The Appellate Group

State v. Mason

State v. Mason, 2021 UT App 41 (Christiansen Forster, J.)

Criminal Law

The defendant called the judge a “disingenuous intellectual liar” after the judge adjourned a family law hearing. The judge immediately found the defendant guilty of contempt and sentenced him to jail. The defendant appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • There is no right to counsel in summary criminal contempt proceedings.
  • Although the defendant’s comment came after the court adjourned, the judge could still punish that comment under the contempt statute because the defendant made the comment immediately after the adjournment and while the judge was still sitting on the bench.

Read the full court opinion