Carson City Justice of the Peace
Hometown: Carson City
Occupation: Senior Deputy Attorney General
Family: Married over 10 years to Shanna, the 2006 History Teacher of the year for the State of Nevada, and father of 3-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.
Political background: This is my first campaign for public office.
What is the most important function of the justice court? The least important?
All functions of the Justice Court are equally important; there are no least important functions. The Justice Court is the place where justice starts; it is the most important place for each person who comes before it or utilizes its services.
Each case is uniquely important to the individual, corporation, city, county, or state seeking justice, whether it is the administration of justice for crimes, the hearing of a civil or small claims matter, the performance of a marriage, or any other number of services the Justice Court provides for the people of Carson City.
It is imperative for the fair and efficient administration of justice that the justice of the peace considers and evaluates each case impartially, diligently and faithfully to the law. No case is more important than another, no service is less important than another.
Do you believe Nevada’s justices of the peace need law degrees? Why?
Yes. The laws of Nevada have become more numerous and complex. In 2005, the Nevada Legislature expressed its intention that Nevada’s justices of the peace should be licensed attorneys.
Justices of the peace in Reno, Sparks, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson are required to be licensed attorneys. The laws in Carson City are just as important as the laws in those communities. Carson City is no longer a small community, and as the state capital it serves an even larger community. It’s time for a licensed attorney as Carson City’s Justice of the Peace.
In September 2006, the New York Times published a series of articles based on a year long investigation which disprove the outdated conclusions of author Doris Provine in her book published 20 years ago.
The investigation revealed a litany of abuses and miscarriages of justice by non-attorney justices of the peace in New York, and confirmed that a justice of the peace must be an attorney.
The investigative report can be viewed by accessing http://www.nytimes.com and searching for the article titled “Broken Bench.”
Telephone: (775) 232-2850
Hometown: Carson City for over 37 years. Born in Bellingham, Wash.
Occupation: Justice of the Peace/Municipal Court Judge
Family: My wife, Barbara, and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. Our daughter, Liz, a teacher, lives and works at Incline Village with her husband, Jeff, an engineer, our 4-year-old grandson, Jacob Robey, and a soon-to-be-expected second grandchild.
Political background: I have 23 years of judicial experience, including being honored as Judge of the Year by the Nevada Judges Association. This is the fourth election in which I have participated for Justice of the Peace. I began my judicial career in 1984 as Juvenile Special Master and Associate Municipal Judge. I was appointed Justice of the Peace and Municipal Court Judge in 1989 to fill a vacancy on the bench and was elected in 1990. I faced two rivals in the 2000 primary and retained by seat by garnering more than 80 percent of the vote. Earlier in my career, I was elected twice to the Carson City School Board where I served as president for two terms. I am also a former member of the Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission.
What is the most important function of the Justice Court? The least important?
The most important function is the timely and fair administration of justice in what is often referred to as the “people’s court.” We strive each day to ensure this mission is accomplished.
As a justice of the peace, I hold preliminary hearings for felonies and gross misdemeanors, trials on misdemeanors and arraignments on all criminal matters. Approximately 80 percent of our caseload is criminal. The remaining 20 percent is civil, including landlord-tenant matters, small claims, formal justice court trials, and temporary protective order hearings against domestic violence, stalking and harassment. (Violations of temporary protective orders subsequently become criminal matters.)
Every function performed by the court ties to these specific responsibilities and overall mission. There is no single function that is “least important.”
Do you believe Nevada’s Justices of the Peace need law degrees? Why?
State law does not require a law degree for a justice of the peace in counties with populations below 400,000 and townships with populations below 100,000.
I agree with this because most of the matters brought before the court require good judgement, common sense and the ability to interpret and apply the laws. These qualities can come with an attorney or a non-attorney judge. Additionally, the judicial education provided to Nevada judges specifically addresses and provides extensive education concerning all the issues adjudicated at this level.
The required judicial education for judges is obtained through the National Judicial College in Reno and the Nevada Judges Association. There is an excellent book on the subject, titled “Judging Credentials.” Author and legal scholar Doris Marie Provine says that through her research she found very little difference between lawyer and non-lawyer lower-court judges.
As a side note, approximately two-thirds of the Justices of the Peace in Nevada are not attorneys and are doing a good job.
Telephone: (775) 220-2115