Judicial Branch Overview

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1 Judicial Branch Overview Kristina Pickering, Chief Justice James Hardesty, Justice Senate Judiciary Committee February, 2013 Staff Contact: John McCormick

2 Judicial Branch Article 3, Section 1, of the Nevada Constitution The powers of the Government of the State of Nevada shall be divided into three separate departments, the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial... Article 6, Section 1, of the Nevada Constitution The judicial power of this State shall be vested in a court system, comprising a Supreme Court, district courts, and justices of the peace. G 2 2

3 Judicial Branch Organization Judicial Branch Generally, NRS Chapter 1 Justice Court Article 6, Sec. 8 NRS Chapter 4 Supreme Court Article 3, Sec. 1 Article 6, Sec. 1, 2, 3, 4, & 19 NRS Chapter 2 District Court Article 6, Sec. 5 & 6 NRS Chapter 3 Municipal Court Article 6, Sec. 9 NRS Chapter 5 The Constitution provides for the establishment of the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch resolves both public and private disputes by applying laws established through the legislative process and based upon prior state Supreme Court decisions. Nevada has a non-unified court system. G 3 3

4 Judicial Branch Revenue Total Biennial Funding - $119,469,701 General Fund Appropriation Distribution $55,014,120 46% $63,631,043 53% 67% Judicial Elected Official Salaries 16% to the Supreme Court 7% to the Judicial Retirement System 5% to the Law Library 3% to the Senior Judge Program 2% Judicial Programs 1% Other (Foreclosure Mediation & Judicial Selection) $824,538 1% General Fund Admin Assess & Other Fees Federal The Judicial Branch general fund appropriation is 1% of the total general fund appropriation contained in the Executive Budget. When comparing the Judicial Branch budget to all funding sources in the Executive Budget, the Judicial Branch receives.6% of all funding sources. G 4

5 Supreme Court Duties Administer the Nevada judicial system Decide all civil and criminal cases appealed from District Court Exercise extraordinary writ review - writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, and habeas corpus Licensure and discipline of lawyers Appellate review for judicial discipline G 5 5

6 Supreme Court Cases Filed and Disposed Projections for the Biennium FY 10 FY 11 FY 12 FY 13* FY 14* FY 15* New Cases Filed 2,266 2,395 2,500 2,625 2,756 2,894 Cases Resolved 2,419 2,220 2,270 2,270 2,270 2,270 Cases Pending 1,514 1,689 1,919 2,274 2,760 3,384 *Projections for cases filed and cases pending include a 5% increase each year It took 112 years from statehood on October 31, 1864 until August 12, 1977 for the first 10,000 cases to be filed in the Nevada Supreme Court. Over the next 30 years from 1977 to August 13, ,000 more cases were files, 10,000 of which were filed between The 60,000 th case was filed on January 9, G 6

7 Supreme Court Cases Decided in Calendar Year 2012 Numbers Disposed in Calendar Year 2012 by Case Category 65 Bar Matters 862 Civil Appeals G Criminal Appeals 329 Original Proceedings 7

8 Nevada Supreme Court Caseload Compared with Selected Other States 8 G8

9 District Courts Article 6, Sec. 5 & 6; NRS Chapter 3 10 judicial districts, 17 county courts 82 judges of general jurisdiction Jurisdiction - Preside over cases of felony and gross misdemeanor crimes; civil matters above $10,000; and family law cases, including juvenile crimes (exclusive), abuse, and neglect. Conduct jury and non-jury trials. Rule on legal issues. Hear appeals of Justice and Municipal Court cases. Funding Source District Judges salaries State General Fund Appropriation Staff, facilities, & operations County General Fund and Civil Filing Fees District Court Case Filings, 2012 Criminal Civil Family Juvenile 15,481 30,770 69,328 11,788 Total Case Filings: 127,367 District Court Case Dispositions, 2012 Criminal Civil Family Juvenile 16,830 36,320 64,620 13,736 Total Case Dispositions: 131,506 9 G 9

10 Senior Judge Program Senior Judge Program places retired district judges (currently 22 active seniors) to hear cases in district court due to judicial absence, disqualification, vacancy, or another reason In 2012 the senior judges provided the service of an equivalent of 8 full time district judges, saving millions of dollars and expediting cases that could have languished in the backlog Senior judges also conduct settlement hearings in the Clark County Family Court resulting in speedier resolution of these cases G 10 10

11 Justice Courts Article 6, Sec. 8; NRS Chapter 4 67 judgeships Courts of limited jurisdiction Jurisdiction: Preside over preliminary matters of felony and gross misdemeanor cases, traffic and other misdemeanor cases, civil matters up to $10,000, small claims (up to $7,500), and landlord tenant disputes. Issue temporary protective orders and warrants. In fiscal year 2011, non-traffic cases filed 214,923; and traffic cases filed 363,185 In fiscal year 2012, non-traffic cases filed 192,129; and traffic cases filed 370,279 Funding source: County General Fund 9 judges serve as both Justice of the Peace and Municipal Court Judge G 11 11

12 Municipal Courts Article 6, Sec. 9; NRS Chapter 5 30 judgeships Court of limited jurisdiction Jurisdiction: Preside over misdemeanor and traffic cases in incorporated communities; limited civil jurisdiction In fiscal year 2011, non-traffic cases filed 62,735; and traffic cases filed 203,310 In fiscal year 2012, non-traffic cases filed 54,147; and traffic charges filed 185,046 Funding source: City General Fund 9 judges serve as both Justice of the Peace and Municipal Court Judge G 12 12

13 Specialty Courts 44 Specialty Courts programs throughout Nevada. 1,541 participant successfully graduated from specialty court programs in FY drug-free babies born to participants Funding in the next biennium: $7 specialty court administrative assessment (NRS ) Felony bond forfeitures (10% to Specialty Courts, NRS ) 12% of the Judicial Branch share of general administrative assessment revenue (NRS ) Total Specialty Court Revenue in FY 2012: $5,631,309 G 13 13

14 Specialty Courts by Region Western Region Western Regional Adult Drug Court (5 programs) Carson City & Storey County Juvenile Drug Court Carson City Felony DUI Court Carson City Mental Health Court Washoe Region Second Judicial District Adult Drug Court Family Drug Court Felony DUI Court Juvenile Drug Court Mental Health Court Veterans Court Reno Justice Court Alcohol and Drug Court Sparks Municipal Court Alcohol and Drug Court Reno Municipal Court Alcohol and Drug Court (2 programs) Eastern Region Elko County Juvenile and Adult Drug Courts White Pine County Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts Fifth Judicial District Nye County Juvenile and Adult Drug Courts Central Region Humboldt County Adult Drug Court Lander County Adult Drug Court Pershing County Adult Drug Court Clark Region Eight Judicial District Adult Drug Court Child Support Drug Court Dependency Mothers Drug Court Family Drug Court Felony DUI Court Juvenile Drug Court Mental Health Court Las Vegas Justice Court Adult Drug and DUI (3 programs) Courts Las Vegas Municipal Adult Drug, DUI, Habitual Offender, and Female Prostitution Courts Henderson Municipal Habitual Offender Court North Las Vegas Municipal Alcohol and Drug Court There are courts funded from other sources: northern prison re-entry, southern prison G 14 re-entry, and southern veterans 14

15 Business Courts Second Judicial District (Washoe) and Eighth Judicial District (Clark) WDCR 2.1; EDCR 1.61 Business Court Jurisdiction Corporate Disputes Business to Business Disputes Business Court Caseloads, FY 2012 Court New Cases Transferred Cases Dispositions Year End Pending 2 nd JD th JD 273 NR Average Time to Disposition (months) G 15 15

16 Administrative Office of the Courts Legislative mandated or requested reports Alternative dispute resolution (biennial) Specialty Court funding (biennial) Uniform system for judicial records (annual) Roles to assist with Judicial Branch administration Administrative support such as budgets, personnel, benefits, policies, legislation, etc. Education of judges and court staff Trial court services such as court interpreter certification, specialty court funding, and coordination with justice partners Technology (e.g., state sponsored case management system, justice integration, assist w/ NV Offense Codes) G 16 16

17 AOC Work by Division Administration Budget Preparation, Management, and Accounting Human Resources/Payroll Senior Judge Program Facilities Management Judicial Branch Audits Judicial Programs and Services Court Interpreter Certifications Limited Jurisdiction Courts Bench Book Court Improvement Program for dependent children Specialty Court programs Interaction and coordination with federal, state, and local justice partners Assistance to the trial courts Commission support JCSN; Preservation, Access and Sealing of Court Records; Indigent Defense Commission Judicial Education (including court staff) G 17 17

18 AOC Work by Division Information Technology Supreme Court support E-filing Document management system Appellate Court case management system Trial Court support State-sponsored case management system Criminal Justice Integration Nevada Offense Codes Judicial Branch support Manage and maintain all servers and databases for the above support projects Maintain hardware and software throughout Supreme Court Supreme Court Police Security for justices, staff, and citizens in the Supreme Court Building and off-site G 18 18

19 Foreclosure Mediation Program (FMP) Created during the 2009 session of the Nevada Legislature Amended NRS Chapter 107 Homeowners meet face-to-face with lender representatives who must have the authority to negotiate and modify the terms of a loan. Mediations can result in loan modification, a short sale agreement or other resolution. Brings together key stakeholders, including property owners, lenders, and their respective representatives, in a neutral setting to discuss alternatives to foreclosure. By working together to explore various options, agreements can be reached that benefit both sides and avoid foreclosure. Funding $44.33 of the $200 fee for each Notice of Default and Intent to Sell filed $400 Mediation Service Fee The lender and the homeowner each pay $200 Passed through to the mediator G 19 19

20 FMP Statistics Program statistics available on-line: Category FY 11 FY 12 FY 13 Thru Dec Notices of Default and Intent to Sell 54,191 16,818 8,528 Mediations Held 6,370 4, Agreement Outcomes Retained Property 3,227 1, Non-Agreement Outcomes 3,143 3, Certificates Issued 47,919 22,219 4,758 Non-Applicable Properties 45,936 19,125 4,388 Applicable Properties 1,983 3, G 20 20

21 FMP Revenue Projections Notice of Default Fee (NODs) projections are based on those of the Economic Forum (NRS ) FY 14: $404,100 for 9,117 NODs projected to be filed FY 14 program expenses: $1,141,356 FY 15: $363,600 for 8,203 NODs projected to be filed FY 15 program expenses: $1,170,125 The program is spending down its general reserves Mediation Service Fees Mediations will be requested on 12% of NODs $400 each FY 14: 1,094 requests FY 15: 984 requests G 21 21

22 FMP Revenue: NOD Fees $4,500,000 $4,000,000 $3,903,732 $3,500,000 $3,000,000 $2,708,626 $2,500,000 $2,000,000 $1,500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000 $745,837 $693,210 $404,100 $363,600 $- FY 10 FY 11 FY 12 FY 13 FY 14 FY 15 Actual Projected G 22 22

23 Judicial Council of the State of Nevada The Judicial Council of the State of Nevada (JCSN) is made up of representatives from all levels of courts, from all the regions of the State. The Judicial Council of the State of Nevada shall Develop and recommend policies for the administration of the judiciary. Consider issues forwarded to it by the Supreme Court and/or Chief Justice. Review proposed legislation affecting the courts Recommend legislation and/or rules to the Supreme Court. Establish committees to develop minimum standards, to be recommended to the Supreme Court. Develop recommendations for the improvement of Nevada's courts and the statewide court system. G 23 23

24 Special Supreme Court Commissions and Committees Commission on Statewide Juvenile Justice Reform Commission on Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records Indigent Defense Commission Specialty Court Funding Committee Court Improvement Program Select Committee Access to Justice Commission Bench/Bar Committee G 24 24

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