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July 2016 Archives

Commercial lease particulars: multifaceted considerations

No successful business entity in Utah or anywhere else across the United States would consider involvement in a transaction of any complexity without having solid legal acumen at hand to identify and gauge risk, as well as to mitigate it to the fullest extent possible.

Inheritance rights: know your position

When someone drafts their will and puts together their estate plan, the chief reason for doing so is to protect their assets and pass them on to their family members and loved ones. These assets compose an heir's "inheritance," and when someone inherits property and assets, it is important that they understand their rights.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS AS SIMPLE CONTRACTS

The Utah Supreme Court strengthened the power of an owner's association and a homeowner's association governing board to enforce the restrictive covenants against individual lot owners. In Fort Pierce Industrial Park Phases II, III & IV Owners Association v. Shakespeare, 2016 UT 28, the Utah Supreme Court rejected the notion that "restrictive covenants are not favored in the law and are strictly construed in favor of the free and unrestricted use of property." St. Benedict's Development Co. v. St. Benedict's Hospital, 811 P.2d 194 (Utah 1991). While not exactly overruling St. Benedict, the Utah Supreme Court made clear that in construing restrictive covenants, "the rules of construction used for contracts" applies. Fort Pierce, 2016 UT 28, ¶¶ 8, 32. As demonstrated in Fort Pierce, that puts the governing board on equal footing with the homeowner or lot owner in interpreting what the restrictive covenants mean. Further, the court held that decisions of the governing board are afforded a "presumption of reasonableness." Id. ¶ 28. That means the lot or homeowner has the burden of overcoming that presumption before a decision of the governing board is overturned. After the Fort Pierce case, the governing board's ability to enforce the restrictive covenants and its decisions in interpreting them are markedly strengthened.

Holding a Person in Contempt for Violating a Utah Divorce Decree

What are your options if your ex-spouse violates the divorce decree? Perhaps she refuses to pay child support, or he is behind on his alimony payments. Or perhaps she refuses to pay the credit card debt allocated to her in the decree, or he interferes with your parent-time. If so, you have a relatively quick and effective tool to fix the problem. The Utah divorce attorneys at Snow Jensen & Reece can help you file the necessary paperwork to enforce the decree.