Judge Charles “Chuck” Hoskin was born and raised in Las Vegas. Hoskin says he practiced primarily family law for almost two decades before before taking the bench in 2009. He’s also served as the Presiding Judge for the Family Division.
Hoskin takes exception with his error rating on Our Nevada Judges, a website that tracks appeals. He has an error rating of 47.73 percent on 110 appeals. Judges with a rating of 40 percent or higher receive an alert badge.
“If anything is not affirmed in the case, it’s a reversal,” he says of the website’s algorithm, which flags issues “even if you get everything right. They are difficult cases and involve different issues.”
In the last two years he’s been reversed 13 times on appeal and upheld five, according to the website.
Hoskin says the court has been quick to adapt to the demands of the pandemic.
“We immediately went to video hearings,” he says but that was just the beginning. Since then, the court has been flooded with COVID-related requests — reductions in child support and alimony orders for the unemployed; parents withholding children from visitation, especially plans that require air travel; and battles over schooling.
“In the 30 years I’ve worked in Family Law, this is the most unique set of circumstances I’ve seen,” Hoskin says. “Each situation was unique. Some people were justifiably concerned and other people took advantage.”
“It’s the ability to sort out who’s playing games and who is looking out for the best of interests of the children,” that he says is always challenging. “One of the toughest parts of my job is judging credibility. You’re dealing with a child’s life and they may have to live with the decisions for as long as 18 years.”
Hoskin says most litigants are “doing what’s right and sometimes they get lost in their emotion.”
Hoskin’s challenger, Tom Kurtz did not respond to requests for an interview.
“Tom used to work at the courthouse as a hearing master,” Hoskin says. “So I know him fairly well.”
“He’s run a lot of races. The difference is I practiced family law for 20 years before I became a judge,” Hoskin says. “Mr. Kurtz hasn’t done that. Even before he became a hearing master he heard a few cases here and there.”
Kurtz’ website says he worked as a full-time Hearing Master from 2011 to 2016. He’s been an attorney since 1983. He’s raised $2,697 and had $799 on hand as of July 15.
Hoskin has raised just under $21,307 and had $1,215 on hand.
As presiding judge for the last 12 years, Hoskin says he’s had the “opportunity to fix some of the issues that help provide access to justice” for litigants who represent themselves — about two-thirds of those who come to court.
The court’s Guardianship program has been revamped, with judges taking the place of hearing masters, he says.
“We’ve made a lot of changes since I’ve been here,” he says.