2024 Public Comment / HJR 8

Updated: 2 months ago
Public Policy

February 9, 2024
Nate Crippes / Public Affairs Supervising Attorney
Andrew Riggle / Public Policy Advocate
(801) 363-1347 / (800) 662-9080

Good morning, Chair Hawkins and Committee Members,

I am writing to you to express opposition to HJR 8, Joint Resolution Amending Rules of Civil Procedure on Disqualification of a Judge.  While this is not a disability-specific issue, the Disability Law Center is a non-profit legal agency.  The majority of our legal work is with the federal courts; however, we do provide representation in state court on some fair housing cases, assisting individuals in guardianship matters where the guardian is no longer providing appropriate care for a protected person, and as appropriate in other cases.

We are concerned that, if passed, HJR 8 would lead to undue delay for our clients in getting a remedy.  In many of our cases, that could mean a vulnerable adult is left with a guardian that is harming them.  Moreover, the current Resolution allows the defendant or respondent to always have the last opportunity to disqualify a judge without cause, so, as attorneys for plaintiffs and petitioners, we would have less ability to utilize this process than our opposing parties.

We recognize there will likely be numerous parties with opinions on this Resolution, but we thought it important to share our perspective as a legal organizing protecting and advancing the legal rights, choices, and opportunities of Utahns with disabilities.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you.