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:   Assisted appointment
Term:   6 years

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

The Court of Appeals hears all appeals from the juvenile and district courts, except cases coming from the small claims department of a district court. It hears appeals involving domestic relations cases, including divorce, annulment, division of property, child custody, child support, visitation, adoption and paternity, and some criminal matters (except first degree felonies and capital cases). The Court of Appeals also considers appeals coming from state agencies such as 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 the court members in a 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 Z. Davis1993-1/3/2021Gov. Mike O. Leavitt
Judge Gregory Orme1987-1/3/2021Gov. Norman Bangerter
Judge J. Frederic Voros Jr.2009-1/3/2021Gov. Gary Herbert
Judge Michele Christiansen2010-1/3/2021Gov. Gary Herbert
Judge Kate A. Toomey2014-PresentGov. Gary Herbert
Judge Stephen L. Roth2010-1/3/2021Gov. 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.
  • He or she must have been a resident of Utah for at least three years.
  • The person must be at least 25 years old.
  • He or she must be admitted to practice law in Utah.[4]


During the third and fourth week of the month, three-judge panels hear oral arguments from cases. The judges then confer to discuss issues that were raised in the case. One of the judges on the panel is then assigned to write the opinion of the court. In addition to oral argument panels, three judges are designated by the court to the law and motion panel. This panel is responsible for reviewing and deciding procedural and substantive motions. It also hears cases on one day per month.

While the court sessions are usually held in Salt Lake City, the court also travels multiple times during the year and holds court in various regions of the state.[2]

Notable cases

See also

External links



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