Posted: May 1, 2012
Rules of Criminal Procedure
URCrP 027A. Stays pending appeal from a court not of record- appeals for a trial de novo. New. Governs the procedures for stays pending the appeal of a final decision in a justice court. Does not apply to DUI cases. Includes circumstances in which a stay may be denied. Sets forth the conditions that a justice court may impose as a part of the stay. Effective on the same day as S.B. 214, the legislation that prompted this rule. Effective May 7, 2012 under Rule 11-105(5).
URCrP 027B. Stays pending appeal from a court not of record- hearings de novo, DUI, and reckless driving cases. Renumber Rule 27A and amend. Applies in DUI cases and appeals of hearings de novo. Contains essentially the same criteria that existed in previous Rule 27A. Effective on the same day as S.B. 214, the legislation that prompted this rule. Effective May 7, 2012 under Rule 11-105(5). Subject to change after the comment period.
Supreme Court Order
I know that the Rules Committee is responding to recent legislative changes, but I hope that the Supreme Court and Utah Bar Association would contact our legislature and remind them that this legislative fix falls short of even basic federal due process protections.
Speaking of Utah’s two-tier system of justice in which judges are not required to be admitted to practice law, our Supreme Court observed that a sentence imposed by a non-lawyer justice court judge that is not vacated pending a trial de novo “could conceivably raise due process concerns.” Bernat v. Allphin, 2005 UT 1, ¶39 n. 13; See North v. Russell, 427 U.S. 328 (1976).
Allowing non-lawyer judges to decide the appropriateness of an appeal and/or the risk to the community the defendant poses ignores the fact that it is the very existence of non-lawyer judges which constitutes the federal due process violation which an automatic stay is required to remedy.
Also troubling is the explicit exemption of an entire class of crimes from this statute.