Jordan v Jensen

Jensen appealed summary judgment for Jordan in this quiet title case involving mineral rights arguing Jordan’s affirmative defense that they did not receive notice of the tax sale was time barred under Utah Code 78B-2-206. The Court affirmed. It acknowledged that a 1955 case accepted the argument that the four year limitations period for challenging a tax sale title applied even when the challenging party did not receive notice. However, the Court held that intervening United States Supreme Court precedent interpreting the due process clause of the 14th Amendment stands for the proposition that when a limitations period is triggered by state action and that action is not accompanied by actual notice, the limitations period cannot be applied to bar the challenging party’s defense. Applying here, it held that Jordan’s name and address was ascertainable from the land records, the county did not give actual notice by mailing notice of the tax sale to Jordon or through other allowed means and thus 206 does not apply to bar Jordan’s defense of no notice. It also held that, Utah law, the lack of notice stripped the county of jurisdiction to sell the mineral rights here and thus judgment was properly entered for Jordan. Bank of America v Adamson

Bank appealed the district court order dismissing the unlawful detainer claims against Adamson arguing the trustee sale deed was not void. The Court agreed, reversed and remanded. It first held that Bank’s argument that the Court’s 2013 decision that the entity which actually sold the property under the trust deed here did not meet the statutory requirements to be a trustee in another sale should be overturned was inadequately briefed as bank did not set out the standard to overrule precedent or explain why the standard to overrule was met. It had that under Utah law, the trustee deed could only be void if it violated public policy which was not the case here and thus the district court erred in ruling it was void. It held the deed would be voidable only if Adamson could prove fraud or prejudice and there was no prejudice here as Adamson could not cure the default, did not contact the entity despite notice, did not attend the sale and did not try and stop the sale or file a lawsuit before. Thus the deed was valid, Abramson does not qualify for damages and the detainer suit must therefore proceed.

Brown v Cox

Brown sued Cox and other election officials in the Utah Supreme Court contesting the results of a primary election. The Court held the statute authorizing suit, Utah Code 20A-4-403(2)(a)(ii), was unconstitutional. It released an opinion setting out its reasoning namely that the Utah constitution limits the Court’s original jurisdiction to writs of extraordinary relief and certified questions of law form federal courts and the legislature cannot expand that jurisdiction, that the statute did not amend the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure because the legislature did not state it was making an amendment to the rules and at a minimum it must do so to exercise its constitutional authority to change court rules of procedure by supermajority vote and the complaint here could have been treated as petition for extraordinary relief if pleading deficiencies ad been resolved, but, Brown dismissed his complaint instead.