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State v. Gavette, 2019 UT App 73 (May 2, 2019)

May 2, 2019

The Court of Appeals vacated the defendant’s conviction and remanded for a new trial in light of the district court’s failure to comply with Utah R. Crim. P. 29 by presiding over the defendant’s trial while a motion to disqualify the judge was pending.  Under the rule, when a motion to disqualify is filed, the district court has two options: grant the motion or certify the motion to a reviewing judge for decision.  The rule explicitly provides, “‘[t]he judge shall take no further action in the case until the motion is decided.’”  “Failure to comply with this rule renders void any further proceedings presided over by that judge.”