Deseret Book Company v Department of Workforce Service, Workforce Appeals board and Thompson

Company appealed Board’s decision that Thompson was an employee for unemployment insurance purposes during her participation in the Forgotten Carols. The panel affirmed. Assuming Thompson customarily engaged in acting and thus satisfied the first element of independent contractor status, the panel held that Board took into account the unique features of the entertainment industry, properly gave significant weight to the parties contract which gave Company power to direct Thompson’s performance including providing the script and ordering Thompson to say and do what was in the script in the order found in the script and Company’s representative had power to control the details of performance, properly found Thompson was required to do the performance at a particular place and time for each performance, Thomson’s acting was not assignable and thus was personal and Thompson’s practice and performance hours were set and thus Board properly concluded as a matter of fact Thompson was an employee here not an independent contractor. It stated that this opinion will not make all entertainers or subcontractors employees and if Company or other employers believe otherwise they are free to seek changes in the controlling statutes and regulations.

Fur Breeders Agricultural Cooperative v Department of Workforce Services

Cooperative appealed the appeals board decision that off duty police offers hired for security were employees for unemployment insurance purposes. The panel reversed and remanded. It held the board erred in framing the issue as to whether the officers were independent from anyone as opposed to the analysis required under Utah Administrative Code rule 994-204-303 which looks to the relationship between the worker and the alleged employee.

State v McLeod

McLeod appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. The panel reversed and remanded. It held that district court erred in ruling the traffic stop here was not unreasonably delayed as the officer had completed the traffic stop related license and warrants check, knew he had to issue a ticket or warning and instead asked about illegal items without reasonable suspicion because the fact McLeod walked away form the officer before the traffic stop, moved around during the traffic stop and was in a high crime area did not create reasonable suspicion.

State v McLeod

McLeod appealed the denial of his motion to suppress in a case arising from a search four months after the case above. The panel affirmed. It held that under the totality of the circumstances here (an experience narcotics officer seeing McLeod through binoculars from seventy yards away give green paper to a man in a high crime area, then seeing the man reach not his mouth and give a small black item to McLeod which McLeod paled in his pants pocket) created probable cause to believe a hand to hand drug transaction had occurred and thus the officer had legal authority to arrest McLeod and search him incident to the arrest.

Christensen v Christensen

Husband appealed the denial of his motion to reduce alimony. The panel affirmed. It held the divorce decree was ambiguous as to when social security benefits will change the alimony order and how that is to happen, but, the parties did not move for hearing, present evidence or require written findings and conclusions. Thus, the panel held that the district court did not err as matter of law in adopting wife’s construction that only actually received befits trigger the recalculation as the decree speaks of incomes not potential incomes and the example in the provision also involves actually received income.