Rules of Practice for Reno Municipal Court
Rule 1: Applicability of Rules
- These rules are applicable to all criminal and civil proceedings conducted in this Court.
- These rules may be cited as the Reno Municipal Court rules and may be abbreviated as R.M.C.R.
- Whenever it appears that a particular situation does not fall within the purview of a rule, the Court may make such other orders as the interests of justice require. If there is a Justice Court rule, it shall apply as Reno Municipal Court procedure.
Rule 2: Organization of the Court
- The Municipal Court consists of a number of departments designated by City Council resolution, each presided over by a judge duly elected or appointed to that position. Judges pro tem may sit in each department from time to time as authorized by law. A judge pro tem duly appointed and authorized by the presiding judge of a particular department to sit in that department shall have the same jurisdiction as the presiding judge, except that the judge pro tem has jurisdiction only over matters to be heard on his or her assigned docket. Judges pro tem are not permitted to act on any motion filed in any case, except those requiring resolution before a case can proceed on the docket to which the pro tem judge is assigned.
- All cases set for trial or other post-arraignment proceeding, except a sentencing set by the arraigning judge, shall be randomly or sequentially assigned to one of the departments. Insofar as is practical, all cases pertaining to a defendant shall be assigned to the same judge. In the event a judge must recuse himself or herself, the matter shall be sent to the administrative judge for reassignment to another department.
- The elected or appointed judges of each department may act for one another by mutual agreement as circumstances dictate.
- Every two years, the elected or appointed judges shall select one of their number to act as Chief Judge for the upcoming biennium. A judge may serve as Chief Judge for two consecutive biennia. A judge must have a minimum of two (2) years experience on the Court to serve as Chief Judge. The Chief Judge shall speak publicly for the court on matters of court policy and shall handle all court administrative matters, including but not limited to: the court's budget; the court calendar; case assignments; and other policy or procedures reasonably necessary to ensure the court's reliable and consistent operations and the public's confidence in the judiciary. The Chief Judge shall exercise independent judgment with regard to ministerial actions affecting the business of the courts, and shall advise the other judges and seek a consensus with regard to decisions that will change long-standing practices of the court or otherwise create a major impact on court staff or operations. Notwithstanding the inherent independence of each elected or appointed judge, all judges shall cooperate with, and provide their best advice to the Chief Judge in performance of these duties. The ordinary court workload of the Chief Judge may be reduced, as necessary, to provide time for the performance of administrative duties.
Rule 3: Authorization to Represent
- Pursuant to NRS 178.388(3), the Court may permit arraignment, plea, trial and sentencing without the defendant's personal appearance, provided the Court determines that the defendant is fully aware of the applicable constitutional rights and consents.
- An attorney representing a defendant shall promptly prepare and file with the clerk of the court a written notice of representation on the most recent version of the "Authorization to Represent" (ATR) form prescribed by the Court, without making changes or alterations to said form. No other forms shall be accepted by the clerk.
- The ATR form shall be signed personally by the defendant, as it consents to proceedings held in absentia. No attorney shall sign for the defendant.
- Defense counsel must serve a copy of the ATR on the Reno City Attorney.
- An attorney seeking to withdraw as defense counsel shall file a motion with the Court setting forth reasons for the request to withdraw, and shall serve the Reno City Attorney.
- Until the Court has entered an Order Authorizing Withdrawal/Substitution of Counsel, a defense attorney remains counsel of record for the defendant and shall continue to represent the defendant and make all court appearances.
Rule 4: Motions
- A motion, other than Motion for Continuance, shall be filed in writing no less than 28 days before a scheduled hearing.
- Motions presenting or arguing legal issues must be accompanied by Points and Authorities establishing a legal basis for the motion.
- Motions presenting or arguing facts not yet appearing in the record shall be accompanied by Affidavit or Declaration establishing such facts. In the alternative, the moving party may attach a copy of a pertinent report, exchanged in Discovery, which establishes the factual basis for the motion, together with a stipulation by counsel for the parties that the court may consider said report.
- The opposing party may file and serve responsive Points and Authorities within 14 days after service of a motion. Said response must state the reason(s) for objection to the motion. If said response presents or argues any facts not yet appearing in the record, the opposing party shall establish those facts by complying with the procedure set forth in section C of this rule.
- The moving party may file and serve Reply Points and Authorities within 7 days after service of the opposing party’s response.
- All motions, responses and replies must be timely filed in the court, as shown by the court clerk’s file-stamp, and must be served on the opposing party, with an accompanying Proof of Service. If a motion or document is filed by fax or email, there is no 3-day time added to the time for service.
- Upon the expiration of any time period set by this rule, if no response or reply is filed either party may file and serve a written Request to Submit the Motion. Absent such a request, the matter is deemed submitted to the court for decision.
- Motions shall be decided without hearing or oral argument unless the court sets the matter for hearing.
- A request for a Jury Trial on a Domestic Violence charge shall be filed in writing no less than 35 days before a scheduled trial.
Rule 5: Filing Motions and Pleadings by Facsimile
- All rules and procedures that apply to motions/pleadings filed in person at the court shall also apply to motions/pleadings filed by facsimile, except as otherwise specified in this rule.
- All motions/pleadings filed by facsimile will only be accepted through the clerk's office (775-334-3824).
- Except by prior court approval, a motion/pleading by facsimile shall not exceed fifteen (15) pages in length, including the cover sheet and exhibits. A document shall not be split into multiple transmissions to avoid the page limitation.
- Each transmitted page shall bear sequential numbers in the transmission.
- All persons are eligible to use motion/pleading-by-facsimile procedures.
- All motions/pleadings filed by facsimile must be accompanied by a cover sheet which must include the person's name, address, fax number and telephone number.
- All facsimile motions/pleadings filed by an attorney must include the attorney's name, the firm's name, address, fax number and telephone number.
- All facsimile motions/pleadings filed by facsimile must be accompanied by proof of service. Service may be accomplished by facsimile when the receiving party is a governmental agency, an attorney, or with the consent of the receiving party. If service of the motion/pleading is accomplished by facsimile the 3-day allowance for mailing shall not be computed into the time for response.
- A defense attorney filing a motion/pleading in the first instance must also file a proper authorization to represent.
- Any motion/pleading received by the court after 5:00 p.m. or on a non-court day shall be filed on the following court day.
Rule 6: Continuances
- A motion for continuance of a hearing or trial, including a continuance stipulated to by opposing counsel, must be made in writing, and must state the reason therefore, and whether or not a continuance has previously been sought or granted.
- A continuance is not presumed to be granted until the Court acts upon the request. No continuance shall be granted, including a stipulated continuance, except for good cause, as determined by the Court.
- A party seeking a continuance shall provide the Court with a proposed Order for the signature of the judge The Order may be attached as the last page of the motion, or received by the Clerk separately, but it shall not be filed by the Clerk of the Court until it is signed by the judge.
- A self-represented defendant who cannot appear in court on the date set by the Court shall notify the Court at least 14 days before that date, in writing or in person, to request another date. The written notice must include the defendant’s current address, phone number, email address and the case number assigned by the court to that matter. The notice may be faxed to the Clerk of the Court at (775) 334-3824, pursuant to Rule 5. Court dates will not be changed over the telephone.
Rule 7: Corporations and Business
A corporation or other business entity must appear in court represented by legal counsel or a corporate officer or employee who is authorized to act on behalf of the corporation or business entity.
Rule 8: Courtroom Conduct and Attire
- Proceedings in court shall be conducted with dignity and decorum. Disruption of court proceedings by any person may be deemed a Contempt of Court, as defined by NRS 22.010, and may be punished pursuant to NRS 22.100.
- Any person appearing in court as a defendant, counsel or witness shall be appropriately attired in commonly-accepted business attire. No shorts, bare skin or overly-casual clothing is permitted. Clothing that references profanity, drugs, alcohol, racism or other inflammatory language is prohibited.
- A person whose conduct or clothing violates this rule may be removed from the courtroom, at the discretion of the presiding judge.
- All persons must appear in court sober and not under the influence of any intoxicants. Any person who appears in court after having consumed intoxicants is subject to drug or alcohol testing, at the discretion of the court, and may be held in Contempt of Court. Said person may have their bail or bond modified, or Own Recognizance release revoked, and may be remanded to the custody of the Sheriff.
Rule 9: Appeals
- A final judgment of the Reno Municipal Court may be appealed to the Second Judicial District Court in Washoe County, no later than 14 days after the judgment is entered and filed by the Clerk of the Court.
- An appellant may be required to post a bond, depending upon the circumstances of the case; if a bond is required, the Court will enter an Order setting the amount.
- Forms and a description of procedures for an appeal must be obtained from the Clerk of the Court.
- The appellant has the obligation to obtain a recording of the court proceeding in which the judgment was entered, by requesting it from the court, and is responsible for having it transcribed if a transcript is required in the appeal.
Rule 10: Recording of Court Proceedings
- Reno Municipal Court is a "court of record" and all proceedings in the courtroom are recorded by the court. Copies of a recording from a court hearing may be obtained by placing a records request on the Court's website or in person at the Court Clerk's Office and paying a fee of $35.00.
- Pursuant to Nevada Supreme Court Rule 229 (2)(b), no cell phones, cameras or other photographic or recording devices may be used in the Reno Municipal Court without prior application to the Court and express written permission from the judge who will be presiding over the proceeding.
- Requests by the news media to record or photograph court proceedings shall be made no less than 24 hours before a scheduled proceeding, pursuant to Nevada Supreme Court Rules, Part IV, Rules 229-246.
Rule 11: Forms of Pleadings and Papers
- All pleadings and papers presented for filing must be flat, unfolded, firmly bound together at the top, and printed on one side only, on white paper of standard quality, not less than 16-lb. weight 8 1/2 by 11 inches in size. All papers shall be typewritten or word-processed in clear, legible printing that will produce clear and permanent copies.
- The lines on each page shall be double-spaced, except that descriptions of real property or relevant quotations of reasonable length may be single-spaced. Lines of pages must be numbered in the left margin. Pages must be numbered consecutively at the bottom center of the page.
- No original pleading or paper shall be amended by erasure, white-out, or interlineation, or by attaching slips thereto, except by leave of court. All original pleadings or papers requiring judicial signatures must list the signature line and a date line within four lines of the last line of the order, ensuring no page separation between the last line of the order and the signature line.
- No pleading or paper shall contain the social security number of any person.
- The following information shall appear at the top of the page, in the upper left corner, single-spaced, on the first page of any pleading or paper presented for filing with the Clerk of the Court, identifying the party or attorney filing the document, and providing all relevant contact information:
- BAR NUMBER (for attorneys)
- MAILING ADDRESS
- CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE
- TELEPHONE NUMBER
- CELL PHONE NUMBER
- EMAIL ADDRESS
- The following caption format shall be used below the identifying information required by Section E above, in the center of the first page of any pleading or paper presented to the court for filing:
IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF THE CITY OF RENO,
COUNTY OF WASHOE, STATE OF NEVADA
CITY OF RENO,
Plaintiff, Case No.__________
vs. Dept. No.__________
MOTION FOR, REPLY, OPPOSITION TO (etc.)
- The Clerk of the Court shall not accept for filing any pleading, paper or document that does not comply with these rules. The Clerk may "Receive" any non-conforming document for presentation to and review by the Administrative Judge, but it shall not be filed nor assigned a case number absent an Order from the Court directing that it be filed.
- The formatting requirements of this rule do not apply to any pre-printed form supplied or prescribed by the Reno Municipal Court.
Rule 12: In Forma Pauperis
- When a self-represented party seeks to proceed In Forma Pauperis (without first paying any required fees) to seal criminal records, the request shall be made in the Motion form prescribed by the Reno Municipal Court, which can be obtained from the Clerk of the Court. The applicant must provide with the Motion either the sworn Affidavit or Declaration containing applicant's financial information, or a Statement Confirming Legal Aid Representation (which conclusively establishes poverty status).
- A Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis must be reviewed and approved by a judge before the related filings will be processed by the Court. The Clerk shall assign a case number and file the Motion but only "Receive" any documents related to sealing criminal records. If the In Forma Pauperis Motion is approved, the related documents shall then be filed under the same case number the Clerk assigned to the Motion to Proceed without payment of fees.
Rule 13: Specialty Court
- Specialty Court is a court-monitored program established by the Court for defendants who suffer from alcohol or drug dependence, or a mental illness together with alcohol or drug dependence.
- The Court may establish or terminate Specialty Court programs by a majority vote of the elected or appointed judges, considering the needs of the community, the Court's budget, and in compliance with the Nevada Specialty Court Funding Guidelines and Criteria if funds are received from the Administrative Office of the Courts.
- Defendants seeking to participate in a Specialty Court program as a condition of their sentence must volunteer or be referred by attorneys, judges or law enforcement, and must undergo the assessment and evaluation process used by the Court to select participants.
- Participation in a Specialty Court program is a privilege and not a right of any defendant,. Observing due process, the presiding judge has the discretion to terminate a participant from a Specialty Court program and modify or revoke the sentence.
- Defendants participating in a Specialty Court program must undergo court-ordered counseling or therapy, frequent and random alcohol/drug testing, home visits, regular status hearings in court, and must comply with any other conditions ordered by the Court.
- The marshals of the Reno Municipal Court constitute the Alternative Sentencing Unit (ASU) and are assigned to supervise the behavioral compliance and sentence completion of defendants participating in Specialty Court programs, pursuant to NRS Chapter 211A.
- Before judges, attorneys or court staff are assigned to a Specialty Court, they must receive training in: the philosophy of treatment courts, methods of court and law enforcement monitoring of defendants; counseling and treatment modalities; random testing for drug and alcohol use, Specialty Court team dynamics and roles; sanctions and incentives; risk and needs assessment; and the Court's policies, procedures and budgets for Specialty Courts.
- In consultation with the elected or appointed judges, the Court Administrator and the Administrative Judge are responsible for scheduling Specialty Court dockets to maximize efficiency and avoid any interruption of, or interference with, the Court's processing and adjudication of criminal misdemeanors and civil matters within the court's jurisdiction.
- A Specialty Court judicial assignment may be full-time or as one component of a judicial caseload, depending upon the needs of the court and the interests of the elected or appointed judges.
- A Specialty Court judicial assignment shall be a minimum of two years, and may be ongoing thereafter, provide the judge participates in continuing education on Specialty Court topics throughout the duration of the assignment.