Appellate court start-up funding approved | NevadaAppeal.com

Appellate court start-up funding approved

Nevada Supreme Court Justice Jim Hardesty.

The Board of Examiners on Wednesday approved $782,500 to jump-start the voter approved Appellate Court.

After four failed attempts to convince voters to create an intermediate court between Nevada's district court system and the seven-member Nevada Supreme Court, backers this year convinced the electorate to approve the constitutional amendment.

Supreme Court Justice Jim Hardesty said the money was put into the contingency account earmarked for the new court in anticipation of its approval. He said the majority of the funding will be used to pay salaries of the justices and staff once they are named.

Hardesty said the appellate court will consist of three justices, initially appointed by the governor after a review of applications by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection. That commission will present Gov. Brian Sandoval with nine names for the three posts.

In the future, those justices will be elected as are all of Nevada's judges.

Applications for those seats closed Wednesday.

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Hardesty said the goal is to have the justices and staff in place so the new court can begin hearing cases in January.

Hardesty said in addition to the justices, each will have a staff consisting of two clerks and a judicial assistant.

The $782,500, he said, will get the new court through the first six months of operation. He said that translates to about $3 million in operating costs each biennium. He told numerous civic and other groups during the campaign to win approval a large share of the cost would be borne by the amounts the judiciary has reverted to the General Fund each year.

The constitutional amendment allowing creation of an appellate court was approved by 53.8 percent of voters last week.