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August 19, 2014

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Court cases drop in Nevada, but Clark County judges remain plenty busy

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Christopher DeVargas

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled in favor of Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen McCrone, who had requested that Steve Kennedy, developer and manager of CSD LLC, stay 50 feet from the Newtons and their home on Thursday, May 31, 2012.

Fewer cases were filed in Nevada courts in fiscal 2012, but a new report shows judges in populous Clark County continue to be the busiest.

The Annual Report of the Nevada Judiciary was released today, showing that 373,643 cases were filed in the trial courts compared with 409,241 in the previous fiscal year.

But the Nevada Supreme Court received 2,053 appeals, or 98 more than in fiscal 2011.

Chief Justice Michael Cherry said the court, which favors the creation of an intermediary appeals court, is preparing to take its case to the 2013 Legislature for the issue to be placed on the 2014 ballot. Nevada is one of 10 states without an appeals court.

Nevada Supreme Court justices are burdened with the highest per-justice caseloads of any top state court: Its cases per justice are 357 compared with West Virginia, which has the second-highest workload with 334.

The 52 district judges in Clark County each handled an average of 1,822 nontraffic cases compared with 1,251 per judge in Washoe County.

The report said there were 8,313 nontraffic cases per judge in the Las Vegas Justice Court compared with 3,498 per judge in Reno.

There were 4,693 nontraffic cases per judge in the Las Vegas Municipal Court compared with 1,862 in Reno.

Family matters continue to be the largest share of the cases in district courts statewide. A breakdown shows 55 percent of the cases involve family matters; 24 percent civil; 12 percent criminal; and 9 percent juvenile.

For instance, Clark County judges adjudicated 51,792 family cases, an increase of more than 6,000 from the previous fiscal year.

The 56-page report is available at the administrative offices of the Supreme Court in Las Vegas and Carson City.

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