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January 26, 2022

In a victory for voting rights, Clark County Judge Gloria Sturman on Wednesday ruled the judicial seat for North Las Vegas Municipal Court Department 1 must go before voters in 2022.

In December, the ACLU of Nevada filed a writ seeking to restore the ability of North Las Vegas residents to elect a municipal court judge of their choice. 

The city of North Las Vegas adopted an ordinance in early 2021 in direct violation of the North Las Vegas City Charter, the city’s foundational law overseen by the Nevada Legislature, which mandates that when the city appoints a judge to fill a vacant position in the municipal court, "(at) the first primary or general municipal election that follows the appointment of an additional Municipal Judge to a newly created department of the Municipal Court, the successor to that Municipal Judge must be elected..."

Instead, the city appointed a judge to a 6-year term, skipping two full election cycles.

“We’re delighted the court restored the voices of North Las Vegas voters and recognized that it’s voters, not government officials, who ultimately determine who serves as a judge in our community,” said Senior Staff Attorney Sophia Romero.

The case is Martin v. City of North Las Vegas. A written ruling is forthcoming.