Court jurisdiction for Silver Springs residents may change

SILVER SPRINGS - Residents facing or seeking justice may soon have to head north rather than west to attend court.

A proposal to move three election precincts in Silver Springs from Dayton District Court jurisdiction to within the boundaries of the Canal Township District Court will be submitted to the Lyon County commissioners at its Dec. 1 meeting.

The three Silver Springs precincts will be added to the eight existing Fernley precincts in the county's Canal Township, while the two Stagecoach precincts will remain in the Dayton District Court jurisdiction.

The purpose is to ease the burden on the Dayton court, which handles 54 percent of the cases filed in Lyon County, according to Dayton District Justice Bill Rogers. The Canal Township court's caseload was lightened since Fernley's incorporation in 2001.

Rogers, who opposed taking the precincts out of Silver Springs when it was first proposed in 2001, is in favor of it now, though with a twist. He thinks Silver Springs should have its own district court.

"Let me tell you what the real answer is: The real answer is to put a justice court in Silver Springs, because Silver Springs is going to be bigger than Fernley or Dayton and we need to get ahead of that curve," he said.

Rogers admitted the county does not yet have the funds or buildings to do that, so as an alternative he supports the current proposal.

"From a geographical sense, Fernley is a little bit closer to Silver Springs and from a physical plant size, the Fernley Court is significantly larger then the Dayton Court," he said. "The Dayton building is too small for the caseload we have and the employees we need to have."

Rogers said his previous opposition to the move was because he and Canal Township District Justice Robert Bennett had recently been elected, and Silver Springs residents might have had a justice they did not support with their votes.

"I consider the right of the people to vote for their representative or judge to be almost sacred," he said. "If I'm going to be sitting in judgment on somebody it better be someone who selected me."

n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.


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