According to lawyer Marty Blaustein, the rights for a tenant to defend themselves from being evicted has been seriously lacking.
News Story (Utah)
KUVT (local CBS, Salt Lake City)
October 25, 2016
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Housing: Eviction
Organizations mentioned/involved: Utah Legal Services (ULS)
Tenants are allowed to tell a judge why they don’t feel like they should be evicted, of course, but Blaustein says that, by law, a landlord hasn’t had to tell a tenant in advance of the eviction hearing why they were getting kicked out. Often tenants would hear the reasoning and see the evidence for the first time while standing in court. The process didn’t give the tenant or their lawyers much of a chance to prepare a defense and prove the landlord wrong.
Blaustein says the process has left tenants with an unfair disadvantage so, several months ago, he turned to Utah Supreme Court to make a case that the rules needed to change. He suggested that landlords should be required to hand over all of the evidence for why their tenant is being evicted 48 hours before the court date. After deliberation, the Utah Supreme Court decided Blaustein’s was a pretty good idea.