Utah SC tosses review over briefs' 'scandalous' charges
Utah Supreme Court building
SALT LAKE CITY – A golden rule when filing a lawsuit would surely be not to insult the judiciary in the process. Petitioners in a case ruled on Friday in the Utah Supreme Court have yet to figure this one out.
The court tossed out two reviews it initially agreed to hear in Paul Howard Peters vs. Pine Meadow Ranch Home Association (#20050806) and Forest Meadow Ranch Property Owners Association vs. Pine Meadow Ranch Home Association (#20050805). The cases involved disputes over trust property ownership.
The Court said the briefs in each were "replete with unfounded accusations impugning the integrity of the court of appeals panel that heard the cases." The offending references, the Court ruled, alleged the lower court fabricated evidence, deliberately mis-stated the holding of a case and acted with "improper motives."
Both petitions repeatedly refer to appeals court "fabrications," "negligence" and "injustice." At one point a petition questions whether the Court of Appeals authoring judge was biased against the petitioner's president because he was German and not a Mormon.
The Court called such material "unfounded and scandalous" and threw the reviews out for violating rule 24(k) of the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure, which forbids petitions from containing such material. The Court also awarded all attorneys' fees against the petitioners.
Authoring Justice Matthew Durrant warned future petitioners to maintain the Supreme Court's Standards of Professionalism and Civility.
"Had counsel in the cases at bar observed these standards, he and his clients would not have incurred the severe sanctions we impose today," he wrote.