YERINGTON - Dayton Justice Court won't hold sway over Silver Springs residents after the next election now that the area's three election precincts have been moved to the Canal Township jurisdiction.
Effective July 1, to correspond with the new fiscal year and make budgetary consolidation easier, the three Silver Springs precincts will be moved to Canal Township, and the Smith and Mason Valley District Courts will be merged into the new Walker River Township.
The boundary changes were approved unanimously Thursday by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Leroy Goodman offered the suggestion for the new name for the combined Smith and Mason Valley district courts.
"Walker River Township makes sense since the valleys are both linked by the Walker River," he said.
Canal Township Justice Court now covers eight Fernley-area precincts and three in Silver Springs.
The Walker River Township Justice Court will cover all eight precincts in Smith and Mason Valleys.
Dayton Township Justice Court will cover two precincts in Mound House, six in Dayton, two in Stagecoach and the sole precinct in Silver City.
All four justice positions will be up for election in 2006, according to Lyon County District Attorney Leon Aberasturi.
"They'll coexist until the first Monday in January," he said.
Judge Fran Vidal of the Smith Valley District Court was saddened as she described her feelings about the changes, though she said she could see them coming.
"Each budget session, I defend the Smith Valley Court," she said. "But the caseload has been diminishing, and citizens were not using the court."
Vidal admitted the residents of her district were not the kind of people with a need to rush to court over disputes.
"They're mostly retired people," she said. "They just don't squabble with their neighbors. There are few rentals, so no need for landlord-tenant disputes. And most of the citations are for people passing through, so they just write a check, seal the envelope, and that's it."
Vidal said the merger is not something she wanted or supports, but she accepts it.
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111, ext. 351.
New Justice Court boundaries
Includes election precincts 1-8 in Fernley and 1-3 in Silver Springs.
Includes election precincts 1 and 2 in Mound House; 1 and 2 in South Dayton; 1-4 in North Dayton; Silver City; and 1 and 2 in Stagecoach.
Walker River Township
Includes election precincts 1 and 2 in East Mason Valley; 1-3 in West Mason Valley; Spragg-Plummer; and 1 and 2 in Smith Valley.