Simler v Chilel

Simler sought interlocutory review of the district court denial of her request for a jury trial in the de novo trial appeal of Chilel’s small claims judgment of no cause of action and the denial of certain discovery requests. The court granted review. On the merits, it affirmed in part and reversed in part. It held that Utah recognized a right to jury trials for small claims in territorial time and for almost a century after statehood and thus the 1992 disallowance of jury trials in small claims appeals to district courts violates the jury trial guarantee in Utah Constitution Article 1 Section 10. It held Simler properly asserted her jury trial right by including a demand for jury trial in her answer, serving the answer on Chilel and paying the required fee and preserved her constitutional argument by raising it in her memorandum in opposition to Chilel’s motion to strike the jury request. The Court finally held that Simler did not preserve her discovery issue as arguments were not presented in the memorandum on this issue.