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GeoMetWatch v. Hall, 2018 UT 50 (Sept. 12, 2018)

Sep 12, 2018

This case came before the court as a certified question from the United States District Court of the District of Utah.  At issue was whether certain Utah State University Foundations were entitled to immunity under Utah’s Governmental Immunity Act as instrumentalities of the state.  Although the Utah Supreme Court declined to answer the ultimate question it was presented in this case, it did provide a framework for determining whether an entity acts as an instrumentality of the state: The determination of whether an entity is an instrumentality of the state requires a comparison of the proposed entity with those entities enumerated by the statute.  Specifically the court must decide “whether the entity is a branch of the state that carries out state functions,” and if so whether those functions are “of the same general kind, class, character, or nature as those enumerated terms.”