Certiorari to the Utah Court of Appeals
District, Provo The Honorable Darold J. McDade No. 130401364
T. Flickinger, Provo, for respondents
M. Zidow, S. Spencer Brown, Salt Lake City, for petitioner
Justice Himonas authored the opinion of the Court, in which
Chief Justice Durrant, Associate Chief Justice Lee, Justice
Durham, and Justice Pearce joined.
1 This appeal requires us to decide whether a credit card
error that caused Carole and James Marziale's complaint
against Spanish Fork City (the City) to be rejected means
that their complaint and the attached undertaking were not
timely filed. We affirm the court of appeals and hold that
the payment error did not affect the timeliness of the
2 The Marziales submitted a complaint against the City
alleging that Ms. Marziale was injured from a fall at the
City's sports complex on July 11, 2011. The Marziales
first submitted a complaint in the Spanish Fork division of
the Fourth Judicial District through the court's e-filing
system at 4:10 p.m. on August 2, 2013. Their complaint,
however, did not include a notice of undertaking as required
by the Governmental Immunity Act of Utah and was
automatically rejected in a matter of seconds by the e-filing
system. A printout of the "filing status" for this
complaint from the Utah State Bar's "eFiling
portal" stated that the system "returned a
'failure' status during the validation step"
because "this court accepts only claims 20000 or less;
you submitted 'unspecified.'" The Marziales
contend that they did not receive this notice.
3 At 4:20 p.m. that same day, the Marziales filed the same
complaint against the City, but this time with an undertaking
and in the Provo division of the Fourth Judicial District.
The status history of this complaint shows that it was
"submitted by" counsel for the Marziales on August
2, 2013, at 4:20:08 p.m., and the status history showed both
"approved" and "receipt issued" at
4:41:56 p.m. The status history also showed that a clerk
manually rejected the filing at 4:41:56 p.m., setting the
status to "invalid." The rejection contained the
contact information for the clerk and a message that said,
"A credit card error has occurred; please resubmit
filing with valid credit card information for fee payment.
You may want to try re-entering the credit card information,
or a different credit card, before resubmitting." The
Marziales state that they did not receive this notice.
4 The statute of limitations for the Marziales' claim
expired on September 6 or 7, 2013. On September 10, 2013,
counsel for the Marziales was unable to locate the filings on
the court's system and an employee of the law firm
contacted the Fourth District Court. The Marziales state that
this is when they first learned the filings had been
rejected. The Marziales refiled the complaint and undertaking
in the Provo division on September 10, 2013, and it was
accepted with proper payment.
5 The City then filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing
that the court lacked jurisdiction over the Marziales'
action because the September 10 filing date was outside of
the statute of limitations. The Marziales filed an opposition
to the City's motion and a motion to correct the record,
asking the district court to change the date of their filing
from September 10, 2013 to August 2, 2013. The court granted
the City summary judgment and denied the Marziales'
motion, finding that the Marziales' complaint had not
been filed until September 10, 2013.
6 The Marziales appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed,
holding that "the complaint's electronic receipt was
the meaningful equivalent of its acceptance" and
therefore the complaint was filed on August 2, 2013.