Eighth Judicial Court Rules

Rule 1.48 – Criminal division masters.

Rule 1.48. Criminal division masters.

  • (a) The provisions of this rule derive from NRS 3.245 and apply to all criminal proceedings before a criminal division master.

    (b) A criminal division master must be a senior judge or justice, senior justice of the peace, justice of the peace, district judge serving in the family division, or a member of the State Bar of Nevada who is in good standing as a member of the state bar and has been so for a minimum of 5 continuous years immediately preceding appointment as a criminal division master.

    (c) Upon appointment, a criminal division master shall be precluded from practicing law in Clark County and must recuse himself or herself from hearing any case that he or she previously handled as an attorney and from any case where the defendant was a client of the criminal division master or the law firm where the criminal division master practiced.

    (d) The Clark County District Attorney’s Office, the Clark County Public Defender’s Office, the Special Public Defender’s Office, and any other government office or private attorney appointed to represent an indigent defendant shall provide legal representation for the State of Nevada and indigent defendants before a criminal division master as they would before any judge of the Eighth Judicial District Court.

    (e) The compensation of all criminal division masters shall be fixed as provided by Rule 1.30(b)(19) and shall be paid from appropriations made for the expenses of the court.

    (f) A motion to recuse or disqualify a criminal division master shall be heard by the chief judge or a judge of the criminal division designated by the chief judge. If the chief judge must designate a district judge to hear a motion to recuse or disqualify a criminal division master, the chief judge shall, to the extent that it is practicable, designate the district judge sitting in the department to which the proceeding was randomly assigned for trial.

    (g) All proceedings before a criminal division master must be conducted in accordance with the Nevada and United States Constitutions, the Nevada Revised Statutes, and these rules.

    (h) A criminal division master serves at the pleasure of the district judges of the Eighth Judicial District Court and unless those judges, by simple majority vote, cause the chief judge to enter an order terminating the appointment of a criminal division master, such master shall continue to serve until the appointment of a successor. In the event of a tie vote, the chief judge’s vote shall break the tie.

    (i) All proceedings before a criminal division master shall be of record in the same manner provided by law for proceedings before judges of the Eighth Judicial District Court. All pleas of guilty or nolo contendere shall be transcribed and become a part of the court record.

    (j) A motion for reconsideration of a recommendation or decision of a criminal division master shall be brought before the district judge sitting in the department of origin and shall be decided upon the pleadings and any transcript of the proceedings before the criminal division master unless the district judge deems further evidence to be necessary. The “department of origin” is the department of the Eighth Judicial District Court to which the clerk’s office randomly assigned the case for trial.

    (k) A criminal division master shall hear cases assigned by the chief judge, including:

    (1) In conjunction with a clerk of court, accepting returns of true bills by the grand jury.

    (2) Conducting arraignments and accepting pleas of guilty, nolo contendere, and not guilty, including ascertaining whether the defendant will invoke or waive speedy trial rights.

    (3) Setting trial dates in conjunction with the clerk of the trial court.

    (4) Referring cases to the Division of Parole and Probation for preparation of a presentence report and setting sentencing dates in the department of origin.

    (5) Setting or modifying bail at the time of return of a true bill or arraignment.

    (6) Ruling in open court on motions to quash bench warrants and setting court dates in the department of origin.

    (7) Handling cases calendared for bench warrant return.

    (8) Unless the sentencing judge requests that all probation revocation proceedings come before that judge, presiding over notices of intent to seek revocation and status checks on revocation of probation and either setting a revocation hearing before the judge in the department of origin or accepting a stipulation by all parties to resolve the revocation proceedings. However, all contested hearings on motions for probation revocation shall be heard by the district court judge who originally granted probation. Furthermore, in given cases, the sentencing judge granting probation may order that any subsequent proceeding regarding probation shall be heard by that judge and any such order shall preempt the jurisdiction of a master in regard thereto.

    (9) Setting motions and/or hearing dates in the department of origin.

    (10) Determining conflicts or indigency and appointing counsel where appropriate.

    (11) When an issue of the defendant’s competency to stand trial arises, ordering a minimum of 2 psychiatric examinations and reports to be prepared and setting a date for a competency determination before the department of origin.

    (12) Upon stipulation of counsel, when 2 consistent reports opining incompetence have been submitted, referring the defendant for custodial treatment pending the attainment of competency to stand trial.

    (13) Upon stipulation of counsel, pursuant to negotiations, referring the defendant to drug court and setting the drug court date or referring a defendant to the Serious Offender’s Diversion Program or another comparable stipulated diversion alternative.

    (14) Upon stipulation of counsel, allowing the amendment of charging documents and pleadings.

    (15) Pursuant to negotiations and upon stipulation and waiver, sitting as a magistrate and adjudicating and sentencing on a simple misdemeanor.

    (16) Presiding over the drug court calendar and attending to all drug court related duties and procedures upon occasion and in the event that the judge assigned to preside over the drug court is out of the jurisdiction for judicial/legal training, on vacation, out sick or is otherwise temporarily unable to preside over the drug court calendar.

    (17) On gross misdemeanor cases, upon stipulation of counsel to waive any jurisdictional defect and to waive the presentence report and to have imposed a particular sentence, imposing said stipulated sentence. The resulting judgment of conviction shall be reviewed by the master and, upon approval, initialed by the master, and the judgment shall then be submitted to the judge in the assigned department for signature.

    [Added effective June 10, 2004; Amended; effective July 2, 2007.]