Archive for December 2007

Utah man accused of defrauding fiance pleads not guilty

December 13, 2007

In a bizarre set of facts, a Utah man pleads not guilty this week in federal court to charges of bank fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to a federal indictment, John Bradley Egan had talked his fiancee into selling her North Salt Lake condo and starting a new life with him in Tampa, Fla., where they were to be married. Egan persuaded the woman to drive to Florida where he told her he would meet her. Instead, police say Egan drained her bank account of about $109,000 and stole his parents’ passports and Social Security cards before he vanished in June 2006.

In June 2007, federal officials were notified that Egan had been picked up in a broken-down boat in Cuba.

Egan told Cuban officials that he had tried to set sail from Mexico to Ireland when his boat broke down. Egan spent some time in Cuban jail for having a forged passport. Through a diplomatic exchange, Cuba handed Egan over to U.S. officials.

http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695235189,00.html

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Magistrate Paul M. Warner – Motion to Compel and Motion for Sanctions granted

December 10, 2007

CHANNEL BAKER, Plaintiff, v. SIZZLING PLATTER, INC.; SIZZLING PLATTER, L.L.C.; all entities dba Red Robin and dba Red Robin Layton; and JOHN DOES 1-5, Defendants.

Case No. 2:06cv1045

United States District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division

2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90044

December 6, 2007

Magistrate Paul M. Warner

Defendant contends it has made diligent and good faith, but futile, efforts to work with Plaintiff and her counsel regarding various discovery matters. Accordingly, Defendant asked the court for an order: (1) compelling Plaintiff to respond to Defendant’s First Set of Interrogatories and First Requests for Production of Documents, (2) compelling Plaintiff to appear for a deposition at the offices of Defendant’s counsel within thirty days after service of Plaintiff’s responses to the discovery requests, and (3) sanctioning Plaintiff and her counsel by requiring them to pay Defendant’s reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred in connection with the motion.

Plaintiff did not contest the appropriateness of the court compelling responses to the discovery requests and compelling her appearance for a deposition in Utah. Accordingly, the court granted Defendant’s motion to compel and ordered Plaintiff to provide responses to the discovery requests within fifteen days. Plaintiff was also ordered to appear for a deposition in Utah within thirty days after service of her discovery responses.

Plaintiff does, however, contend that sanctions are not warranted in this matter because (1) Plaintiff’s counsel has attempted to work with Defendant’s counsel to comply with Plaintiff’s discovery obligations; (2) Plaintiff resides in Texas and the requested documents
are in storage in Utah; (3) Plaintiff’s current employer does not allow her to take leave for the purposes of being deposed; and (4) Plaintiff offered to appear for a deposition in Texas, which was refused by Defendants.

Regarding sanctions, the court held:

“The court has determined that Plaintiff’s excuses are entirely without merit. Plaintiff chose to sue Defendant in this forum. The fact that she now lives in Texas is of no moment to the court. Plaintiff has an obligation to cooperate in discovery. It is her responsibility, as the plaintiff in this matter, to aid her counsel in moving this case forward. She has utterly failed to do so, and the court concludes that sanctions are appropriate.” The sanctions to be issued by the court will consist of defendant’s attorney fees incurred in bringing defendant’s motion to compel.

So who is actually going to pay the sanctions?

“While the court finds that Plaintiff’s counsel could have been more diligent in obtaining the requested information from Plaintiff, the court concludes that it would not be appropriate to require Plaintiff’s counsel to pay the attorney fee award. Instead, Plaintiff shall be responsible for paying the award.”

Judge Ted Stewart – Motion to Intervene denied

December 4, 2007

HERRIMAN CITY, a municipality, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. SHERRIE SWENSEN, as
Salt Lake County Clerk; and GARY R. HERBERT, as Lieutenant Governor of the
State of Utah, Defendants.

Case No. 2:07-CV-711 TS

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH,
CENTRAL DIVISION

2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88177

November 30, 2007

This case concerns Plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge to a state statutory scheme which establishes the procedure for the creation of a new school district. The Utah Attorney General’s office represented the State of Utah (through its representative Gary Hebert, Lieutenant Governor) and is defending the constitutionality of the relevant statutes.

The Proposed Intervenors are parties to an Interlocal Agreement established for the purpose of creating an East Side School District. The Court previously denied Plaintiffs’ Motion for Permanent Injunction and the election on the issue of whether or not to create the East Side School District proceeded as scheduled. The Proposed Intervenors sought to intervene in this action as a matter of right pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a), arguing that they have a significant and protectible interest in the matter which is not adequately represented by the current parties. Plaintiffs opposed the intervention.

In short, the Judge ruled: “their [the Proposed Intervenors’ and the State’s] ultimate interests in defending the constitutionality of the state statute are aligned. Because of this alignment of interests in upholding the constitutionality of the statutory scheme, the Court . . . finds that representation in this matter is adequate. Therefore, the Proposed Intervenors are not entitled to intervene as a matter of right and the Court will deny the Motion.”