Petitions for Writ of Certiorari – Utah Court of Appeals

Zack Peterson
August 2014, Updated September 2014

In any given year, the Utah Court of Appeals issues in excess of 300 published decisions and this number is often close to, if not in excess of, 400 opinions. This means that 200 parties in a given year leave Utah’s intermediate appellate court with a feeling of dissatisfaction.

The Court released its statistics for July and August of 2014, and the numbers continue to trend downward in the number of Writs being issued. In July and August, 26 petitions were filed, and the Court granted none of the petitions.  Through the first two-thirds of 2014, the Court has granted about 7% of the petitions filed.

Over the last five years, about half of these displeased parties instruct their counsel to petition the Utah Supreme Court to review the court of appeals’ decision for correctness. Historically, roughly 20% of these petitions result in the Utah Supreme Court exercising its power of discretionary review. For those tracking these numbers, that equates to about 5% of the losing parties who are able to successfully lobby the Utah Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals’ decisions.

How are the parties who are unsuccessful at the intermediate court faring in having their case heard at the Utah Supreme Court this year? Through the first half of 2014, the number of petitions for a Writ of Certiorari is about average or slightly above average; however, the Utah Supreme Court has only granted about 10% of the petitions.  This rate is lower than the historical averages at roughly 20%. Perhaps the number of writs issued will increase in the second half of 2014.