Domestic Disputes

Child custody issues resulting from a divorce decree or a custody order are usually civil orders of the court and cannot be enforced by law enforcement officers without specific orders allowing for that. Those further orders will usually be writs of assistance issued by the court. These orders must be executed by the Civil Division of the Unified Police Department. This is a paid process and can only be done by those officers.

Frequently asked questions are outlined on the State's web site, including questions regarding child custody and visitations.

The Civil Division of the Unified Police Department does serve custody orders and agreements and summons for court hearings involving custody disputes.

See the Civil Process Division for further information.

Custodial Interference 76-5-303, UCA

(1) A person, whether a parent or other, is guilty of custodial interference if, without good cause, the actor takes, entices, conceals, or detains a child under the age of 16 from its parent, guardian, or other lawful custodian:

(a) knowingly the actor has no legal right to do so; and
(b) with intent to hold the child for a period substantially longer than the parent-time or custody period previously awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) A person, whether a parent or other, is guilty of custodial interference if, having actual physical custody of a child under the age of 16 pursuant to a judicial award of any court of competent jurisdiction which grants another person parent-time, visitation, or custody rights, and without good cause the actor conceals or detains the child with intent to deprive the other person of lawful parent-time, visitation, or custody rights.

(3) Custodial interference is a class A misdemeanor unless the child is removed and taken from one state to another, in which case it is a felony of the third degree.

Custodial interference can become a criminal matter, when the elements so apply. Examine the elements closely before affecting an on scene arrest. If there are questions if the elements are sufficient, document all the information, including the court orders, and refer the case to a follow up detective and/or the district attorney's office.

Divorce Decrees are civil orders of the court and cannot be enforced by law enforcement officers. Frequently asked questions are outlined on the State's web site.

For questions regarding:

  • How to enforce a divorce decree
  • Property settlements and divisions
  • Child custody and visitations

See http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/divorce/

The Civil Division of the Unified Police Department does serve divorce papers and summons for court hearings involving divorces. This is a paid process and can only be done by those officers. Constables can also serve these kinds of processes.

See Civil Process Unit for further information

Definitions:

A restraining order issued pursuant to Title 30, Chapter 6, Co-habitant Abuse Act (UCA) subsequent to a hearing on the petition, of which the petitioner has given notice in accordance with Title 30, Chapter 6, Co-habitant Abuse Act (UCA).

The Co-habitant Abuse Act allows for the use of Protective Orders in domestic violence cases. These Protective Orders also include Ex Parte' protective orders, in which the order is issued without notice to the defendant. It also includes foreign protective orders, in which the order is issued by another state or territory, or possession of the United States, tribal lands of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia. These foreign protective orders shall be given full faith and credit in Utah, if the order is similar to on issued in Utah. These orders must also be in compliance with Title 30, Chapter 6, Co-habitant Abuse Act (UCA).

Spouse Abuse is a common term used to refer to domestic violence. It is sometimes used meaning the spouse abuse order, which is referring to the protective or ex parte' protective order. (This is not a legal term, but frequently used by citizens.)

Answers to frequently asked questions about protective orders are available. Utah law also provides for Protective Orders that may be issued in civil cases involving the mentally challenged, children, the elderly, and/or other persons unable to care for themselves. Protective orders are issued to prevent abuse or neglect and/or to appoint and direct conservators to insure the preservation of physical, mental, and financial well being.
78-3a-305, UCA Ê | Ê 62A-3-304, UCA Ê | Ê 62A-11-503

Restraining Orders are commonly confused with Protective Orders. Restraining Orders are civil orders that cannot be enforced by law enforcement without further court orders.

Spouse Abuse is a common term used to refer to domestic violence. It is sometimes used meaning the spouse abuse order, which is referring to the protective or ex parte' protective order. (This is not a legal term, but frequently used by citizens.)
See Ex Parte', Protective Orders, Stalking Injunctions

Utah law also provides for Protective Orders that may be issued in civil cases involving the mentally challenged, children, the elderly, and/or other persons unable to care for themselves. Protective orders are issued to prevent abuse or neglect and/or to appoint and direct conservators to insure the preservation of physical, mental, and financial well being.
78-3a-305, UCA Ê | Ê 62A-3-304, UCA Ê | Ê 62A-11-503

Restraining Orders are commonly confused with Protective Orders. Restraining Orders are civil orders that cannot be enforced by law enforcement without further court orders.

Restraining orders are not enforceable by a law enforcement officer, unless it is specified clearly in the statute. The court is the only authority that may determine if a violation of a civil order has occurred. If the court finds the civil order has been violated, it must issue a separate order to law enforcement to take a specific action regarding the violation. These orders are usually directed to the sheriff for enforcement and/or execution.

A restraining order or a preliminary injunction may be issued by the court with or without notice to the adverse party. The motion petitioning such an order must be prepared by an attorney and granted by the court. Further explanation and information regarding restraining orders are outlined in the Utah Rules of Civil Procedures, Rule 65a.

See http://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/urcp/65a.htm

The Civil Process Unit of the Civil Division does serve the restraining orders and preliminary injunctions issued by the court, after the papers are processed and the fees are paid. They also serve any orders issued by the court, subsequent to the court finding a violation of the previously issued orders. These orders are also processed and fees are collected before service.

See How to Get a Paper Served

Protected Addresses:

If the home or the apartment is an address listed on an Ex Parte' or Protective Order as one the respondent (suspect or defendant) has been ordered to vacate or not to contact the plaintiff (complainant or victim) by the order is given the residence. This is usually temporary until the Ex Parte' or protective order expires, or another court order vacates it.

See Ex Parte', Protective Orders for further information

Divorce or Separation:

Without domestic violence or disturbances involved in the disputed residence, the division of the property, including the residence, is a civil situation. This will require the complainant to request a settlement from a civil judge or commissioner.

The state court assistance web page gives answers to questions frequently asked such as:

  • How is Property Divided?
  • Who Pays the Debts Incurred During the Marriage?
  • Where are Additional Resources located to assist?

See http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/divorce/

Roommates and Non-Domestic Relationships:

When the dispute between individuals is not linked in a domestic or family relationship the division or the residence or living quarters becomes a landlord/tenant situation. This will probably require some sort of eviction process, even if their name is not on the lease.

See Landlord/Tenant Issues for more information

The state court assistance web site answers most of the frequently asked questions regarding these types of disputes. It also offers directions on the eviction process for both the landlord and the tenant.

See http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/landlord

Civil Process

Captain Jon Fassett

Contacts

  • 385.468.9758
  • 385.468.9736
  • Unified Police Department
    3365 South 900 West
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84119

Business Hours

  • Monday-Friday: 8am to 4:45pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed
  • Holidays: Closed

Child Custody

Click here to learn about child custody issues.

Domestic Disputes

Click here to learn about domestic dispute issues

Ex Parte and Protective Orders

Click here to learn about Ex Parte and Protective Orders

Landlord and Tenant Issues

Click here to learn about Landlord and Tenannt Issues