All information in this COVID-19 Response Resource issue is effective as of May 19, 2020.
As Nevada moves into recovery, courts are generally being conservative with their re-opening plans, setting out jury trials until the late summer and limiting in-person appearances. Most Nevada courts have moved to telephonic or video appearances for non-essential matters that cannot be rescheduled, and discovery is continuing to proceed, if the parties can agree upon the deadlines and format. The statuses of Nevada court operations are summarized below. For further details, please visit the court’s website and review the appropriate administrative orders:
- The United States District Court for the District of Nevada is incrementally resuming in-person hearings in a phased approached based on recommended health guidelines. Prior orders restricting entry of those who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or have had contact with COVID-19-positive individuals remain in effect. Now, during court proceedings, all persons inside the courtroom are required to wear masks to the extent practicable and where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. All employees of the court are required to wear masks during security screening and in public areas of the courthouse. The public is requested, but not required, to wear masks during security screening and while in public areas of the courthouse. Masks will be provided if supplies are adequate. Telephone and videoconferencing is still encouraged and electronic signatures are allowed on most, but not all, documents. The intake window at the Clerk’s Office remains closed, but filing is still available.
- The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada is extending its continuance of all currently scheduled evidentiary hearings and trials requiring live witness testimony through at least June 30, 2020, pending further order. All currently scheduled and future hearings which do not require live witness testimony remain on calendar and will be heard telephonically. The Clerk’s Office in Reno remains closed, but filing is still available. Like the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, electronic signatures are allowed on most, but not all documents.
- The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is proceeding on a case-by-case basis for oral arguments and scheduling related thereto.
- Nevada state district courts continue to vary in operations district-by-district:
• The First Judicial District Court (Carson City) is implementing procedures to limit the number of people inside the courthouse, postponed all jury trials until at least late May.
• The Second Judicial District Court (Washoe County) is continuing to hear all matters through videoconference.
• The Third Judicial District Court (Lyon County) has suspended all jury trials until at least July 1, 2020, and is allowing telephonic or video appearances with in-person appearances allowed in certain circumstances.
• The Fourth Judicial District Court (Elko County) and Sixth Judicial District Court (Humboldt County) do not appear to have any restrictions in place currently.
• The Fifth Judicial District Court (Nye County) is open with limited operations, after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
• The Seventh Judicial District Court (Lincoln County) has closed its courthouse to the public and is operating on a case-by-case basis.
• The Eighth Judicial District Court (Clark County/Las Vegas) is operating in compliance with the state’s reopening plan. Employees and visitors to the court are expected to wear masks and practice social distancing. Jury trials are not expected to proceed until at least late July. Depositions, settlement conferences and non-jury trials are proceeding by alternative means or are being rescheduled. Certain deadlines may also be extended for pandemic-related issues. If hearings must proceed, attorneys are encouraged to use an alternative means to participate, either by telephone or videoconference. The decision to hold in-person evidentiary hearings or trials will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
• The Ninth Judicial District Court (Douglas County), Tenth Judicial District Court (Churchill County), and Eleventh Judicial District Court (Pershing, Lander, and Mineral Counties) are handling non-essential matters by alternative appearances or rescheduling but are holding in-person hearings for certain essential proceedings.
- The Nevada Supreme Court and Nevada Court of Appeals are proceeding with oral arguments using videoconferencing. Attorneys are being provided with details as their cases are being scheduled for argument.
The Nevada courts’ operating status will continue to change throughout reopening. For the latest operating information, check the court links in this article.
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