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The Current State of Court Operations in Nevada (March 24)
March 24, 2020


HOW NEVADA COURTS ARE REACTING 

Nevada State Courts

a. First Judicial District Court (Carson City) has postponed all jury trials 30 days, limited Clerk’s Office hours, will allow PDF documents to be submitted by e-mail, and will be limiting the number of people permitted in the courtrooms. Further information will be posted on the Court’s website: https://www.carson.org/government/departments-a-f/courts/covid-19-7381.

b. Second Judicial District Court (Washoe County) has closed all public areas of the courthouses until further notice. The Court has ordered all currently scheduled non-essential hearings to be conducted by video or telephonic means, decided on the papers, or rescheduled, unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge. Essential case types and hearings will continue to be heard through in-person appearances, though alternative appearances are encouraged where possible. Parties are directed to contact their department or presiding judge directly for questions about a hearing. Updates are available at https://www.washoecourts.com/. Five other courts have enacted similar policies: Fourth Judicial District Court (Elko County) (https://www.elkocountynv.net/departments/district_courts/district_court_ii/index.php), Fifth Judicial District Court (Nye County) (https://www.nyecounty.net/295/District-Court), Eighth Judicial District Court (http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/); Ninth Judicial District Court (Douglas County) (https://douglasdistrictcourt.com/), Tenth Judicial District Court (Churchill County) (https://www.churchillcounty.org/150/District-Court)   

c. Third Judicial District Court (Lyon County) will allow all currently scheduled non-essential hearings and appearances by audio-visual or other telephonic means upon the request of any party or will be decided on the papers or rescheduled unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge. Essential case types and hearings will continue to be heard in-person, though appearances by alternative means are encouraged with permission from the president judge. Additional information is available at: https://www.lyon-county.org/675/Third-Judicial-District-Court.

d. Seventh Judicial District Court (Lincoln County) has closed the courthouse to the public but are planning on continuing business through phone, drop boxes and other online measures, which do not appear to be outlined on its website. Members of the public wanting access to the courthouse are encouraged to call ahead. Limited details are available on the website: https://lincolncountynv.org/departments/courts/.

e. Neither the Sixth Judicial District Court (Humboldt County) (http://sixthjudicialdistrict.com/) nor the Eleventh Judicial District Court (Pershing, Lander, and Mineral Counties) (https://www.eleventhjudicialdistrict.com/)   have indicated any changes to operations as of now.

f. The Nevada Supreme Court and Nevada Court of Appeals have closed the law libraries to the public and postponed all oral arguments until further notice. The Court has also changed the settings on its public portal so that all documents, except those filed under seal, will be accessible from hyperlinks on the docket sheets for the cases. This change makes appendices electronically available equally with briefs and court orders. Further updates will be available at https://nvcourts.gov/supreme/.

The United States District Court for the District of Nevada
The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has continued all civil and criminal trials, including any associated deadlines, until April 10, 2020, pending further order. All non-case related events scheduled to be held in the courthouse are postponed pending further order. The Clerk’s Office is closed to the public, and filings will be processed through the CM/ECF system, mail or delivery in designated drop boxes outside the Clerk’s Office. Necessary hearings will be accomplished via video conference or telephone to the extent practicable. Any changes to scheduled hearings will be handled by the presiding judge in each case. To the extent that judges can resolve motions without an in-court appearance, they are encouraged to do so. Further updates can be found at: https://www.nvd.uscourts.gov/.

a. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada temporarily suspended in-person appearances by parties and their attorneys. All hearings will be conducted by telephonic conferencing; phone conference numbers and access codes are provided on the website: https://www.nvb.uscourts.gov/news-rss/announcements/2020/0319-court-hearing-participation/. Additionally, certain deadlines have been extended in all cases where the Creditor Meeting required under 11 U.S.C. § 341(a) was not concluded prior to March 19, 2020; specific details are available at the following link: https://www.nvb.uscourts.gov/downloads/rules/admin-order-2020-06.pdf.

b. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals restricted access to judges and court staff during non-court weeks at all courthouses. Oral arguments currently scheduled in March, April, and May 2020, are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis and orders will be issued to the parties. Panels may exercise their discretion to submit cases without argument, postpone argument to a later date, or to hold argument via telephone or video. Non-jurisdictional filing dates will be extended as needed and additional 60-day extensions to file briefs during circumstances related to COVID-19 will be automatically granted in most cases. Additional information is available on: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/.

WHAT THE PARTIES CAN DO

Currently, no broad stays of deadlines related to motions or discovery have been imposed. Courts are encouraging litigants to work together to continue with discovery as much as possible while using telephonic or video alternatives to minimize person-to-person contact. Please contact our Reno office (775-323-1601) or the attorney handling your case if you have questions.