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Hinkle v. Jacobsen

Supreme Court of Utah

December 19, 2019

Theresa I. Hinkle, Appellee,
v.
Korey D. Jacobsen, Appellee, and Jody Rhorer, Intervenor and Appellant.

          Heard February 22, 2019

          On Certification from the Court of Appeals

         Third District, Salt Lake The Honorable Andrew H. Stone No. 124906297

          Theresa I. Hinkle, Salt Lake City, pro se

          Colleen K. Coebergh, Salt Lake City, for appellee Korey D. Jacobsen

          David Pedrazas, Wade Taylor, Salt Lake City, for intervenor and appellant

          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 Jody Rhorer appeals the district court's determination that he does not have standing to establish paternity of his biological daughter under the Utah Uniform Parentage Act (UUPA). But the district court also concluded that Rhorer had abandoned his paternity claim entirely, and Rhorer did not challenge this ruling in his opening brief. He has consequently waived the issue, and we dismiss his appeal.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 Theresa Hinkle (Mother) and Korey Jacobsen (Husband) married in 2002 and then separated in 2005. In 2005, Mother and Rhorer engaged in a relationship during which a child was conceived and born. Because Mother and Husband were still married at the time the child was born, Husband is the child's presumed father under the UUPA. See Utah Code § 78B-15-204(1)(a).

         ¶3 Mother and Husband began divorce proceedings in 2012. Rhorer intervened in the divorce proceedings, alleging that he is the biological father of the child. He filed multiple motions including one to establish himself as the child's biological father and another for a determination of parentage. He asserted that he could establish his paternity with genetic test results.

         ¶4 After briefing and proceedings before the commissioner, the commissioner concluded that under the court of appeals' interpretation of the UUPA in R.P. v. K.S.W., 2014 UT App 38, 320 P.3d 1084, Rhorer did not have statutory standing to assert his paternity because the child had a presumed father-Husband-and, under such a ...


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