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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

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At a recent visit to Matt Kelly Elementary School for a newspaper article on the Keeping Kids in School truancy diversion program, the community school liaison mentioned that they always need socks and underwear for kids who have “accidents.”  That mention prompted a little drive to help restock their emergency supply.  Through the generosity of some people at the District Court, on March 20, the woman who is the go-to source for kids needing resources got a special delivery of socks and underwear, plus some extras to be used as rewards for students in the program.

The Keeping Kids in School truancy diversion program involves judges, attorneys, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers who volunteer approximately three hours each week to and hold truancy court sessions at schools, where they meet individually with students and their parents. They review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that students have the resources they need to be successful. The TDP judges promote and support academic achievement using a team effort and an individual student success plan. Since 2007, the TDP has expanded from six to 80 schools including elementary, middle schools and high schools. The goal of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division is to continue to expand until all Clark County schools have a TDP program.

The volunteer Truancy Diversion Judges are playing an important role in addressing the significant issue of truancy in Clark County. They listen to the kids, hear their issues, encourage and motivate them.

Keeping kids in school is important. Those without a high school diploma face higher prospects of unemployment and the associated negative consequences. This collaborative effort between the CCSD has been structured to prevent and reduce youth crime, re-engage students in learning, and ultimately, reduce potential costs to our welfare and justice systems. It is a non-punitive, incentive-based approach to at-risk school students with truancy problems. A team (judge, family advocate, school personnel) works with the students and their families.

If you are a licensed attorney, mental health professional or law enforcement officer and are interested in volunteering as a TDP judge for this Specialty Court program please call 702-455-1755.

 

 

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Judge Doug Smith

Judge Doug Smith

In a letter addressed to Governor Steve Sisolak, Judge Doug Smith announced his retirement from District Court department eight, effective April 12. In the letter he wrote, “I plan to retire to spend time with my family.”

Judge Smith, who is 67, has presided over both civil and criminal cases in the Nevada Eighth Judicial  District Court for just over 10 years. He began his long public service career in 1982, as a Public Defender in Clark County. He remained in that role for three years, until  he took a post as a prosecutor with the Clark County District Attorney’s office. He stayed with the DA’s office for seven years, until his election as a Justice of the Peace in 1995. His entire career has been in public service, with the exception of a short  period of time in private practice.

“Las Vegas has been good to me,” said Judge Smith while reflecting on his career. “I’m going to miss the work , the judges, the lawyers, the whole thing.” Judge Smith believes he had a responsibility to serve the community. “My theory is get things done. Hopefully it’s correct. I haven’t made everybody happy. When you make a decision as a judge, half the court leaves mad at you.”

Judge Smith is looking forward to spending quality time with his wife, Las Vegas native Kelly Brown, his three sons and a new grandchild on the way.

“I appreciate Judge Smith’s 37 years of service to our community and his dedication to the court,” said  District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell.

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection, a judicial body created pursuant to the Nevada State Constitution and governed by the Nevada Revised Statutes, will facilitate the process to fill the judicial vacancy. The commission reviews applications from attorneys, interviews and then nominates three potential candidates for a final selection by the governor.

 

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Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave.

A delegation from Mexico including investigators, prosecutors and forensic experts will visit the Eighth Judicial District Court in the Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave. on March 14 from 9 a.m. until noon to observe an oral, adversarial system of justice in action. The delegation comes from state attorney general offices throughout Mexico including: Querétaro, Nuevo León, Durango and Jalisco. They are here for the week in coordination with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office and the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG).

Mexico has been transitioning to an oral, adversarial system of justice for a few years. They are here to learn best practices as they make the transition.

District Court frequently serves as host to delegations from around the world looking to learn best practices and get ideas for new technology. “We welcome the delegation of justice professionals from Mexico to our court,” said Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “It is a real tribute to our legal professionals who are asked time and again to showcase their professional expertise and advancements with delegations from around the globe.”

 

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The March 12 Civil Bench-Bar meeting at noon, in courtroom 10D, will offer valuable insight on new changes to Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure. Michael Gayan will cover Rule4; Judge Ron Israel will cover minor compromises; and Judge Jerry Wiese will cover Rule 16 followed by a Q&A session.

Changes that apply to all civil actions and proceedings pending or filed in Nevada’s district and appellate courts was a hot topic at the Civil and Family Bench-Bar Meetings last month. 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).

“You have to read the rules. I hate to break the news to you, but you absolutely have to read the rules,” said former Discovery Commissioner turned Nevada Court of Appeals Judge Bonnie Bulla, when addressing the Civil Bench-Bar about the changes.

The rules are intended to ensure just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of every action and proceeding. The changes were effective March 1. Over the next few months, the new rules will be covered in the Civil Bench-Bar meetings to clear up questions from the bar.

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 NV SC 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. 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.

Filings 

The court now auto accepts all filings, which means files are automatically filed into the case.  Prior to this change, every document was reviewed before acceptance. This new process is being fine-tuned.  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.

Discovery

There are significant changes to Discovery in the Amendment to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure. Commissioner Truman will be handling discovery disputes on an interim basis until a replacement for Bonnie Bulla is named.

At the Family Bench bar meeting Commissioner Erin Truman advised that there are a lot of little nuanced changes, and she also encouraged attorneys to read the rules. Commissioner Truman suggested that viewing the red-line version helps to sort through changes https://nvcourts.gov/AOC/Committees_and_Commissions/NRCP/Adopted_Rules_and_Redlines/

Reports and Recommendations 

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.

Per the new rules, Discovery will no longer be a part of the objection process. The new notice page will now have a notation as to when the objection time expires. After the time expires, judges will consider any objection and make a decision. Per NRCP 16.3(c)(2), counsel will have 14 days after being served with the filed report to file and serve written objections to the recommendations (If mailed through the United States Postal Service or if put in attorney folders, still get three additional days for mailing. If served in person or eserved, no additional days are allotted.) Written authorities may be filed with objections, but are not mandatory. If written authorities are filed, any other party may file and serve responding authorities within seven (7) days after being served with objections. Once the Report and Recommendations is signed, the Order will be sent back to the firm that submitted the Report and Recommendations so they can file, serve and prepare the notice of entry.

The NRCP Committee comprised of co-chairs Justice Mark Gibbons and Justice Kristina Pickering, Judge Elissa F. Cadish, Judge Kimberly A. Wanker, Judge James E. Wilson, Discovery Commissioner Wesley M. Ayres, Discovery Commissioner Bonnie A. Bulla, Professor Thom Main, and attorneys George T. Bochanis, Robert L. Eisenberg, Graham A. Galloway, Racheal Mastel, Steve Morris, William E. Peterson, Daniel F. Polsenberg, Kevin C. Powers, Don Springmeyer, Todd E. Reese, and Loren S. Young.

Those who would like to suggest questions on the new procedures or suggest topics for coverage in the Civil Bench Bar or for other suggested topics, please email: ejdcbecnhbar@gmail.com

 

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Scamphoto

Mother really did know best when it came to a 22 year-old former Las Vegas resident who got a call from a scammer posing as an officer, and threatening to throw her in jail for a warrant for missing jury duty. The young woman was scared and mortified, because she took the official sounding call at work on speaker, as coworkers listened. The fraudster offered the young woman, who currently lives in California, a remedy, if she headed to the grocery story to pay $1,000 fine. Bogus warrant scammers usually send their victims to the store to get prepaid credit cards that are untraceable.

On her way to the store, the would-be victim called her mom to convey her plight. The savvy mom immediately got suspicious and did an online search. Her quick search turned up a slew of information on scams aimed at bilking unsuspecting victims out of thousands of dollars for nonexistent warrants. Mom put the brakes on, stopped her daughter from making a big mistake and saved the day.

This scam is not new to our area. Missed jury duty warrant scams and other similar rip-offs have been going on for years in our community and across the country. Cunning con-artists are part of large rackets that have successfully stolen thousands of dollars from each of their many victims, who are fearful and fall prey to the official sounding schemes.

5 facts to ward off warrant scams

  1. Scams can be reported to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Financial Crimes Unit at Financialcrimes@lvmpd.com
  2. These jury warrant scams continue to pop up they can be done through phone call or e-mail.
  3. Be wary of phone calls or emails that look like a jury summons and request important personal information, including: date of birth and social security and driver’s license numbers and threatens a fine or prison for failing to respond.
  4. The court never calls or e-mails people to get personal information such as their social security number.  Those who receive these e-mails or calls should not respond and are advised to contact law enforcement.
  5. Another key red flag is the request for money. No official representatives of the court will call to solicit money for any purposes.

The District Court website has information on jury service; visit http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/ejdc/juror-information/index.html. Those who have received a summons can reschedule jury service online at https://ejuror.clarkcountycourts.us. A jury phone line is also available at 702-455-4472 (callers should remain on the line for the operator).

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Alexandra McLeod awarded prizes to chili cook-off winners at February Civil Bench-Bar meeting. Nadia Con Magdenko was the grand prize winner. T. Augustus Claus won second place and Lauren Peña won third prize. The winners took home lovely engraved spoons. The cook-off is an annual event at the Civil Bench-Bar meeting that are held the second Tuesday of each month to give attorneys members of the Bar Association an opportunity learn about the many changes that occur at the court and to get issues addressed with the bench. The next Civil Bench-Bar Meeting will be held March 12 at noon in courtroom 10D.

 

 

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The Nevada Eighth Judicial District court launched the first gambling treatment diversion court (GTDC) in Nevada in October. Judge Cheryl Moss hosted an open house today to offer information on the  new gambling treatment court.

Judge Moss was appointed by Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell to preside over the gambling diversion court. The GTDC will use the best practices already in place in Clark County’s other specialty courts including: veterans court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court, felony DUI court, family treatment drug court,  juvenile drug court and autism court.

Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 458A was amended in 2009 to permit a defendant to enter a gambling diversion treatment program if a criminal judge deems they are eligible in lieu of incarceration. “Nevada is a world leader in gaming, so it makes perfect sense that our state lead the way when it comes to gambling treatment diversion,” said Judge Bell. “Our specialty courts have had great success rehabilitating specialty court participants and getting them onto a productive path. I believe the time is appropriate to use the proven tools of our specialty courts for a gambling treatment diversion court.”

The gambling treatment diversion court is the first of its kind in the state and the second in the nation. The first gambling court in the nation was established in Amherst, New York by now retired Judge Mark Farrell. Judge Moss will be the first judge to preside over the Nevada gambling treatment diversion court. “I’m looking forward to taking the proven strategies of our specialty courts and applying them to those who are in the justice system as a result of their gambling addiction,” said Judge Moss. “The gambling treatment court is a natural for this community and it is truly needed.” Judge Moss has an extensive background in problem gambling having lectured nationally and locally on issues related to problem gambling and the courts. She also authored an article on gambling diversion court programs across the U.S.

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court specialty courts are an effective way to address root-causes that lead to recidivism. Specialty courts solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, 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.