The Appellate Group

Mitchell v. Roberts

Mitchell v. Roberts, 2020 UT 34 (Lee, J.)

Statutes of Limitation

Mitchell asserted civil claims against Roberts, asserting that Roberts had sexually abused Mitchell in 1981. Mitchell’s claims had expired under the original statute of limitations, but she argued that her claims were revived when the legislature enacted legislation in 2016 providing that certain civil claims against perpetrators of sexual abuse may be asserted, even if “time barred as of July 1, 2016,” for an additional time. Utah Code § 78B-2-308(7). The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah certified the case to the Utah Supreme Court. The Utah Supreme Court answered the certified question, holding:

  • The Utah Legislature is constitutionally prohibited from retroactively reviving a time-barred claim in a manner depriving a defendant of a vested statute of limitations defense. Based on its precedent and constitutional analysis, the Court determined that such legislation violates the due process clause of the Utah Constitution.

Read the full court opinion