Nevada Legislative Year in Review: compensation commission for judges & other officials

Constitutional Amendment

AJR 10 Creates Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Certain Elected Officers to set salaries for Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Courts, and other state and local officials. All seven members to be appointed to the commission by the governor. Must be re-approved by 2017/2018 legislature before being sent to ballot.

Law

AB 66 Requires justice of the peace in township over 100,000 within a county with a population over 100,000 be an attorney. Increases civil jurisdiction of justice courts to $15,000 (all civil claims) and $10,000 (small claims).

AB 68 Expands Commission on Judicial Discipline’s power to include a person who is a former justice, judge, justice of the peace or other officer of the Judicial Branch who presides over judicial proceedings if the conduct at issue occurred while the person was serving in any such position. Requires that any complaint or action filed in connection with any proceeding of the Commission be filed in the Supreme Court. Requires the Supreme Court to appoint two justices of the peace and two municipal judges to sit on the Commission for formal, public proceedings against a justice of the peace or a municipal judge, respectively. Requires that the existence of a proceeding of the Commission remain confidential prior to determination that a reasonable probability of grounds for disciplinary action against a judge exists and the special counsel files a formal statement of charges. (Currently only the proceedings themselves are confidential). Revises information Commission is required to disclose if a witness is prosecuted for perjury committed during the course of a proceeding before the Commission. Requires any minutes of Commission sessions remain confidential.

AB 69 Revises provisions governing the recycling of paper and paper products by courts; revises provisions governing the duties of court clerks and justices of the peace in relation to the fees charged by those officials; revises provisions governing the collection and reporting of certain statistical information; changes the term “county clerk” to “clerk of the court” in certain statutes; removes provisions requiring courts provide the Court Administrator certain orders relating to bail forfeitures; repeals provisions governing an offer of judgment; repeals the requirement that the Nevada Supreme Court decide an appeal from judgment imposing the death penalty within a certain period; repeals provisions governing the selection of panels of jurors by boards of county commissioners; revises various other provisions relating to court administration.

AB 160 Provides that justice courts and municipal courts may be held outside their township/precinct/city under specific circumstances.

AB 435 Creates 11th Judicial District.

SB 5 Provides unopposed District Judges need not have their names placed on ballots.

SB 69 Modifies Judicial Retirement Plan. Allows retired judge to come back into service as senior judge within 90 days of retirement (currently must wait 6 months). Changes minimum age requirement for retired members to return as senior judges to a requirement that they (1) be receiving a benefit that is not actuarially reduced; or (2) a benefit that is actuarially reduced but the judge or justice has reached the required age at which they could have retired with a benefit that was not actuarially reduced. Also authorizes a retired justice or judge who is a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and who accepts employment as a senior judge to continue to receive allowances under the system for the duration of that employment.

SB 197 Prohibits filing false liens/encumbrances on judges or other public official.