Appeals court plan endorsed |

Appeals court plan endorsed

Associated Press Writer

Senators have voted unanimously for a proposed intermediate appeals court that would be sandwiched between the state Supreme Court and Nevada’s district courts.

There was no discussion of SJR9, the proposed constitutional amendment that would create the court, as the Senate voted to send the plan to the state Assembly for final legislative action. Once approved there, it would go to voters in 2010 for final approval.

Such proposals have come up repeatedly in the state Legislature over the past 30 years, and made it to the ballot twice ” in 1980 and again in 1992 ” only to be rejected by voters. Advocates say the appeals court is needed because of the increasing litigation that stems from Nevada’s rapid growth. They argue that various steps to keep up with the state Supreme Court’s workload have helped, but now it’s time to move the court system up another level.

Nevada is one of just 11 states that don’t have an intermediate appellate court, requiring the state Supreme Court to resolve all appeals. A blue-ribbon panel, the Article 6 Commission formed by the high court in 2006 to review Nevada’s court system, voted unanimously last year to support the appeals court plan.

A report on Nevada’s judicial system, issued in January, described the system as one of the busiest in the nation.

Nevada’s trial judges oversee an average of nearly 2,000 cases each year, ahead of California judges at less than 1,700, the report said. In fiscal 2008, the 7-member Supreme Court received more than 2,200 filings and disposed of about 1,950 cases in that period.