State/Local Funding

  • The Nevada Judiciary is funded both by the state and by the local funding bodies. 
  • The state pays for the Appellate Court, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and for the salaries of general jurisdiction trial court judges.  The salaries of trial court support staff, trial court clerical staff and operating expenses, trial court technology and local courthouses and equipment are paid by local funding bodies.

State Revenue and Appropriations

  • Nevada’s total state and federal grant appropriation of $65.7 million remained the same in FY13.  The state general fund appropriation increased from $29.4 million to $30.05 million; the percent of the state general fund appropriation allocated to the Judiciary rose from 0.948% to 0.969%.
  • The FY13 budget includes special funding for disaster recovery of existing systems and applications and funding for analysis of replacing the state sponsored case management system.
  • Over the past four years, fees have increased 5%.

Funding Principles for Judicial Administration

  • The Judicial Branch presents the Judiciary’s budget request directly to the Legislative body without prior approval by the Executive Branch. 
  • The Judicial Branch has budget authority to manage and administer appropriated funds without restrictions of detailed budget line items.
  • The FY13 budget enables the courts to provide for and enhance all necessary technology to meet the demands of the public.  It provides for continued access of the public to appellate court documents via the court website and the option to file electronically.

                1) The Judiciary has reserved funds for the initiative to replace the state-sponsored case
                    management system. The Nevada Judiciary has also been able to retain ongoing funding
                    needed to maintain the appellate court case management system and to fund routine 
                    enhancements.  They also have continued collaboration with justice partners in many
                    of these areas.

  • The introduction of technologies has enabled the courts and others to provide enhanced court services.

Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times

Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses:  Over the past four years, the number of judges has increased 4%.  The number of central office staff has remained the same.

Compensation:  Over the past four years, and in the coming year, salaries of court staff have been and will continue to be frozen and reduced.  Court staff have been and will continue to be furloughed.  Longevity pay for long-term employees has been frozen.  Salaries have been reduced by 2.5%, and 48 hours of furlough have been imposed on all managerial, administrative and support staff under the administration of the Supreme Court.

Service Reductions: 

  • Over the past four years, the Nevada courts have delayed filling vacancies in judicial support positions and have reduced the use of retired judges.
  • These measures, particularly lost productivity while staff have undergone mandatory furlough requirements, have resulted in reduced service to the public, limited access to court services, increased backlogs.

Efficiency Measures:  The Nevada courts have implemented e-filing.  They have implemented and will continue to implement an electronic document management system, an enhanced case management system and electronic workflow.  They have implemented e-citation by law enforcement agencies, e-payment of fines and fees and a virtual web-based information center to provide public access to records.

Restructuring:  The Nevada courts have reallocated judges to districts based upon weighted caseload. 

Business Processes: 

  • The Nevada courts have implemented an enhanced caseflow management program, have implemented in-court updating for docket entries, have transitioned to digital recording of court proceedings and have implemented videoconferencing of incarcerated defendants and detained juveniles.
  • Nevada is not a unified court system.  They utilize their resources to assist courts in these areas, although it is mainly a consultation/collaborative basis between justice partners.  Courts can apply for grant funding from the Administrative Office of the Courts in relation to their initiatives in these and other areas. 

Nevada is in a worse position than four years ago to provide access and timely justice.  They have experienced significant turnover because of the freeze in pay, salary reductions and mandatory furloughs.  No new initiatives/improvements have been initiated to address any identified needs due to lack of funding.

Reports and Articles

Gavel to Gavel

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