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Gardiner v. Taufer, 2014 UT 56, -P.3d- (Dec. 9, 2014) 

Dec 9, 2014

A woman petitioned for and obtained a declaration of unsolemnized marriage between herself and her deceased partner. The district court allowed several of the partner’s cousins to intervene in the action, granted their Rule 60(b) motion to set aside the marriage declaration, and then dismissed the case on its own initiative for untimely service under Rule 4(b)(i) of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The Supreme Court reinstated the marriage declaration, agreeing with the woman’s arguments on appeal that she had waived service of process on behalf of her partner’s estate during the time she served as its personal representative. The Court also noted that it was improper for the district court to dismiss the case on its own initiative without giving the woman notice and an opportunity to respond to its determination on service.