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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Court Coronavirus response

Today, Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Linda Bell issued Administrative Order 20-16 that orders face coverings and social distancing at court facilities:

“On May 7, 2020, Governor Sisolak entered Declaration of Emergency Directive 018, which directs employers to take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing and sanitation guidelines and to follow guidelines promulgated by the Nevada State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NV OSHA).” 

“With these guidelines in mind, this Court finds it necessary to exercise its ministerial judicial power and after consultation with the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court, orders as follows:

FACE COVERINGS

  1. All members of the public who enter court facilities must wear face coverings.
  2. All court employees must wear face coverings inside court facilities unless they are alone in unshared work space.
  3. Attorneys, vendors, and employees of any organization or entity who work in the Regional Justice Center building, the Family Court building, or other court facilities must wear face coverings while in any common areas of the facilities, including elevators and courtrooms.  This includes, but is not limited to, employees of Las Vegas Municipal Court, Las Vegas Justice Court, Legal Aid Self-Help Centers, Clark County Clerk’s Main Office, Clark County District Attorney’s Office, Clark County Public Defender’s Office, Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services, Clark County Department of Family Services, and contract counsel.
  4. Children under the age of two and individuals who are unable to remove the face covering without assistance do not have to comply with the above-referenced face covering directives. Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering for court should make arrangements to appear by alternative means.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Judges and Court Administration must adhere to the social distancing space plans as diagramed by Real Property Management at the request of the District Court. The plans will be provided separately.
  • Court employees must ensure they maintain proper social distancing while at work and during breaks.
  • Public elevators at court facilities must be limited to four individuals at a time to prevent crowding.  

This order shall be reviewed no later than every 30 days and shall remain in effect  until modified or rescinded by a subsequent order.”

To see Administrative Order 20-16 in its entirety visit

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Two months after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued a state of emergency due to Coronavirus and the court operations transformed to comply with safety measures, the wheels of justice continue to turn; but things look different. Nearly everyone is masked. There are signs everywhere to caution visitors about safe practices. Juries are still on hold and paper is unwanted.

Flags flew at half-staff as ordered by the governor to honor Las Vegas Strip icon Roy Horn, who reportedly passed away due to the Coronavirus.

The building and the people stand ready for the next phase that will bring more visitors back to the courthouse that touches the life of  every member of the community. 

Nevada Declaration of Emergency

Declaration of Emergency Directive 009 (Revised).4-01-20 (2)

Roadmap to Recovery

Roadmap-to-Recovery-Phase-One-Initial-Guidance

Court COVID-19 Administrative Order Summary AOsummaryChart1_14

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NextSteps

Governor Steve Sisolak released the Roadmap to Recovery Phase One Initial Guidance after a press conference today Roadmap-to-Recovery-Phase-One-Initial-Guidance

Eighth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Linda Bell sent an email to staff yesterday with an outlook for what can be expected at the court in the upcoming months. She noted that District Court is already conducting essential operations and has been functioning all along in line with Governor Steve Sisolak’s opening plan phase 1 parameters NEVADA UNITED – ROADMAP TO RECOVERY (3). Court operations will continue as such, during the Governor’s Road to Recovery Phase 1, and for at least 30 days after the first phase (a minimum of 60 days).

“We don’t yet have a clear understanding of Phase 2, so it is difficult to give a precise date when things will change. I do believe we will be operating under some degree of restriction for several months to come,” said Judge Bell. Her memo outlined a concerted effort to continue to move forward with cases to reduce potential backlog later. “Given that we may continue for some time with restrictions, it’s going to be important for us to figure out creative ways to do as much work as possible. We need to make sure that the parties are able to move forward with cases.” She encouraged alternative appearances with the technology that is in place for lawyers/parties/witnesses and judges.

With the eventual prospect of additional people coming into court facilities, safety is the priority.  Employees and those visiting the court are instructed to wear a mask, practice physical distancing and frequent hand washing to provide protection against infection.

It is anticipated, that it will be at least 75 days before jury trials are conducted. A plan will ensure jurors are safe and feel comfortable once jury summonses get underway again.  Because of the extreme limitations on the ability to do trials, cases will be prioritize, starting with criminal interstate compact and invoked trials. That will be followed by older criminal in-custody cases; civil five-year rule cases; civil preferential trial setting cases where there is a very elderly or ill party; and medical malpractice three-year rule cases. It is expected that mid-July and August would be focused on the invoked criminal cases with the next level of priority cases around September.

The Family Division continues to process essential matters and there was a recent case reassignment that is outlined in Administrative Order 20-15 Administrative Order 20-15. A guided interview process has been established for Domestic Violence Temporary Protective Orders (TPOs) that enables victims to complete TPO applications on-line with a guided interview menu https://wp.me/p1tnuA-1KI. “This is a great advancement given the unfortunate increase in domestic violence during the pandemic,” said Judge Bell.

The court is working on an electronic proposed order application process. The process is in the testing phase with eight departments. The application allows for orders to be signed and then filed, served and closed all at once. The plan is to expand the number of departments using the application. The application pulls from the department electronic inboxes. If the subject line follows the proper naming convention it will save you time down the road. Lawyers sending proposed orders should have the subject line contain: full case number – document filing code – case caption.

Judge Bell commended the amazing work accomplished by the District Court IT team and has repeatedly thanked lawyers, fellow judges and staff for their hard work, commitment and patience in her correspondence.

All the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court orders related to COVID-19 that outline court processes can be found in one searchable chart at AOsummaryChart1_14 Once in the document, press cont F and enter a key word to search.

 

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BenchBar

Nearly 100 participants tapped into a virtual Civil Bench-Bar meeting held to address questions regarding the Administrative Orders that dictate how the Civil Division of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court is functioning during the Covid-19 state of emergency.

Judge Gloria Sturman presided over the meeting and offered up tips for civil attorneys including, recommending use of the court remote appearance page http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/virtual/ and the administrative order matrix that cross-references all the Administrative Orders related to COVID-19 AOsummaryChart1_14.

Chief Judge Linda Bell addressed questions about trials. “We obviously cannot bring in jurors right now. Once we get up and going, it will take us six weeks to summons jurors and have jurors come in,” said Judge Bell. “We have to give priority to the people who are in custody who have invoked their speedy trial right. After that, we’ll be looking at trials older civil trials where there are five year rules issues and in custody criminal trials and then other trials will follow after that.” She made it clear that jurors would be brought back with safety protocols in place and adherence to social distancing requirements.

Judge Bell clarified questions about different deadlines during the state of emergency. Referring to matters that are stayed, she said, “the time doesn’t count; it’s as if those days didn’t happen.” Judge Bell recommended that attorneys should read Administrative Order 20–13 to get up to speed on changes during the state of emergency. Administrative Order 20-13

Judge Bell shared that the court is working towards an automated filing system that will enable things to be done much more quickly. She also shared that the court is working on an electronic exhibits process.

Judge Jerry Wiese reported that all settlement conferences that were scheduled through the department 30 program for May have been vacated. He indicated that they hope to get things going again in June.

Commissioner Erin Truman offered information on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Discovery during the Coronavirus emergency. “Discovery is operating pretty much fully,” reported Commissioner Truman. “We are encouraging any arbitrator or party that would like to do their arbitration either by videoconference or on the briefs to go forward, if the parties agree. If the parties would like to have arbitration done in person, they are directed to do so at the end of the restrictions.”

An administrative order authorizes the commissioner to grant 60-day extensions for good cause, if the 12-month arbitration time limit will expire during this the Coronavirus state of emergency. For cases where the 12-month deadline expires after the restrictions are lifted, Commissioner Truman will review each arbitrator’s request for extension of time on a case-by-case basis.

The court will vacate all short trials set to be heard prior to July 10; those set for after July 10, will be considered on a cases-by-case basis, depending on what works for Jury Services.

With respect to tolling Commissioner Truman said, “Any Discovery that was served during the period of time, in my view, would be due 30 days after the order expires.”  She is conducting hearings Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday. “If the parties are willing to move forward, we want to keep Discovery going to the extent it can,” said Commissioner Truman. She also noted that requests for exemptions are being reviewed at a volume of about 100 per week. The commissioner offered clarification on other issues including:

  • If the parties agree, remote depositions are permitted.
  • Rule 35 exams cannot go forward until the restrictions are lifted.
  • In-person depositions cannot go forward.
  • Subpoenas are allowed if the parties agree and submit stipulation to allow a deposition to go forward. The deadline for response cannot be any sooner than 14 days after the administrative order 20-13 expires.

Judge Sturman estimated that probate commissioner is reviewing 100 to 140 unopposed matters per week. She reminded that it is a voluminous amount of work that requires time.

Those who are attempting to execute a will during the state of emergency, will need to get remote notarization of documents. Electronic notarization authorizations require a special type of notarization licenses.

Another virtual Civil Bench-Bar meeting is expected to be scheduled in the future to address any new issues that arise.

 

 

 

 

 

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What's Going On

A lot is happening in the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court during the Coronavirus pandemic. Since Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency on March 12, a tremendous amount of work has been done to enable court business to move forward by alternate means.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, District Court Chief Judge Linda Bell has issued 14 administrative orders so far. The orders cover the immense accommodations made to enable the court to continue doing business in a safe and effective manner.

All the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court orders related to COVID-19 can  be found in one searchable chart at AOsummaryChart1_14 Once in the document, press cont F and enter a key word to search.

On April 30, Governor Steve Sisolak released his Roadmap to Recovery NEVADA UNITED – ROADMAP TO RECOVERY (3).

A call center at 702-455-4472 is taking calls to assist with rescheduling court appearance, arranging for appearance by alternative means or provide other information based on the circumstances of the appearance.

To schedule a remote hearing or learn what options are available visit: HTTP://WWW.CLARKCOUNTYCOURTS.US/VIRTUAL/

All Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court administrative orders related to COVID-19 can also be found on the court website: HTTP://WWW.CLARKCOUNTYCOURTS.US/GENERAL/COURT-RULES-AND-ADMINISTRATIVE-ORDERS/#ADMINISTRATIVE%20ORDERS

The following  was issued from the office of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak: Declaration of Emergency Directive 009 (Revised).4-01-20 (2)

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warrantgraphic

Search warrants, wiretaps and pen registers that capture phone numbers are an essential time-sensitive aspect of law enforcement and are a key element in many criminal cases. In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Eighth Judicial District Court Administrative Order 20-14 Electronic Filing of Applications for Search Warrants and Court Orders Nevada law allows for a peace officer to apply for a search warrant remotely through secure electronic transmission.

“In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Eighth Judicial District Court has implemented a series of administrative orders to implement social distancing, encouraged remote appearances, and suspended requirements to provide paper copies of documents,” District Court Chief Judge Linda Bell wrote in Administrative Order 20-14. “To continue to work efficiently and effectively and protect the health and wellbeing of our community through social distancing, I find that the District Court must streamline its process to electronically review applications for and issue search warrants, and to review applications for and issue orders for pen registers, trap and trace, stored communications, and communication interception.”

Additionally, the District Attorney and Attorney General or their deputies, supported by an affidavit of a peace officer, can apply to the district court for an order authorizing using a pen register, using a trap and trace device, or intercepting communications (wiretaps).

A judge may accept an electronic copy of the signature of any person required to give an oath or affirmation as part of an application submitted pursuant to this section as an original signature of the application.  In addition to warrants, pens and wiretaps, the Stored Communications Act allows for applications for orders for certain kinds of communications information. The collective group of items seeking information through the court order will now be referred to as “surveillance orders.”

Given the current health crisis and the law supporting electronic processing of warrants and surveillance orders, all law enforcement agencies applying for warrants or surveillance orders with a judge of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court shall do so electronically. Returns and orders will also be filed electronically as set out in Administrative Order 20-14. The applications must be made through a secure electronic transmission procedure. This new process will eliminate the need for in-person signatures and eliminate other logistical challenges, resulting in an expedited process that could save an estimated time of two hours per surveillance order.

All Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court administrative orders related to COVID-19 can  be found on the court website: HTTP://WWW.CLARKCOUNTYCOURTS.US/GENERAL/COURT-RULES-AND-ADMINISTRATIVE-ORDERS/#ADMINISTRATIVE%20ORDERS

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COVIDREsponseDVTPOguided

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court has launched an online guided application for domestic violence temporary protective orders. The online application, available through the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Self Help website  https://nevada.tylerhost.net/SRL/SRL/Start?legalProcessKey=Domestic_Violence_Temporary_Protective_Order, offers a step-by-step guide to complete a request for a domestic violence temporary protective order from the court. Upon completion of the form, applicants are instructed to email their completed application directly to the court clerk for processing, or to efile it. Upon submission, the applicant will be set for a telephonic hearing. Applicants have until 4 p.m. to submit their completed application for a same-day phone-in hearing; otherwise, they will be set for a hearing on the following morning.

“The stress caused by the circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic makes this a high-risk time for domestic violence. This new guided online form gives those looking to apply for domestic violence protective orders an easily accessible option to obtain a TPO remotely and discretely,” said District Court Family Division Presiding Judge Bryce Duckworth. “Despite the limitations imposed by response to the Coronavirus crisis, we continue to facilitate access to the court for those who face domestic violence.” Help with protective orders is also available by email tpo@lacsn.org.

“Local organizations that provide services to victims of domestic violence report an uptick in incidences,” said Stephanie McDonald, Esq., the directing attorney of the Family Law Self Help Center operated by Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Inc. “It is crucial that those facing the danger of domestic violence know they can easily file an application for a protective order.”

For those without access to a computer, the Family Law Self-Help Center is also processing domestic violence temporary protective order (TPO) applications by phone on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Those facing domestic violence can call 702-455-1500 to get a TPO facilitated by phone. Help is also available by email tpo@lacsn.org.

The application for domestic violence temporary protective order is the most recent guided form available online to assist users with court filings. The guided forms can be found at  https://nevada.tylerhost.net/srl including landlord tenant issues and petitions for judicial review of unemployment claims.

 

 

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