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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

A bench trial is scheduled for the case to address disputes surrounding recreational marijuana dispensary licensing. On July 13 at 8 a.m., the trial will get underway before Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. Safety protocols, including masks and social distancing, will be observed to protect against transmission of the coronavirus. Several motion hearing are scheduled leading up to the trial including July 2, 9, 10 at 9 a.m. each day.

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District Court Chief Judge Linda Bell announced trial readiness conferences will get underway July 1. The trial readiness conferences will be held in the lower level arraignment courtroom on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. with around 15 cases set per calendar to start.

The plan is to first hear the backlogged in-custody cases of those who have invoked their right to a speedy trial and IAD cases, then more recent invoked and IAD cases with out-of-custody invoked, and then invoked cases and older criminal cases.  Grand Juries have already re-commenced with hearing cases and providing returns.

At the Trial Readiness Conference the following things will be addressed:          

  • Preliminary discussions about resolution
  • Whether the case would benefit from a settlement conference
  • Guilty pleas, if the case can be resolved
  • Whether the case will be ready for trial, and if not, will the defendant be waiving speedy trial rights
  • Whether the parties would consider a bench trial
  • Any potential trial concerns, including: out of state witnesses, potential for voir dire to exceed one day, and outstanding discovery issues.                             

If a case is not resolved and will not be ready for trial, it will be returned to the department to be reset. If a case is not resolved and will be ready for trial, the case will be set on a stack for trial at that point six weeks out. To begin, we will be setting 10 cases a week on a trial stack, with calendar-call the week prior. Calendar-call will be managed by one judge. At calendar-call, cases will be set to begin one per day, Monday through Friday. Any cases that the court is unable to set, will either trail the cases set for trial or be moved to the next week. The assigned judge will manage trials that set in their department.  

If lawyers believe their trial needs to have a more urgent priority for some good reason, they can e-mail at BellL@ClarkCountyCourts.us to get the matter on the Trial Readiness Calendar.

All those who enter courthouse facilities are required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing requirements.

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Eighteen defendants charged in a 55-page indictment are scheduled to be arraigned June 30 at 3:30 p.m. before Judge Doug Herndon. The defendants are facing a laundry list of 159 charges including extortion, robbery, assault, burglary and attempt murder. Appearances will be made by video conference due to the coronavirus.

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The Nevada Supreme Court and Court of Appeals courthouse in Las Vegas will be named after Chief Justice James Hardesty. The state Supreme Court issued an order on June 22 outlining the name change.

A ribbon-cutting on March 27, 2017, marked the official opening of the courthouse at 408 E. Clark Ave. The courthouse was completed in just 14 months. Justice James Hardesty, who was credited for directing construction, was given a standing ovation for his work on the project.

Justice Hardesty is recognized for leading positive change in the state’s justice system and has a long list of accomplishments. As a District Court Judge and as a Nevada Supreme Court Justice, he has served on various Supreme Court Commissions including: the Nevada Supreme Court Task Force to create a Business Court in Nevada; the Nevada Supreme Court Task Force studying the Multi-Jurisdictional Practice of Law; the Nevada Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Funding; and the Nevada Supreme Court Committee to Implement Recommendations of the Jury Improvement Commission; and the Commission on Statewide Juvenile Justice Reform. Justice Hardesty currently chairs or co-chairs the Nevada Supreme Court Bench-Bar Committee; the Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission; the Nevada Supreme Court Permanent Guardianship Commission; the Committee to Study Evidence-Based Pretrial Release; the Commission on Statewide Rules of Criminal Procedure; and the Commission on Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records. He has also chaired the Nevada Legislature’s Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice; and is the chair of the Nevada Sentencing Commission. Justice Hardesty is a past member of the Nevada State-Federal Judicial Council, serving as chairman from 2009 to 2011 and again from 2014 to 2016.

In November 2004, Justice Hardesty was elected to the Nevada Supreme Court. Justice Hardesty previously served as Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court in 2009 and was re-elected to the Court without opposition in 2010. In 2014, he led the Nevada Supreme Court’s educational effort to amend the Nevada Constitution to create a Court of Appeals, which the voters approved in the November election.  Nevada’s Court of Appeals commenced on January 5, 2015. Justice Hardesty was born and raised in Reno, Nevada.

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A July 16, 3:30 p.m. initial arraignment is set in department 21 of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court for a trio of men indicted by a Grand Jury on four counts including assist, solicit or conspire to commit an act of terrorism. Andrew Lynam, Jr., William Loomis and Stephen Parshall are the defendants named in the five-page indictment.

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The Nevada Supreme Court has scheduled a video conference public hearing for Monday, June 29, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. on amendments to Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure (NRAP) 41(E) regarding mandatory dismissal provisions. An order filed on June 9, 2020, explains how to participate in the hearing and how to submit written comments regarding the amendment.

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Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Bell shares in-depth details on the court COVID-19 response on CCTV.

Judge Bell revealed that not all who are tapping into court proceedings via video conference are suited up for the occasion. She offered up a silver lining that has come out of the court response to the virus.

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As our State enters Phase 2 of recovery, in order to ensure access to justice and to prevent an excessive backlog of cases, the District Court will begin hearing all cases. The safety of the public and court staff remains a priority. Administrative Order 20-17, entered jointly with the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court provides for continued extensive use of alternative means appearances, social distancing protocols, and mask wearing to allow the business of the Court to go forward safely.

Below is a brief look at some of the highlights. Those with matters in District Court should review the actual order to get accurate information on how the court is moving forward in Phase 2.

For purposes of clarity and to avoid confusion, AO 20-17 supersedes AO 20-01 through 20-13 and 20-16. Any portions of those orders that remain in effect are included in AO 20-17. The process for electronic processing of search warrants remains in effect. Except where otherwise noted, AO 20-17 became effective June 1.

Governor Sisolak’s May 7, 2020 Declaration of Emergency Directive employers to take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing and sanitation guidelines and to follow guidelines promulgated by the Nevada State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NV OSHA).  

The District Court is complying with the governor’s directive and is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees and the public we serve. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we will need to change many of our ordinary practices in a manner that reduces the risks associated with this public health emergency. Consequently, the following precautions are ordered: Screening Protocols will be in place during this time. It is critical to prevent the spread of illness among members of the Court, counsel, staff, the public, and our community partners. The Centers for Disease Control has advised people to take precautions to stay healthy and that the best way to prevent illness and to avoid exposure. As a result, District Court Administration shall maintain notices at the entrance of all District Court facilities advising the following people may not enter the Court facility: persons who have traveled out of the country in the past 14 days or who reside with someone who has traveled out of the country in the past 14 days; persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency; persons who have been diagnosed with coronavirus and not medically cleared or persons who have had contact in the past 14 days with anyone diagnosed with coronavirus and not medically cleared; or persons with unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

The Marshal’s Division may develop screening protocols including screening question and temperature checks if deemed appropriate. Anyone attempting to enter in violation of these protocols or refusing to comply with the protocols will be denied entry by District Court Marshals. District Court Administration will also maintain a customer service number in cooperation with the Las Vegas Municipal Court and Las Vegas Justice Court to assist all person unable to enter the Court facility because of exposure or illness. If a person is unable to appear in Court because of the restrictions, that person may call 702-455-4472 to speak to a customer service representative for assistance in rescheduling their court appearance, arranging for appearance by alternative means or to obtain other information based on the circumstances of the appearance. Due to restrictions on the entrants to the court facilities and to reduce the potential for spread of infection, appearances by alternative means are strongly encourage whenever possible. This includes all case types.

The District Court has four methods of appearance by alternative means: videoconference through a BlueJeans application, telephone conference through BlueJeans, regular telephone, and CourtCall (since CourtCall involves a cost to the litigants; no party may be required to use CourtCall at this time). Use of BlueJeans is strongly favored given the number of people the system c accommodate and its compatibility with the JAVS system. Video is also favored as it aids communication and produces a better record.

Attorneys, parties, and witnesses are reminded that alternative means still constitutes court appearance and attire should remain professional and court appropriate. Appearance should be made from a quiet place that is free of distractions. Also, for the safety of the community and for the quality of the audio recording, no appearances by alternative means should be made while driving. The requirement for a formal written notice of any appearance by alternative means is suspended. Arrangements for alternative appearances may be made via e-mail to the department judicial executive assistant (JEA). E-mails about scheduling appearances should not be sent to the department inboxes.

Attorney appearing by video, or having clients/witnesses/agency representatives/probation officers app by alternative means, must notify the department via e-mail at least one judicial day before the appearance. In juvenile cases, parents or guardians may provide their e-mail addresses to the juvenile’s attorney to arrange for the appearance. The e-mail to the department must include the case numbers for the proceeding and the names and e-mail addresses for each person appearing by video. This will allow the department to send a link to appear via video. If arrangements need to be made on shorter notice due to an emergency, the judicial department must be contacted by phone.

Media reporters may request to attend any public court proceeding by alternative means for the purpose of observing the proceedings. Any reporter requesting an appearance in this manner must contact the department for a BlueJeans video link. Reporters appearing by alternative means must remain on mute and are not permitted to interject or speak during a proceeding. A reporter violating this rule will lose the ability to appear by alternative means.

Members of the public must wear face coverings that cover their noses and mouths. Face coverings must be worn at all times while in any court facility and while in any security screening line to enter a court facility. All District Court employees must cover their noses and mouths with face covering while at work unless they are alone in unshared work space. This includes all common areas of any facility as well as parking lots, back hallways, employee-only elevators, shared restroom and break rooms. All attorneys, vendors, and employees of any organization or entity who work in a court facility must cover their noses and mouths with face coverings while in any common areas of the facilities. Common areas include, but are not limited to, security screening, lobby areas, public elevators, employee elevators, shared back hallways, public restrooms and courtrooms. This includes, but is not limited to, employees of Las Vegas Municipal Court, Las Vegas Justice Court, Legal Aid Self-Help Centers, Clark County Clerk’s Main Office, Clark County District Attorney’s Office, Clark County Public Defender’s Office, Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services, Clark County Department of Family Services, and contract counsel.

Employee of other organizations or entities with space in court facilities are subject to the policies of their individual employer while in their own organization’s work space. Children under the age of two and individuals who are unable to remove the face covering without assistance do not have to comply with the above-referenced face covering directives.

Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering should make arrangements appear by alternative means. Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth at all times. Meeting by telephone, teleconference, videoconference or e-mail remains preferred. To protect judicial resources and prevent the spread of illness among members of the court, counsel, staff, public and community partners, there shall be no in-person gatherings of meetings to discuss court business of more than 50 people. Any in-person meeting must observe social distancing and mask requirements. No food or beverages may be served at in-person meetings.

The Clerk’s Office remains closed to in-person filing for the safety of the clerks and to minimize building traffic, the Clerk’s Offices at both the Regional Justice Center and the Family Court will remain closed to in-person filing until further notice. Filings must be completed electronically. For litigants who do not have the ability to electronically file documents, documents may be mailed as follows: District Court Civil Criminal Division Attn: Clerk’s Office Regional Justice Center 200 Lewis Ave. Las Vegas, NV S91 SS District Court Family Division Attn: Clerk’s Office Family Court 601 N. Pecos Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89155 The Clerk’s Office shall maintain a safety protocol for clerks tasked with opening mail and handling paper documents. Counsel should contact the Court Clerk for handling of documents that cannot be converted to electronic format.

Other than mail, no paper documents will be accepted by the court at this time. Call (702) 455-4472 with questions regarding filing.

The continuance of any trial or evidentiary hearing will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Attorneys may have difficulty obtaining witnesses or being prepared for evidentiary proceedings in the period immediately following the duration of the administrative order relating to COVID-19. Judges will examine the merits of any application for a continuance, balancing the consequences of a delay in the proceedings and the constraints placed on attorneys and litigants to prepare for a trial or evidentiary hearing.

In-person depositions may go forward effective July 1, 2020 as long as social distancing protocols are observed. Until that date, no in-person depositions shall proceed except stipulation or order obtained after filing a motion demonstrating good cause for the need for in-person deposition. Deposition by alternative means is the preferred method of handling  depositions.

Discovery (Civil and Domestic) All discovery hearings in both the civil and domestic case types shall continue to be conducted by alternative means. The tolling of discovery deadlines will end on July 1, 2020.

In order to assist with the backlog of trials, judicial settlement conferences are encouraged. Settlement conferences may be held by alternative means. If the settlement conference is not held by alternative means, the judge and attorneys must develop a social distancing plan prior to the settlement conference. All participants must wear masks that cove their noses and mouths. Civil and Family Division settlement conference programs will resume on July 1, 2020 Settlement briefs and supporting exhibits must be submitted electronically. Counsel may also contact individual judges to request settlement conferences or reach out to the assigned departments to submit a request for a senior judge to conduct a settlement conference.

Criminal Division settlement conferences will resume on June 1, 2020. Requests for settlement conferences should be submitted via e-mail on the settlement conference form to the Chief Judge. The form must be completely filled out or the conference will not be set. In custody criminal settlement conferences will be scheduled to take place in the Lower Level Arraignment courtroom. Priority will be given to trials where the defendant is in-custody and has invoked speedy trial rights and to older homicide cases.

Beginning the week of June 1, the jury commissioner will begin summonsing jurors for 16 jury trials. To maintain social distancing and juror safety, one panel of jurors will be summons per day for District Court. The District Court will prioritize trials beginning with criminal cases involving interstate compact issues and criminal cases in which the defendant has invoked speedy trial rights. After those cases, the priority will be civil case with preferential trial settings; older in-custody criminal cases; and older civil cases, particularly those with NRCP 41(e) timeline concerns.

This order shall continue to stay trials in civil cases for purposes of tolling NRCP 41(e) except where a District Court Judge makes findings to lift the stay in a specific case to allow the case to be tried. The time period of any continuance entered as a result of this order shall be excluded for the purposes of calculating speedy trial under NRS 118.556(1) and NRS 174.511 as the Court finds that the ends of justice served by taking this action outweigh the interests of the parties an public in a speedy trial. Writs of execution and garnishment have been stayed by the Governor’s Directive. No new writs of execution or garnishment may be issued while the stay is in place. The stay does not apply to child support, spousal support, or criminal restitution. Any change of termination of that directive will be determined by the Governor.

Above are a few highlights from the order. To get all the details see the Full Administrative Order 20-17

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The Regional Justice Center (RJC) is expected to see greater visitor volume on Monday, June 1, as courts begin to hold hearings on-site. Lines with marked social distancing have been established to accommodate the general public, with another line for lawyers, law enforcement and staff. Marshals will facilitate movements of those visiting the downtown Las Vegas courthouse to ensure smooth operations.

The Las Vegas Justice Court and Las Vegas Municipal Court traffic customer service counter located on the first floor at the RJC  will remain closed for now. Online options are available for traffic matters:

Links to Las Vegas Justice Court https://lvjcpa.clarkcountynv.gov/Anonymous/default.aspx …

Las Vegas Municipal Court https://municourt.lasvegasnevada.gov

On May 21, Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Chief
Judge Linda Bell ordered masks to be worn and social distancing to be observed by all those entering courthouse facilities.

The measures at the courthouse comply with Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s  Phase 2 recovery plan for Nevada.

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Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak released his Phase 2
reopening Directive 021. The directive is set to expire on June 30, 2020. All prior directives referenced remain in effect through the end of June. As previously announced, data trends will be monitored throughout Phase 2 for an estimated period of 2-3 weeks, according to a media release. Based on trends, the Governor maintains the ability to enter Phase 3 of reopening prior to the June 30, 2020 expiration set forth in the latest directive.

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