Utah Court of Appeals

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Utah Court of Appeals
Court information
Judges:   7
Founded:   1987
Salary:   $142,000[1]
Judicial selection
Method:   Commission-selection, political appointment
Term:   6 years

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The Utah Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in Utah. It was formed in 1987. It is one of two state appellate courts, the other being the Utah Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals hears all appeals from the Juvenile and District Courts, except those from the small claims department of a District Court. It also hears appeals from Utah District Court involving domestic relations cases, including divorce, annulment, division of property, child custody, child support, visitation, adoption and paternity, and some criminal]matters (those which are not first degree felonies or capital cases). The Court also hears appeals from administrative proceedings by state agencies] including the Utah Industrial Commission and the Department of Employment Security Career Service Review Board. It also hears cases transferred to it by the Utah Supreme Court.[2]

Judges of the Utah Court of Appeals


The court consists of seven judges who are subject to a retention election every six years. A presiding judge is elected by majority vote to serve for two years.

Judges are chosen using a gubernatorial commission process. The Utah appellate judicial nominating commission has eight members. Seven of the members are appointed by the governor. The eighth member of the commission is the state's chief justice or someone chosen by the chief justice. This member of the commission is a non-voting member.[3]

Current Judges

JudgeTermAppointed by
Judge James Davis1993-2014Gov. Mike O. Leavitt
Judge Carolyn McHugh3/12/2014-PresentBarack Obama
Judge Gregory Orme1987-2014Gov. Norman Bangerter
Judge J. Frederic Voros Jr.2009-2013Gov. Gary Herbert
Judge Michele Christiansen2010-2014Gov. Gary Herbert
Judge Kate A. Toomey2014-PresentGov. Gary Herbert
Judge Stephen L. Roth2010-2014Gov. Gary Herbert
Judge John A. Pearce2013-2016Gov. Gary Herbert


In order to be a judge on the court:

  • A candidate must be a United States citizen.
  • Must have been a resident of Utah for at least three years.
  • Must be at least 25 years old.
  • Must be admitted to practice law in Utah.[4]


The annual salary for a Court of Appeals judge is $138,750, with 20 days of paid vacation and 11 paid holidays per year.[5]


The panels hear oral arguments in cases during the third and fourth week of the month. After hearing arguments, the judges confer together to discuss the issues raised in the case. One of the judges on the panel is assigned to write the opinion of the court. In addition to its oral argument panels, the court designates three judges to sit on the law and motion panel. This panel determines procedural and substantive motions and hears cases on one day per month.

Court of Appeals sessions usually are conducted in Salt Lake City, but the court travels several times per year, holding court in different geographical regions of the state. The court sits and renders judgment in rotating panels of three judges. It is prohibited by statute from sitting en banc (all seven members at once).[2]

See also

External links


UtahUtah Supreme CourtUtah Court of AppealsUtah District CourtsUtah Juvenile CourtsUtah Justice CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of UtahUnited States bankruptcy court, District of UtahUnited States Court of Appeals for the Tenth CircuitUtah countiesUtah judicial newsUtah judicial electionsJudicial selection in UtahUtahTemplate.jpg


JudgeElection Vote
DavisJames Davis 76.7% ApprovedA
Voros, Jr.J. Frederic Voros Jr. 75.1% ApprovedA
OrmeGregory Orme 76.6% ApprovedA
ChristiansenMichele Christiansen 77.0% ApprovedA
RothStephen L. Roth 76.7% ApprovedA