Eighth Judicial Court Rules

Rule 1.44 – Civil commitments and hearing masters; duties of the Division of Mental Hygiene and Mental Retardation; duties of counsel.

Rule 1.44. Civil commitments and hearing masters; duties of the Division of Mental Hygiene and Mental Retardation; duties of counsel.

  • (a) The provisions of this rule apply to all court-ordered admissions of any allegedly mentally ill person.

    (b) Unless otherwise ordered by the chief judge, mental commitment hearings must be conducted by the mental commitment hearing master. The compensation of the masters must not be taxed against the parties, but when fixed by the chief judge must be paid out of appropriations made for the expenses of the court. Every master must be in good standing as a member of the State Bar of Nevada.

    (c) The mental commitment hearing master may conduct formal court hearings at the hospital or wherever is most convenient to the master and the patient. The master has the authority to swear witnesses, take evidence, appoint independent medical evaluators, evaluate competency, recommend guardians, and conduct all other matters relating to the involuntary commitment proceeding. All proceedings must be transcribed by a duly appointed court reporter as provided by law.

    (d) Not less than 24 hours before the time set for a commitment hearing, the Administrator of the Mental Hygiene and Mental Retardation Division, or the administrator’s designee, must examine each allegedly mentally ill person and prepare, for presentation at the hearing, a report designating which facilities are available together with a recommendation of the least restrictive environment suitable to the patient’s needs. At the time of the hearing, the allegedly mentally ill person must not be so under the influence of or so suffer the effects of drugs, medication or other treatment as to be hampered in preparing for or participating in the hearing, and a record of all drugs, medication or other treatment which the person has received during the 72 hours immediately prior to the hearing must be presented to the master.

    (e) The Clark County Public Defender’s Office must furnish counsel for all allegedly mentally ill persons not otherwise represented by an attorney.

    (1) Prior to the hearing, the public defender or the attorney for the allegedly mentally ill person must interview the patient, explain to the patient his or her rights pending court-ordered treatment, the procedures leading to court-ordered treatment, the standards for court-ordered treatment and the alternative of becoming a voluntary patient. The public defender must also explain that the patient can obtain counsel at the patient’s own expense.

    (2) Prior to the hearing, the patient’s attorney must review the commitment petition, evaluation reports, the patient’s medical records and the list of alternatives to court-ordered treatment.

    (f) At the conclusion of each hearing, a copy of the written recommendation of the hearing master must be given to the patient, the patient’s counsel and the district attorney. Not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day the hearing concludes, the hearing master’s recommendation must be submitted to the chief judge.

    (g) Objections to the master’s recommendation must be made to the chief judge at the time the report is submitted or at such other time as the chief judge may prescribe. The chief judge may require oral objections to be reduced to writing.

    (h) After reviewing the master’s recommendation and any objection thereto, the chief judge must:

    (1) Approve the same and order the recommended disposition,

    (2) Reject the recommendation and order such relief as may be appropriate, or

    (3) Direct a rehearing.

    (i) All rehearings of matters heard before the master must be before the chief judge and must be conducted de novo.

    (j) No recommendation of a master will become effective until expressly approved by the chief judge.