Rules of Appellate Procedure – Comment Period Closed September 24, 2017
URAP021. Amended Rule 21 clarifies the “prisoner mailbox rule,” which will promote consistency, clarity, and certainty in inmate litigation. The Advisory Committee on Civil Rules is publishing for public comment a virtually identical amendment to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.
URAP025. This is a conforming amendment to amended URAP 25A.
URAP025A. The proposed amendment gives the Attorney General the right to appear at oral argument whenever an amicus brief has been filed pursuant to the rule.
URAP030. The proposal, which deletes the word “dismissal” in the title, corrects an anomaly because nowhere in the rule does it mention the word or provide for dismissing an appeal.
URAP037. The proposed amendment makes several changes to the rule.
Subdivision (a). The changes are intended to clarify and simplify a party’s obligation to bring to the court’s attention those circumstances that render moot one or more issues presented for review on appeal.
Subdivision (b). The amended subdivision provides that if all parties to an appeal agree that the appeal should be dismissed, and if they stipulate to a motion for voluntary dismissal, then the appeal must be promptly dismissed. The committee felt that the proposed change would encourage prompt and efficient settlements. It also felt that dismissal of the appeal is constitutionally appropriate when the parties have agreed to a voluntary dismissal because there is no longer a justiciable case or controversy. Finally, the committee considered deleting the last sentence on fees and costs, but instead it opted to simply rework the sentence to read: “The stipulation must specify the terms of payment of costs and fees, if any.”
Subdivision (c). The proposed amendment provides an efficient way for an attorney who is unable to contact his or her client to obtain the necessary affidavit to support a motion for voluntary dismissal, while still protecting the appellant’s right to appeal. The proposal also requires the attorney to certify that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the appellant no longer wishes to pursue the appeal. The committee concluded that a certification from the attorney is appropriate because it safeguards the appellant’s right to an appeal, and it also avoids having the attorney reveal confidential communications with the client in an affidavit.
Subdivision (d). Finally, the committee recommends deleting the current subdivision —“[a] suggestion of mootness or motion for voluntary dismissal shall be subject to the appellate court’s approval”— for the same reasons mentioned in subdivision (b).
URAP055. Amended Rule 55 gives the court discretion to dismiss an untimely filed petition in a child welfare case, rather than requiring dismissal.