¶ 1 This case arises from a dispute among members of a traditional Chinese family. The dispute eventually led to sabotage of the family business, protracted litigation, and allegations of conspiracy to commit perjury and obstruction of justice. Following extensive hearings, the district court held defendant Jau-Hwa Stewart ("Ms.Stewart") in criminal and civil contempt for violation of its orders, perjury, subornation of perjury, and obstruction of justice. It is the validity of this contempt order that is at issue in this appeal. For the reasons detailed below, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
¶ 2 In 1987, Dr. Jau-Fei Chen ("Dr. Chen"), her husband Rui Kang Zhang, and her parents Hwan Lan Chen ("Madame Chen") and Yung-Yeuan Chen incorporated E. Excel USA ("Excel"), a multilevel marketing company that produced nutritional supplements and other health related products. Dr. Chen became Excel's president and sole shareholder, receiving six thousand shares of Excel stock at the time of its incorporation.
¶ 3 In the early 1990s, Ms. Stewart, Dr. Chen's elder sister, was invited to join the company as its vice president, in part to capitalize on the knowledge Ms. Stewart had
¶ 4 As a multilevel marketer, Excel entered into exclusive distributorship contracts with territorial owners in its Asian markets, who would, in turn, distribute Excel products through use of a multilevel marketing network by enlisting "registered distributors" to sell its products to consumers. Through the years, Excel entered into exclusive distributorship contracts with territorial owners located throughout several Asian and Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
¶ 5 Working together, Dr. Chen and Ms. Stewart created a successful company with markets throughout the world. But their business and personal relationships deteriorated dramatically during the spring of 2000, when Ms. Stewart and her mother, Madame Chen, learned that Dr. Chen's husband was having an affair and had been diverting company funds to support his mistress. Upon learning this information, Madame Chen and Ms. Stewart confronted Dr. Chen, demanding that she divorce her husband and sever all ties with him. When Dr. Chen refused, Madame Chen and Ms. Stewart designed a Machiavellian scheme to divest Dr. Chen of control of Excel.
¶ 6 On September 1, 2000, while Dr. Chen was out of the country, Ms. Stewart set in place her plan to usurp control of Excel. Her first step was to gain control over the voting shares of stock. She did this by purportedly acting on behalf of Dr. Chen's three minor children, thus giving her a combined 100% ownership of the voting shares of stock. Exercising the voting rights of this stock, Ms. Stewart removed Dr. Chen and Mr. Zhang as directors of Excel, appointing in their stead Ms. Stewart's husband and Madame Chen. With the new board in place, the directors voted to remove both Dr. Chen and her husband from their respective positions at Excel. Finally, the board named Ms. Stewart as Excel's new president and Ms. Stewart's husband as secretary.
¶ 7 During her tenure as president of Excel, Ms. Stewart undertook a series of maneuvers designed to eliminate the influence of, and any loyalty to, Dr. Chen. For instance, during a meeting with the territorial owners of Malaysia and Taiwan, Mr. Tjandra and Mr. Le, respectively, Ms. Stewart falsely reported that Dr. Chen had left Excel in pursuit of other matters. When Mr. Tjandra and Mr. Le refused to believe that Dr. Chen would voluntarily leave the company and asked to speak with Dr. Chen directly, Ms. Stewart responded by attempting to convince the territorial owners that Dr. Chen's presence in the company was not essential to its success. Despite her attempts to persuade the territorial owners, it became evident to Ms. Stewart that Mr. Tjandra and Mr. Le would continue to remain loyal to Dr. Chen. Accordingly, Ms. Stewart terminated Excel's exclusive distributorships with these territorial owners and began new distributorships in the Philippines and Hong Kong with Mr. Hu and Mr. Tzu, individuals loyal to her.
¶ 8 To ensure that these new "rogue" distributorships would prosper, Ms. Stewart arranged to have substantial sums of money sent to Mr. Hu and Mr. Tzu. She also forbade Excel employees to ship Excel products to either Mr. Tjandra or Mr. Le, the consequence of which "was that down-line distributors in the multi-level marketing chain, in order to survive financially, would of necessity defect to the new distribution companies." Furthermore, Ms. Stewart shipped the new distributors Excel products at no charge.
¶ 9 In early January 2001, Dr. Chen filed suit against Ms. Stewart and Excel, alleging, among other things, corporate waste, breach of fiduciary duty, and invalid removal of a corporate director. Additionally, Dr. Chen moved for a temporary restraining order and an order to show cause why the temporary restraining order should not remain in effect
Ms. Stewart was properly served with the temporary restraining order on January 11, 2001, and on January 24, 2001, the district court extended the temporary restraining order without objection.
¶ 10 In direct violation of the temporary restraining order, Ms. Stewart refused to fill the many orders received from Mr. Tjandra and Mr. Le. Indeed, after the district court granted the temporary restraining order, Ms. Stewart neither informed the employees at Excel of the terms of the temporary restraining order nor rescinded her order forbidding shipment of Excel products to Mr. Tjandra and Mr. Le. At the same time, Ms. Stewart oversaw shipments of Excel products to the rogue distributors. At a time when Ms. Stewart, as president of Excel, had the authority to recall any shipments in transit, she allowed at least two shipments to be sent to Mr. Tzu and Mr. Hu in direct violation of the restraining order.
¶ 11 From January 19, 2001, to February 21, 2001, the district court held evidentiary hearings regarding Dr. Chen's order to show cause why the temporary restraining order should not remain in effect as a preliminary injunction during the pendency of the case. During these proceedings, it became apparent to Ms. Stewart that she would not be allowed to remain as Excel's president. Consequently, she modified her plan to force Dr. Chen out of Excel, opting instead to destroy the entire company by creating a competitor that would force Excel out of its Asian markets.
¶ 12 To this end, Ms. Stewart, with the aid of several accomplices, undertook a number of acts designed to "[d]estroy Excel." These acts included (1) "the removal of Excel ... property," such as computer equipment, office furniture, file cabinets, desks, and chairs; (2) the deletion of e-mails and the removal of other company documents, including laboratory and toxicology reports; (3) the formation of a competing enterprise, Apogee, Inc.; (4) the removal of Excel products and raw materials; and (5) the sabotage of Excel products. Additionally, Ms. Stewart, through her agents, continued to ship Excel products to Mr. Hu and Mr. Tzu for the dual purposes of (1) providing them with sufficient product to sustain their rogue distributorships until Apogee was able to market its own product, and (2) impairing Excel's ability to sell its product through its normal distribution channels by "dumping the product and undercutting the Territorial Owners' sales."
¶ 13 At the conclusion of the preliminary injunction hearings, the parties stipulated to an interim order, which provided in part:
¶ 14 The interim order also provided for the appointment of a special master to serve as Excel's CEO during the pendency of the litigation. Because the parties could not agree as to who should serve as special master, the district court appointed Larry Holman,
¶ 15 Just as she had violated the temporary restraining order, Ms. Stewart violated the terms of the interim order by continuing her efforts to create a successful competitor. For example, in the spring of 2001, Ms. Stewart and others consulted with and hired a general contractor for the express purpose of constructing a facility that would house the new company's operations. On April 17, 2001, Ms. Stewart, through the use of an agent, filed with the State a request to register the business name "Apogee, Inc." Thereafter, Apogee entered into a contract with Mr. Hu, a rogue distributor, granting him the exclusive right to distribute Apogee products in the Philippines. Additionally, in the fall of 2001, Apogee began advertising its competing products in Excel's established markets.
¶ 16 Because of what she considered to be Ms. Stewart's contemptuous conduct, including the continued violation of the temporary restraining and interim orders, Dr. Chen filed two motions for contempt against Ms. Stewart.
¶ 17 On October 29, 2001, Excel, under the direction of the court-appointed interim CEO/special master, filed an amended answer, cross-claim, and third-party complaint against Ms. Stewart, Madame Chen, and others, seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction to enjoin them from engaging in any further competition with Excel. On October 31, 2001, the district court granted Excel's request for a temporary restraining order, enjoining Ms. Stewart and other third-party defendants acting in concert with Ms. Stewart from "competing or preparing to compete against Excel." On November 8, 2001, the district court extended indefinitely the temporary restraining order pursuant to a stipulated order. Madame Chen accepted service of Excel's amended answer, cross-claim, and third-party complaint on January 15, 2002.
¶ 18 The district court began hearings on the contempt motions on October 25, 2001. On November 27, 2001, the court combined the contempt hearings with the hearings on Excel's motion for a preliminary injunction. These combined hearings concluded in the summer of 2002. On August 20, 2002, the district court entered extensive findings of fact and conclusions of law on Dr. Chen's motions to hold Ms. Stewart in contempt and on Excel's motion for a preliminary injunction.
¶ 19 As to Dr. Chen's first contempt motion, the district court held that Ms. Stewart violated the court's temporary restraining and interim orders when she (1) "failed to fill confirmed orders of Territorial Owners despite knowing what was required, and having the ability to fulfill such orders"; (2) "intentionally caused and allowed shipments of product within her control to be shipped to Messrs. Hu and Tzu ... despite knowing what was required and having the ability not to ship such product"; (3) "knowingly and intentionally retained [corporate assets that were the property exclusively of Excel] despite knowing what was required and having the ability to immediately return said property to Excel"; and (4) "undertook to prepare for and cause competition with Excel ... despite knowing what was required and having the ability not to prepare for and cause competition with Excel."
¶ 21 Although none of the parties claimed to know the source of the recording, the device that was used to record the conversation, or the location of the interception, the district court allowed Dr. Chen's counsel to present Mr. Hu with a transcript of the recording. After looking over the transcript, Mr. Hu admitted to having a conversation with Ms. Stewart but stated that he did not remember whether Mr. Tzu was a party to that conversation. To refresh Mr. Hu's recollection, counsel for Dr. Chen then played a portion of the recording for Mr. Hu, who subsequently identified the voices on the tape as his, Ms. Stewart's, and Mr. Tzu's. When asked whether the tape recording accurately reflected the conversation, Mr. Hu refused to answer on Fifth Amendment grounds. Under questioning by Ms. Stewart's counsel, Mr. Hu admitted that he had been in Taiwan when the conversation took place, but he denied having ever given consent to have the conversation recorded.
¶ 22 Ms. Stewart argued that the recording should not be admitted into evidence because Dr. Chen failed to establish its authenticity and the recording was subject to exclusion because it was made in violation of both Utah and federal wiretap statutes. The district court rejected these arguments, concluding that Mr. Hu's identification of the voices, his testimony that he had a conversation with Ms. Stewart and Mr. Tzu, and the adverse inference drawn from Mr. Hu's assertion of his Fifth Amendment rights provided sufficient foundation for admission of the recording. The district court further ruled that the recording was admissible for impeachment purposes despite the fact that the interception may have violated either Utah or federal wiretap exclusionary rules.
¶ 23 Although the district court initially admitted the recording for impeachment purposes only, it later considered the recording as substantive evidence. Indeed, the district court relied on the recorded conversation, as well as on a document submitted to a court in Hong Kong
¶ 24 On the same day that the district court entered its findings of fact on the Stewart Contempt Order, it also entered nearly eighty-nine pages of findings on Excel's motion for a preliminary injunction and, in addition, stated that "[a]ll findings of fact made by this Court in respect to [Dr.] Chen's Motion for Order to Show Cause and Motion for Summary Criminal Contempt are ...
¶ 25 After the district court entered the Stewart Contempt Order and granted Excel's motion for a preliminary injunction, Madame Chen filed a motion to vacate and set aside the district court's orders relating to the appointment of the interim CEO, a motion in which Ms. Stewart joined. The district court denied the motion, and defendants sought permission to appeal the interlocutory order. We granted permission to hear the interlocutory appeal and held that defendants "waived their right to object to the appointment of the interim CEO." Chen v. Stewart, 2004 UT 82, ¶ 84, 100 P.3d 1177. In so holding, we recognized that, in appointing the special master, "the parties understood that the interim CEO was not appointed as a neutral judicial magistrate." Id. ¶ 58. We further held that the district court had not abused its discretion in granting the preliminary injunction. Id. ¶ 84.
¶ 26 In this appeal, Ms. Stewart challenges the order finding her in criminal and civil contempt. She asserts that the district court erred by considering and relying on a tape recording that was admitted without adequate foundation. Additionally, Ms. Stewart challenges the district court's inherent authority to strike her pleadings as a sanction for contempt. In the alternative, she asserts that even if the court had such authority, it nevertheless abused its discretion by striking her pleadings when the results of her contemptuous conduct could have been otherwise remedied. Finally, both Ms. Stewart and Madame Chen argue that, during the contempt proceedings, the district court violated their due process rights by denying them the right to a fair hearing before an impartial magistrate. We address each issue in turn.
I. DID THE DISTRICT COURT ERR IN ADMITTING THE TAPE RECORDING?
¶ 27 Ms. Stewart argues that the district court erred in admitting the tape recording into evidence because Dr. Chen failed to establish the requisite foundation. "A [district] court has broad discretion to admit or exclude evidence and its determination typically will only be disturbed if it constitutes an abuse of discretion." State v. Whittle, 1999 UT 96, ¶ 20, 989 P.2d 52; see also State v. Cruz-Meza, 2003 UT 32, ¶ 8, 76 P.3d 1165 ("Although the admission or exclusion of evidence is a question of law, we review a [district] court's decision to admit or exclude specific evidence for an abuse of discretion.").
¶ 28 Rule 901 of the Utah Rules of Evidence provides that a proponent of evidence must, as a "condition precedent to admissibility," demonstrate "by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims." Utah R. Evid. 901(a). Although this court has yet to articulate any specific test with regard to establishing the authenticity of a tape recording, other jurisdictions have done so. For example, in State v. Smith, 85 Wn.2d 840, 540 P.2d 424 (1975), the Washington Supreme Court held that a party must satisfy seven factors in order to establish authenticity of an audio-tape:
Id. at 428 (internal quotations omitted).
¶ 29 Other jurisdictions have refused to adopt such a rigid rule, declaring that "`the varying circumstances of particular cases ... militate against [the] adoption of inflexible criteria applicable to all cases.'" United States v. Smith, 692 F.2d 693, 698 (10th Cir.1982) (quoting United States v. Fuentes, 563 F.2d 527, 532 (2d Cir.1977)). In United States v. King, 587 F.2d 956 (9th Cir.1978), the Ninth Circuit stated as follows:
Id. at 961.
¶ 30 Recognizing the hazards that accompany the adoption of an inflexible rule, we embrace the Ninth Circuit's approach in King. Accordingly, to establish the requisite foundation for admissibility of a tape recording, we hold that the proponent of the recording must produce evidence sufficient to persuade the district court "that the recording is accurate, authentic, and generally trustworthy." Id. While a proponent may find it beneficial to demonstrate most, if not all, of the factors discussed in State v. Smith, 85 Wn.2d 840, 540 P.2d 424, at 428 (1975), he is not required to do so as long as the evidence is otherwise sufficient.
¶ 31 In this case, the district court found, due in part to the adverse inference it drew from Mr. Hu's assertion of his Fifth Amendment right,
¶ 32 Although the issue of a recording's authenticity is distinct from the issue of whether it is subject to exclusion under the wiretap statutes, there is considerable overlap between the two because both generally require evidence of the recording's origin.
¶ 33 Pursuant to the Utah wiretap exclusionary rule, section 77-23a-7 of the Utah Code, a party may exclude "any wire, electronic, or oral communication [that] has been intercepted ... if the disclosure of that information would be in violation of [the Utah Interception of Communications Act (the "Act")]." Utah Code Ann. § 77-23a-7 (2003).
¶ 34 To satisfy this burden of proof, an aggrieved party may typically draw on the foundational evidence presented by the proponent of the recording. But in this case, admission of the tape, despite Dr. Chen's failure to produce any evidence as to the origin of the recording, the identity of the interceptor, or the location of the interception, essentially shifted the burden of laying foundation for the recording from its proponent to its opponent and rendered it practically impossible for Ms. Stewart to meet the burden of proof on her motion to suppress. Indeed, admission of the tape under such circumstances prevented Ms. Stewart from availing herself of the wiretap exclusionary rules. This is an outcome we cannot accept. Because Dr. Chen failed to offer any evidence of the tape's origin or authenticity, we hold that the district court abused its discretion in admitting it.
II. DID THE DISTRICT COURT HAVE INHERENT AUTHORITY TO STRIKE MS. STEWART'S PLEADINGS AS A SANCTION FOR CONTEMPT?
¶ 35 Ms. Stewart also contends that the district court did not have the authority to strike her pleadings as a sanction for contempt based on her violation of the court's orders and its finding that she committed perjury and obstructed justice. We disagree.
¶ 36 A court's authority to sanction contemptuous conduct is both statutory and inherent. See Utah Code Ann. §§ 78-32-1 to -17 (2002) (detailing the procedures governing contempt); In re Evans, 42 Utah. 282, 130 P. 217, 224 (1913) ("It is undoubtedly true that courts of general and superior jurisdiction possess certain inherent powers not derived from any statute. Among these are the power to punish for contempt....").
¶ 37 The United States Supreme Court has recognized that the demands of due process may limit a court's authority to sanction contemptuous conduct. In Hovey v. Elliott, 167 U.S. 409, 17 S.Ct. 841, 42 L.Ed. 215 (1897), the Court held that the act of striking a defendant's answer simply because he failed to comply with the court's order to pay a certain sum into the court's registry violated "an essential element of due process of law." Id. at 444, 17 S.Ct. 841. In contrast, in Hammond Packing Co. v. Arkansas, 212 U.S. 322, 29 S.Ct. 370, 53 L.Ed. 530 (1909), the Court concluded that the district court did not violate due process when it struck the defendant's answer after the defendant refused to comply with the court's discovery order. Id. at 351, 29 S.Ct. 370. In distinguishing Hovey, the Hammond Court declared that "the preservation of due process was secured by the presumption that the refusal to produce evidence material to the administration of due process was but an admission of the want of merit in the asserted defense." Id.
¶ 38 Ms. Stewart contends that, pursuant to Hovey and Hammond, a court's inherent power to strike the pleadings of a party is limited to those instances where the sanction is designed to coerce compliance with a discovery order. She further contends that the sanctions imposed in this case were designed to punish her, rather than to coerce her compliance with court orders, and therefore exceeded the authority of the district court. We disagree.
¶ 39 The holding in Hovey "was based principally on the notion that a party should not be deprived of his opportunity to defend based on factors unrelated to the merits of his case." Phoceene Sous-Marine, S.A. v. U.S. Phosmarine, Inc., 682 F.2d 802, 806 (9th Cir.1982) (emphasis added). The holding of Hammond was "premised on the idea that one may reasonably infer from the suppression of relevant evidence that the defendant's case is lacking in merit." Id. Indeed, the Hammond Court likened the district court's authority to strike pleadings to "the authority to default . . . because of a failure to answer, based upon a presumption that the material facts alleged or pleaded were admitted by not answering." 212 U.S. at 351, 29 S.Ct. 370.
¶ 40 The presumption underlying the ruling in Hammond applies with equal, if not greater, force to the intentional act of perpetrating a fraud on the court. "A `fraud on the court' is `an unconscionable plan or scheme which is designed to improperly influence the court in its decision.'" Phoceene Sous-Marine, 682 F.2d at 805 (quoting England v. Doyle, 281 F.2d 304, 309 (9th Cir.1960)). The attempt to improperly influence the decision of the court by suborning perjury or obstructing justice yields a reasonable inference that the actor's claims or defenses lack merit. We accordingly conclude that the district court has the authority to strike pleadings as a sanction for an attempt to perpetrate a fraud on the court. As in Hammond, "the preservation of due process [is] secured by the presumption that the [perpetration of a fraud is] but an admission of the want of merit in the asserted defense." Hammond, 212 U.S. at 351, 29 S.Ct. 370.
¶ 42 We find additional support for our interpretation of Hammond in those cases recognizing a distinction between sanctions imposed for conduct unrelated to the merits of a case and conduct that does relate to the merits. See Phoceene Sous-Marine, 682 F.2d at 806 (holding that because the "deception related not to the merits of the controversy but rather to a peripheral matter," the court erred in entering a default judgment); Dubman v. N. Shore Bank, 75 Wis.2d 597, 249 N.W.2d 797, 799 (1977) (holding that, "[i]f imposed solely for failure to obey court orders, without evidence warranting a finding of no merit or bad faith, the sanction of striking a pleading . . . denies due process of law").
¶ 43 In sum, a court has the inherent authority to strike a party's pleadings and enter a default judgment if the party engages in conduct designed to improperly influence the court's decision on the merits of the case, such as perjury or obstruction of justice, or if the conduct itself tends to demonstrate bad faith or a lack of merit.
III. DID THE DISTRICT COURT ABUSE ITS DISCRETION IN STRIKING MS. STEWART'S PLEADINGS?
¶ 44 Having concluded that a district court possesses the power to strike the pleadings of a party in those circumstances where the party engages in acts giving rise to a reasonable inference that the party's case lacks merit, we now consider whether the district court properly exercised that power in this case. "An order relating to contempt of court is a matter that rests within the sound discretion of the [district] court." Dansie v. Dansie, 1999 UT App 92, ¶ 6, 977 P.2d 539. We accordingly review the sanctions imposed by the district court for an abuse of that discretion. Ms. Stewart argues that the district court did abuse its discretion because her contemptuous conduct was readily remediable through other, less severe sanctions. Because we conclude that it is necessary for the district court to reevaluate its contempt citation and the accompanying sanctions in light of our ruling that the tape recording was not admissible, we need not address this argument.
¶ 45 The district court struck Ms. Stewart's pleadings on the basis of its finding that Ms. Stewart had committed perjury and obstructed justice. While it is apparent from the district court's conclusions of law that the tape recording was not the sole basis for that finding, it nevertheless played a significant role in the district court's assessment. Because the district court erred in admitting the recording into evidence, we remand this case to the district court to reassess the contempt motion in light of the remaining evidence and to assess appropriate sanctions based on that evidence. On remand, if the district court finds that Ms. Stewart did, in fact, commit perjury and obstruct justice, we recognize that it is within the inherent authority of the court to strike her pleadings.
IV. DID THE DISTRICT COURT VIOLATE MS. STEWART'S DUE PROCESS RIGHTS?
¶ 46 Ms. Stewart also claims that the district court's contempt citation violated
¶ 47 We recently considered and rejected this very claim in deciding the interlocutory appeal in this matter, Chen v. Stewart, 2004 UT 82, 100 P.3d 1177. We concluded that "the parties understood that the interim CEO was not appointed as a neutral judicial magistrate," id. ¶ 58, but was instead "appointed an interim CEO with the title of special master only for the purpose of providing him the judicial immunity associated with the designation," id. ¶ 56 (emphasis added). In addressing Ms. Stewart and Madame Chen's claim of bias, we stated:
Id. ¶ 62. Consequently, we again reject Ms. Stewart's claim that she was denied her right to a fair hearing before an impartial magistrate.
V. DID THE DISTRICT COURT VIOLATE MADAME CHEN'S DUE PROCESS RIGHTS?
¶ 48 Madame Chen also appeals the contempt order issued against Ms. Stewart, seeking to have it set aside to the extent that it has adversely affected Madame Chen. She identifies two different respects in which she contends the Stewart Contempt Order has violated her due process rights. First, Madame Chen points to the fact that the district court incorporated its findings of fact on the Stewart Contempt Order into its findings of fact on the preliminary injunction, which prohibits her from competing against Excel. She argues that this incorporation denied her due process because she had neither been served nor appeared as a party in the action for a majority of the days on which the district court took evidence regarding the Stewart Contempt Order and she was never notified that the findings supporting the Stewart contempt citation might be used against her. Second, Madame Chen points to the fact that the district court appointed the special master to act as the interim CEO, thus depriving her of a fair hearing before an impartial, subordinate judicial officer. Because we conclude that Madame Chen does not have standing to challenge the Stewart Contempt Order, we need not address either claim.
¶ 49 Madame Chen argues that she has standing to appeal the Stewart Contempt Order because she was a party to the action below, the contempt order was used against her when the district court relied upon it in issuing the preliminary injunction, and the contempt order will be considered by the district court in ruling on the pending
¶ 50 In Society of Professional Journalists v. Bullock, 743 P.2d 1166 (Utah 1987), this court discussed the standing requirements that must be met by a party on appeal:
Id. at 1171 (citations omitted). To satisfy the "basic requirements" of the traditional standing test, "a party must allege that he or she has suffered or will imminently suffer an injury that is fairly traceable to the conduct at issue such that a favorable decision is likely to redress the injury." Provo City Corp. v. Thompson, 2004 UT 14, ¶ 9, 86 P.3d 735.
¶ 51 Madame Chen argues that she has standing to challenge the Stewart Contempt Order because that order has already been used against her in the form of the preliminary injunction and may be used against her in the future, as evidenced by Excel's pending motion to hold Madame Chen in contempt. We are not persuaded.
¶ 52 There is no dispute that the district court incorporated its findings of fact supporting the Stewart Contempt Order into its findings of fact supporting the preliminary injunction. However, in denying Madame Chen's motion to vacate on January 24, 2003, the district court clarified the source of its factual findings for both the Stewart Contempt Order and the preliminary injunction:
¶ 53 Because Madame Chen has done nothing to challenge this statement by the district court, other than to state that the explanation was merely an attempt to "whitewash" the record, we accept this finding and hold that the preliminary injunction's findings of fact stand independent from those findings entered in support of Ms. Stewart's contempt citation. See Chen, 2004 UT 82, ¶ 76, 100 P.3d 1177 ("In order to challenge a court's factual findings, an appellant must first marshal all the evidence in support of the finding and then demonstrate that the evidence is legally insufficient to support the finding even when viewing it in a light most favorable to the court below." (internal quotations omitted)). Consequently, we reject Madame Chen's claim that she was aggrieved by the Stewart Contempt Order because it was used against her in the context of the preliminary injunction proceeding.
¶ 54 We similarly reject Madame Chen's argument that she has standing to appeal the Stewart Contempt Order because it may potentially be used against her in the future. It may very well violate Madame Chen's due
¶ 55 In conclusion, we hold that the district court erred in admitting the tape recording into evidence when Dr. Chen did not provide any evidence as to its origin. Although the district court does have the inherent authority to strike pleadings for conduct designed to improperly influence court proceedings, the issue of whether the district court properly struck Ms. Stewart's pleadings must be remanded to the district court to be determined in light of our ruling regarding the tape's admissibility. Furthermore, we hold that Ms. Stewart failed to demonstrate that the district court violated her due process rights. Finally, we hold that Madame Chen does not have standing to challenge the Stewart Contempt Order because she has failed to establish that she has been aggrieved by that order.
¶ 56 Chief Justice DURHAM, Justice NEHRING, Judge ORME, and Judge IWASAKI concur in Justice PARRISH's opinion.
¶ 57 Having disqualified themselves, Associate Chief Justice WILKINS and Justice DURRANT do not participate herein; Court of Appeals Judge GREGORY K. ORME and District Judge GLENN K. IWASAKI sat.
11 F.3d at 287 (internal quotations and citations omitted).
Also, in Wuliger, the court stated that
981 F.2d at 1506.
We find the reasoning of the federal courts persuasive and accordingly conclude that any impeachment exception to the Utah wiretap exclusionary rule does not extend to civil cases.
18 U.S.C. § 2515 (2004).
Counsel for Dr. Chen further asserts that Ms. Stewart waived her right to object to admission of the tape by offering into evidence her own translation of the recording. We disagree. At the time Ms. Stewart offered the alternate translation, the court had already admitted the tape over Ms. Stewart's objection. The alternative translation was submitted for purposes of damage control and did not reflect Ms. Stewart's acquiescence with respect to the admissibility of the underlying recording.