Las Vegas Municipal Court judges, employees and others will help celebrate 100 years of service at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Las Vegas City Hall Council Chambers located at 495 S. Main Street. The event will include a video presentation of Las Vegas Municipal Court, remarks by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, Chief Judge Cynthia Leung, Court Administrator Matthew Fisk, members of the Nevada Supreme Court and the presentation of proclamations for the court’s 100 years of service.
Las Vegas Municipal Court has just concluded its 100th year in operation serving the citizens of Las Vegas, and looks ahead to the future. From humble beginnings of shared office space with Clark County (1911-1914), a basement courtroom in the County Courthouse (1914–1931), a large room behind the men’s jail for 16 years, then a trailer behind the police station for the next 27 years, to courtrooms attached to the former City Hall (1974) and finally residing in the Regional Justice Center (2005), the court has a heritage of innovation and service. Many of the programs, processes and technology have been studied and instituted in other jurisdictions throughout the state of Nevada and around the world. The court was one of the first in the nation to bring technology into the court by creating and implementing electronic case management systems, video teleconferencing with the jail, a “paperless” traffic court and establishing Alternative Sentencing & Education programs and classes to hold defendants accountable through habilitation. The court has developed specialty courts to reduce the number of repeat offenders. Those courts include the HOPE Court, DUI Court, WIN Court, Youth Offender (YO) Court and a Veterans Referral program.
In 1926, Las Vegas Municipal Court heard 88 cases. In 2012, the court heard a total of 176,375 cases (traffic cases and criminal cases). Each of the six presiding judges:
• Receives approximately 6,200 new criminal cases per year, not including traffic trials
• Has a total case load of approximately 14,000 active cases per department
• Handles an average of 200 cases per day
The Municipal Court is a trial court with limited jurisdiction over criminal misdemeanor offenses, traffic violations, municipal code ordinance infractions and civil ordinance actions that occur within Las Vegas city limits. Las Vegas Municipal Court handles approximately 55 percent of all criminal misdemeanors and 50 percent of all traffic cases filed before the State of Nevada municipal courts, combined. Las Vegas Municipal Court is regularly considered the “people’s court” as it is often times the first experience a citizen will have with a court system.