Last Updated: February 23, 2024

Utah Appellate Rule Updates – 11 & 22

The Utah Supreme Court has approved certain revisions to Rule 11 and Rule 22 of the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure. The amendments affect the inclusion of exhibits in the record on appeal, access to sealed portions of the record on appeal, and motions for extension of time. These amendments…

The Utah Supreme Court has approved certain revisions to Rule 11 and Rule 22 of the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure. The amendments affect the inclusion of exhibits in the record on appeal, access to sealed portions of the record on appeal, and motions for extension of time. These amendments take effect May 1, 2024.

URAP 11 – Record Exhibits & Sealed Portions of the Record

First – Subsection (b) of Rule 11 is changed to clarify that the record on appeal prepared and transmitted to the appellate court should contain not only a list of all exhibits offered in evidence during trial (or other evidentiary hearing or proceeding, but also the actual exhibits. The rule previously stated only that a “list” of the exhibits should be included in the record. Even though it was common practice for many trial clerks to include both the list and the exhibits, the revised rule now clearly states that the exhibits must be included in the record sent to the appellate court.

Note that this change to Rule 11(b) applies to felony and misdemeanor cases being appealed from a district court. Justice court appeals on misdemeanor cases involve de novo proceedings in the district court, and therefore do not require transmission of the record as set forth in Rule 11.

Second – A new subsection (g) is added to Rule 11, stating that any portion of the record that was properly designated as being sealed by the district court retains that sealed status when the record is transmitted on appeal. Subsection (g) also sets out the process for a party on appeal to gain access to sealed portions of the record.

The revision on access to sealed records on appeal comes after the Utah Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Chadwick, 2023 UT 12. The court’s opinion in that case addressed a challenge a decision by the Court of Appeals to unseal victim mental health records that had been sealed by the trial court. The Supreme Court ultimately held that the records should not have been unsealed on appeal.

Third – A minor revision is made to subsection (d) stating that the “Rule” referenced as governing the time requirements for transmission of the record is Rule 12(b)(2). It does not change the actual time requirements, but instead only clarifies the reference.

URAP 22 – Requests for Enlargement of Time on Appeal

Rule 22(b) is amended so that it now more clearly matches the way the rule has been previously interpreted by the appellate court clerks.

The rule previously stated that a motion for enlargement of time had to include “the date on which the act for which enlargement of time is sought will be completed….” The revised rule instead now states that the motion must include “the length of the enlargement of time requested and the new due date if the motion is granted….”

The amendments also include replacing the word “shall” with the word “must.” This is not a substantive change in the rule, as courts have nearly universally held that the word “shall” is a mandatory rather than discretionary term. Rule amendments, however, now frequently replace older language which is less common with more modern terms having essentially the same meaning. Both “shall” and “must” imply a mandatory obligation imposed under the rule.

Originally Published: February 23, 2024

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