Justice of Peace jurisdictions studied- commissioners reviewing work loads, financial implications

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DAYTON -- Increasing Justice Court caseloads have Lyon County officials looking into reconfiguring the boundaries for jurisdictions.

One possibility would involve moving Silver Springs from Dayton Township into the Canal Township Justice Court in Fernley.

Commissioner LeRoy Goodman, a member of a committee reviewing the court districts, said the Dayton Justice Court load increased 20 percent last year and is expected to do the same this year.

"According to Judge (William) Rogers (Dayton Township justice), between 16 to 21 percent of his cases come from Silver Springs. (Moving Silver Springs) would somewhat equalize the population of the justice townships and take a temporary burden off of Judge Rogers," Goodman said. "However, I think in a very few years, possibly by the next justice election in 2006, we will see the Stagecoach/Silver Springs area grow to a point where they will have to have their own township."

There are four justice of the peace jurisdictions in Lyon County: Smith Valley, Mason Valley, Dayton (includes Silver City, Mound House, Stagecoach and Silver Springs) and Canal (Fernley).

Boundaries are established along voting precinct lines. A committee comprising representatives from the district attorney and sheriff's offices, Fernley City officials, Canal Judge Robert Bennett, Dayton Judge Rogers and two commissioners has been reviewing possible revisions.

According to County Manager Stephen Snyder, the committee is still gathering information.

Reading from Nevada Revised Statutes, Commissioner Bob Milz said comparative workloads have nothing to do with redistricting townships and supported postponing taking any action until additional reasons for boundary changes are made.

Commissioner David Fulstone disagreed, noting the rapid growth in the two northern jurisdictions signaled it's time to start drafting an ordinance, placing the issue in front of the public.

"There are financial issues at stake. We need to take direction on this. We should direct a review of the boundaries," he told the board.

"We all know something needs to be done out there to balance the work load."


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