Nevada’s Constitution states that judicial power shall be vested in a court system composed of a supreme court, district courts, and justices of the peace. The state Constitution also grants Nevada’s legislature the power to establish municipal courts.
Nevada’s Court System
Nevada’s judicial system consists of one of three of the state’s branches of government. The other two branches are the legislative and executive. The purpose of the judicial branch is to interpret and apply the law in addition to ensure equal justice under the law. The Nevada court system is tasked with providing efficient, impartial, and accessible dispute resolution in legal matters. Nevada’s state courts are as follows, in descending order: Nevada Supreme Court (1), Nevada District Courts (9), Nevada Justice Courts (49), and Nevada Municipal Courts (19). In addition, Nevada has three levels of federal courts: U.S. District courts (trial courts), U.S. courts of appeals (appellate courts), U.S. Supreme Court.
Types of Court Records
There are generally five types of court records:
Business license records;
Notice records; or
Special judicial unit records.
There is a presumption that judicial records are open to the public for inspection, with exceptions. These restrictions may be found in the U.S. Constitution as well as the Maryland state Constitution, the Maryland Rules of Procedure, federal law, applicable Maryland state law, court order, or prior court decisions (i.e., case law). Unless otherwise noted, the custodian of a judicial record must allow an individual appearing in person at the office of the custodian during normal business hours to inspect the record.
Getting Access to Records
Because most court records are in the custody of the local clerk’s office, a person may contact that clerk’s office at the courthouse where he or she is located and where the case was filed or where the hearing or trial was held. Of note, some case records may not be physically held at the court location due to the court’s records retention and disposal schedule.
You can also access records online. Instant Access provides a no cost, remote internet access to certain information in Maryland’s case records. If you are unable to access these records online at home, there are computer terminals or kiosks available in the courthouses. These are available to the public free of charge in order to access records that are allowed to be viewed.
Unless specifically permitted by the rules, a custodian is not allowed to charge a fee for providing access to a court record available for inspection -- whether it is in paper form or electronically -- if it takes less than two hours for the custodian or other court employee to obtain the records requested. If it takes more than two hours to retrieve the record, then a reasonably fee may be charged. This fee can be waived by the custodian, based on several factors.
Nevada Legal Help
If you or someone you know has a legal issue that you are facing, you should contact a knowledgeable Nevada attorney to help protect your rights under state law. The experienced attorneys at Parry & Pfau have represented clients across the state of Nevada, and are here to help guide you every step of the way. Click here today to schedule your initial case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Markus Spiske)