Can a Parent Lose their Parental Rights Based on a Procedural Deficiency in their Response to a Petition for Adoption?
Under Utah law, parents have a fundamental right to parent their children. The Utah Termination of Parental Rights Act states: “Under both the United States Constitution and the constitution of this state, a parent possesses a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and management of the parent’s child.” Utah Code Ann. §78A-6-503(1). Typically, a…Read More
“No-pets” Clauses in Utah: Can I Evict my Tenant when his Emotional Support Animal Violates our Lease Agreement?
Over 62% of households in the United States include a pet. Pets have been shown to have a calming influence on people, decrease blood pressure, and even lower cholesterol. Alan M. Beck & Aaron H. Katcher, Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship 7 (Purdue U. Press 1996). In recent decades, the concept…Read More
Electronic Signatures and Electronic Transactions in Utah: Can They Always Replace a Paper and Pen?
Do Utah laws always allow you to use an electronic signature instead of physically signing a piece of paper? How about electronic transactions – will those suffice in lieu of physical documents and physical deliveries (such as mail or hand-delivery)? The answer, in summary, is: often, but not always. The Utah Code contains a set…Read More
Expert Witnesses in Utah Courts
While most Utah lawsuits get resolved through settlement, some go to trial; and of the lawsuits that go to trial, some will involve “expert witnesses.” An expert witness is someone considered to be an expert in a particular trade, practice, or field of study, and is hired to testify in a trial solely regarding topics…Read More
How Much Parent-Time Will I Be Awarded If My Ex-Spouse Receives “Sole Custody?”
When joint physical custody (i.e., when a child spends more than 30% of overnights with each parent), is considered but not determined to be a viable option in a divorce or parentage case, a Utah Court may award “sole physical custody” to a primary custodial parent (i.e., the child spends less than 30% of the…Read More
What Does it Mean to Be “In Contempt of Court?”
We’ve all heard the phrase “contempt of Court,” whether it be from a courtroom scene in a television show, or a neighbor talking about their real-life lawsuit. But what does being “in contempt of Court” actually mean? Generally speaking, when someone is “in contempt of Court,” it means they have been disobedient or disrespectful to…Read More