The Appellate Group

In re C.D.S. and W.E.S.

In re C.D.S. and W.E.S., 2023 UT 11 (Pearce, A.C.J.)

Appellate Procedure

A juvenile court terminated both Mother’s and Father’s parental rights. Father filed a notice of appeal within the 15-day window, and Mother filed her appeal outside that window but within 15 days of Father filing his notice of appeal. The Utah Court of Appeals dismissed Mother’s appeal as untimely. On certiorari, The Utah Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding:

  • The court of appeals erred when it concluded that Utah Rule of Appellate Procedure 52(c) only applies to parties filing a cross-appeal.
  • Practice Tip: In statutory interpretation, a court may use titles to clarify but not to create ambiguity.
  • Appellate Practice Tip: Be candid with the court and get a congratulatory footnote in a judicial opinion! “The State—both in its briefs and during oral argument—acknowledges that rule 52(c)’s plain language supports Mother’s argument. We commend the State for its candor.”   

Read the full court opinion