It is supreme speed of justice: Appellate Court applications being taken
November 5, 2014
Wasting no time, the Nevada Supreme Court is already seeking applicants for the voter approved Appellate Court.
The application documents were actually posted Oct. 29, a full six days before Tuesday's election in which voters approved creation of the intermediate court between the district court system and the Nevada Supreme Court.
The election vote hasn't even been formally finalized by the constitutionally required canvass at this point.
The goal, according to the Supreme Court, is for the appellate court to begin hearing cases as early as January.
According to the high court notice, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection began accepting applications for the three appellate court positions on Wednesday.
The applications will be closed at 5 p.m., Nov. 12, according to the release.
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It requires that applications be delivered to the Administrative Office of the Courts at the Supreme Court in either Carson City or Las Vegas. Names of the applicants will be posted to the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection website daily.
The first members of the appellate court will be appointed, each from a field of three nominees presented to the governor by the judicial selection commission.
After that, they will be elected as are all other judges in the state.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the documents and applications for the appellate court had been downloaded 947 times.
The constitutional amendment allowing creation of an appellate court was approved by a margin of 53.8 percent Tuesday with 287,241 Nevadans supporting the change. That vote came after four previous attempts to create an appellate court system were rejected by voters.
Justice Jim Hardesty assured voters this time the appellate court wouldn't even cost the state much since most of the cost would come from monies the Judicial Branch has been reverting to the General Fund for the past few budget cycles.
Hardesty, in more than 100 appearances before civic groups, voter forums and other organizations, said the intermediate court was needed to relieve the pressure on Nevada's high court and speed the resolution of, particularly, business cases that get pushed back because of constitutional requirements they handle criminal matters first in many cases.
The way it would work is all appeals would still be filed with the Supreme Court, which would then decide which cases to "push down" to the appellate court. That intermediate court would then have final jurisdiction to resolve those cases, which could not come back up to the Supreme Court.
Hardesty said that would free the high court to spend more time on the more significant cases — those presenting precedential legal issues.