‘We’re talking about increasing access to justice’: North Las Vegas opens first-ever night court

Local News

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It is called night court — and it is all meant to make the court process easier for people who might not be able to go during the day.

If you get a traffic ticket in North Las Vegas, you can now go to North Las Vegas Municipal Court after hours to address the issue.

It is a classic courtroom that operates beyond the business day. It is the first of its kind in Nevada — and the focus is on traffic violations.

North Las Vegas night court

North Las Vegas resident Marcos Diaz says taking care of traffic tickets is not easy because of his schedule.
“I’m a commercial driver, so I get busy during the day, and I got evenings off,” Diaz said.

That is why he came to North Las Vegas’ first-ever night court Tuesday night, to address his violation — and he is thankful for the evening option.
“You can actually have time to come in and handle what you got to do,” Diaz said.

North Las Vegas Municipal Court Chief Judge Chris Lee handles the cases for night court — which, right now, will happen about once a month.

“We’re talking about increasing access to justice,” Judge Lee said.
Judge Lee says night court is a natural expansion of North Las Vegas’ Community Approach to Rehabilitation and Engagement (CARE) Court program, which focuses on the root cause of a violation.

“I heard countless stories about why their tickets went into warrant, and oftentimes it was because they just couldn’t make it to court to resolve their court case,” Judge Lee said.

North Las Vegas Municipal Court Chief Judge Chris Lee handles night court cases

Judge Lee says resolving issues during night court can prevent warrants from affecting someone’s record — and even job prospects.

“To be able to provide this to kind of stop that cascading negative effect is something that we’re really proud of,” Judge Lee said.

There is a chance night court could expand to other minor violations.
“It’s definitely something that we’re going to be open to,” Judge Lee said.

8 News Now asked Judge Lee what those potential offenses could be.
“A lot of the cases we get are kind of the trespassing, the open container, some of those offenses that occur,” Judge Lee said.

Residents like Diaz say they like the idea of having another option after hours.
“It’s awesome to have evening court,” Diaz said.

Judge Lee tells 8 News Now that he and other city officials will see how the first few night court sessions go, and then they will decide if any changes in terms of hours or frequency of dates that they need to make.

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