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What are Nevada Criminal Court Records?
Nevada criminal court records contain documents providing details of all criminal court proceedings in the state. These records include dockets and case files such as orders, warrants, complaints, motions, and final judgments. They are available in both paper and electronic formats. In accordance with the Nevada Court Administrative Policy (Part VII), criminal court records are public records and can be viewed, inspected, and copied by anyone unless otherwise specified.
What’s contained in a Nevada Criminal Court Record?
The exact contents of criminal court records depends on case type, length of trial, and where the case was filed. The typical Nevada criminal court record provides the following details:
- Names and personal information of the parties involved
- Names of the their attorney(s)
- Case identifiers such as case numbers, case filing dates, and statuses
- Filed charges
- Defendant’s plea
- Findings, terms of settlements, and final judgements
- Post-trial arrangements
- Details of commuted sentences, and selected information from the inmate record of the accused or plaintiff (where applicable)
Understanding the Nevada Criminal Court Structure
Most criminal cases in Nevada start at District Courts. These are the state’s primary trial courts with jurisdiction over felony and gross misdemeanor criminal cases. There are nine Judicial Districts covering all 17 counties of Nevada. The Nevada Judicial Branch also gives Justice Courts jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases. There are 43 Justice Courts in Nevada. Some misdemeanor cases are also heard in Nevada Municipal Courts. There are 18 of these courts in the state. Appeals of misdemeanor criminal cases heard in Nevada Justice Courts and Municipal Courts go to District Courts.
The state’s appellate courts include the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The Nevada Supreme Court is the court of last resort and the administrative head of the state’s judiciary. It only hears appeals of criminal cases involving the death penalty. The Supreme Court assigns cases to the Court of Appeals. However, federal crimes committed within the state’s jurisdiction are usually heard by federal courts within the state or state capital.
How to Find Criminal Court Records in Nevada
Interested persons may find Nevada criminal court records:
- By submitting a record request in person
- By searching the state’s court website
- By requesting for records via mail
How Do I Access Nevada Civil Court Records in Person?
To access and find these records in person, requesters must visit the Nevada courthouse where the cases of interest were heard. Each court has a clerk that maintains its records. Therefore, to request a criminal record in person, the requesting party must first determine the specific court where the case was filed. Find the right court address by consulting the directories of Nevada Municipal and Justice Courts.
Some Nevada courthouses provide public access terminals for members of the public trying to access court records. Paper copies of these records are also available at the offices of the clerks of these courts. While public access terminals offer faster access, and are generally free, they return the same limited search results as online record access systems. Sealed records are also not available online or on computer access terminals.
To access criminal court records in person, Nevada courts may require interested parties to submit completed request forms. These forms are usually available at the offices of the clerks of these courts. Some courts may provide downloadable copies of these forms on the websites. While viewing court records is free, Nevada courts charge for searching for and requesting copies of criminal court records.
How Do I Obtain Nevada Criminal Court Records by Mail?
Before choosing to request Nevada criminal court records by mail, requesters should first ascertain that the courts of interest accept requests in this form. Some Nevada courts also accept email requests for court records. Contact the office of the clerk of the court to enquire about the availability of records and the requirements for obtaining them. Typically, requesters have to send written requests providing information such as the names of the parties named in the records, when the cases were filed and/or finalized, and specific documents needed. Some courts provide downloadable application/request forms for requesters to complete in place of written requests. A self-addressed stamped envelope and required fees should also accompany each request.
How to Obtain Nevada Criminal Court Records Online
The Nevada Judiciary provides a case look-up portal for the records of appeal cases heard in its Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Most of the state’s District Court records are not available online except for those of the 8th Judicial District Court. Use the Smart Search tool provided by this court to search for records of criminal cases heard there. Some Nevada Justice Courts provide online access to their records. To find records of cases heard in these courts, visit their websites listed in the Nevada Justice Court directory. Nevada Municipal Courts do not maintain online case portals. Therefore, the only ways to find their records are in person and by mail.
Publicly available records are also accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.
Can I Access Sealed Criminal Court Records in Nevada?
Sealed court records are only accessible by the parties involved in the criminal cases recorded. Their legal counsels may also access these records as well as law enforcement agencies involved in the prosecution. A third party can only access these records by present a court order authorizing access to the specific records.
Are Trial Transcripts Open to the Public?
Yes. They are available for inspection and copying by the general public. However, transcripts of pre-sentenced cases, juvenile delinquency cases, and other cases that are deemed confidential by statute or court rule may be unavailable for public viewing.
How do I Obtain Nevada Court Transcripts?
Nevada courts accept requests for transcripts submitted in person, by mail, or email. The ordering party is required to pay for the requested transcripts before they are processed by the court reporter. Transcript copies are maintained and prepared by court reporters for a fee. The following steps are taken to obtain court transcript:
- Complete the Transcript Order Form and deliver it to the court through an accepted means
- Once the order is successful, the requesting parties are notified by the court reporter as to how much deposit is needed to start processing the transcript. Seventy-five percent of the estimated cost of the transcript must be deposited by check or money order to the court reporter or third-party aggregate company before a request is prepared. Cash payment is not accepted for transcript requests
For security purposes, the following information is redacted from court transcripts;
- Tax payer’s identification numbers as well as financial account numbers are redacted to the last four digits
- The dates of birth of parties to the case are redacted to the year
- Names of minor children are redacted to initials
- Home addresses are fully redacted in civil cases while the redaction is limited to city and state, in criminal cases