Rules of Criminal Procedure

URCrP 007. Proceedings before magistrate. Amend. Creates a process for review by the court when someone is arrested on a material witness warrant.
URCrP 029. Disability and disqualification of a judge or change of venue. Amend. Clarifies that a request to submit for decision is not required on a motion to disqualify. The amendment also states that other parties may not file a response to the motion.

Utah Courts

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  1. Brandon Simmons

    The proposed change to Rule 7 is an excellent one. This seeks to remedy a practical disconnect between material witness warrants and other arrest warrants, where those accused of a crime are entitled to a reasonably prompt hearing before being kept in custody, but witnesses that have not been accused of a crime are not entitled to any hearing at all. There have been at least a few instances in Utah when “uncooperative” domestic violence victims said they would not testify, the victim was taken into custody pending an upcoming trial to ensure compliance with a subpoena, the trial was continued, and the victim remained in custody without a hearing. There are often less-restrictive means of ensuring compliance with a subpoena, and everyone should have a hearing as soon as possible before being held in jail. Defendants have long been entitled to such a hearing, and victims and other material witnesses should receive such a hearing as well.