Mackin v State

Mackin appealed the denial of his motion to reduce his aggravated robbery conviction to simple robbery, the denial of this continuance motion and the admission of victim’s preliminary hearing testimony. The Court affirmed. It held that under Utah Code 76-1-601(5)(a), any object that can be used to cause death or serious bodily injury and is so used during a robbery can support an aggravated robbery conviction. It noted this reading avoids the problem of a literal reading which would cause aggravation when a pen is used to write a demand note and is also prevents 76-1-601(5)(b) which allows aggravation when a simulated weapon or its representation is used from being superfluous. It held whether an object is actually used in a way capable of causing death or serious bodily injury is a jury question and the evidence here that Mackin drove a car with victim halfway in and halfway out was sufficient to prove the aggravating circumstance. It held that there was no abuse of discretion in denying the continuance as Mackin had no defense of citizen’s arrest as he never arrested or announced an intent to arrest victim before robbing her. It finally affirmed admitting the testimony as Mackin failed to provide evidence of how his conflicts with counsel prevented him from asking additional questions at the preliminary hearing or how the testimony would have helped him at trial.Brierley v Layton City

Brierley sought and obtained certiorari review of the Court of Appels decision reversing on inevitable discovery grounds the district court’s grant of her motion to suppress statements and other evidence. The Court reversed. Rejecting the Court of Appels use of a multifactor test from the 10th Circuit, the Court held that the proper test as set out by the United States Supreme Court is whether the state can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the statements or other evidence that a defendant seeks to suppress would have been ultimately discovered by legal means. Here, there was only speculation that the officers would have obtained a warrant by staying out of Brierley’s house and applying for one as the officers in fact knew they needed a warrant to enter the house, entered the house and without submitting an application for a warrant interrogated Brierley and conducted a blood alcohol test. Thus, suppression was correctly applied here and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

Little Cottonwood Tanner Ditch Company v Sandy City

Company appealed the district court decision that it lacked jurisdiction to modify a 1910 decree through a post-judgment motion. The Court affirmed. It held there was no common law authority to modify the decree because Utah case law limits ongoing jurisdiction over water rights decrees to issues involving infrastructure and Company seeks to change the payment provisions which is part of the water rights component of the 1910 decree. It also held the 12910 decree did not authorize the post-judgment motion as the continuing jurisdiction language was limited to provisions involving distribution by an appointed commissioner not payment amounts.

Louge v Utah Court of Appeals

Louge petitioned for extraordinary relief seeking an order that his new trial motion be considered. The court denied relief. The Court acknowledging that the interplay of the 14 day deadline for new trial motions under Rule of Criminal Procedure 24, the 90 day deadline on new evidence based motions for relief from judgment in Rule of Civil Procedure 60 (b) and the bar on post-conviction relief while an appeal is pending can cause hardship to a defendant who discovers evidence more than 90 days after sentencing and directed the appropriate rules advisory committees to consider revisions to remove categorical bars to new trial motions in those circumstances. However, the Court held that relief was not warranted as a state witnesses failure to confess to an unrelated murder was not perjury and the jury had the witnesses extensive criminal history, including prison gang membership, before to evaluate credibility and Louge’s petition failed to set out why there was no adequate remedy at law thus failing to satisfy Rule of Appellate Procure 19(b).