Uintah-Huntsville justice court announced

Tuesday , July 30, 2013 - 12:39 AM

UINTAH — The Uintah Justice Court will now begin hearing minor criminal cases from its own residents and Huntsville’s.

The announcement was made Thursday that, beginning Aug. 1, the justice court will be known as the Uintah-Huntsville Justice Court. Judge Patrick E. Lambert will preside in sessions for both cities, as will the city prosecutor, Chris Allred.

Previously, Huntsville residents had to go for traffic and misdemeanor cases to Roy Justice Court, which began taking cases from Weber County, Huntsville, Hooper and West Haven in 2010.

Weber County Justice Court and other smaller courts, including Huntsville’s, closed for economic reasons.

The city originally went to Uintah to arrange a partnership so the court would be in closer proximity to Huntsville, but went to Roy at the urging of Weber County.

Uintah Mayor Sue Bybee said she doesn’t expect the move to cost much money, as Huntsville is a smaller town. When Huntsville’s court was open, it reviewed so few cases that it met only once a week.

Uintah will benefit from the move by taking a 50 percent share of Huntsville’s ticket and traffic school fees, Huntsville Mayor Jim Truett said.

“We really think this is the perfect match, since we’re both small towns,” Truett said.

Huntsville has a population of just more than 600, while Uintah has about 1,400.

Truett said this was one of the reasons Roy’s court didn’t handle the needs of Huntsville’s cases as well as Uintah could.

The two cities have been working through the Utah State Judicial Council for a year to make the pairing a

reality.

“We feel like partnering with Uintah that now we will have a voice,” Truett said.

Huntsville will have to continue paying Roy’s Judge Scott Waterfall for the rest of the year, but Truett said the move will be worth it.

Representatives from Roy Justice Court were not immediately available for comment.

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