If you’re filing a civil case in Utah, one of the first decisions you will make is which court you want to handle your case. In some situations, you may have a choice between courts and jurisdictions and your litigation attorney can advise on which venue makes the most sense. Similarly, if you’ve been served with a lawsuit, one of the first things you may choose to do is try to move the case to a more favorable court or venue.
Small claims cases are all about recovering money, so if you’re looking for another remedy, this is not the place to start. While you do not necessarily need an attorney to represent you in small claims court, having one can still be to your advantage as they understand how the system works and are effective, experienced litigators. Even though the process is generally quicker and less formal, it is still an effective venue for resolving certain disputes. Utah even offers an online dispute resolution system that can handle certain types of claims quickly and without the need to go to trial. Small claims in Utah are limited to cases of $11,000 and under.
For cases valued over $11,000, or where injunctions or other remedies are requested, the district court is the way to go. These are your full, formal courts with the ability to hear a variety of civil cases. Judges focus mostly on applying Utah law to resolve a wide variety of business issues from partnership disputes to contract litigation. They can also approve mediation and arbitration decisions, order temporary injunctions to stop ongoing problems, and hold people in contempt who are not following the rules.
Certain types of cases are brought before the federal court, which can apply federal law as well as the law of various other jurisdictions to hear cases. Generally, federal courts focus on issues related to federal law such as patents and trademarks as well as disputes that cross state boundaries such as disputes with an out-of-state company or a large multi-state operation.
Which court you want to litigate in can be a strategic decision your attorney helps you make based on their experience with the different judges and their procedures, the facts of your case, and the size and type of remedy you are requesting. Further, in addition to choosing which court to focus on, you may also have a selection of venue based on the county or town the incident took place in or the location of the businesses in question.
Because our litigation work focuses primarily on business issues, our lawyers are familiar with the various court systems and the best ways to move a case into the proper court and venue. To learn more, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 and set up a free consultation today.