SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah Supreme Court Justice Matthew B. Durrant has been elected to serve a third term as chief justice by a unanimous vote of his fellow justices.
Once elected by a vote of the justices, the chief justice serves a four-year term, according to court officials. The chief justice presides over the Utah Supreme Court, as well as the Utah Judicial Council, which oversees the administrative operations of Utah State Courts.
According to court officials, Chief Justice Durrant has lead the courts through the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. They added that the Chief’s leadership along with the hard work of every judicial branch employee and judge has helped the court move collectively across a very large state to keep the courts open for filings and hearings through online services and remote hearings.
“The Chief’s dedication to access to justice is apparent in his efforts to address the needs of the people through the Self Help Center and online court forms and services during the pandemic, court officials said in a statement.” The speed with which the judges and staff have implemented changes is remarkable.”
In a message to all court staff and judges, Durrant expressed his appreciation: “The events of the last three weeks have been extraordinary and the work of our court employees and judges has also been extraordinary. . . . We are moving together, collectively, across a very large state, to accomplish the mission-critical work of the courts. We know that each of you is doing your best, and we cannot ask for more. The judicial branch of government is open for business thanks to your hard work. We thank you for your dedication and your commitment to the mission of the courts.”
Chief Justice Durrant was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in January 2000 by Governor Michael O. Leavitt. He succeeded then Chief Justice Christine Durham in 2012.
Before his appointment to the Utah Supreme Court, Chief Justice Durrant served as a trial judge in the Third Judicial District. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1984. according to court officials.