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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Clark County Family Law

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“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.

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The upcoming Family Bench Bar Meeting on November 17 at noon, in courtroom 9 at Family Court 601 N. Pecos Road, will give attorneys the latest insight on what’s new for 2017. In addition to announcements and updates, an overview of Promise One and the Annual Family Law conference will be given. Discussion topics will  include transgender and the law, and proper  courtroom decorum. The Pro Bono Advisory Council Volunteer of the Month will be recognized. Attorneys are also invited to weigh in during the open forum. The Bench Bar meetings are a great way to raise issues, address questions and network.  There will be no Family Bench Bar meeting in December.

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There are about 3,500 children in the foster care system. They face instability, uncertainty and challenges that make it very difficult for any young person to be successful. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) are able to provide a stabilizing force in their lives. As CASA celebrates 35 years of serving the community, the push is on to get more people to volunteer. The goal is to get a volunteer to be a voice for every foster child. The volunteers get so much in return.

In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. He saw a need that has continued to grow over the years. Thirty-five years later, 35 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) for youth in Foster Care have taken to the CASALasVegas Facebook page to share their personal stories of being a voice for kids in foster care and making a difference. Their stories make it clear that the volunteers end up coming out of the experience enriched and feeling that they really have made a difference.

The primary goal of CASA is to help children achieve permanence in a safe and loving home and to ensure that the children they speak for will have the opportunity for a bright future. For 35 years, the CASA program has recruited and trained volunteers to serve as a voice for children in foster care. There are many stories of success that have impacted the lives of the kids and their families. The stories posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CASALasVegas provide inspiration.

There are currently around 357 CASA volunteers serving as a voice for foster children in our community. Many more volunteers are needed to advocate for the nearly 3,500 children receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Last year, more than 900 children had a CASA volunteer to help them navigate through the system, and deal with school challenges and home life.

“The stories shared by the CASA volunteers show how one person can make a big difference in the life of a child,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan. I encourage people in the community to visit the CASALasVegas Facebook page to see the satisfaction volunteers receive and to consider volunteering as a CASA.”

The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports the volunteers who represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, 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. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court judges.

“For 35 years, CASA has met a crucial need in our community. We thank those who have volunteered to serve as a voice for youth in foster care, and we encourage others to volunteer to help ensure a bright future for the more than 3,500 young people in need of a voice,” said Presiding Family Division Judge Charles Hoskin.

For those interested in volunteering with CASA, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month to provide more information about the program. Upcoming orientations will be held at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CASALasVegas. Follow CASA on Twitter at

https://twitter.com/casalasvegas.

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