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Utah Court Case Search — Find Your Lawsuit

Dena Standley | August 08, 2023

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Summary: Utah does not have a free tool to search for court cases online, but you can pay for a subscription to XChange which gives you access to court records throughout the state. Below is SoloSuit's guide to Utah's civil court structure, how to check your case status there, and how to use the XChange tool to find your court records online.

At the moment, Utah courts do not have a free tool where you can search the status of your court case online. However, there are some paid options for searching for your Utah court case online.

XChange case search can get you access to District Court and Justice Court information, for a cost. Debt collection lawsuits almost always fall under the jurisdiction of one of these court.

Right now, the cheapest way to check your case status is through calling the court clerk or visiting the courthouse in which your case is filed and using XChange there.

If you've been sued for a debt, it's crucial to keep tabs on your case. Frequently, collectors don't properly serve defendants with the case documents. So, finding your case online is helpful for reviewing the progress of your case.

Finding your case isn't always easy, so in this article we'll show you what you need to know about searching for your court case in Utah. But first, let's talk about Utah's debt collection lawsuit procedures and its civil court structure.

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What is the procedure for handling debt collection cases in Utah?

A debt collection case is started when a debt collector files a Complaint with the court. One of the methods of service listed in Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 4 must be used to serve a copy of the Complaint and a document known as a Summons to the debtor.

The Summons notifies someone that they are being sued, while the Complaint lists the specific claims that are being made against them.. If relevant, the Complaint should include the amount owing and details regarding the debt and any buyers or assignees.

The defendant must subsequently respond with an Answer to the Complaint, which allows them to agree or disagree with each of the plaintiff's allegations, as well as to assert any affirmative defenses or file a counterclaim. A counterclaim may be filed if the defendant feels the plaintiff has violated the FDCPA.

Understand the structure of Utah courts

Utah's State Court System consists of two appellate courts, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. Additionally, there are trial courts, including the District, Juvenile, and Justice Courts, and administrative bodies, such as the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Court. Each of the state's eight judicial districts has a district court, a juvenile court, and a justice court.

In order to find your case information online or in person, it's important to understand how the civil courts are structured in Utah. When you know what courts have jurisdiction over certain types of cases, it will be easier for you to narrow down the court to which your case is assigned. If you are being sued for a debt, your lawsuit is considered a civil case. In Utah, there are four levels of courts that deal with civil cases:

  1. Supreme Court: This is the court of last resort, or the highest judicial level in the state, and it is considered an appellate court. The Supreme Court deals with civil cases that have been appealed from the Court of Appeals or directly from the District Court.
  2. Court of Appeals: Also considered an appellate court, the Court of Appeals handles civil cases appealed from the District Court.
  3. District Court: Handles cases appeals from the Justice Court and all civil cases over $10,000.
  4. Justice Court: Deals with small claims civil cases that involve up to $10,000.

The graphic below further illustrate the civil court structure in Utah:

hawaii court structure

How can I find Utah court records?

Discovering the courthouse and the type of court keeping such records is the first step when attempting to access records in Utah. Once you know where your case is located, you can check the status of your case using these two methods:

  1. Use XChange case search.
  2. Call the court clerk or visit the courthouse.

Now, let's take a closer look at these two methods.

1. Use Xchange case search

The XChange court case management system is used in Utah by mosts law firms and attorneys. Some Utah court records are kept by XChange and are accessible to interested parties. However, this case management system only allows access to publicly available court data, and it comes with a cost. A paid subscription is required to access court records online, but you can also gain free access to XChange at most district courthouses.

The District and Justice Courts have access to most district courthouses' case files. Interested parties can check with the District Court or the Justice Court to see whether any free public XChange terminals are available. If not, they can search for the relevant records using the premium XChange subscription.

XChange charges a $25 one-time fee to set up an account, and the XChange monthly subscription cost is $40 for up to 500 searches. Any search past the 500-limit cost $0.15/search until the next billing cycle starts.

Xchange details the parties involved, the documents they filed, their residences (if any are known), the proceedings they attended, and the judges who presided over them. The judgments rendered and the results of concluded cases are additional information from court records.

The Utah State Law Library offers free public Xchange access and does not provide information on court records that are not accessible to the public.

2. Call the court clerk or visit the courthouse

Like we mentioned before, most Utah courthouses have terminals set up where you can use XChange to access court records for free. So a quick trip to the courthouse might be worth the visit.

If you don't have time to travel to the courthouse, you can also try calling the court clerk to ask them to check your case status over the phone. Most court clerks are willing to help and answer as many questions as possible, without giving legal advice.

Use this Utah Courts Directory to find your courthouse address and the court clerk's contact information.

Use PACER to search for a federal case

The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website offers guidance on electronically submitting and obtaining court documents in federal courts. Each state in the US may be subject to either state courts or federal courts. If a lawsuit begins in a state court, it may be bumped up to federal court. Usually, only civil cases with high dollar amounts are in federal court. Debt collection cases are almost always in state court.

Federal cases in Utah go to the 10th Circuit of United States District Courts. Here's a map of all the federal circuits.

As part of PACER, a federal initiative, the District of Utah retains case data on criminal proceedings since November 1992 and civil proceedings since July 1989 through an electronic database.

The only exceptions to this rule are cases involving social security benefits and those that a judge's order has sealed. If you decide to use PACER, you will have access to the case docket and any associated case materials. A fee of $0.10 per page is charged.

Identifying federal case numbers

The majority of the federal court's documents are organized by case number. A case number is given when a case is submitted to the court. The pleadings, or court documents, filed in the case should be included in the case file that is also opened. A case number is necessary to locate any court document.

The court separates several materials. Examples include two series that only include abstracts and briefs and another that only contains opinions submitted by the justices. A case number is necessary to locate any court document.

If the case's name and the year the decision was made are available, a researcher can search the Utah Reports (Series 1481) volumes for that year's ruling. A list of cases reported is located at the front of each book volume of the reporter.

A researcher can establish whether a case is in a specific volume by looking through this list and, if it is, the page it begins on. The case number is included in the headnote for each reported case, starting with volume 10 of the Utah reports.

A case file is captured in the docket. Each party, as well as their designated attorneys, is listed on the docket. Each document is listed with a summary, the date it was filed, and the unique court record number.

Obtaining a copy of a docket sheet requires completing a copywork request form and submitting it to the clerk's office along with the case name of the docket sheet. Each page costs $0.50. It is possible to access dockets by using the PACER system.

Scheduling federal court cases

In most federal civil cases, the court will enter an order to propose a schedule that will provide precise guidelines and due dates for submitting the attorney planning meeting report. As soon as possible afterwards—and no later than 42 days after any defendant has been served or 28 days after any defendant has appeared, whichever comes first—the attorney's planning meeting report form is finished and submitted to the court.

The presiding judge in a case, or the referred magistrate judge, or if an order directing the case has been made, one should receive a draft of the proposed scheduling order by email at the same time.

The court evaluates the scheduling order based on the attorney planning meeting report filed. The attorney's planning meeting report form is docketed under the planning meeting event in CM/ECF. This document must be filed electronically in CM/ECF as other documents - attorney planning meeting.

The parties submit a motion for an initial scheduling conference if they cannot agree on a schedule. A hearing may be held by the designated district judge or the referred magistrate judge.

Respond to a debt lawsuit in Utah

Although it's helpful to know about federal cases, most debt collection cases are handled at the state level. If you have been sued for a debt in Utah, the first step to winning your case is to respond with a written Answer.

In Utah, you have 21 days to respond to a debt lawsuit before you lose by default. When you lose by default, the debt collector (or creditor) suing you can garnish your wages and even put liens on your properties to get the money back.

SoloSuit can help you draft an Answer in just 15 minutes.

To learn more about how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit, check out this video:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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