March 20th, 2020
Rule l .30(b) of the Rules of Practice for the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada charges the Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District Court with various responsibilities, such as supervising the administrative business of the EJDC ensuring the quality and continuity of its services, supervising its calendar, reassigned? cases as convenience or necessity requires, assuring the court’s duties are timely and orderly performed and otherwise facilitating the business of the EJDC.
On March 12, 2020, Governor Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency i1 Nevada in response to the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease ( COVID-19). The District Com1 is closely monitoring local developments in response to COVID-19 and will continue to evaluate and implement measures to slow the spread of infection in om community. During this time, it is critical to prevent the spread of any illness among members of the com1, counsel, staff, the public, and our valuable community pai1ners. T ftu1her prevent the spread of disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventi01 recommends putting distance between yourself and other people. According to the CDC the virus is spread mainly from people who are in close contact with one another-withi1 about six feet.
I. Court Clerk’s Offices Closed to In-Person Filing
Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, the Court Clerk’s Offices at both the Regional Justice Center and the Family Court will be closed for in-person filings until fm1he1 notice. Filings must be completed electronically. For litigants who do not have the ability to electronically file documents, documents may be mailed as follows:
District Court Civil/Criminal Division Attn: Clerk’s Office
Regional Justice Center
200 Lewis Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89155
District Court Family Division
Attn: Clerk’s Office
601 Nm1h Pecos Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89155
The Clerk’s Office shall establish a safety protocol for clerks tasked with opening mail and handling paper documents. Domestic violence temporary protective order applications may be completed ove1 the phone by calling the Family Law Self-Help Center at 702-455-1500. For assistance with emergency guardianships or any other question regarding filing, please call 702-455-4472.
II. Proposed Orders and Other Documents Submitted to the Judge; Self.
All proposed orders, requests for orders sh011ening time, stipulation and orders, 0r any other document submitted to a judge for signature before filing shall be submitted t the appropriate department electronically.
FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ALL. NO PAPER DOCUMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THE COURT AT THIS TIME other than documents mailed as described above.
- The department inboxes are attached to this order. The inboxes are to be used ONLY for the purpose of submitting documents for the judge’s signature.
- All documents submitted should be attached to the email as both a Microso Word document and a .pdf document.
- The email should identify the full case number, the filing event code, and the name of the document. This naming convention will be accomplished by putting the following information in the subject line of the email: Full Case Number – Filin Event Code – Parties.
- For example: “A-20-123456-C – ORDR – Smith v. Doe.”
NO ADDITIONAL ARGUMENT OR DISCUSSION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE EMAIL SEPARATE FROM THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT. After the document is submitted, the judge will review the document, affix an electronic signature to the .pdf document and file the document into the Odyssey system. I necessary, the judge will be able to use the word document to make changes or ad dates. The judicial department can then save the amended word document as a .pd file. At that point, the judge will affix an electronic signature and the document will b filed into the Odyssey system. The court will not print or retain paper copies of the orders.
Parties are responsible for filing the Notice of Entry of Order as well as serving orders by mail to any party who is not registered for electronic service.
For any self-represented litigant who is unable to submit an order by email, the court shall prepare and file the order.
Self-represented litigants may obtain help with family law forms and infonnati01 from the Family Law Self-Help Center:
- Email: flshcinfo@Jacsn.org
- Telephone: 702-455-1500
Self-represented litigants may obtain help with civil forms, information, eviction and other matters from the Civil Law Self-Help Center:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 702-671-3976
The self-help centers located at the com1houses are not currently open to the public. Self-help assistance must be obtained on the website, through email or by phone.
Any paper orders sent to the com1 but not yet returned will be filed by the court. After filing, the paper copy will be destroyed pursuant to Nevada Electronic Filing Rules. Any rejected orders will be scanned and returned electronically 01 mailed if the com1 does not have an email address.
Ill. Courtesy Copies
No paper com1esy copies of any kind may be sent to the court. Judge’s are strongly discouraged from requesting electronic courtesy copies from pai1ies due to the burden it places on the system as a result of additional storage required. To reduce the potential spread of infection through paper, judges are also strongly discouraged from having documents printed from Odyssey to read. Counsel should contact the court clerk for the handling of exhibits or documents that cannot be converted to an electronic format.
IV. Sealed Documents
If a party is requesting a document be sealed, the party must file a motion to file under seal. The party should file separately the document to be sealed, using the code TSPCA “Temporarily Sealed Pending Court Approval.” Failure to properly submit a motion to seal the document may result in the public electronic filing of the temporarily sealed document.
V. Original Signature Requirements
With the exception of documents requiring the signature of a notary, all requirements for original signatures are suspended. All documents filed with the court may be electronically signed as provided in Nevada Electronic Filing and Conversion Rules, Rule 11 (a). All documents requiring the signature of another perso1 may be electronically signed without original signatures; however, the party submitting the document must obtain email verification of the other person’s agreement to sign electronically and submit the email with the filed documents. Filers are reminded that NRCP rule 11 provides sanctions for filing for an improper purpose, which would include misrepresentation of a signature. Additionally, other civil or criminal penalties could apply for misrepresenting or fraudulently signing a document.
VI. Signatures on Criminal Guilty Plea Agreements
For in-custody guilty plea agreements when the defendant is unable to provide a signed copy of the guilty plea due to appearance by alternative means, the guilty pie shall be signed by counsel in the following manner: “Signature affixed by (insert name o defense counsel) at the direction of (inse11 name of defendant).” The judge shall make a record that because of COVID-19 precautions that the defendant was unable t physically sign the guilty plea agreement. The defendant shall be canvassed by the judge taking the plea as follows:
- On page [ say page number] of the plea agreement, your attorney has signed your name with a notation that they signed it at your direction. Is that correct?
- Did you agree for your attorney to sign in place of your actual signature?
- Before directing your attorney to sign for you, did you read the guilty plea agreement and talk to you attorney about the terms of the guilty plea agreement
- Did you discuss that your attorney signing your name in your direction will b treated the same as if you actually signed the agreement?
- Do you agree to have the signature placed on the agreement by your attorney t be treated the same as if you signed the plea agreement?
- Did you knowingly, willingly, and voluntarily direct your attorney to sign this agreement on your behalf?
II. Appearances by Alternative Means
During this time, appearances by alternative means are strongly encouraged whenever possible. The court has four methods of appearance by alternative means: regular telephone, telephone conference through BlueJeans, videoconference through BlueJean and Com1Call. As Com1Call involves a cost, no pai1y may be required to use Com1Call during this time. Use of BlueJeans is strongly favored given the number of people the system can accommodate and the compatibility with the JAVS system. The requirement for a formal written notice of any appearance by alternative means is suspended.
a. Civil Cases
For civil cases, if the judge intends to hear a matter, the judicial depat1ment will contact attorneys or self-represented litigants two judicial days before the hearing to detennine which method of appearance the party intends to use and gather appropriate contact information to an-age for the appearance by alternative means.
b. Criminal Cases
For criminal cases, all appearances by alternative means by attorneys and out-of-custody defendants will be through BlueJeans video unless for technical reasons a phone conference is necessary. Attorneys appearing by alternative means, or having client appear by alternative means, must notify the department via email at least one judicial day before the appearance, except in case of an emergency. The attorney must provide email addresses for all persons making an appearance so the department can provide the link for the appearance. Probation officers may similarly contact the department to request a link to appear via video. If arrangements need to be made on shorter notice, the judicial department must be contacted by phone.
c. Domestic Cases
For domestic (divorce and custody) cases, if the judge intends to hear a matter, the judicial department will contact attorneys or self-represented litigants two judicial days before the hearing to determine which method of appearance the party intends to use an gather the appropriate contact information to arrange for the appearance by alternative means.
d. Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency
For dependency cases and delinquency cases, all appearances by alternative means by attorneys and out-of-custody parties will be through BlueJeans video unless for technical reasons a phone conference is necessary. Attorneys appearing by alternative means, or having clients/witnesses/agency representatives/probations officers appear b alternative means, must notify the department via email at least one judicial day before the appearance, except in case of an emergency. The attorney must provide emails for all persons making an appearance so the department can provide a link for the appearance. If arrangements need to be made on sho1ier notice, the judicial department must be contacted by phone.
Reporters may also request to “‘appear” in any public court proceeding b alternative means for the purpose of observing the proceedings. Any reporter requesting an appeai·ance in this manner must contact the department for a BlueJeans video link. Rep01iers appearing by alternative means must remain on mute and are no permitted to interject or speak during any appearance. A rep01ier violating this rule will lose the ability to appear by alternative means. This order shall be reviewed no later than every 30 days and shall continue until modified or rescinded by a subsequent order.
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