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Ralphs v. McClellan, 2014 UT 36 (Aug. 29, 2014) 

Aug 29, 2014

The petitioner sought to challenge a previous justice court lewdness conviction when that conviction led to subsequent lewdness charges being charged as felonies. The petitioner argued that he had been deprived of his right to appeal the original justice court decision under the standards set forth in Manning v. State, 2005 UT 61, 122 P.3d 628, and Utah Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(f). On a petition for extraordinary relief, the Utah Supreme Court held that the procedures set forth in Manning and confirmed in Rule 4(f) extend to de novo appeal of a justice court decision. The court disagreed with the district court’s conclusion that the petitioner had waived his right to assert the denial of his right to appeal by waiting too long. Because neither Manning nor Rule 4(f) contains a time limitation on a motion to reinstate an appeal, the petitioner could not be deemed to have forfeited his right to file such a motion by his delay in filing it. The court flagged the lack of time limitation as a concern for consideration by the advisory committee on the rules of appellate procedure, suggesting the committee could amend the rule to add a time limitation going forward.