Portina, Louise v Portina, Patricia

Louise appealed the district court judgment setting aside transfer of a house from her son as a fraudulent transfer and awarding attorney fees to Patricia for misconduct during the litigation. The Court, 4-1, affirmed. The majority held that orders concerning property rights entered during a divorce proceeding, as here, remain in effect if a spouse dies before final judgment, as occurred here when Louise’s son died, as the death does not abate the action as to those rights and alter cases which appear to hold otherwise are dicta and are therefore not to be followed and in any event if the dicta was followed Patricia would still take title to the property here due to a joint tenancy with Louise’s son. It held that Louise inadequately briefed the issue of whether Patricia’s claim for the property against son’s estate survived the death of Louise’s son and thus affirmed the setting aside of the transfer. It held that Louise’s arguments made for the first time on appeal failed as they were not raised in her brief and there was no record evidence to support them. It held that under Utah’s fraudulent transfer statute, district courts have discretion under Utah Code 25-6-8(1)(a) to set aside the transfer or award money damages and there was no abuse of that discretion here, but, remand is necessary to detained if an entity Louise quitclaimed the property to which was found to also be fraudulent in fact transferred tile to a bona fide transferee and barred Louise, the entity, son’s former attorney and everyone else from transferring the property without court permission. It awarded double costs to Patricia based on Louise’s use of the appeal to prevent sale of the property, but declined to award attorney fees as the appeal was not frivolous. Lee dissented arguing Patricia had no claim under the fraudulent transfer act as her asserted property interests are not entitlements to payment and thus do not qualify as a claim and property rights under a divorce case order abate upon party’s death as the case relied upon by the majority dealt with decrees not orders, later cases adopted the abate on death rule and are thus not dicta and no one raised the issue of whether the abate on death rule should be overturned.

In re R.G. and In re D.G.

R.G. and D.G. appealed the denial of their motions to suppress post-Miranda statements to police. The Court affirmed. It held the juvenile court appropriately weighed all the required factors including the boys ages (15), D.G.’s status as intelligent honors student and R.G.’s average intelligence, each had an appropriate education, both lacked experience with the criminal justice system, the fact that each comprehended and understood their rights, the lack of coercive tactics and the lack of a parent or attorney benign present to find under the totality of the circumstances the Miranda waivers were voluntary and intelligent, the presumption of capability to waive in Utah rule of Juvenile Procedure 27A was unrebutted and the statements were thus admissible. The court did express concern that the boys’ parents were not contacted prior to questioning, that the questioning was done at school and noted the decision did to foreclose new arguments based on evolving research on adolescents.