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NCJ Number: 76538 Find in a Library
Title: Research Report on the Utah Supreme Court
Author(s): S Vojtecky; D Stirling
Corporate Author: Utah Council on Criminal Justice Admin
Planning and Evaluation Section
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Utah Council on Criminal Justice Admin
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research report examines the current court workload of the Utah Supreme Court, its recent innovations in operations, and future alternatives to its current increasing caseload. It recommends the establishment of an intermediate appellate court.
Abstract: Cases filed with the Utah Supreme Court have increased 63 percent in the last 5 years. The number of cases filed has increased from 7 to 10 percent a year; there has been a subsequent increase in the opinion preparation of the Supreme Court justices. Currently, each Supreme Court justice must prepare about 80 written opinions, or about 1 every 3 work days. Recent innovations in operations, such as using attorneys to do research, increasing the secretarial staff, and conducting settlement conferences, have lessened the impact of the rising caseload, but the problem remains. Eighteen interviews with local judges and prosecutors resulted in suggestions for three alternatives to meet the Court's increasing caseload: establishment of an intermediate appellate court, expansion of the Court to seven justices, or increase of the Court staff. An analysis of the alternatives supports the recommended establishment of an intermediate appellate court as a permanent solution to the problem of declining time, research, and judicial thought available for deciding cases filed with the Utah Supreme Court. A list of the judges and prosecutors interviewed, the proposed evaluation strategy for the Supreme Court Study, and relevant correspondence are appended. Three research reports are listed as references.
Index Term(s): Court case flow; Court reorganization; Evaluation techniques; Utah
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