Presentation on theme: "The Need for a Court of Appeals 1. Now, more than ever before, Nevada needs a Court of Appeals We address three important questions. 1. Why is the court."— Presentation transcript:
Now, more than ever before, Nevada needs a Court of Appeals We address three important questions. 1. Why is the court of appeals needed? 2. How will it operate? 3. What will it cost? 2
Nevada’s Current System Nevada Supreme Court 7 Justices District Court 82 Judges Justice Court 67* Justices of the Peace *9 Justices serve in a dual capacity as Municipal Court Judges Municipal Court 21 Judges 3
Why is the Court of Appeals Needed? Currently, 56% of all appeals take more than six months to be heard, with 29% taking more than one year. The Nevada Supreme Court hears every case that is appealed from the lower courts, including driver’s license revocation appeals and prisoner food complaints. The Nevada Supreme Court Justices have the highest per-justice caseloads of any State Supreme Court in the United States. The burden is expected to grow dramatically. In fiscal year 2012, 2,500 cases were filed. The court resolved 2,270 cases leaving 1,990 cases pending. 4
Supreme Court Cases Filed and Disposed Projections for the 2013 – 2015 Biennium FY 10FY 11FY 12FY 13FY 14*FY 15* New Cases Filed2,2662,3952,5002,3332,4002,467 Cases Resolved2,4192,2202,2702,3732,2702,270 Cases Pending1,5141,6891,9191,8792,0092,206 *Projections for cases are based on an average annual increase in filings from FY10-FY12 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, 2007 – 40,000 more cases were filed, 10,000 of which were filed between 2002-2007. The 60,000 th case was filed on January 9, 2012. 5
Characteristics of Nevada and Other Selected States Without Courts of Appeals. All data from respective states’ most recent annual report or web page (2010-2012).
Ballot Question 1 Proposal Minimum of three judges Statewide jurisdiction Utilizes existing infrastructure Supreme Court Building (Northern NV) Regional Justice Center (Southern NV) No facility costs, operating costs of $1,497,000 per fiscal year, which include the salaries of the Judges and their staff Nevada Supreme Court District Court Justice Court Municipal Court Appellate Court 7
Nevada Court of Appeals Ballot Question 1 3-Judge Court sitting in the Regional Justice Center and hearing cases in Carson City Using a push down model, approximately 700 select cases assigned to the Court of Appeals No need for a new court clerk or central legal staff No added judicial bureaucracy with Writ of Certiorari review only to the Supreme Court 8
Nevada Court of Appeals Ballot Question 1 Article 6 of Nevada’s Constitution would be amended by adding new section 3A and amending section 4 to provide in part: Sec. 3A “1. The court of appeals consists of three judges or such greater number as the Legislature may provide by law....” “Sec. 3A “2. After the initial terms, each judge of the court of appeals must be elected by the qualified electors of this State at the general election for a term of 6 years.... The initial three judges of the court of appeals must be appointed by the Governor.... The term of the initial judges is 2 years beginning on the first Monday of January next after the effective date of this Section....” 9
Operating Costs are offset by Supreme Court reversions to the State General fund Fiscal year 2009 the Nevada Supreme Court reverted nearly $2,500,000 to the General Fund Fiscal year 2010 the Nevada Supreme Court reverted $872,571 to the General Fund Fiscal year 2011 the Nevada Supreme Court reverted $1,287,378 to the General Fund 10
Benefits of the Court of Appeals Will allow the state Supreme Court to focus on important issues Reduce case backlog Operated at minimal cost to the State Efficiently manage all appeals so parties can quickly receive a decision and move on with their lives Maintain high quality in the judicial process Ensure appellate decisions are rendered in a timely manner Establish an error correction court 11
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