Posted: June 8, 2017
Rules of Juvenile Procedure – Comment Period Closed July 23, 2017
Rules 19, 19A, 19B and 19C are designed to provide greater clarity and specificity regarding juvenile court practice pertaining to responsive pleadings, motions, orders, expedited hearings and motion practice in delinquency proceedings.
The time frames for filing and briefing motions outlined in proposed Utah R. Juv. P. 19(A) do not mesh. Paragraph (a) requires service of the written motion at least 7 days in advance of the hearing. Paragraph (c)(1) requires that the written opposition be filed 14 days before the hearing (7 days before the motion, itself). The reply is then due 7 days after the opposition – on the day the original motion would be due under the rule. Obviously the rule, itself, allows the court to specify a different time frame for briefing, but we will have to do so in EVERY instance under the proposal. I also recognize that the rule allows for briefing to occur before a hearing is calendared – in which case the briefing schedule makes sense. But it makes sense only then.
In my mind, the original motion should be 21 or 28 days prior to the hearing date to make this procedure sensible and practicable, even though I admit that 28 days is a long time in the juvenile court. If we are not intent on keeping the long lead times for opposition and reply, we could cut those down to 5 days after the original motion and 2 days after opposition, but that will be extremely scant time for counsel and parties to gather evidence necessary to support the briefs. Either way, the proposed rule, as it reads to me, tries to walk a fine line between briefing for a calendared and not-yet-calendared hearing, and will lead to confusion.
In my haste, I mis-stated the deadline for filing of the opposition under the proposed rule – it is 14 days after the motion, which could have it filed 7 days after the hearing. Sorry for the mistake. The remainder of my analysis still pertains, I think.
Regarding proposed Juvenile Rule 19C, line 2, I suggest placement of an Oxford comma after “objection,” as the lack of an Oxford comma is an abomination whose stench filleth the heavens.
Regarding proposed Rule 19A(m)(7) stating that orders to pay money shall be enforced in the same manner as a judgment, it appears to contemplate that the juvenile court would be the forum in which such a judgment is enforced. If that is the intent, then it may not be within the limited jurisdiction of the juvenile court to enforce judgments. Utah Code 78A-6-103 or 104 do not talk about actions to enforce a judgment. Those actions would include things like writs of execution, garnishment or attachment. It is also unclear how the juvenile courts would practically handle writs of execution, garnishment or attachment.
In order for this portion of the rule to be meaningful, there needs to be clarification as to whether it is in the Court’s jurisdiction and then, if it is determined that is, further direction on utilization of those rules of civil procedure in juvenile court.