Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taylor-West Weber Water Improvement District v. Olds

Yesterday, the Utah Supreme Court released its opinion in the case of Taylor-West Weber Water Improvement District v. Olds. The opinion examined whether a late protestant could intervene in an applicant's appeal of a State Engineer decision.

Several years ago, the District filed an Application to Appropriate water through seven wells. Roy City filed a late protest, which the State Engineer considered. The State Engineer approved the District's Application, but placed a ten-year limitation on the right. The District filed an appeal in court, asserting that the State Engineer's conditional approval was incorrect. Roy City sought to intervene in the court case, but their request to intervene was denied by the court.

Roy City appealed the denial to the Utah Supreme Court, asserting that it should have been allowed to intervene under the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The District and the State Engineer argued that Roy City was prohibited from intervening under the Utah Administrative Procedures Act.

Ultimately, the Court found in favor of Roy City. The Court ruled that the Procedures Act did not prevent intervention and that the lower court should have looked to the Rules of Civil Procedure to determine if intervention was proper. Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded the case to the lower court for reconsideration of Roy City's motion to intervene under the Rules of Civil Procedure.

To read the full opinion, click here.

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