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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: July 2018

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Scarlett & Stephanie Bagunu help put out more than 300 pinwheels at Family Court to remind people that there are more than 3,000 children in our community who need someone to speak up on their behalf.

Thirteen new CASA volunteers from all walks of life are stepping up for children who have endured abuse and neglect, and are now in foster care. The volunteers will take an oath to speak on behalf of  more than 27 kids on Monday, July 30 at noon at Family Court, Courtroom 9, 601 N. Pecos Road. The volunteers, including a lawyer, travel agent, tax specialist, music teacher, mom, event planner, county liaison, mental health professional and retirees will speak up for the young children whose parents are working through addiction and other issues.

The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, family team meetings, and in court. Volunteering for the program involves a two-year commitment and a willingness to spend quality time with the children to advocate for them.

There is a big need for CASA volunteers in Clark County to speak up for the approximately 3,200 children in the community, who are receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Those who want to help abused and neglected children are invited to one of the upcoming CASA orientations, which are held the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. More information is available about the program at 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas. The next CASA orientation will be held on Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy.

“Our goal is to have a CASA volunteer for every child in foster care. When you give abused and neglected kids a CASA, you give them a voice. When you give them a voice, you give them hope. When you give them hope, you give them a future,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan, who will administer the oath to the CASA volunteers. “When you volunteer as a CASA, you get more back from the kids than you give.”

There are around 350 CASA volunteers serving as a voice for children under the supervision of the Family Court CASA Program. However, many more volunteers are needed to advocate for the remainder of the children in care. Last year, nearly one thousand children had a CASA volunteer to help them navigate through the system, deal with school challenges and handle home life.

“The CASA program and volunteers have accomplished much to stabilize the lives of countless foster children who have endured trauma in their lives,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Bryce Duckworth. “I thank the many volunteers who have stepped up to help children in need. Their commitment and willingness to speak up for kids has an enduring impact.”

In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court Judges. For those interested in volunteering with CASA, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month to provide more information about the program.

 

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The Eighth Judicial District Specialty Courts have been awarded a grant of $1million from the Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment Agency (SAPTA) to provide sober living and residential treatment placements for individuals in the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC). The SAPTA Grant provides funding for sober living facilities and residential bed infrastructure in Clark County to reduce the average number of days jailed drug court candidates spend waiting for residential placement. Drug court participants have significantly higher rates of success in programs that offer a continuum of care for substance abuse treatment with residential treatment and sober living. That success reduces the burdens on the jail, the justice system and the community as a whole.

In FY 2018, 111 participants were provided residential treatment and 189 were provided supportive sober living, with 162 participants obtaining employment.

In compliance with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) recommended adult drug court practices, individuals in need of substance abuse treatment should not be incarcerated to achieve clinical or social service objectives. Clark County has a growing need for sufficient sober living and residential placement facilities for inpatient substance abuse treatment. As a result, individuals remain in jail awaiting substance abuse treatment. The District Court estimates the annual fiscal savings that will result to Clark County at more than $4 million in averted incarceration and associated criminal justice costs.

“I am grateful to receive this grant money to provide sober living and residential treatment placements for specialty court participants,” said Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “This funding greatly improves the chances of success for those who are provided placements, reduces the critically overcrowded jail population, and saves millions of dollars in avoided incarceration costs.”

Specialty courts solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement, court program coordinators and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports: “nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program. Drug courts reduce crime as much as 35 percent more than other sentencing options.”

 

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AlvogenCase Alvogen

A conference call will be held today at 3 p.m. in courtroom 3G with attorneys in case filed for injunction on the use of the drug midazolam proposed for use the scheduled execution of Scott Dozier  before Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.

 

Complaint AlvogenCase

The July 10 Civil Bench Bar Meeting at noon in courtroom 10D will offer up the latest information on changes to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices. Attorneys who attend, will get the added benefit of .50 hour credit continuing legal education (CLE). The ADR update by Commissioner Erin Truman will be followed by a Nevada Supreme Court case update.

At the June Civil Bench-Bar Meeting, assistant court administrator Mike Doan with IT gave information on a File and Serve update. When documents are filed, all those on the case service list are noticed immediately. Prior to the change, the document would go into cue to be approved by the Clerk’s Office. If a document is rejected, notification will be sent to the service list in a separate email. It is incumbent upon the attorneys to check if a hearing is scheduled. The document link remains active for 30 days.

Many of the judges at the meeting weighed in on an informative panel discussion on jury selection that was facilitated by Bradley Johnson and Jake Smith. Jury Commissioner Mariah Witt was on-hand to address questions.

Attorney can see what judges preferences on jury selection are by visiting the court website: http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/departments/judicial/civil-criminal-divison

The topics of social media checks on jurors, jury selection time limits and jury questionnaires were discussed.

Some tips included what cannot be asked during voir dire:

There was a lot of discussion on jury questionnaires, which are reportedly being used with increased frequency. A panel member offered up a tip that it is unwise to use a question that opposing counsel has not stipulated to, because it may get raised as an issue later.

The Jury Commissioner gave a summary the process for questionnaires. The summonses for questionnaires are sent out around six weeks in advance. Jury Services works questionnaires in their trial schedule. Questionnaires are fit in between trials Jury Services can have multiple questionnaires in a week therefore is best to have advanced notice on the need to do questionnaires. A special briefing is given to potential jurors prior to questionnaires. Potential jurors are provided with an instruction sheet to inform them when they’re coming back. Notifications can be sent to potential jurors via email or text.

A number of judges offered up some thoughts on questionnaires. One judge said that lawyers don’t get to have grass under their feet but encouraged patience for jury selection, adding voir dire is an important phase of the case and questionnaires are good in cases that warrant them. Another judge added that if people are repeating themselves or going far afield there is an effort to speed them up.

Another judge reminded attorneys in attendance at the Bench-Bar that trials are our jobs. For jurors this is not their job and reminded that jury service takes jurors away from their job their family. In a relatively short trial or straightforward case, if potential jurors are forced to come down multiple times for a three-day trial, they are not going to be happy. Those at the Bench-Bar were urged to be cognizant of the inconvenience to potential jurors. Several judges also noted that potential jurors are lost when questionnaires are too long and if people are repeating themselves or going far afield an effort is made to try to speed them up. Those at the Civil bench-Bar were reminded that the jury questionnaires are a public record and attorneys must ensure that questionnaires don’t exceed the bounds of propriety.

Attorney Aileen Cohen spoke on the Cancer Action Network and urged those at the Bench-Bar Meeting to advocate on behalf of cancer programs. The meeting closed with a summary of new civil decisions by the Nevada Supreme Court.

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AlFtizgerald

Former Clark County District Court Marshal Al Fitzgerald passed away July 1, 2018.  He was born June 2, 1937 in Boston MA and resided in Las Vegas for the past 37 years.  He served in the U.S. Army, worked for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority as an Inspector for 23 years, and then as a Bailiff/Marshal for the Clark County District Courts for 30 years.  He served in the courtrooms of Judges Charles Thompson, Joseph Pavlikowski and Kathy Hardcastle before retiring in April of 2012. Al is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kerin, his nine children, 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his great-grandson, Emmitt, in June of 2018. Services will be held Saturday July 14, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Palm Mortuary, 7400 W. Cheyenne, Las Vegas NV 89129.  In lieu of flowers his family requests donations to Cure4theKids or the Fallen Officers Foundation.

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Congratulations to Marshal Johnathan Miller, a new graduate from the Southern Desert Regional Police Academy and recent addition to the Security Division of the Eighth Judicial District Court. Johnathan was one of a handful in his class who graduated with an outstanding grade point average (GPA).

Guest speaker United States Marshal Gary Schofield, stressed ethics and accountability when he addressed the graduating class. He reminded the new law enforcement grads, “The badge doesn’t belong to you. You get a different badge when you retire in good standing.”

Miller and others in his class completed 22 weeks of tough training including: arms, fight, tactical, vehicular, mental health and other essential training. They are tased, tackled, tormented and tested to their limits to ensure that they can withstand the intense rigors of being in law enforcement.

District Court is looking to recruit others who would like to serve as a marshal. Military veterans are encouraged to consider joining the marshal force. The court is working with the Las Vegas Urban League, Nevada Partners, 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. Those interested in applying should complete a bailiff/deputy marshal application from the county website employment section

HTTP://WWW.CLARKCOUNTYNV.GOV/DEPTS/HUMAN_RESOURCES/PAGES/EMPLOYMENTOPPORTUNITIES.ASPX.

Marshal Miller is the ninth graduate from the program.

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