Bankruptcy Courts – A View From a Utah Perspective
This article will help you understand how the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts operate in Utah. If you are considering your options under extreme debt I would encourage you to call me and we can review your situation. My firm has handled thousands of cases and we understand the particulars of unique situations like few in the state can.
Utah has three Bankruptcy Court locations with the main office and actual location of court hearings being in Salt Lake City. This court is located in the Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse at
350 South Main Street,
Salt Lake City, Utah
You can find the court in room #301. The other courts are in Ogden and St. George, Utah. These locations are not where you should plan on sending communications, as the main office handles all Utah cases at this time. Although at times in the past they have had video conferences and court hearings, that is no longer the case.
Like Bankruptcy Courts around the country, the Utah Bankruptcy Court is under federal jurisdiction, meaning the federal court system and not the states oversees the law and applies it to those seeking protection under federal bankruptcy law. Court is overseen by a federal bankruptcy judge who generally specializes in bankruptcy proceedings and has a detailed knowledge of bankruptcy law. Very often these judges will have been practitioners who dealt with bankruptcy in some form before becoming judges.
The decisions of the bankruptcy judge are subject to appeals to the local Utah District Court. The judge will apply bankruptcy law as it has been settled in the Utah District and any precedence, or decisions by higher appeals courts, that it the court is bound to adhere to.
Representing yourself in Bankruptcy Court is possible, however, it is generally suggested by the U.S. government that you avail yourself of an attorney as the nuance and complexity of the law can be substantial.
The Bankruptcy Court handles both Chapter 7 Bankruptcies as well as Chapter 13s.
Dress for the court should be respectable and show that as a citizen filing a petition under bankruptcy law you take yourself and the proceeding seriously.
If you have further questions about the Court and how it operates, I would be happy to talk with you and share the knowledge I’ve gained spending many years working with the Utah Bankruptcy Court.
David M Cook