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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: May 2019

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court will celebrate a new class of specialty court graduates on May 10 at 3 p.m. in the jury services room of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave. The graduates will include two who are part of a specialty court prison re-entry program.

The District Court was recently awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 from the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) Bureau of Behavioral Health Wellness and Prevention Opioid State Targeted Response (STR). The grant is being used for a comprehensive specialty court prevention plan with medically assisted treatment (MAT) for opiate abuse among those who are re-entering the community after incarceration.

An estimated 65 percent of individuals in U.S. prisons and jails have a substance abuse disorder. Opioids rank high as their drug of choice. Medically assisted treatment paired with counseling treatment, has proven to be an effective way to address addiction, put a dent in the opioid epidemic and stem the related criminal activity. Effective treatment provides better results at a lower cost than repeated incarceration.

Specialty court coordinators, the parole re-entry unit, and prison/jail professionals work together to identify program participants who go through an intensive six-month program that begins with a three-month stabilization period. Participants are placed in coordinated care housing and receive inpatient and/or intensive outpatient services, case management, medically assisted treatment, discharge planning and assistance with coordination of long-term housing, permanent housing, and assistance with obtaining food stamps, medical care, Medicaid and other programs such as Social Security. They are also provided case management around employment assistance including referrals, and training. The goal is to increase employment among the participants to improve the likelihood of success, cut substance abuse and decrease recidivism.

“This Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health funding enables the court, with the help of the Nevada Department of Corrections, to effectively tackle the epidemic of opioid abuse that is thwarting potential rehabilitation for those who are released from incarceration with a substance abuse issue,” said District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell, who presides over the MAT specialty court. “We cannot incarcerate our way out of the opioid crisis. Creative solutions such as this must be used to stem the tide of this epidemic.”

“The infusion of federal funding to Nevada continues to allow us to improve access to treatment and recovery support services for people with significant barriers to care.  We know that individuals within the criminal justice system have a greater risk of overdose death than other people.  Through this collaboration with the Eighth Judicial District, we hope we can reduce that risk and support people to move to full recovery from opioid addiction.  Medication Assisted Treatment is the gold standard for care and access within court systems is critical in addressing the opioid crisis,” said Dr. Stephanie Woodard, DHHS Senior Advisor on Behavioral Health, from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

Specialty courts, solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, specialty court coordinators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens.  Thirteen participants are in the MAT program that is expected to eventually have 30 participants. Court sessions began in December 2018 and are held every other Friday at 9:30 a.m.

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To aid those who represent themselves in court and improve access to justice, the Eighth Judicial District Court offers 23 Guide and File forms at the Legal Aid Self-help Centers at the Regional Justice Center, at family court, or to  those with Internet access.  The system guides self represented or pro per litigants through the completion of  legal forms with focused questions. Completed forms can then be filed at the courthouse into the court case management system.

The civil and family law Legal Aid Self-Help Centers have introduced 23 guided interviews, with more being developed. The guided interviews ensure that litigants create clear and legible filings that meet all requirements. Those who work in the Legal Aid Self-Help Centers report that through the use of Guide and File, there has been a marked reduction in errors. Cutting errors when filings are initiated, saves users time and facilitates court processes. Prior to the implementation of Guide and File, court time was tied up addressing improper filings.

Thousands of interviews have been successfully completed including: Nevada protection orders against stalking or harassment, adult name changes,  District Court fee waivers,  complaints for divorce,  joint petitions for divorce (no kids),  joint petitions for divorce, petitions to disburse money, small claims complaints, summary eviction complaints,  tenant answer to summary evictions, custody complaints , divorce answers and counterclaims,  custody answers and counterclaims , unemployment judicial reviews step one petitions, petitions to order release of medical records, petitions for cremation, criminal record sealing requests and  small claims answers/counterclaims. In District Court user surveys, most report Guide and File as very easy or easy to use, with few respondents reporting the system as difficult or very difficult.

The following Guide and File forms/interviews are in use:

  1. Adult name change request
  2. District Court fee waiver
  3. Joint petition for divorce
  4. Complaint for Divorce
  5. Divorce Answer and Counterclaim
  6. Custody Complaint
  7. Custody Answer & Counterclaim
  8. Petition to disburse money from a minor’s blocked account
  9. Small claims complaint
  10. Tenant answer to summary eviction
  11. NV protection Order against stalking or harassment
  12. Collection of Judgment
  13. Summary Eviction Complaint
  14. Petition for Cremation
  15. Petition for Special Letters of Administration
  16. Petition to Open Safe Deposit Box
  17. Petition to Order release of Medical Records
  18. Unemployment Judicial Review –Start:  Which Interview is right?
  19. Unemployment Judicial review – Petition for Judicial Review
  20. Unemployment Judicial Review – Opening Brief
  21. Unemployment Judicial Review – Reply Brief
  22. Petition for Transfer of Property & Affidavit of Entitlement
  23. Small Claims Counterclaim

A citizen oriented approach is necessary to ensure access to justice for all. People are becoming more accustomed to, and in many cases, demanding of, do-it-yourself options; not only because they tend to be cheaper, but also because electronic filings offer more flexibility. From a cost, efficiency and user standpoint, Guide and File offers a solution to an issue that has challenged the courts.

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Guide and File system made the list of the top-10 court technology solutions as named by the National Association for Court Management  and the 2018 Tyler Excellence Award.

 

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