The primary constitutional function of the Supreme Court is to review appeals from decisions of the District Courts. The Supreme Court determines if legal errors were committed that require reversal or if evidence was sufficient to support the trial court judgment or order. The Court may affirm, modify or reverse the judgment or order that was appealed.
In many cases the Supreme Court corrects error or affirms the law by issuing written "opinions" giving its reasons for the decisions. These opinions, which interpret the law and define statutes, are a major source for the laws that govern Nevada. The opinions of the Supreme Court are published annually as the Nevada Reports.
The Supreme Court has other important responsibilities, such as establishing committees to study and recommend improvements in Nevada's judicial system. Another significant duty of the Supreme Court is its supervision of the legal profession
Where is the court located and what are its hours?
The Nevada Supreme Court is located at 201 South Carson Street in Carson City, Nevada (Map | Directions). The Court's hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays. Documents received for filing after 4 p.m. will be filed the following day.
Members of the Nevada State Bar and the public are free to visit or call the Supreme Court to ask general questions about the Court or the appellate process, to inquire about the status of a pending case, or to examine public case files. Generally, all communication with the court should be made through the clerk's office. The clerk's office telephone number is (775) 684-1600.
Any inquiries regarding the status of an appeal, writ proceeding, or pending motion will be answered by a person in the clerk's office who is trained to answer general questions regarding the status of a case or of a particular pending matter such as a motion. However, please read the applicable Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure
How do I obtain copies of documents in the court's files?
Copies of public, filed documents are available for a copying fee of $1.00 per page. Generally, any requests for copy work must be accompanied by payment. When requesting copies, please have the Case Name and/or Docket Number handy, as this will expedite your request.Members of the bar and the public should not contact the Justices, their law clerks or Central Staff attorneys directly regarding any matters related to cases pending before the court. All questions and letters should be directed to the Clerk's Office.
Where and when do I file a Notice of Appeal?
Generally, an appeal may be taken only from the final judgment of the district court. NRAP 3A(b)(1). However, you may appeal from certain other orders as provided by law. See, for example, NRAP 3A(b)(2)-(4).
Appeals permitted by law from district courts to the Supreme Court are commenced by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the district court within the time allowed by NRAP 4(a) (civil) or NRAP 4(b) (criminal).
Notice of Appeal
The notice of appeal must specify the party or parties taking the appeal, designate the judgment, order or part thereof appealed from, and name the court to which the appeal is taken. NRAP 3(c). Form 1 in the Appendix of Forms following the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure is a suggested form of a notice of appeal. The notice of appeal must contain an acknowledgment of service or proof of service on all parties to the district court action. NRAP 3(d).
Any notice of appeal presented to the district court clerk for filing must be accompanied by a Case Appeal Statement. NRAP 3(a)(1). If the notice of appeal is filed in proper person, the district court clerk shall complete and sign the case appeal statement. NRAP 3(a)(1). The case appeal statement must be completed fully and accurately and must substantially comply with Form 2 in the Appendix of Forms following the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure.
May I file an appeal without being represented by an attorney?
Because the filing of an appeal is a complex process, it is recommended that any person taking or responding to an appeal be represented by a licensed Nevada attorney. However, if a person cannot afford to retain an attorney and otherwise qualifies to take an appeal, that person may file a notice of appeal "in proper person" in accordance with the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Generally, only a licensed Nevada attorney may file documents or papers in an appeal. NRAP 46. However, any proper person civil appeal may be assigned to the court's pilot program for processing such appeals. NRAP 3E. If this is the case, you will be provided with information from the court after the filing of the appeal.
Nevada Supreme Court motion practice
Any requests for relief must be presented to the Supreme Court in a formal, written motion filed with the clerk. Request for relief may not be presented by way of an informal letter addressed to the justices or to the clerk of the court. See In re Petition to Recall Dunleavy, 104 Nev. 784, 769 P.2d 1271 (1988).
A motion must be in writing and must contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, case title, docket number and a brief descriptive title. NRAP 32(b).
A motion must state succinctly the "order or relief sought" and "grounds on which it is based." NRAP 27(a).
Points and authorities and affidavit: Points and authorities should cite to appropriate court rule or case law supporting the relief sought. If motion refers to factual matters, circumstances or events which may be controverted or outside record, the motion should be supported by affidavit.
Notice of motion, request for submission of motion or proposed order resolving motion need not be filed.
Appeals are generally reserved for review of a district court's final judgment
appeals are generally reserved for review of a district court's final judgment, sometimes a district court's interlocutory order or ruling requires earlier review. In such instances, and upon petition, the Nevada Supreme Court has the discretion to exercise its powers of extraordinary review - the most common being petitions for writs of mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari.
For a detailed discussion re: the filing of writ petitions in the Nevada Supreme Court, please see the Nevada Appellate Practice Manual, section entitled Writ Petitions. (This publication may be found in your local law library or is available from the State Bar of Nevada.)
. If you want to seek review of a final judgment or another order that may be appealed, i.e., if you have a plain remedy such as an immediate appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, the supreme court will not entertain a writ petition. See Columbia/HCA Healthcare v. Dist. Ct., 113 Nev.521, 936 P.2d 844 (1997). If an appeal is available,
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Howard Roitman, Esq.
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89117