Smith v. Smith

The Supreme Court did not reach the merits in this matter where Father appealed the district court order awarding Mother attorney fees and costs for the underlying juvenile court proceedings for lack of jurisdiction and awarded Mother reasonable attorney fees and costs on appeal. The juvenile court denied Father’s petition to terminate Mother’s parental rights and granted Mother custody of the parties’ minor children. The court also ordered Father to pay all fees and costs incurred by Mother. When jurisdiction over the case had been transferred to the district court, the court granted Mother’s motion for attorney fees. Father filed a motion to alter or amend under Utah R. Civ. P. 59 challenging the award. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court lacked the authority to rule on the merits of the Rule 59 motion because it was not timely filed, and therefore, the earlier order of the district court was the final judgment on the underlying matter of attorney fees and costs; (2) the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the merits of this case; and (3) Mother is awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs on appeal. View "Smith v. Smith" on Justia Law