Carson courts to merge administrative functions |

Carson courts to merge administrative functions

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City courts are working toward combining administrative functions – a move expected to save a little money but add a lot more efficiency.

Supervisors will hear about the plan during their meeting today.

“We want to eventually have a single point of access for the public,” said Josephine Gallegos, acting court administrator. “Everyone will go to a single point of contact.”

While the public will experience less confusion when trying to file documents, professionals who deal with the system, such as sheriff’s deputies and attorneys, should find the one-stop approach easier because they’ll be able to conduct business at one office, Gallegos said.

Support staff will be employed more efficiently, which should result in both operations becoming more streamlined, she said.

However, the changes “won’t happen overnight,” she emphasized. Some tasks have been completed that will help the operations combine, and these efforts will be ongoing through 2007.

The courts themselves will not be merged because their functions are governed by state statute. There still will be a District Court with separate municipal and justice proceedings and decisions.

Justice and Municipal courts handle traffic citations, misdemeanors, pre-trial hearings, small claims and eviction cases, and protective orders. District Court handles all felony cases and civil matters that exceed $10,000. Divorces and child custody matters also are decided in the District Court.

Court funding sources will remain separate except for their shared budget items, people and equipment.

The local court system employs 43 people, four of whom are its judges and nine in the alternative sentencing program.

Gallegos will serve as administrator for both courts. She had been focusing on the Justice Court previously. The savings resulting should be approximately $75,000, she said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. today

WHERE: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.