Month: July 2020


Salt Lake City, Utah—The Utah Judiciary is mourning the passing of Taylorsville City Justice Court Judge Michael W. Kwan.
Judge Kwan has served the Taylorsville Justice Court since 1998. He started one of the first DUI/Drug Courts in the nation in 1998. This program received the Governor’s Award for reducing drug and alcohol abuse and related crimes in 2008. His Domestic Violence Program was awarded the Peace on Earth Award from the Salt Lake Area Domestic Violence Advisory Council in 2002.
His colleagues knew Judge Kwan as a warm and caring friend. He was the former chair of the Board of Justice Court Judges, and served on the Utah Judicial Council. He taught judicial education courses across the country for the Utah Judicial Institute, ABA, and National Drug Court Institute focusing on traffic, evidence, constitutional law, and criminal procedure and law. He received a law degree from Whittier College School of Law and was certified in Chinese law by the East China University of Politics and Law in 1993.
Our condolences go out to Judge Kwan’s family.

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Salt Lake City, Utah—Applications are being accepted for justice court judges pro tempore. This position is considered voluntary without compensation. The judge pro tempore will oversee the small claims cases for the Salt Lake City Justice Court.

To be considered for this position, candidates must be at least 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a Utah resident for at least three years, and have been admitted to the practice of law in Utah for a minimum of four years.

Information on judicial retention and performance evaluation is posted on the Utah State Court’s website at under employment opportunities. A small claims judge pro tempore application must be completed and is available on the court’s website ( For application information, contact Amy Hernandez at (801) 578-3809 or by email at For scheduling and other court-specific information, contact Tammy Shelton at

The deadline for applications is Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 at 5 p.m. and should be emailed to If appointed, a judge pro tempore assigned small claims cases shall complete a small claims orientation program within one year after appointment and thereafter complete at least three hours of small claims education annually.

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Salt Lake City, UT— The Utah Judiciary belongs to the people of Utah. The work of the courts is to provide an open, fair, efficient and independent system to advance access to justice under the law. Fairness is the basic premise of our system of justice. The goal is a fair process that produces a just result. The goal cannot be achieved in a system tainted by racism and bias.

Today, the Utah Judicial Council, as part of its ongoing commitment to identify and eradicate racism and bias from the judicial system, announced the establishment of the Office of Fairness and Accountability. The Office is created to organize and lead the Utah courts in examining and addressing racism and other forms of bias within the system. The Office will work collaboratively both within the courts, and with individuals and entities outside the system, including the Executive and Legislative branches of government. It will focus on, among other items, outreach to marginalized communities; data collection and research; and judge and employee education.

The Office will enhance the Judiciary’s efforts to address inequities and to provide greater access to our courts; especially for those who, whether due to race, socio-economic status or some other factor, have been marginalized or have otherwise been unable to access the rule of law on equal footing with their fellow Americans.

We hope that, now, more than ever, we can receive increased public input regarding how we can continue to reform as we strive toward the more perfect Union our constitution promises.

Office of Fairness Accountability Charter.


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