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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

 

Nearly 80 fifth graders from Vanderberg Elementary School, quietly lined up on the first floor of the Regional Justice Center on April 23, as they waited excitedly to go to various courtrooms to watches judges go through their criminal calendars to status check cases, set dates and hand down sentences. The students, who were on their best behavior, were told to pay attention to all the work being done in the courtrooms and to consider this work as a future job for themselves. They were also told to observe each case and learn from them.

We’ve all heard the cliché crime doesn’t pay. The fifth graders from Vanderberg got a first-hand look at why the cliché is actually true, including those who visited District Court Judge Michael Villani’s courtroom to watch his felony criminal calendar proceedings. Judge Villani went through case after case, setting dates for further action and handing down sentences. Judge Villani asked a young man with a long prior record who was being sentenced for snatching a purse, “What can we do to get your attention?”  The young man tried to convince the judge that he had changed and had stayed out of trouble for a while. Judge Villani wasn’t convinced. He sentenced him to boot camp, a regimented program aimed at rehabilitating participants through education and life skills training, manual labor and extensive physical training. He was handcuffed and led off to a holding cell.

After the calendar session, the students watched as the defendants who had been sitting in the courtroom were led away in shackles to a holding area for transport back to the jail. On the way out, one of the defendants blurted, “Stay in school.”

In a question and answer session with the students, Judge Villani shared that he rather the young man who snatched the purse get help, not just punishment. He noted that what many of the defendants have in common is they don’t finish school and they get involved with drugs. Judge Villani said, “If you don’t finish high school, it’s hard to get a job.” He also advised the students that they will probably face peer pressure to do drugs. He warned of the downward spiral that results and is common to many who are convicted of crimes and end up in prison.

The school visit was part of the Project Real youth educational program. Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2005 by Sam Lionel and Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching kindergarten through 12th grade Nevada students the importance of the law. They have taught over 160,000 Nevada students about the importance of the law with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through their programs including: Your Day in Court, Play By the Rules, REAL Drama, and Independence & You. For more information from Project REAL, please contact Program Director Mike Kamer at mkamer@projectrealnv.org, call 702.703.6529, or visit http://projectrealnv.org.

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Scarlett & Stephanie Bagunu

Hundreds of pinwheels will be planted at Family Court to symbolize hope for the more than 3,200 children in our community who face abuse and neglect, and are receiving services under the supervision of Family Court. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and a great time to  get involved with organizations that help promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is hosting this event to raise awareness about the need for more CASA volunteers and as an uplifting reminder of the bright futures that all children deserve, especially the children in the foster care system.   Those who want to learn more about how they can get involved are invited to join the pinwheel planting at the Eighth Judicial District Family Court flagpole, 601 N. Pecos Road on April 12, at noon.

For those interested in volunteering with the CASA program, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy and  every second and fourth Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Child Haven, 701 N. Pecos Rd. The next CASA Orientation is Apr. 13 at 11:30 a.m.

 “Every child deserves to live in a safe environment. CASA’s are the eyes, ears and voice to help to ensure that right”, said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan, who oversees the CASA program. “We would like to have a CASA for every child that is under the supervision of the court. CASA’s play a big role in the future of the kids for whom they advocate.”

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, child and 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. In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by family judges.

“As the number of children in foster care grows, CASA ‘s are needed now more than ever,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Bryce Duckworth. “CASA volunteers accomplish extraordinary  things and we truly appreciate and thank them for what they do for the children in our community.”

For more information about the program call 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or visit www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas.

 

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A baby cries as Judge Carolyn Ellsworth begins the graduation ceremony for the March class of drug court graduates. The judge smiles and tells those gathered, “It’s great to have the babies here. It’s great that they’re here and come into the world drug-free.” After completing an intensive treatment program, the class of 13 drug court participants graduate to a productive new life. “I’m like your mom, only meaner,” jokes Judge Ellsworth, who presides over the drug court program with the mission to get those with substance abuse issues to stop revolving through the justice system.

Specialty courts use a therapeutic approach that targets and treats the root-causes of the addiction that fuels the crimes committed to feed the addiction. Not a graduation goes by that a graduate does say that the program saved their life. They praise the program but they know the road ahead will be filled with challenges. Judge Ellsworth tells her graduates, “I’m going to miss you. I really am.” She encourages them to keep her informed of their progress and asks them stop by. “I wish I could guarantee you that your lives after drug will be perfect after drug court,” said Judge Ellsworth. “But that would be a complete lie; life isn’t like that.” She reminds the grads that they’ve been given the tools to deal with adversity in a productive way. She encouraged them to stay on the path to a fulfilling life.

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DC 7 Photo

The Hon. Linda Marie Bell, Hon. Stewart L. Bell (Ret.) and Constance Akridge, Esq. are the recipients of the Clark County Law Foundation 2019 Liberty Bell Award. The recipients will be honored on Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m., at the Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium, 401 S. 4th St.

The annual award recognizes individuals in the community who uphold the rule of law, contribute to good government within the community, stimulate a sense of civic responsibility, and encourage respect for the law in the courts.

Judge Linda Bell serves as the chief judge for the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court. Since taking the bench in January of 2009, Judge Bell handled both civil and criminal cases. She spent two and a half years managing all of the criminal division specialty courts and continues to preside over the veterans’ treatment court. Judge Bell has been a driving force in the proliferation of specialty courts, which have had a significant positive impact in the community.

Judge Bell also ran the grand jury for six years; served on the court’s legislative committee every legislative session since 2009, where she worked on successful efforts to pass legislation related to the grand jury, the OPEN program, funding for specialty courts and outpatient civil commitment.

In addition to serving on numerous legal associations, boards and educational committees for various organizations, she has taught both criminal law and criminal procedure at UNLV. She served as the president of the Howard D. McKibben Chapter of the Nevada Inn of Court from May 2012 to May 2014. Judge Bell volunteered for the Trial by Peers youth legal educational program, and was named their Judge of the Year in 2011.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Judge Linda Bell follows in the footsteps of her father Judge Stewart Bell (Ret.), who will also be awarded a Liberty Bell. He was elected to the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County, Department 7 in November 2002 and was sworn in as a district court judge in January 2003. Before becoming a judge, he served as Clark County District Attorney from 1995 to 2002. As a practicing attorney and jurist he has presided over hundreds of jury trials and is well regarded by counsel for his sharp analytical skills, knowledge of the law, and fair-mindedness.

Constance Akridge, Esq., a partner with Holland and Hart was also selected for a 2019 Liberty Bell.

The Clark County Law Foundation mission is to empower Nevada, especially our youth, through service to the community and education about the legal system and its history.

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The Supreme Court’s Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure (NRCP) Committee did an exhaustive review that resulted in the changes to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure (NRCP), the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure (NRAP), and the Nevada Electronic Filing and Conversion Rules (NEFCR). The changes were effective March 1.

There are significant changes to Discovery in the Amendment to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure; some of the changes are nuanced. It has been strongly suggested that the best way for attorneys to get a handle on the changes is to read the revised rules. Viewing the red-line version is a good way to sort through the changes

HTTPS://NVCOURTS.GOV/AOC/COMMITTEES_AND_COMMISSIONS/NRCP/ADOPTED_RULES_AND_REDLINES/

The rules are intended to ensure just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of every action and proceeding. Over the next few months, to clear up questions from the bar the new rules will be covered in the Civil Bench-Bar meetings. Civil Bench-Bar Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month. The next Civil Bench-Bar meeting is April 9 at noon in courtroom 10D. Judge Joe Hardy will spotlight Rule 5-6. On May 14, there will be a presentation of NRCP proportionality Stand of Discovery presented by Jay Young Esq.

There are a few points that are of particular note. Documents are automatically accepted, electronically served and immediately available for filing.  Please note that if a party is not registered in the e-filing system, service is the responsibility of the filer.

Rule 16.3C outlines modifications made to the process of Reports and recommendations. Once the Commissioner or Acting Commissioner signs off on the Report and Recommendations with the new notice page, Discovery will now file and serve the original Report and Recommendations. An Order with a file-stamped copy of the Report and Recommendations (with run slip, if there is any) will be forwarded to departments.

Departments are now handling scheduling orders. Prior to issuing a scheduling order, the court will meet with the lawyers (parties may also be required to attend) to discuss discovery to ensure that the process is more meaningful as outlined in Rule 16: Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management (a) Pretrial Conferences; Objectives. In any action, order the attorneys and any unrepresented parties to appear for a conference or conferences before trial for such purposes as: (1) expediting disposition of the action; (2) establishing early and continuing control so that the case will not be protracted because of lack of management; (3) discouraging wasteful pretrial activities; (4) improving the quality of the trial through more thorough preparation; and (5) facilitating settlement.

Discovery extension requests must go through the departments.

For the benefit of the bar and to ease confusion until the Eighth Judicial District Court (EJDC) amends its local rules to conform to the amended NRCP, NRAP, and MEFCR, the EJDC finds it necessary to suspend or modify certain District Court Rules. There are areas where rules are inconsistent with amendments to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure.  An Administrative Order ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 19-03 suspends those rules, to give clarity and ensure that the new rules take precedence over all local rules or district court rules. The local rules committee will make adjustments to eliminate inconsistencies, but it could take some time.

IT IS ORDERED the following rules are suspended or modified until further notice:

  1. Rule 1.14(a) through (c) is suspended;
  2. Rule 1.90(a)(2) is modified to strike references to the discovery commissioner and replace those references with “district judge;”
  3. Rule 1.90(b)(3) and Rule 1.90(b)(4) are suspended;
  4. Rule 2.20(b) is suspended. Motions requiring a hearing must include the designation “Hearing Requested ” in the caption on the first page of the

motion as follows:

Case No.

Dept. No.

HEARING REQUESTED

  1. Rule 2.34(f) and Rule 2.34(h) are suspended;
  2. 6. Rule 35(a) is modified to strike references to the discovery commissioner

and replace those references with “district judge” as the district judges will handle stipulations or motions to extend discovery deadlines;

  1. Rule 2.55 is suspended;
  2. Rule 5.602(g) is suspended;
  3. Rule 8.01 and Rule 8.03 through 8.16 are suspended.

If a document is filed incorrectly in a case, the department will strike the document and ask the attorney to refile the document in the proper case.

 A red-line version of the new rules can be found at THIS LINK. A PDF version of the revised rules affected by ADKT 522 can be found at THIS LINK.

 

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