Court of Appeals Met With Criticism

SALT LAKE CITY?The Utah Court of Appeals, created 15 years ago to reduce a backlog of about 1,000 cases awaiting hearing by the Utah Supreme Court, is under fire for one of its strategies for avoiding a backlog of its own.

Utah Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilkins said that the lower court was not providing enough explanation of its rulings.

Struggling with its caseload in the mid-1990s, the appeals court began using memorandum decisions to resolve cases faster. Nearly two-thirds of the opinions issued are memorandums.

Appeals Court Presiding Judge Norman H. Jackson said the court will work to avoid using memorandum decisions in future cases.