Eighth Judicial Court Rules

Rule 1.46 – Juvenile hearing masters.

Rule 1.46. Juvenile hearing masters.

  • (a) The district judges serving in the family division may appoint one or more masters to serve on a full-time or part-time basis as a juvenile hearing master (hereafter master).

                 (1) A master serves at the pleasure of the district judges serving in the family division and unless those judges make an order terminating the appointment of a master, such master must continue to serve as such until the appointment of a successor.

                 (2) The compensation to be allowed to a master must be fixed by the presiding judge (with the approval of the remaining family division judges) and concurred in by the chief judge.

                 (3) Every master must be a member of the State Bar of Nevada who is in good standing and has been so for a minimum of 5 continuous years immediately preceding appointment and may not engage in any private practice after appointment as a master, except when appointed as a part-time master.

                 (4) The master may be assigned to either the dependency and/or delinquency division.

          (b) Dependency masters.  The provisions of this section derive from NRS Chapter 432B. Dependency masters may be appointed on a full-time or part-time basis. Dependency masters must hear such cases as are assigned by the supervising dependency court judge (dependency judge). The dependency masters have the following powers and responsibilities:

                 (1) To hear protective custody matters, pleas, adjudicatory hearings, dispositions, guardianships, in-home reviews, foster care reviews, and formal supervision reviews followed by recommendations to the supervising dependency judge;

                 (2) To hear procedural motions, including but not limited to, appointment of counsel to represent children or parents, to grant withdrawal of counsel, and to appoint CASA; to address placement issues followed by recommendation to the dependency judge;

                 (3) To hear adjudicatory hearings regarding dependency petitions;

                 (4) To make proper disposition of all juvenile cases;

                 (5) To procure the attendance of witnesses by issuance and service of subpoenas;

                 (6) To require the production of evidence;

                 (7) To swear witnesses;

                 (8) To take evidence and rule on its admissibility; and

                 (9) To make findings of fact and recommendations.

    The above enumeration is not a limitation of powers of the family division dependency master. The dependency masters have all the inherent powers of the dependency judge subject to the approval of the dependency judge. Nothing herein is intended to convey to any master power or authority in contradiction of the Constitution of the State of Nevada and the Nevada Revised Statutes.

          (c) Delinquency masters.  The provisions of this section derive from NRS Chapter 62. Delinquency masters may be appointed on a full-time or part-time basis. Delinquency masters must hear such cases as are assigned by the supervising delinquency court judge (delinquency judge). The delinquency masters have the powers and responsibilities:

                 (1) To hear all preliminary matters and arraignments;

                 (2) To take the plea of any juvenile;

                 (3) To appoint an attorney to represent any minor in any proceeding in which the court has jurisdiction if it appears that such minor is unable to employ counsel;

                 (4) To take the written waiver of any minor and the minor’s family of their right to employ counsel;

                 (5) To conduct all detention, transfer, and adjudicatory hearings;

                 (6) To make proper disposition of all juvenile cases;

                 (7) To accept written agreements releasing a child to the custody of the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian upon a return date or to set bail or bond in proper cases;

                 (8) To procure the attendance of witnesses by issuance and service of subpoenas;

                 (9) To require the production of evidence;

                 (10) To swear witnesses;

                 (11) To take evidence and rule on its admissibility;

                 (12) To make findings of fact and recommendations;

                 (13) To sign all interim orders that are necessary for the case, treatment, and welfare of the juvenile; and

                 (14) To act as the supervising master in juvenile traffic court of Clark County and to recommend, in connection therewith, the appointment of assistant special masters by the delinquency judge, if the same are deemed necessary.

    The above enumeration is not a limitation of powers of the delinquency hearing master. The delinquency masters have all the inherent powers of the delinquency judge subject to the approval of the delinquency judge. Nothing herein is intended to convey to any master power or authority in contradiction of the Constitution of the State of Nevada and the Nevada Revised Statutes.

          (d) A motion to recuse or disqualify a hearing master shall be heard by the dependency judge or delinquency judge with supervisory responsibility over the master.

          (e) All proceedings before a master must be conducted in accordance with the Nevada and United States Constitutions, the Nevada Revised Statutes, and Eighth Judicial District Court Rules.

          (f) All proceedings before a master shall be of record in the same manner provided by law for proceedings before judges of the Eighth Judicial District Court.

          (g) Within 10 days after the evidence is closed, the master must present to the presiding judge all papers relating to the case, written findings of fact, and recommendations.

                 (1) Within the above time period, the master must serve upon the parties or their attorney of record and, if no attorney of record, the minor’s parent or guardian or person responsible for the child’s custodial placement, a written copy of the master’s findings and recommendations and must also furnish a written explanation of the right of parties to seek review of the recommendations by the presiding judge.

                 (2) Service, as provided in this section, must be pursuant to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure.

                 (3) A motion for reconsideration of a master’s recommendation shall be brought before the master and shall be decided upon the pleadings and any transcript or official record of the proceedings unless the master deems further evidence to be necessary.

                 (4) An interim order is not reviewable, unless it is certified by the master as a final, reviewable order.

                 (5) At any time prior to the expiration of 5 days after the service of a written copy of the findings and recommendations of a master, a party, a minor’s attorney, or guardian or person responsible for the child’s custodial placement may file an objection motion to the supervising district court judge for the division represented by the master for a hearing. Said motion must state the grounds on which the objection is based and shall be accompanied by a memorandum of points and authorities.

                 (6) A supervising district judge may, after a review of the record provided by the requesting party and any party in opposition to the review, grant or deny such objection motion. The court may make its decision on the pleadings submitted or after a hearing on the merits. In the absence of a timely objection motion, the findings and recommendation of the master, when confirmed or modified by an order of the supervising district court judge, become an order of the court.

                 (7) All objection motion hearings of matters initially heard before a master will be before the supervising district judge who may at his or her discretion conduct a trial de novo. The court will review the transcript of the master’s hearing, unless another official record is pre-approved by the reviewing judge, and (1) make a decision to affirm, modify, or remand with instructions to the master, or (2) conduct a trial on all or a portion of the issues.

                 (8) A supervising district court judge may, on the court’s own motion, order that a rehearing of any matter be heard before a master.

                 (9) No recommendation of a master or disposition of a juvenile case will become effective until expressly approved by the supervising district court judge.

          [Amended; effective July 29, 2011.]