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Olguin v. Anderton

Supreme Court of Utah

December 19, 2019

Jimmy Olguin, Appellee,
v.
Marie Anderton and Christopher Anderton, Appellants.

          Heard February 22, 2019

          On Certification from the Court of Appeals

         Eighth District, Duchesne The Honorable Samuel P. Chiara No. 164000077

         Attorneys:[1]

          Michael D. Harrington, Jarell A. Dillman, Vernal, Troy L. Booher, Julie J. Nelson, Salt Lake City, for appellee

          John D. Hancock, Roosevelt, for appellants

          Justice Petersen authored the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Durrant, Associate Chief Justice Lee, Justice Himonas, and Justice Pearce joined.

          OPINION

          Petersen Justice.

         INTRODUCTION

         ¶1 Jimmy Olguin conceived a child with Marie Anderton (Mother) while she was married to Christopher Anderton (Husband), who is presumed to be the child's father under Utah law. Olguin filed a petition in the district court to adjudicate his paternity of the child. Mother filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Olguin lacked standing under the Utah Uniform Parentage Act (UUPA) because the child was born within a marriage. The district court noted that the court of appeals has interpreted the UUPA to deny standing to an alleged father[2] in Olguin's circumstances, but it observed that the court of appeals has not yet addressed the constitutional implications of its holding. Ultimately, the district court denied the motion to dismiss, concluding that to deny Olguin standing would violate his right to procedural due process under the federal constitution. In pretrial briefing, the parties again raised the issue of standing. The district court reaffirmed its procedural due process ruling but declined to conclude that Olguin had a substantive due process right at stake.

         ¶2 The court of appeals certified this case to us to address the constitutional issues raised by the parties and ruled upon by the district court. However, in a companion case that also issues today, we hold that the UUPA does grant standing to an alleged father, even when the child was conceived or born during a marriage with a presumed father. See Castro v. Lemus, 2019 UT 71, ¶¶ 3, 12, 51, 61, ___ P.3d ___. Accordingly, Olguin's constitutional claims are moot.

         ¶3 We affirm the denial of the motion to dismiss on alternative grounds and remand to the district court.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶4 Mother has been married to Husband since 2010.[3] Over the course of their marriage, Mother and Husband have separated several times. On one such occasion, Mother had a romantic ...


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