Utah Courts

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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

URCP Rule 3 (Rules of Civil Procedure)


Rule 3. Commencement of action.
Rule printed on February 8, 2023 at 7:11 pm. Go to https://www.utcourts.gov/rules for current rules.

(a) How commenced. A civil action is commenced (1) by filing a complaint with the court, or (2) by service of a summons together with a copy of the complaint in accordance with Rule 4. If the action is commenced by the service of a summons and a copy of the complaint, then the complaint, the summons and proof of service, must be filed within ten days of such service. If, in a case commenced under paragraph (a)(2) of this rule, the complaint, summons and proof of service are not filed within ten days of service, the action commenced shall be deemed dismissed and the court shall have no further jurisdiction thereof. If a check or other form of payment tendered as a filing fee is dishonored, the party shall pay the fee by cash or cashier's check within 10 days after notification by the court. Dishonor of a check or other form of payment does not affect the validity of the filing, but may be grounds for such sanctions as the court deems appropriate, which may include dismissal of the action and the award of costs and attorney fees.

(b) Time of jurisdiction. The court shall have jurisdiction from the time of filing of the complaint or service of the summons and a copy of the complaint.

Advisory Committee Notes

Rule 3 constitutes a significant change from the prior rule. The rule retains service of the ten-day summons as one of two means to commence an action, but the rule requires that the summons together with a copy of the complaint be served on the defendant pursuant to Rule 4. In so doing, the rule eliminates the requirement that a copy of the complaint be deposited with the clerk for the defendant whose address is unknown. The changes in Rule 3 must be read and should be interpreted in conjunction with coordinate changes in Rule 4 and with a change in Rule 12(a) that begins the running of the defendant's 20-day response time from the service of the summons and complaint.

Paragraph (a). This paragraph eliminates the requirement that a copy of the complaint be deposited with the clerk for the defendant whose address is unknown. Paragraph (b) of the former rule, which permitted the plaintiff to deposit copies of the complaint with the clerk for defendants not otherwise served with a copy at the time of the service of the summons, has also been eliminated. The rule requires, in effect, that both the summons and the complaint be served pursuant to Rule 4. Under a coordinate change in Rule 12(a), the defendant's time for answering or otherwise responding to the complaint does not begin to run until service of the summons and complaint pursuant to Rule 4.

Paragraph (b). This paragraph is substantially identical to paragraph (c) of the former rule.

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last modified: 3/29/2022

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