There are seven Justices presiding in the Supreme Court. Each Justice
is assigned his/her load of cases and hears arguments in alternating
locations, in Las Vegas and Carson City. Currently, Nevada is one of
only 10 states without a Court of Appeals, and is currently the state
with the largest number of cases per Justice (357). This number is
estimated to grow with Nevada’s ever increasing population.
The Nevada Constitution currently provides for one appellate court —
the Supreme Court. Every single appeal from decisions rendered by
Nevada’s 82 District Courts (civil, criminal, and family) must be
reviewed by the Nevada Supreme Court. As a result of the Supreme
Court’s overburdened system, there has been a delay in justice for the
citizens of Nevada. The staggering number of cases on appeal continues
Twenty-nine percent of the cases take more than a year to be heard,
and fifty-six percent take six months. In fiscal year 2013, there were
1,919 cases pending resolution, 2,500 new cases were filled with 2,200
cases resolved. These staggering numbers demonstrate that without a
court of appeals, coupled with the increase of appeals that are filed,
the number of pending cases will exponentially increase. This will
result in a continued delay in justice for parties seeking final
However, Nevada citizens will have the opportunity to address this
issue when the question of the Court of Appeals (SJR 14) is once again
placed on the 2014 ballot. If passed, the ballot measure SJR 14 would
create a new Court of Appeals with three presiding judges. These
judges would resolve specific cases decided by the 82 District Courts.
The Nevada Court of Appeals is targeted to become operational in
January 2015 upon voter approval and completion of the judicial
selection process and appointment by the Governor.
So why vote for the Court of Appeals for Nevada? The short answer is:
Time-sensitive issues such as child custody or child visitation
questions will not have to wait another two years from the District
Court determination for a final decision upon appeal. This is valuable
time the parties and the child should not have to wait for resolution.
In criminal cases, in-custody persons seeking a new trial should have
their issues on appeal resolved quicker, with victims, families and
the community receiving timely closure.
And generally, appeals that might indirectly affect you as to taxes,
utility rates, construction claims, wage claims and personal and
business matters, will be able to receive timely resolution without
The time has come for Nevada to institute a Court of Appeals. This is
not a partisan issue. Senators and lawyers Tick Segerblom (Democrat)
and Greg Brower (Republican) support passing SJR 14. The question is
whether you will support BETTER JUSTICE FOR NEVADA.