Skip to content

eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Uncategorized

NevadaLegislature

During the recent legislative session, a “red flag” law was passed to enable requests for an ex parte or extended order to remove guns from high risk individuals. The law, which became effective on January 1 this year, appears in Nevada Assembly Bill 291 (AB291) with some amendments in AB480. The amendments clarify when the district court has jurisdiction and eliminate a conflicting time provision.

The new law authorizes a family member,  household  member,  or  law enforcement  officer  to  file  a  verified  application  to  obtain  an  ex parte  or  extended order  against  a  person  who engages in high risk behavior.  High risk behavior has a number of definitions, including when a person uses or attempt to use violence or physical force against themselves or another person; when a person communicates a threat of imminent violence; or when a person engages in conduct that presents a danger while the person is in possession of a firearm.  When the protective order is granted, the subject of the petition is prohibited  possessing  or  having  under  his  or  her  custody  or control or by purchasing or otherwise acquiring any firearm.

The law requires the court to have 24/7 availability for law enforcement to have telephonic hearings.  For family applications and for non-telephonic law enforcement applications, hearings must be held the day the application is filed or the next judicial day.

After the order is granted, the law requires service by the appropriate law enforcement agency.  The subject of the application is required to relinquish all firearms and any concealed weapons permits immediately.   The subject of the application then has seventy-two hours to file a receipt with the court.  All orders are reported to the Nevada Criminal Repository.

The court commenced with handling the applications and will have a designated judge on duty on a weekly rotating schedule. The civil/criminal division judges will handle ex parte or extended order applications, since those involved will likely have a nexus with the criminal justice system. Since the “red flag” provision is new, the application volume has not yet been gauged. If needed, a second judge will be designated to meet application demand.

Forms to obtain an ex parte or extended order are available on the Eighth Judicial District Court website forms page http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/departments/clerk/common-forms/ or at the Civil Law Self-Help Center located in the Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave.

To see the law visit the Nevada State Legislature website:

AB291 https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL//80th2019/Bill/6530/Text

AB480 https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/80th2019/Bill/6930/Overview

This article by Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell was originally published in the in Communiqué, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association (February 2020) https://www.clarkcountybar.org/communique/february-2020/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_4934

Graduation from the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court felony DUI (FDUI) program comes with a certificate, a supportive hug, a lifeline to resources and a whole new lease on life. After three to five years of rigorous treatment, participants get the tools they need to control their life, beat their addiction, act responsibly and leave DUI’s in the dust. The felony DUI program is using one-year grant of $30,000 awarded in late 2019 by the Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety to increase program retention rates, up success rates and improve public safety.  In 2019, 112 graduates successfully completed the program. So far in 2020, five have graduated with seven participants scheduled to graduate on Feb. 14 at a 3 p.m. ceremony in the jury services room.

As part of the 2019 grant application process, the Office of Traffic Safety looked at the success of the  Felony DUI program. Of those admitted to the FDUI program from Jan.  2015 to Jan. 2018, 72 percent completed the three to five year program. The Felony DUI program involves intensive treatment, counselling, random urine analysis and weekly support meetings. Participants in the program have three DUI’s (with no resulting injured parties) within seven years. They are on probation during the entire program and serve a minimum six months under house-arrest. All participants are required to have a breath interlock device on any vehicle they own, operate or have access to  during the entire time they are in the program.

“This Nevada Department of Public Safety  grant will enable District Court to add needed resources to successfully manage the significant Felony DUI Court caseload,” said District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “Intensive treatment over time provides those with a history of DUI’s the tools to address their addiction issues. Ultimately, this makes our community safer.”

FDUI program currently has 326 participants in the program. The court coordinator is responsible for intensive clinical case management. They communicate with all collaborative partners, gather information on how participants are doing in therapy. They also problem solve issues, facilitate successes for clients and make clinical recommendations to the judge on treatment.

“I see firsthand how this program helps participants take responsibility for their actions and change,” said Hearing Master Shannon Wittenberger, who presides over the Felony DUI Court. “This funding gives us the ability to add much needed resources to improve success rates and be more effective at treating those in the program.”

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court specialty courts are an effective way to address root-causes that lead to addiction and recidivism. Intensive treatment has proven to be a cost effective way to keep participants in specialty courts from revolving through the justice system. The Nevada Eighth Judicial District specialty courts include veterans court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court, felony DUI court, gambling treatment diversion court, family treatment drug court, juvenile drug court and a youth autism court.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you’ve been to the Regional Justice Center recently, you’ve probably seen the white canopy covering the information booth at the south end of the building. It looks as if there is a top-secret project going on; perhaps an alien autopsy or secret art installation. Although these theories are intriguing, the truth is the white canopy near the south entrance is phase-one of a jury services improvement project. The new design will streamline the registration of jurors as they enter the building. The new user-friendly system will enable computer registration with a jury services employee stationed to help with registration, offer directions and address questions. Upgrades are also in the works for the jury services room including: seats with charging stations, big-screen TV’s and coffee. It’s all part of a plan to improve the experience of potential jurors while they wait to be brought to a courtroom for voir dire. That’s the part when they interview people to determine who will actually serve on the jury.

There are many reasons why the opportunity to serve jury duty is a great experience.

Top 10 reasons to serve on a jury

  1. Jury service is interesting.Serving on a jury can be a very interesting, informative and rewarding life experience.  It gives those who serve on a jury a front row seat to our justice system and valuable insight on how it works.
  2. Jury duty offers a better understanding of the justice system. – In reality, jury duty lasts only one day if required to appear for the majority of people. On average, only 50 percent of people end up being required to report when summoned; seven percent end up being sent to the courtroom; and only one percent actually serve on a jury. The average jury trials in the Eighth Judicial District Court last three to five days (there are exceptions).
  3. Jury trials are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. – By serving as a juror you are fulfilling a fundamental American right guaranteed by the Constitution.
  4. You are a guardian of justice. – Jury service is one way to have a hand in the justice system and know first-hand that it is fair.
  5. It is an opportunity to meet new people and gain a new perspective. – It is not uncommon for jurors to bond during the experience of serving as a juror. It is a shared experience with a common goal to reach justice.
  6. It is time well spent. In reality, jury duty for the majority of people lasts only one day if required to appear. On average, only 50 percent of people end up being required to report when summoned; seven percent end up being sent to a courtroom; and only one percent actually serve on a jury.  The average jury trial in the Eighth Judicial District Court lasts three to five days (there are exceptions).  Jurors are very rarely sequestered.
  7. For those selected it is a valuable life experience. – Serving on a jury is an opportunity to experience something in life that not everyone can claim. Most countries around the world do not have jury trials.
  8. Jurors are compensated – while jury service does not pay as much as most jobs, seated jurors are paid $40 per day. In addition, many large employers continue to pay employees while they serve on juries.  Please check with your employer regarding policies for juror pay.
  9. Many employers allow and encourage attendance – Employers recognize that jury service is an important responsibility. Some employers even pay their employees regular salary while they serve. Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 6.190, employers MUST allow employees to attend jury duty and it is unlawful to take any action against a person for performing his or her civic duty. In addition, employers are prohibited from requiring employees to use sick leave or vacation time in order to serve jury duty.  Employers also may not require employees to work within eight hours before serving, or to work if jury service (including travel time to and from court) will take four or more hours.
  10.  Mileage reimbursement is offered for those outside Las Vegas city limits –The court provides mileage reimbursement if potential jurors live more than 65 miles away from the Regional Justice Center. Hotel accommodations may also be provided.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The National Center for State Courts wants students to learn their civics lessons. They know cash prizes are a great motivator to get those creative juices flowing, so their sponsoring an essay contest. We have a lot of civic minded youth in our community. I know because we see them in the Project Real mock trials and tours we do. The topic is timely: voting. Students can win up to $1,000 if they write a winning essay. More details are defensecounselavailable on ncsc.org/contest. The deadline is February 21, 2020.

Elementary (3rd -5th grade) and middle school (6th-8th grade) students are encouraged to answer the following question in 100 words or less: Why is it so important that all citizens have the right to vote?

High school (9th-12th grade) students are encouraged to answer the following questions in 600 words or less:
Is voting a right, privilege or responsibility? Why?

 Rules for essay contest:

  • Entries for elementary school (3rd -5th grade) and middle school(6th-8th grade) students must be 100 words or less.
  • Entries for high school(9th-12th grade) students must be 600 words or less.
  • Entries should be typed and submitted on www.ncsc.org/contest.

Prizes
High School:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250

Middle School:

  • 1st place: $400
  • 2nd place: $200
  • 3rd place: $100

Elementary School:

  • 1st place: $300
  • 2nd place: $150
  • 3rd place: $100

Deadline
Friday, February 21, 2020

Tags: , , ,

It is reported that Clark County graduation rates are on the rise for the second year. The District Court Truancy Diversion/Keeping Kids in School program has been working with the Clark County School District and other community organizations  toward the goal of improving graduation rates to ensure a brighter future for students in Clark County.

The Eighth Judicial District Court administers the Truancy Diversion Program (TDP) in collaboration with the Clark County School District (CCSD), the Nevada State Public Charter School and the Achievement School District. More than 1,600 students participated in the truancy diversion program in the 2017/2018 school year. The Truancy Diversion Program uses volunteers who motivate students to stay in school and graduate. The volunteers visit their designated school accompanied by a TDP facilitator for approximately three hours each week to hold truancy court sessions at schools. They promote and support academic achievement using a team approach to an individual student success plan involving students and their parents. They review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that they have the resources needed to be successful.

Keeping Kids in School Summits hosted by the Eighth Judicial District Court, the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority and the Clark County School District have been held over the past two years to bring those involved in education, justice and youth services together to cover techniques to safeguard the rights of vulnerable youth.

District Court Judge William Voy currently oversee the TDP. “As a judge who hears juvenile cases, I see firsthand the importance of education and graduation,” said Judge Voy. “The Truancy Diversion Program has proven to be an effective, non-punitive, incentive-based approach to re-engage at-risk students with truancy problems. It is a proactive way to prevent and reduce youth crime and avert potential costs to our welfare and justice systems.”

Related articles:

Nevada, Clark County high school graduation rates increase

https://www.reviewjournal.com/post/1912537

Juvenile Judge tells Truancy Diversion Program volunteers, “Every kid you touch is probably one less kid that I see.”

http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/juvenile-judge-tells-truancy-diversion-program-volunteers-every-kid-you-touch-is-probably-one-less-kid-that-i-see/

Clark County educators and justice professionals take action to keep kids in school and out of the justice system

https://wp.me/p1tnuA-1xN

As school year winds down those who motivate students to graduate to be recognized

https://wp.me/p1tnuA-1sE

Tags: , , , , , , ,

DSC_0061.jpg

“The 8th JDC is operating a coordinated family division model at a scale that places it in a league of its own based on the breadth of case types it oversees,” reports the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges after an eight-month evaluation of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division. “Many challenges exist but NCJJ also documented a parade of strengths that other jurisdictions could benefit from emulating.” 

The independent evaluation was significant, with site-specific findings and recommendations for the Eighth Judicial District Court that include:

  • “The 8th JD Family Division is a progressive jurisdiction with regard to the use of administrative data systems and technology. They are enabling the generation of judicial orders in the courtroom, implementing 1J/1F case assignment, online dispute resolution and online TPO filing and strategies to enable judges/judicial teams to compose court orders for routine hearings and distribute at the conclusion of the hearing. It is the first jurisdiction that NCJJ has encountered with the capacity to use its data systems and information technology capacity to explore the inter-relationships of cases for families with multiple legal matters presented to the court over time. We view this strength as critical for operating Nevada’s coordinated family division model in a large, rapidly growing jurisdiction.”
  • “The commitment to provide non-adversarial procedures for family case resolution is strong in the 8th JDC, with a vision to meet the needs of families that are increasingly comfortable with online applications and dispute resolution tools.”
  • “The 8th JDC Family Division is exceptionally busy and operating at a lean staffing level when compared to other comparably sized jurisdictions such as family courts serving Kings County (Brooklyn) and Queens County in New York City, which have up to twice the overall judicial offer resource to hear similar range of case types. Nonetheless, the court’s leadership over the past five years is addressing the points of greatest stress. Sometimes the efforts are locally driven and other times they are in coordination with the Supreme Court of Nevada.”
  • “The pressures of an antiquated facility footprint designed for a jurisdiction half its current size is undeniable for Clark County. Family division administration is focused on extending the facility life and addressing safety concerns, while addressing the space allocation for self-represented parties and temporary protective order triage. During interviews, there were many critics and legitimate concerns, but the NCJJ team left with the impression that the court administration is focused on solutions until a long-term decision is made.”

“This assessment confirms that the Family Division is doing great work and implementing innovative programs that provide for the effective and efficient administration of justice,” said Presiding Family Division Judge Bryce Duckworth. “The assessment acknowledges that our Family Division is exceptionally busy and operating at ‘a lean staffing level when compared to other comparatively sized jurisdictions’ and notes that the Court’s leadership is ‘addressing the points of greatest stress.’ We should be proud of the work that is performed in the Family Division of the Eighth Judicial District Court. Nevertheless, we welcome the constructive feedback offered in the assessment and recognize the need to continue to look for ways to improve the services that we offer families in our community. We look forward to addressing the challenges identified in the full report and the site-specific findings and recommendations.”

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Nevada policy makers had a vision for addressing the needs of families in court in a coordinated manner. After a referendum on an amendment to the state Constitution, an ambitious coordinated family division model in judicial districts serving populations over 100, 000 people was implemented. The goal of the recent independent evaluation, conducted between January and August of this year in Clark and Washoe counties, was to determine if family court was meeting expectations of families and lawmakers, following state and local courts rules, and resolving legal disputes timely and effectively. Research was done through phone interviews, electronic surveys, and site visits.  To download the full report, visit https://nvcourts.link/FamilyDivisionAssessment.  According to the report, “There is a commitment to make sure that the case of the most vulnerable especially children are a priority for resource allocations.”

“The findings from this independent evaluation demonstrate that despite population increase and tremendous caseload growth that have stressed resources, through strategic evaluation, planning, work, commitment and effective use of technology the Eighth Judicial District Family Division has made great progress and is viewed as model for other courts. The study also makes apparent  there is a crucial  need to upgrade facilities to maintain adequate service to the public,” said Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “I applaud the work that has been accomplished by judges and staff to ensure that the community is being served in an effective and efficient manner that is in the best interests of families, especially given the less than optimum facilities and short staffing.”

The study was conducted over eight months by the research division of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The study’s purpose was to identify the high-level areas in which the coordinated family division operating models for juvenile and family law are meeting legislative goals.

The NCJJ study affirms that Nevada has a unique and ambitious vision for how courts should work for families in crisis. Nevada’s coordinated family division model brought together over 20 different case types in the juvenile and family law areas under one roof. The charge is to coordinate everything from divorces and child custody and child support, through child abuse and neglect matters and delinquency, to adult and juvenile guardianships, name changes and involuntary mental health commitment hearings.

The National Center for Juvenile Justice, located in Pittsburgh, Penn., is the oldest juvenile justice research group in the U.S., having conducted national and sub-national studies on crime and delinquency since 1973.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,