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How Does the Nevada Supreme Court Work?

The Nevada judiciary oversees and resolves legal matters in the state’s five regions and 11 judicial circuits. It comprises three levels that include the appellate, district, municipal, and justice courts. The Nevada Supreme Court is the highest court in the state, established under Article 6, Section 1 of the Nevada Constitution, and responsible for reviewing appeals regarding legal or procedural errors in District Court’s verdict. Cases are appealed to the Supreme Court for consideration, six and the court may affirm, reverse, or overrule a District Court’s judgment by order or opinion.

Other than its judicial functions, the court is responsible for improvements and amendments in the judicial system with recommendations by court-approved researchers from the Advisory Committee for Nevada. The court is funded majorly by the State General Fund and hears appeals from lower courts in accordance with the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure(NRAP). Under NRAP Rule 17, the Supreme Court has mandatory appellate jurisdiction over these cases:

  • Every death penalty case
  • Ballot/election questions
  • Judicial disciplinary cases
  • Admission, suspension, disability, discipline, resignation, and reinstatement of attorneys
  • Federal court-certified questions of law
  • Approval of prepaid legal service plans
  • Disputes between government branches or local governments
  • Administrative agency (determinations of tax, water, or public utility commissions)
  • Business court cases
  • Termination of parental rights or cases involving the protection of children from abuse and neglect (NRS Chapter 432B)
  • Cases that raise questions involving the United States/Nevada Constitutions or common law
  • Cases of public importance, or regarding discrepancies or conflicts in the published decisions of the appellate courts (Supreme Court and Court of Appeals)

While the court generally retains its jurisdiction over appeals from the District Courts, the court may assign some case types to the Nevada Court of Appeals. Types of appeals cases in this bracket are defined under NRAP Rule 17(b). The Supreme Court may also, at its discretion, review interlocutory orders or rulings from the District Courts. Included in the court’s discretionary authority are appeals for writs of mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari.

Apart from outlining how court proceedings in appeals cases are conducted, the court’s procedural manual provides appellants with instructions on filing civil, criminal, or judicial misconduct appeals in the Nevada Supreme Court. The Frequently Asked Questions page also provides insight into the court’s appeals processes. Members of the public may contact the Supreme Court Clerk by phone at (775) 684–1600 for inquiries.

Typically, appeals must be filed within the timeframe given by law. It begins by filing a notice of appeal and completed Case Appeal Statement with the Clerk of a District Court, and when the appellant pays the Supreme Court’s filing fee and other district court costs. According to Rule(c), a notice of appeal must include the appealing party/parties name(s), designate the judgment, order, or part being appealed, and the court where the appeal is taken. Whereas the Case Appeal Statement, as outlined in NRAP Rule 3(f)(3), must contain details including, but not limited to:

  • The District Court case number and caption listing all names of parties to the proceedings
  • The date when the case began in the District Court
  • Name of the judge who entered the judgment or order being appealed
  • If there is a possibility of settlement in the appeal (for civil cases)
  • Whether the defendant was represented by appointed counsel or is represented by one in the appeal

There are 7 Supreme Court Justices in Nevada, chosen in non-partisan elections by qualified electors, and serving 6-year terms (Article 6 Sec. 3).. The justices comprise a chief justice and six associate justices. To qualify for a judgeship in the Supreme Court, a candidate must be a qualified elector residing in Nevada for at least two years and be licensed to practice law with 15 years’ experience (2 must be in Nevada). Also, the candidate must not have been removed or retired from any judicial office by law or the Commission on Judicial Discipline.

The chief justice is selected by seniority and serves for two years. In cases where two members share equal seniority, the chief judge is selected by lot. The State Governor fills any vacancy that occurs mid-term by appointing a replacement judge.

Nevada Supreme Court hears and decides cases at the following address:

201 South Carson Street

Carson City, NV 89701–4702


Phone: (775) 684–1600

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Filings may be made in-person at the Clerk’s office during business hours at the above location by USPS, a third-party commercial carrier, or the EFlex Electronic Filing System. Also, Documents may be filed using the court’s drop box located at the address below. Ensure to enclose the documents in an envelope and place a timestamp (available on top of the dropbox) on it before submission.

408 East Clark Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89101

Fax filings are only available for motions to stay a death penalty. Interested persons may view all applicable fees on the Filing & Fees page.

Case and docket information of the Supreme Court may be obtained by entering a case number or caption details into the Appellate Court Case Lookup tool. Members of the public may also view the Supreme Court’s opinions and orders on this page, and the court’s calendar, which provides the details or synopsis, date, location, and duration of scheduled oral arguments or cases. A pictorial version of this calendar is provided to the public. The court also maintains a Case Search platform where interested persons may access filed documents of a case by typing a docket number. This information may also be obtained by searching with an appellant’s last or first name.

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