The Appellate Group

Ofa v. Department of Human Services

Ofa v. Department of Human Services, 2023 UT App 156 (Oliver, J.)


Plaintiff was terminated by DHS from his position as a youth corrections counselor. The Career Service Review Office (CSRO) upheld the termination. Plaintiff appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals declined to disturb the decision, holding:

  • The CSRO did not abuse its discretion in upholding the termination. DHS provided a fair and rational basis for its decision to terminate, and the CSRO rightly deferred to DHS’s decision.
  • Practice tip: The Court of Appeals reviews the consistency of a review’s board’s determination for abuse of discretion. It will uphold the reviewing board’s affirmance of an agency’s determination to terminate “unless it exceeds the bounds of reasonableness and rationality.” 
  • Practice tip: Under Utah Code § 63G-4-403(4), an agency may act contrary to its prior practice if it “justifies the inconsistency by giving facts and reasons that demonstrate a fair and rational basis for the inconsistency.”

Read the full court opinion