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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: June 2016


Laquedra Parks has a big smile and a determined personality. Her determination is what helped her make it through the Southern Desert Regional Police Academy. She graduated on June 23 and will begin serving as a court marshal on June 27. Laquedra left her desk job as a receptionist for the District Court to go through 23 weeks of tough police academy training. A graduation video showed the trainees getting tased, fighting, running and other grueling training to prepare them for the job. There was a lot of talk about integrity during the graduation. The academy commander Lt. Walt Dennison summed it up well; he said, “If someone does not have integrity, they do not belong in the field of law enforcement.”

Graduation was a proud moment for Laquedra. Her already big smile was a little brighter as District Court Chief Judge David Barker pinned the official badge on her uniform.

The courts are some of the most frequented facilities in Southern Nevada. Thousands pass through the courthouse doors each day and the marshals who protect the gates and courtrooms are responsible for the safety of all those who enter. It takes high caliber individuals to meet this challenge and complete the training to be a court marshal.

District Court has a Police Academy Recruitment Program. Military veterans are encouraged to apply and may be eligible to receive help to cover the costs for the Criminal Justice Academy P.O.S.T. certification. The court is working with the Nevada Partners, Las Vegas Urban League, the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation and the College of Southern Nevada to sponsor military veterans for the Criminal Justice Academy P.O.S.T. certification. The Police Academy Recruitment Program gives veterans who have successfully completed their service a good career path. It is also to help the court fill the many marshal vacancies with the high-caliber individuals needed to fill those important jobs. Weeks of Criminal Justice Academy P.O.S.T. certification training will ready the veterans for a potential career keeping citizens who visit the court safe. Joseph Ortega and Gustavo Molina are successful graduates of the program and now serve to protect the courthouse. Veterans who are interested in the program can email



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Security marshals expect to see wallets, phones and pens when they X-ray bags on the way into the courthouse; they don’t expect to see an iguana. It made national news when someone reportedly tried to bring their pet iguana to court in Boulder, Colorado. Rango never got his day in court and had to leave.

A seeing-eye-parrot once made its way into the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas. What’s the difference? Even though you might feel better with your pet iguana Rango at your side during court, Rango doesn’t qualify to enter, because he’s a pet, not a service animal. American with Disabilities Act (ADA)-recognized service animals are the only animals allowed into courthouse facilities. A service animal should wear a tag or clothing that identifies it as a service animal. As per the ADA, a person may be directed by a marshal to remove their service animal from the building if the animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or the animal is not housebroken.

There are many other things you should leave at home when coming to court including: guns, knives, scissors, box-cutters, metal forks, knitting-needles, metal combs, or anything that could be used as weapon/blunt instrument such as tools, studded belts and bracelets, motorcycle helmets, glass, plastic or metallic items that could pose a danger or threat. Generally, coming to court is much like going to the airport: don’t bring weapons or contraband and allow sufficient time to get through security if you want to be on-time.

Check out the story on the iguana in Boulder:

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Project 48 has been selected by the National Association of Counties for their 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Court Administration and Management. The project was initiated by the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court (EJDC) to ease stress on the Clark County Detention Center by cutting criminal bind-overs from Justice Court to District Court down to 48 hours. Project 48 has produced nearly $1.6 million in direct savings in just one year alone from 11,888 jail days saved. With a lack of resources to cover incarceration costs, growing with each new inmate ($135 per-day per-inmate), and escalating safety and security issues for the inmates and officers, the EJDC looked for ways to work with the Detention Center to safely reduce the jail population. That was the genesis of Project 48.

“It is gratifying to get national recognition for the cooperative effort of Project 48, which has significantly improved the transfer of jurisdiction from Justice Court to District Court for cases in the criminal system. Project 48 has resulted in multiple benefits including significant cost savings. I want to commend the agencies and individuals who played a role in making this project a success,” said District Court Chief Judge David Barker.

District Court examined areas where efficiencies could reduce the average length of stay. The transition of a case from the limited jurisdiction (Las Vegas Justice Court) to the felony trial court (EJDC), the “criminal bind-over,” was identified as an area to use technology to streamline case-flow processing. In February of 2015, District Court brought together a consortium of justice professionals to make the process work including: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept., District Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders’ Office, Justice Court, District Court, and the Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers. Each entity participated in the planning, shared insights and ideas, and made adjustments to their work models to achieve success. The EJDC Information Technology division put technology to work to shorten the bind-over process. EJDC IT worked with Justice Court IT to integrate the Justice Court and EJDC case management systems and integrate with the jail. The technology was shared with all the justice courts in Clark County. Project 48 not only impacts the average length of time in custody, it gets those who have been jailed back to their families and their lives quicker, reducing the potential for disruption to their professional and home life, and the potential residual fallout that results from unnecessary confinement. Prior to Project 48, standard setting times for criminal bind-overs to arraignment court were 10-15 days. Project 48 cut criminal bind-overs from 10-15 days to 48 hours. Nearly 11,888 jail days were saved in the first year alone. Project 48, eases stress on the overcrowded jail and reduces unnecessary confinement. Since April 2015, the program is estimated to have already saved more than $1.6 million.


The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court judges and staff continuously work to develop new ideas, maximize efficiencies and improve access to justice. For more information about the District Court, please visit our website at, Facebook at Clark County Courts, Twitter at

M Price@LasVegasCourts or blog at


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Hear the issues and let your thoughts be heard during discussion at the June 14 Bench Bar, at 12:05 p.m. at the Regional Justice Center, courtroom 15B.

District Court has set up the technical infrastructure to do videoconferencing at the Regional Justice Center. The devil is in the details on how to best implement it with respect to filings, objections, etc. The topic was introduced at the May Civil Bench Bar and will be discussed again at the June Bench Bar. Some departments have used the system effectively. But as video conferencing use increases, issues are likely to arise.  Weigh-in during discussion on Videoconferencing at the June 14 Bench Bar, at 12:05 p.m. at the Regional Justice Center, courtroom 15B.

Also at the Civil Bench Bar there will be a review of NV Supreme Court Civil Decisions:

  1. Slade v. Caesars Entertainment Corp., 132 Nev.Ad.Op. 36 (May 12, 2016)(4-3)
  2. Badger v. District Court, 132 Nev.Ad.Op. 39 (May 26, 2016)(5-2)
  3. Golightly & Vannah v. TJ Allen, LLC, 132 Nev.Ad.Op. 41 (June 2, 2016)(3-0)

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A celebration of life for Melanie Kushnir was standing room only on Friday, June 3. The speakers included Barbara Buckley, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, where Melanie worked; Nevada Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas;  Josh Reisman, the Regional Chair of the Anti-Defamation League, and colleagues/friends. Melanie’s passion for life and for her work to ensure that financial challenges were not a barrier to justice, resonated through each of the speakers. Her colleague Dan Waite hit the perfect note when he said, “Melanie is gonna’ be upset if she knows we have this many attorneys here and we don’t sign them up for pro bono work.” A justice fellowship fund has been set up in Melanie’s name through the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and they are still taking volunteers for pro bono work.

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The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court issued a new administrative order related to destruction of certain physical evidence. The Order gives direction to law enforcement agencies regarding evidence destruction in the wake of statutory changes to NRS Chapter 52.

View the order and related procedure on the court website:

Click to access AO%2016-05.pdf

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