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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records

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Are Utah Court Records Public?

Court records in Utah are public unless they are confidential or exempt from public disclosure. Most documents created by Utah courts are open for inspection and copying. The Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), enacted in 1991, permits public access to public records of government bodies at all levels. There are no limitations to the use of public records, and anyone can request them for their repositories without stating the purpose of the inquiry. Some documents are, however, exempt from this Act. Private information of government employees and individuals, records that have the potential of causing security issues if released, and health records of individuals are all exempt.

In Utah, most Appellate, Justice, and District Court records are public. Private court records can only be inspected and copied by the subject of the court records, their legal representatives, and a few other people. Some examples of private court records in Utah are medical records, petition for divorce, petition for adult guardianship, and motion for temporary orders in child custody cases. Some other types of court records are also not open for public disclosure in Utah. They include protected, sealed, and juvenile records.  Rule of Judicial Administration 4-202.02(5), Rule of Judicial Administration 4-202.02(4), and Utah Rule of Judicial Administration 4-202.03(5) provides complete lists of each of these records, respectively.

How Do I Find Court Records in Utah?

The first step to take when trying to obtain court records in Utah is to find out the courthouse and court type keeping such records. Utah uses a court case management system known as XChange. XChange maintains and makes available some Utah court records to interested persons. This case management system, however, provides access to public court records only.  It is available for free at most district courthouses and also by paid subscription. Free public access to XChange may also be present in some Justice Court locations.

Court Records of District and Justice Courts

Records of cases handled by the District and Justice Courts are available at most district courthouses. Interested persons may verify the availability of free public XChange terminals from the District Court or the Justice Court. Otherwise, they may use the XChange paid subscription to find the records of interest. Xchange displays public record information as entered into the Courts Information System (CORIS) by court staff in the courthouses with the custody of such records. It provides information such as parties' names, documents filed, parties' addresses (only if available), hearings held, and assigned judges. Other information of court records captured by XChange are the judgments entered and the outcome of completed cases. Generally, XChange does not return any information on court records not open to public inspection. Besides the courthouses, free public Xchange access is available at the Utah State Law Library.

XChange search results on any district and justice records typically display the following data:

  • County home to the court where the record is kept
  • Court location
  • Case type
  • Case number
  • Filing date
  • First and last names
  • Birth Date
  • Party code
  • Case history

Interested persons can search district and justice court records on XChange using party names, business names, and dates. Note that a user account is required to use XChange. Users who are having troubles using the system can contact the Administrator via email using the word Xchange as the subject of the mail.

Interested persons can search district and justice court records on XChange using party names, business names, and dates. Note that a user account is required to use XChange. Users who are having troubles using the system can contact the Administrator via email using the word Xchange as the subject of the mail.

Appellate Court Records

Persons who are interested in finding Appellate Court records in Utah can do so by visiting the appellate clerk's office or using the Appellate Docket Search. A case's docket number must be known to use the docket search option. An Appellate docket number is an eight-digit number and must be entered correctly in the search field. The Appellate Docket Search provides records of the AppelLate Court cases from 1986 to date. Contact the office of the appellate clerk to obtain any document not available on the database. The contact information and physical address of the Utah State Appellate Clerk's Office are:

450 South State Street, 5th Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (801) 578-3900

Once an Appellate Court case is closed, its original briefs are moved to the Utah State Law Library, Utah State Archives, Brigham Young University law library, and the University of Utah law library. Interested persons can obtain such briefs from these locations, as indicated below:

  • Utah State law library has Supreme Court 1929 and 1940s, docket # 4922-4932 and 6190, and Court of Appeals 1986 to date briefs
  • Utah State Archives has Supreme Court 1888-1961 briefs.
  • Brigham Young University Howard W. Hunter law library has Supreme Court 1895 to date and Court of Appeals 1986 to date briefs.
  • University of Utah James E. Faust law library holds Supreme Court 1895 to date and Court of Appeals 1986 to date original briefs.

Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:

  • The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method. 
  • The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states. 

While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources. 

How Do Utah Courts Work?

The Utah State Court system has two appellate courts, three trial courts, and two administrative bodies. Each of these courts serves different purposes and have separate jurisdictions. The appellate courts in Utah are the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, while the trial courts include the District, Juvenile, and Justice Courts. The administrative division comprises the Administrative Office of the Court and the Judicial Council.

The Utah Supreme Court is the state's highest court and an appellate court. The court's original jurisdiction is to answer questions of state law certified from Federal Courts and to issue extraordinary writs. There are five justices in the Supreme Court, one of whom serves as a Chief Justice. Each of them serves a 10-year renewable term in office, but the Chief Justice act in that office for four years. The Chief Justice role is an elective position that is determined by majority votes among the justices. The Supreme Court also reviews appeals from the District Court on the first degree and capital felony convictions. Additionally, it has appellate jurisdiction to hear civil judgments other than domestic cases.

The Utah Court of Appeals complements the Supreme Court in quite some ways. The court has seven judges, each of whom serves six years of officer term. One out of the judges is elected as a presiding judge to serve for two years by majority vote. Typically, a panel of three judges sits to hear appeals and make decisions.  They are usually rotated to prevent compromise. The law prohibits all seven judges from sitting at any appeal at once. Cases from Juvenile and District Courts can be appealed at the Utah Court of Appeals. However, the Court of Appeals does not hear cases from the small claims division of the District Court. It reviews and decides on appeals from the District Court on lawsuits such as divorce, child custody, visitation, adoption, and paternity, as well as criminal cases of less than a first degree.

The Utah District Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction where all criminal felonies and civil cases are heard.  It serves as an appellate court for Utah administrative departments and reviews their informal adjudicative cases. It has 71 district judges who spread across the eight judicial districts of the state. The court also handles domestic relations matters such as child support and custody, divorce, and adoption.

The Utah Juvenile Court has sole original jurisdiction over cases involving children under the age of 18. It is also a trial court, and it has 31 judges and 1.5 commissioners in the eight judicial districts. The Juvenile Court often accepts the responsibility of supervising juveniles who move from other states to Utah. Appealed cases from this court are heard at the Court of Appeals. Furthermore, the Juvenile Court can determine child custody, visitation, and support, while also trying cases of traffic offenses involving minors related to reckless driving, drinking and driving, and vehicular homicide.

The most common courts in Utah municipalities and counties are Justice Courts. The Utah Justice Court primarily hears small claims, violations of laws, and class B and C misdemeanors. The Justice Court has 81 judges who are distributed across 115 county and municipal courts.

 

Utah Court Structure

What are Civil Court and Small Claims in Utah?

Small claims cases in Utah are heard at Utah Justice Courts. Anyone can approach the Small Claims Division of the Justice Court to sue another person or a business for claims of $11,000 or less. An individual who sues is called the plaintiff, while a sued person is known as the defendant. Defendants and plaintiffs do not have to get legal representation in Utah small claims cases. Court rulings in small claims cases can only award monetary judgments. The prevalent small claim cases in Utah include wage claims, landlord-tenant matters, car accidents, and tatty repair service. Generally, any individual can file a civil lawsuit that can be settled by a money judgment of not more than $11,000.

Parties involved in a small claims case may appeal a court judgment, although it is not entirely an appeal but a new trial. Such a request must be filed with the justice court that gave the previous rulings within 28 calendar days after judgment or dismissal. This is known as trial de novo. Small claims appeal is heard by a District Court Judge at a courthouse within the county where the small claims trial was held. It takes an average of 45 days to get a judgment in Utah small claims cases.

A plaintiff can only file a small claims case where the defendant lives or where the basis of such a case originated. The filing fee for claims of $2,000 or less is $60, more than $2,000 but less than $7,500 is $100, while between $7,500 and $11,000 is $185. The filing fee for an appeal is small claims is $235.

What are Appeals and Court Limits in Utah?

An appeal is simply a process where an upper court reviews and determine if a lower court committed an error of the law while making a decision. In Utah, an appeal can be a review by the Supreme Court on the Court of Appeals or the Court of Appeals on the three trial courts (District, Justice, and Juvenile Courts). It can also be a review by the District Court on the Justice Court. Most appeals in the state are not new trials, while some are entirely new trials. For instance, an appeal from the Justice Court to the District Court in a small claims case is a new hearing. Generally, the two appellate courts in Utah do not take evidence, hear witnesses, or retry cases. The Utah Supreme Court and Court of Appeals typically review the following information when hearing an appeal:

  • Evidence provided at case trial
  • The written briefs as filled in the appeal
  • The proceeding transcript at hearing

Appeals cannot be filed without strong reasons. A person who is appealing a case must be well convinced that the lower court has committed a legal error. Note that the Utah Supreme Court can decide to transfer any case appealed to it to the Utah Court of Appeals for review and decision. An appellant must file an appeal with the Supreme Court within 30 days after the issuance of the Court of Appeals' decision. The Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure contains information on appeals procedure before the two appellate courts.

Decisions on most cases at the Court of Appeals are based on the filed briefs. However, the court may permit oral arguments if it discovers they will help in the ruling process. Oral argument allows the parties involved in an appeal to present their views in person to the judges and then provide answers to questions that the judges may ask them. Oral arguments are public, and anyone may witness them right there in the court. They are also available online on most courts’ websites as public records. A maximum of 30 minutes of arguments is allowed at the Court of Appeals. The appellant and the appellee get 15 minutes each. Most cases appealed to the Utah Supreme Court enjoy oral arguments unless the justices determine they are not valuable in their decision process. The Supreme Court gives 20 minutes each to the appellant and appellee for their arguments, totaling 40 minutes.

What are Utah Bankruptcy Records? 

Utah Bankruptcy Records are complex financial data of people, whether individuals, firms, or organizations, who have become insolvent and consequently filed for bankruptcy. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah utilizes a digital audio recording system for court sessions. The Clerk’s Office also offers all audio recordings for $32.00. To get a typed transcript of a hearing, the applicant must complete and submit the Notice of Transcript Order Form (Non-Appeal) to the transcriptionist.

Note: If a resident wishes to obtain a transcript for an appealed case, the person must file a transcript order form l with the court and provide a copy to the transcriptionist.

How Do I Find My Case Number in Utah?

Case numbers are assigned at the point of filing lawsuits in the court. They are numbers that differentiate a case from another case. No two cases can ever have the same case number. Individuals who are interested in finding their case numbers may visit the courthouses where the trials are being held. They may have to provide information such as the filing date and party name to enable the court clerks to retrieve case numbers. Alternatively, anyone can find their case number online using the free XChange system at public terminals in any district courthouse or adopt the paid subscription. The XChange system provides various options for searching case information. Requestors may find their case numbers on this system by either searching with names (full or partial) or filing dates. Note that login information is required to use this service. Individuals who are new to XChange should contact the system administrator via email and set up their accounts.

Can You Look Up Court Cases in Utah?

Yes. There are various means of looking up court cases in Utah. Generally, interested persons may visit the court locations where such proceedings are being tried and look them up. Looking up court cases at courthouses, however, usually attract nominal charges. Similarly, most courts in the counties maintain court case search portals on their websites where anyone can find their case of interest. The Appellate Docket Search portal contains the Appellate Court cases. Members of the public must know cases' docket numbers to be able to look up court cases on this portal.

Does Utah Hold Remote Trials?

Utah courts do hold remote hearings but have almost become the new normal with the outbreak of COVID-19. Utah conducts hearings by telephone, video conferencing, and every other means that do not require the physical presence of counsel, witnesses, and parties. Ideally, persons participating in a court trial are supposed to appear in person, but they can also ask to participate remotely by contacting the court handling the trials. Judges can grant such requests if they make their findings and realize the following:

  • Evidence presented in the courtroom can be delivered to remote participants before or during the trials.
  • The remote participation cannot meddle with making a verbatim record of the proceeding.
  • The persons asking to appear remotely can have confidential communication with their attorneys.
  • An arrangement is in place for persons who are deaf or have limited English proficiency.

Courts in Utah use Webex to hold most remote trials, and the public can attend remote court hearings. To ensure public attendance, most courts in Utah add the Webex meeting link in their online calendars. Remote participants can use the Webex from their internet browser by entering webex.com. They can equally install the app on their smartphones, laptops, tablets, or iPad. The Utah State Courts provide detailed guides on how to join remote court trials using Webex.

What is the Utah Supreme Court?

The Utah Supreme Court is the state's court of last resort.  It has jurisdiction over judgments of the Court of Appeals by writ of certiorari and proceedings of the Judicial Conduct Commission. The court also has appellate jurisdiction to hear first degree and capital felony convictions from the District Court and civil judgments other than domestic cases. There are five justices of the Supreme Court who serve ten-year renewable terms. One of them is elected Chief Justice by majority vote to serve for four years, and another, Associate Chief Justice who serves a two-year office term, also by majority vote. The Utah Supreme Court equally reviews formal administrative proceedings of the Tax Commission, Public Service Commission, Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining, School and Institutional Trust Lands Board of Trustees, and the State Engineer.

Utah Court of Appeals?

Cases from the Juvenile and District Courts are heard at the Utah Court of Appeals. The court, however, does not hear small claims cases of the District Court.  The District Court consists of seven judges. Each of them serves six-year renewable terms. One of the judges is elected by majority vote to serve as a presiding judge for two years. The court sits in rotating panels of three judges to make decisions on appealed cases. The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals matches that of the Supreme Court.  It hears appeals from the District Court on domestic relations cases, as well as child custody, support, visitation, and paternity, adoption, and criminal matters of less than a capital felony. The Utah Court of Appeals was established in 1987.

Utah District Court?

The Utah District Court is the state trial court of general jurisdiction, and it serves as an appellate court to informal proceedings from the state's administrative agencies. It hears all civil cases and all criminal felonies, such as forgery, assaults, sex and drug offenses, robbery, and arson. The 71 district judges of this court spread across the state's eight judicial districts.  The District Court also tries domestic cases, such as divorces, child custody and support, adoption, and probate.

Utah Justice Court?

The Utah Justice Court is a trial court with jurisdiction over class B and C misdemeanors, small claims, violations of law, and infractions committed within their territorial jurisdiction. It has  81 judges distributed to its 115 county and municipal courts. Justice courts are mainly found in counties and municipalities. Persons who are not attorneys can serve as Justice Court judges but must have undergone the required legal training. All Justice Court judges must attend at least 30 hours of continuing legal education yearly to retain their certification.

Utah Juvenile Court?

The Utah Juvenile Court has the original jurisdiction over children who are not older than 18 years who violate government ordinances. It has exclusive authority on traffic offenses involving youths related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and reckless driving. The court equally tries legal matters of neglected, abused, or dependent minors and can determine child custody, support, and visitation. The Utah Juvenile Court has 31 judges in its eight judicial districts. The Juvenile Court supervises juveniles who were under court supervision in another state but moved to Utah. All appeals from the Utah Juvenile Court go to the Court of Appeals.

Utah State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Police Records
  • Sheriff Records
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Probation Records
  • Parole Records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Birth Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Personal Assets
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Political Contributions
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Utah

Utah’s Brigham City Courthouse was built in 1857.

  • There are 5 different courts in the Utah court system. They are the Utah Supreme Court, the Utah Court of Appeals, the Utah District Courts, the Juvenile Courts, and the Justice Court.
  • Utah’s Supreme Court was founded in 1894 in the state capitol of Salt Lake City.
  • The Utah Supreme Court has 5 judicial positions. They elect a chief justice from amongst themselves. Each chief justice serves for 4 years.
  • The Utah Court of Appeals started its operations in 1987. It has 7 judicial positions who serve 6 year terms.

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