[Rev. 11/21/2013 8:55:51 AM--2013]

CHAPTER 5 - MUNICIPAL COURTS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 5.010               General requirements for court; designation as court of record.

NRS 5.020               Municipal judges: Election; term; oath; qualifications; justice of the peace as ex officio municipal judge.

NRS 5.023               Municipal judges pro tempore.

NRS 5.024               Senior municipal judges.

NRS 5.025               Courses of instruction for municipal judges; payment of costs.

NRS 5.026               Attendance required at courses of instruction; penalty for unexcused absence.

NRS 5.030               Compensation of municipal judges.

NRS 5.040               Municipal judges: Power to take and certify acknowledgments.

NRS 5.045               Report of certain statistical information to be submitted to Court Administrator.

NRS 5.050               Jurisdiction.

NRS 5.052               Administration of program of supervision for persons with suspended sentences or persons sentenced to residential confinement.

NRS 5.055               Suspension of sentence; conditions of suspension; reduction of sentence; arrest for violation of condition of suspension.

NRS 5.057               Determination if defendant is a veteran or member of military; alternative program of treatment.

NRS 5.060               Process, writs and warrants.

NRS 5.065               Use of facsimile signature: Conditions and restrictions.

NRS 5.070               Municipal courts always open.

NRS 5.073               Conformity of practice and proceedings to those of justice courts; exception; imposition and collection of fees.

NRS 5.075               Form of docket and records.

RESIDENTIAL CONFINEMENT

NRS 5.0755             “Residential confinement” defined.

NRS 5.076               Power to order; conditions of sentence; maximum term; arrest for violation of condition.

NRS 5.077               Establishment and modification of terms and conditions.

NRS 5.078               Violation of terms and conditions.

APPEALS TO DISTRICT COURT FROM MUNICIPAL COURTS IN CITIES INCORPORATED UNDER GENERAL OR SPECIAL LAWS

NRS 5.080               Notice of intention to appeal; bail.

NRS 5.090               Judgment on appeal; notice to municipal court; payment of fines.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 5.010  General requirements for court; designation as court of record.  There must be in each city a municipal court presided over by a municipal judge. The municipal court:

      1.  Must be held at such place in the city within which it is established as the governing body of that city may by ordinance direct.

      2.  May by ordinance be designated as a court of record.

      [35:19:1865; B § 940; BH § 2454; C § 2535; RL § 4855; NCL § 8397]—(NRS A 1983, 899; 1985, 671; 1991, 161)

      NRS 5.020  Municipal judges: Election; term; oath; qualifications; justice of the peace as ex officio municipal judge.

      1.  Except as provided in subsection 3 and NRS 266.405, each municipal judge must be chosen by the electors of the city within which the municipal court is established on a day to be fixed by the governing body of that city. The term of office of a municipal judge is the period fixed by:

      (a) An ordinance adopted by the city if the city is organized under general law; or

      (b) The charter of the city if the city is organized under a special charter.

Ê Before entering upon his or her duties, a municipal judge shall take the constitutional oath of office.

      2.  A municipal judge must:

      (a) Be a citizen of the State;

      (b) Except as otherwise provided in the charter of a city organized under a special charter, have been a bona fide resident of the city for not less than 1 year next preceding his or her election;

      (c) Be a qualified elector in the city; and

      (d) Not have ever been removed or retired from any judicial office by the Commission on Judicial Discipline.

      3.  The governing body of a city, with the consent of the board of county commissioners and the justice of the peace, may provide that a justice of the peace of the township in which the city is located is ex officio the municipal judge of the city.

      4.  For the purposes of this section, a person shall not be ineligible to be a candidate for the office of municipal judge if a decision to remove or retire the person from a judicial office is pending appeal before the Supreme Court or has been overturned by the Supreme Court.

      [36:19:1865; B § 941; BH § 2454; C § 2536; RL § 4856; NCL § 8398]—(NRS A 1983, 899; 1985, 671; 1999, 95, 1183)

      NRS 5.023  Municipal judges pro tempore.

      1.  The governing body of the city shall select a number of persons it determines appropriate to comprise a panel of substitute municipal judges. The persons selected must not have ever been removed or retired from any judicial office by the Commission on Judicial Discipline and must be:

      (a) Members in good standing of the State Bar of Nevada;

      (b) Adult residents of the city; or

      (c) Justices of the peace of the county.

      2.  Whenever a municipal judge is disqualified from acting in a case pending in the municipal court or is unable to perform his or her duties because of his or her temporary sickness or absence, the municipal judge shall, if necessary, appoint a person from the panel of substitute municipal judges to act in his or her place.

      3.  A person so appointed must take and subscribe to the official oath before acting as a municipal judge pro tempore. While acting in that capacity, the municipal judge pro tempore is entitled to receive a per diem salary set by the governing body. The annual sum expended for salaries of municipal judges pro tempore must not exceed the amount budgeted for that expense by the governing body.

      4.  If an appointment of a municipal judge pro tempore becomes necessary and the municipal judge fails or is unable to make the appointment, the mayor shall make the appointment from the panel of substitute municipal judges.

      5.  For the purposes of this section, a person shall not be ineligible to be a candidate for the office of municipal judge pro tempore if a decision to remove or retire the person from a judicial office is pending appeal before the Supreme Court or has been overturned by the Supreme Court.

      (Added to NRS by 1981, 1639; A 1983, 899; 1999, 95)

      NRS 5.024  Senior municipal judges.

      1.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law or city charter, a senior municipal judge who serves in that capacity or a senior justice of the peace who serves in that capacity and who formerly served as a municipal judge may serve temporarily in any municipal court in this State, regardless of whether he or she is a resident of the city in which the municipal court to which he or she is assigned is located.

      2.  As used in this section:

      (a) “Senior justice of the peace” means a former justice of the peace who has received a commission from the Supreme Court to serve as a senior justice of the peace pursuant to the rules prescribed by the Supreme Court.

      (b) “Senior municipal judge” means a former judge of a municipal court who has received a commission from the Supreme Court to serve as a senior municipal judge pursuant to the rules prescribed by the Supreme Court.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 105)

      NRS 5.025  Courses of instruction for municipal judges; payment of costs.

      1.  The Court Administrator shall, at the direction of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, arrange for the giving of instruction, at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, or elsewhere:

      (a) In court procedure, recordkeeping and the elements of substantive law appropriate to a municipal court, to each municipal judge who is first elected or appointed to office after July 1, 1971, and to other such judges who so desire and who can be accommodated, between each election designated for the election of such judges and the date of entering office.

      (b) In statutory amendments and other developments in the law appropriate to a municipal court, to all such judges at convenient intervals.

      2.  Each city shall pay to the Supreme Court the city’s pro rata share of the costs of such instruction as budgeted for pursuant to the Local Government Budget and Finance Act.

      3.  The Supreme Court shall deposit with the State Treasurer, for credit to the appropriate account of the Supreme Court, all money received pursuant to subsection 2.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 838; A 1975, 1025; 1977, 362; 1981, 253; 1983, 109, 900; 2001, 1819)

      NRS 5.026  Attendance required at courses of instruction; penalty for unexcused absence.

      1.  Each municipal judge who is first elected or appointed to office after July 1, 1971, shall attend the instruction provided pursuant to NRS 5.025, on the first occasion when such instruction is offered after the election or appointment of the municipal judge, unless excused by written order of a judge of the district court in and for the county where the city is situated, which must be filed with the Court Administrator. Such an order is final for all purposes.

      2.  If a municipal judge fails to attend such instruction without securing a written order pursuant to subsection 1, the municipal judge forfeits his or her office.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 838; A 1977, 363; 1983, 900)

      NRS 5.030  Compensation of municipal judges.  Each municipal judge is entitled to receive compensation as fixed by the charter of the city or, if not fixed by a charter, by the governing body of the city, to be paid by the city. That compensation must not be diminished during the period for which the judge is elected. The compensation may be increased during that period if so provided in the charter of the city.

      [37:19:1865; B § 942; BH § 2456; C § 2537; RL § 4857; NCL § 8399]—(NRS A 1983, 900; 1989, 283)

      NRS 5.040  Municipal judges: Power to take and certify acknowledgments.  Municipal judges, within their respective cities, may take and certify:

      1.  The acknowledgment of conveyances and the satisfaction of a judgment of any court.

      2.  An affidavit to be used in any court of justice in this state.

      [Part 63:19:1865; B § 968; BH § 2482; C § 2563; RL § 4883; NCL § 8425]—(NRS A 1983, 900)

      NRS 5.045  Report of certain statistical information to be submitted to Court Administrator.  In the time and manner prescribed by the Supreme Court, the municipal judge of a city or, if there is more than one municipal judge for a city, a municipal judge designated by mutual consent of the other municipal judges of that city, shall submit to the Court Administrator a written report of the statistical information required pursuant to this section and such other statistical information as prescribed by the Supreme Court. The report must include, without limitation, statistical information concerning:

      1.  Those cases which are pending and undecided and the municipal judge to whom each case has been assigned;

      2.  The type and number of cases each municipal judge considered during the preceding month;

      3.  The number of cases submitted to each municipal judge during the preceding month;

      4.  The number of cases decided by each municipal judge during the preceding month; and

      5.  The number of full judicial days in which each municipal judge appeared in court or in chambers in performance of his or her duties during the preceding month.

      (Added to NRS by 1999, 707)

      NRS 5.050  Jurisdiction.

      1.  Municipal courts have jurisdiction of civil actions or proceedings:

      (a) For the violation of any ordinance of their respective cities.

      (b) To prevent or abate a nuisance within the limits of their respective cities.

      2.  The municipal courts have jurisdiction of all misdemeanors committed in violation of the ordinances of their respective cities. Upon approval of the district court, a municipal court may transfer original jurisdiction of a misdemeanor to the district court for the purpose of assigning an offender to a program established pursuant to NRS 176A.250 or 176A.280.

      3.  The municipal courts have jurisdiction of:

      (a) Any action for the collection of taxes or assessments levied for city purposes, when the principal sum thereof does not exceed $2,500.

      (b) Actions to foreclose liens in the name of the city for the nonpayment of those taxes or assessments when the principal sum claimed does not exceed $2,500.

      (c) Actions for the breach of any bond given by any officer or person to or for the use or benefit of the city, and of any action for damages to which the city is a party, and upon all forfeited recognizances given to or for the use or benefit of the city, and upon all bonds given on appeals from the municipal court in any of the cases named in this section, when the principal sum claimed does not exceed $2,500.

      (d) Actions for the recovery of personal property belonging to the city, when the value thereof does not exceed $2,500.

      (e) Actions by the city for the collection of any damages, debts or other obligations when the amount claimed, exclusive of costs or attorney’s fees, or both if allowed, does not exceed $2,500.

      (f) Actions seeking an order pursuant to NRS 441A.195.

      4.  Nothing contained in subsection 3 gives the municipal court jurisdiction to determine any such cause when it appears from the pleadings that the validity of any tax, assessment or levy, or title to real property, is necessarily an issue in the cause, in which case the court shall certify the cause to the district court in like manner and with the same effect as provided by law for certification of causes by justice courts.

      [33:19:1865; B § 938; BH § 2452; C § 2533; RL § 4853; NCL § 8395] + [34:19:1865; B § 939; BH § 2453; C § 2534; RL § 4854; NCL § 8396]—(NRS A 1959, 853; 1981, 652, 1928; 1985, 129, 671; 1991, 454; 2001 Special Session, 258; 2009, 111; 2013, 599)

      NRS 5.052  Administration of program of supervision for persons with suspended sentences or persons sentenced to residential confinement.

      1.  If the city in which a municipal court is situated has a department of alternative sentencing, the chief of that department shall administer a program of supervision for persons whose sentences have been suspended pursuant to NRS 5.055 or who are sentenced to a term of residential confinement pursuant to NRS 5.076.

      2.  If the city in which the municipal court is situated does not have a department of alternative sentencing and:

      (a) The county in which the municipal court is situated has a department of alternative sentencing, the chief of the department of alternative sentencing of the county shall administer the program of supervision.

      (b) The county in which the municipal court is situated does not have a department of alternative sentencing, the municipal court may contract with a qualified person to administer the program of supervision.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 2232; A 1995, 873; 2009, 2259)

      NRS 5.055  Suspension of sentence; conditions of suspension; reduction of sentence; arrest for violation of condition of suspension.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, NRS 211A.127 or another specific statute, or unless the suspension of a sentence is expressly forbidden, a municipal judge may suspend, for not more than 2 years, the sentence of a person convicted of a misdemeanor. If the circumstances warrant, the municipal judge may order as a condition of suspension that the offender:

      (a) Make restitution to the owner of any property that is lost, damaged or destroyed as a result of the commission of the offense;

      (b) Engage in a program of community service, for not more than 200 hours;

      (c) Actively participate in a program of professional counseling at the expense of the offender;

      (d) Abstain from the use of alcohol and controlled substances;

      (e) Refrain from engaging in any criminal activity;

      (f) Engage or refrain from engaging in any other conduct deemed appropriate by the municipal judge;

      (g) Submit to a search and seizure by the chief of a department of alternative sentencing, an assistant alternative sentencing officer or any other law enforcement officer at any time of the day or night without a search warrant; and

      (h) Submit to periodic tests to determine whether the offender is using any controlled substance or alcohol.

      2.  If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor that constitutes domestic violence pursuant to NRS 33.018, the municipal judge may, after the person has served any mandatory minimum period of confinement, suspend the remainder of the sentence of the person for not more than 3 years upon the condition that the person actively participate in:

      (a) A program of treatment for the abuse of alcohol or drugs which is certified by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health of the Department of Health and Human Services;

      (b) A program for the treatment of persons who commit domestic violence that has been certified pursuant to NRS 228.470; or

      (c) The programs set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b),

Ê and that the person comply with any other condition of suspension ordered by the municipal judge.

      3.  The municipal judge may order reports from a person whose sentence is suspended at such times as the municipal judge deems appropriate concerning the compliance of the offender with the conditions of suspension. If the offender complies with the conditions of suspension to the satisfaction of the municipal judge, the sentence may be reduced to not less than the minimum period of confinement established for the offense.

      4.  The municipal judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of an offender who violates or fails to fulfill a condition of suspension.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 1135; A 1989, 199; 1997, 34, 1477, 1806; 1999, 486, 1382, 1877; 2001, 87, 429; 2001 Special Session, 122; 2005, 66)

      NRS 5.057  Determination if defendant is a veteran or member of military; alternative program of treatment.

      1.  Before accepting a plea from a defendant or proceeding to trial, the municipal judge shall address the defendant personally and ask the defendant if he or she is a veteran or a member of the military.

      2.  If the defendant is a veteran or a member of the military and meets the qualifications of NRS 176A.285, the municipal court may, if appropriate, take any action authorized by law for the purpose of having the defendant assigned to:

      (a) A program of treatment established pursuant to NRS 176A.280; or

      (b) If a program of treatment established pursuant to NRS 176A.280 is not available for the defendant, a program of treatment established pursuant to NRS 176A.250 or 453.580.

      3.  As used in this section:

      (a) “Member of the military” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 176A.043.

      (b) “Veteran” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 176A.090.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 111)

      NRS 5.060  Process, writs and warrants.

      1.  Municipal judges and municipal courts may issue all legal process, writs and warrants necessary and proper to the complete exercise of their powers.

      2.  All warrants issued by the municipal court must run to any sheriff or constable of the county, the marshal or any police officer of the city, or a marshal or park ranger who is part of a unit of specialized law enforcement established pursuant to NRS 280.125.

      3.  Any constable or sheriff may serve any process or make any arrest authorized to be made by any officer of a city.

      [39:19:1865; B § 944; BH § 2458; C § 2539; RL § 4859; NCL § 8401]—(NRS A 1983, 901; 1985, 672; 1995, 159)

      NRS 5.065  Use of facsimile signature: Conditions and restrictions.

      1.  Each municipal judge may use a facsimile signature produced through a mechanical device in place of his or her handwritten signature whenever the necessity arises and upon approval of the Supreme Court, subject to the following conditions:

      (a) That the mechanical device must be of such a nature that the facsimile signature may be removed from the mechanical device and kept in a separate secure place.

      (b) That the use of the facsimile signature may be made only under the direction and supervision of the municipal judge whose signature it represents.

      (c) That the entire mechanical device must at all times be kept in a vault, securely locked, when not in use, to prevent any misuse of the device.

      2.  No facsimile signature produced through a mechanical device authorized by the provisions of this section may be combined with the signature of another officer.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 999)

      NRS 5.070  Municipal courts always open.  There shall be no terms in municipal courts. These courts shall always be open.

      [40:19:1865; B § 945; BH § 2459; C § 2540; RL § 4860; NCL § 8402]

      NRS 5.073  Conformity of practice and proceedings to those of justice courts; exception; imposition and collection of fees.

      1.  The practice and proceedings in the municipal court must conform, as nearly as practicable, to the practice and proceedings of justice courts in similar cases. An appeal perfected transfers the action to the district court for trial anew, unless the municipal court is designated as a court of record as provided in NRS 5.010. The municipal court must be treated and considered as a justice court whenever the proceedings thereof are called into question.

      2.  Each municipal judge shall charge and collect such fees prescribed in NRS 4.060 that are within the jurisdictional limits of the municipal court.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 903; A 1991, 455; 1997, 115)

      NRS 5.075  Form of docket and records.  The Court Administrator shall prescribe the form of the docket and of any other appropriate records to be kept by the municipal court, which form may vary from court to court according to the number and kind of cases customarily heard and whether the court is designated as a court of record pursuant to NRS 5.010.

      (Added to NRS by 1971, 1997; A 1991, 161)

RESIDENTIAL CONFINEMENT

      NRS 5.0755  “Residential confinement” defined.  As used in NRS 5.0755 to 5.078, inclusive, “residential confinement” means the confinement of a person convicted of a misdemeanor to the person’s place of residence under the terms and conditions established by the sentencing court.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 2231)

      NRS 5.076  Power to order; conditions of sentence; maximum term; arrest for violation of condition.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 7, in lieu of imposing any punishment other than a minimum sentence required by statute, a municipal judge may sentence a person convicted of a misdemeanor to a term of residential confinement. In making this determination, the municipal judge shall consider the criminal record of the convicted person and the seriousness of the crime committed.

      2.  In sentencing a convicted person to a term of residential confinement, the municipal judge shall:

      (a) Require the convicted person to be confined to his or her residence during the time the convicted person is away from his or her employment, public service or other activity authorized by the municipal judge; and

      (b) Require intensive supervision of the convicted person, including, without limitation, electronic surveillance and unannounced visits to his or her residence or other locations where the convicted person is expected to be in order to determine whether the convicted person is complying with the terms of his or her sentence.

      3.  In sentencing a convicted person to a term of residential confinement, the municipal judge may, when the circumstances warrant, require the convicted person to submit to:

      (a) A search and seizure by the chief of a department of alternative sentencing, an assistant alternative sentencing officer or any other law enforcement officer at any time of the day or night without a search warrant; and

      (b) Periodic tests to determine whether the offender is using a controlled substance or consuming alcohol.

      4.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, an electronic device may be used to supervise a convicted person sentenced to a term of residential confinement. The device must be minimally intrusive and limited in capability to recording or transmitting information concerning the presence of the person at his or her residence, including, but not limited to, the transmission of still visual images which do not concern the activities of the person while inside his or her residence. A device which is capable of recording or transmitting:

      (a) Oral or wire communications or any auditory sound; or

      (b) Information concerning the activities of the person while inside his or her residence,

Ê must not be used.

      5.  An electronic device must be used in the manner set forth in subsection 4 to supervise a person who is sentenced pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 1 of NRS 484C.400 for a second violation within 7 years of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance.

      6.  A term of residential confinement, together with the term of any minimum sentence required by statute, may not exceed the maximum sentence which otherwise could have been imposed for the offense.

      7.  The municipal judge shall not sentence a person convicted of committing a battery which constitutes domestic violence pursuant to NRS 33.018 to a term of residential confinement in lieu of imprisonment unless the municipal judge makes a finding that the person is not likely to pose a threat to the victim of the battery.

      8.  The municipal judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of a convicted person who violates or fails to fulfill a condition of residential confinement.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 2231; A 1991, 57, 1726; 1993, 1500; 1997, 1478, 1807, 3361; 1999, 669, 675, 2143)

      NRS 5.077  Establishment and modification of terms and conditions.

      1.  In sentencing a person to a term of residential confinement, a municipal judge may establish the terms and conditions of that confinement.

      2.  The municipal judge may, at any time, modify the terms and conditions of the residential confinement.

      3.  The municipal judge shall cause a copy of his or her order to be delivered to the convicted person and the local law enforcement agency.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 2231)

      NRS 5.078  Violation of terms and conditions.  If it is determined that the convicted person violated any term or condition of the convicted person’s residential confinement, the sentence may be rescinded, modified or continued. If it is rescinded, another punishment authorized by law must be imposed.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 2232)

APPEALS TO DISTRICT COURT FROM MUNICIPAL COURTS IN CITIES INCORPORATED UNDER GENERAL OR SPECIAL LAWS

      NRS 5.080  Notice of intention to appeal; bail.

      1.  After filing a notice of intention to appeal, which shall include a statement of the character of the judgment, with the municipal court and serving such notice upon the city attorney, a defendant who has been convicted of a criminal violation in a municipal court may, if the defendant desires to be released from custody during the pendency of the appeal or desires a stay of proceedings under the judgment until disposition of the appeal, enter bail for the prosecution of the appeal, the payment of any judgment, fine and costs that may be awarded against the defendant on the appeal for failure to prosecute the appeal and for the rendering of himself or herself in execution of the judgment from which the defendant is appealing or of any judgment rendered against the defendant in the action appealed from in the district court to which the action is appealed.

      2.  Any bail which has been entered in the municipal court for the prosecution of the action in such court may be released or retained by the court in partial satisfaction of the bail required pursuant to subsection 1.

      (Added to NRS by 1967, 1088)

      NRS 5.090  Judgment on appeal; notice to municipal court; payment of fines.

      1.  When an appeal of a civil or criminal case from a municipal court to a district court has been perfected and the district court has rendered a judgment on appeal, the district court shall, within 10 days from the date of such judgment, give written notice to the municipal court of the district court’s disposition of the appealed action.

      2.  When a conviction for a violation of a municipal ordinance is sustained and the fine imposed is sustained in whole or part, or a greater fine is imposed, the district court shall direct that the defendant pay the amount of the fine sustained or imposed by the district court to the city treasurer of the city in which the municipal court from which the appeal was taken is located.

      (Added to NRS by 1967, 1089; A 1989, 903)