Night Court Starts on Trial Basis - 8 News NOW

Night Court Starts on Trial Basis

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LAS VEGAS -- People arrested Friday night in Las Vegas might not have to sit in jail until Monday because a special Saturday court session begins July 13.

Only a trial basis, but the court session could lead to a long-talked about night court.

Say someone is on the Las Vegas Strip doing a Three-card Monte street hustle or selling a bottle of water filled with tap water or even gets into a drunken fight where no one is hurt.

Under normal circumstances, they are all people who would be hauled to jail, take up space and often never show up to court or pay up.

N0ight court could mean swift justice.

Police officers working the Strip have heard it all.

Officer: "Can you tell me how you got pregnant?"

Suspect: "From smoking tobacco."

They also meet plenty of partygoers who can't handle the vices of Las Vegas.

Woman: "Stop looking at me!"

The rowdy end up cuffed, jailed and wait sometimes all weekend to see a judge.

Las Vegas Judge William "Bill" Kephart is ready to use the gavel for a special Saturday court session.

"That's what they say is that, we're a 24-hour town, why don't we have a 24-hour court?" Kephart said. "It'll be in the afternoon, maybe until the late hours in the evening."

The new Saturday court will address all felony arrests.

In the future, troublemaking tourists could be taken to a holding facility near the Strip and see a judge via video conference for misdemeanors.

"If they see a judge right away, maybe they can resolve their case right there," Kephart said.

For instance, a call girl busted for prostitution, carrying hundreds of dollars, could pay up then and there.

"The whole idea here is not to get you booked into the county jail," he said.

Jail cells would be reserved for the more violent offenders.

"It would save money," Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said. "The jail is crowded. It is overcrowded. And we feed everybody in the jail. They have to be guarded and watched, and you can only fit so many prisoners in a confined area there."

This Saturday, the judge could hear up to 400 cases. The court will run on a trial for 14 Saturdays. Court officials are going to look at what's worked in other cities that have night court and evaluate the cost of running it.

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