Nevada District Courts Response to COVID-19

On March 16, 2020, the Second Judicial Direct Court of Nevada in and for the county of Washoe, Chief Justice Kristina Pickering, and Chief Scott Freeman, issued an Administrative Order that alters court procedures effective immediately to protect the Washoe County community during COVID-19 pandemic.

The order includes information relevant to all parties involved in legal matters at the Second Judicial Direct Court. The District Court will continue to accept filings and continue to operate managing cases within the parameters of the order. All currently scheduled non-essential District Court hearings are ordered to be conducted by video or telephonic means; decided on the papers; or rescheduled unless otherwise directed by a District Court judge.

Essential case types and hearings will continue to be heard through in-person appearances, although appearance by alternative means under Nevada Supreme Court Rule Part IX is encouraged when possible.

Essential case types and hearings include the following:

  • In-custody criminal sentencing, bail motions, and probation revocation hearings until arrangements can be made to hear these matters by alternative means;
  • Criminal arraignments
  • Civil commitment cases
  • Guardianship matters except for compliance-related hearings which include annual accountings. Given the vulnerability of the guardianship populations, all protected persons shall appear by alternative means
  • Domestic temporary or extended protection orders
  • Juvenile delinquency matters
  • Abuse and neglect preliminary protective hearings
  • High-risk protective orders
  • Civil temporary restraining orders and preliminary/permanent injunctive relief hearings.
  • Probate petitions for orders of cremation.
  • Other than jury trials, case-by-case exceptions may be ordered at the discretion of a District Court Judge.

All jury trials, civil and criminal, scheduled in District Court for the next 30 days will be suspended and will be rescheduled as the court calendar allows. No summonsed prospective jurors are to appear. Any currently ongoing jury trial will finish.

The order shall operate to stay trial in civil cases for purposes of NRCP 41(e). The time period of any continuance entered as a result of this order shall be excluded under for purposes of calculating speedy trial under NRS 178.556(1) and NRS 174.511 as the Court finds that ends of justice served by taking that action outweigh the interests of the parties and the public in a speedy trial. Absent further order of the Court or any individual judge, the period of exclusion shall be from March 16, 2020, through April 17, 2020. The Court may extend the period of exclusion as circumstances warrant.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control has advised people to take precautions and that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure. As a result, District Court Administration is ordered to post a notice at the entrance of all district court facilities advising the following people that they may not enter the court facility:

  • Persons who in the last 14 days have traveled to a country designated as a Level 3 travel health notice according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, those countries include China, Iran, South Korea, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City. The list is subject to change by the CDC.
  • Persons who reside or have close contact with someone who has traveled to any foreign country within the last 14 days
  • Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency
  • Persons who have been diagnosed with coronavirus or who has had contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Persons with unexplained fever, cough or shortness of breath

Anyone attempting to enter in violation of these protocols will be denied entry by District Court Marshals.

District Court Administration is also ordered to establish a customer service number, 775-328-3110, to assist all persons unable to enter the court facility because of exposure or illness.

This order issued by the chief judge shall be reviewed no later than every 30 days and shall continue until modified or rescinded by a subsequent order.

For any questions regarding this order, please contact Petroni Law Group at 775-420-4221.

At Petroni Law Group, our goal is to provide each and every client with an unobstructed view of all aspects of a case by aiding in informed decision-making and clear understanding of possible outcomes.

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Reno, NV 89505