more than six months and had made no, or at most token, efforts to become a fit parent since being imprisoned as evidenced by being kicked out of drug rehab three times, had no remorse for the kidnapping and father’s family assisted him during the time of  his criminal behavior. The panel held that while two parent households are ideal, mother’s single status did not outweigh the fact that father destroyed his parental relationship with G.J.C. the panel noted that G.J.C. has live with mother and her parents for seven years, is a happy adjusted child and this supports orts termination. Thus, looking only at the juvenile court’s factual findings, the only legally permissible outcome here is termination and the case was remanded for entry of an order terminating father’s rights.

West Valley City v Coyle

City appealed the administrative order restoring Coyle to the rank of police lieutenant. The panel affirmed. It held the record demonstrated that the administrative commission considered all the allegations of misconduct mentioned in the notice of discipline and did not error in ignoring a statement by the police chief which was not a ground of discipline. It held that because City did not make a proffer of evidence at the administrative hearing, it could not demonstrate prejudice from the exclusion of certain evidence at the hearing. It held City failed to prove error in the administrative commission finding City failed to prove a connection between Coyle’s misconduct and the dismissal of cases by the district attorney. It that the commission did not error in finding Coyle’s practice of having his detectives collect loose change from evidence before the evidence was disposed was known to the City and was not corrected and thus discipline could not be imposed  for those actions. It held that the commission’s analysis of the seriousness of the violations was low as the violations did not lower morale, undermine public confidence or impacted department effectiveness. It finally held the commission’s determination the demotion from lieutenant to patrol officer was not consistent with previous discipline by City was supported by evidence that other members of the now disbanded team lead by Coye also violated the same policies, but, recede suspensions or letters of reprimand despite having been disciplined more severely in the past than Coyle had been.

State v Irwin

Irwin appealed the restitution order in his criminal sentence for theft and burglary. The panel vacated and remanded. It held that when a victim of a theft is a retail establishment, as in this case, wholesale pricing is generally the measure of loss as this reflects the reality of what it would cost the victim to replace stolen items. As the district court used retail value in setting restitution, the order was erroneous and the case was vacated and remanded to recalculate the award using the correct measure of loss.

In the Interests of E.M.J. (A.M. v State)

  1. M. appealed the termination of his parental rights. The panel affirmed. It held the juvenile court applied the correct procedural framework to evaluate the abandonment allegation by the state, permissibly concluded the A.M. abandoned E.M.J. by stopping efforts to communicate with him directly, that grandparents were not communicating with E.M.J. as agents of A.M. failing to pay support, failing to diligently seeking to restore visitation moving out of state and otherwise acting disinterested in E.M.J. and that the juvenile court permissibly found termination was in E.M.J.’s best interests as he is thriving with his foster family, fears A.M. and termination will allow E.M.J. to be adopted by his foster family.

In the Interests of D.D. (J.D. v State)

J.D. appealed the order adjudicating D.D. abused and neglected arguing he should have been allowed to testify at the hearing. The panel affirmed holding J.D. made no request to testify after he arrived late and in any event was represented by counsel at the hearing.