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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Family Court Judges are implementing a 12-point plan that will meet the Eighth Judicial District Court goal of achieving timely permanency for children in the foster care system. That plan includes taking one Judge who hears a domestic caseload and assigning that judge to an abuse and neglect caseload. Now three judges hear abuse and neglect calendars fulltime. The departments that handle domestic cases are shouldering an average six percent heavier caseload to provide dedicated judges for foster care cases.

Late last year, Chief Judge Jennifer P. Togliatti issued an administrative order which established a special committee to examine access to justice in the dependency court by looking at court rules, court case management, case assignment, whether case processing delays are related to hearing master resources and duties as defined in EDCR 1.46, timeliness of trials and hearings, judicial resources, statistics and their definitions, statutory timeliness, trial stacks and other related matters. After a three-month review of the court’s approach to permanency for children and their families, the committee submitted a comprehensive report with 12 recommendations. Most critical was the examination of case assignment and judicial resources. The committee exhaustively reviewed the number and types of hearings in 2012.

The committee sought input from community partners. Three main issues were identified: the lack of use of bench cards for consistency; barriers to notification of appointment of counsel; and the slow, outdated method of sharing discovery (which contributed to frequent requests for continuances). The committee took immediate action and addressed barriers to information sharing for dependency cases. 

 The caseload and case assignment of juvenile dependency matters were examined. The protective custody hearing was noted as an extremely important hearing. It was determined that protective custody hearings associated with foster care, should only be heard by the dependency judges and one hearing master should be assigned to one judge. The judge should assign certain hearings to their designated masters to facilitate the case management of the case.

Several case processing delays were identified, the two most prominent: appointment of counsel and delay in receiving discovery. Case processing was re-engineered to use automation whenever possible. 

One of the critical issues facing this committee was the development of accurate statistics so they could make sound recommendations. The Eighth Judicial District Court Information Technology Division provided accurate, verifiable statistics. In addition, the IT division created a caseload report to assist in measuring statutory timelines. Scanners were installed in all the dependency courtrooms. Other new procedures were implemented including: preliminary protective hearing initiating process, case plan procedures, reasonable efforts procedures, and case initiation from petition procedures. These changes enable the tracking of timeliness.  “The Family Court judges have  unanimously agreed and rallied together to make this 12-point plan work to help children who need a stable, loving and permanent home, said Presiding Family Court Judge Gloria O’ Malley. “Streamlining case processing will improve outcomes for some of our community’s most vulnerable children and the case reassignment will enable the “one family – one judge” model for juvenile dependency cases.

“I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work accomplished by the committee chaired by Judge Arthur Ritchie and included Justice Nancy Saitta, Judge Charles Hoskin, Judge Frank Sullivan, Judge Robert Teuton, court executive officer Steve Grierson; assistant county manager Jeff Wells and the executive director of Legal Aid of Southern Nevada Barbara Buckley,” said Chief Judge Togliatti. “I would also like to acknowledge the cooperative spirit demonstrated by the Family Court Judges who worked together in order to make the needed case reassignment work.”


The foster care improvement demonstrates how the Eighth Judicial District Court is using technology and alternative, more efficient methods to improve the delivery of justice. District Court continuously works to develop innovative ideas, improve efficiencies, address issues and improve access to justice. For more information about the courts, please visit our website at



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The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court In Las Vegas Receives Prestigious Star Award For High Performance
Court Recognized For Creativity, Innovation, High Performance, Positive Contributions To The Judiciary And Sound Leadership

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court in Las Vegas received the prestigious Star Award for high performance from the executive board of the Nevada Association of Court Executives (NACE). The criteria for selection include: creativity, innovation, high performance, positive contributions to the judiciary and sound leadership.

The court’s leadership was praised by NACE citing: “strong and sound judicial leadership” “serving as an exemplary model of the separate, co-equal and competent judicial branch of government by demonstrating both independence and public accountability.” The court was also commended for innovation with the specialty courts that result in reduced criminal recidivism and improved quality of life and public health and safety.

The District Court’s fiscal responsibility was praised for “achieving five consecutive years within target budgets in unusually austere economic times.”

Important technological innovations were acclaimed in the award including: “mandatory electronic filing/paperless court, state-of-the–art case management and social media-based applications, all of which increase access to justice, expedition of timeliness, public trust and confidence.” In January, District Court released Courtfinder, a free smart-phone app that puts the daily dockets in the palm of users’ hands. It is the first smart-phone app of its kind in the nation.

“On behalf of the judges at the Eighth Judicial District Court, I am truly honored to accept this very prestigious award,” said District Court Chief Judge Jennifer P. Togliatti. “This award is a credit to the outstanding work that our judges do everyday, and to their unwavering commitment to ensure that justice is served in a timely and impartial manner. It is also a credit to the hard work and dedication of all of our court employees.”

The adaptation of the justice center, parking, equipment configuration for construction of new courtrooms and judicial department facilities was another significant accomplishment cited in the award. After years of careful strategic planning, streamlining processes, and maximizing space and efficiency, eight new courtrooms officially opened in January and have done much to improve access. To make way for the new courtrooms, more than 30 million pages of legal documents were scanned and converted to electronic files. The courtrooms and related offices now occupy space that was formerly used to store files.

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The Family Court judges renew commitment to Stopping Truancy