Undercurrent

LV Justice Court denies Sisolak’s request for ‘pause’ on evictions

By: - December 3, 2020 11:55 am
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The attempt to get aid to tenants has underscored how in too many jurisdictions, rental assistance and eviction diversion programs have long been underfunded or non-existent. (Getty Images)

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(Getty Images)

An attempt by Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office to “pause” evictions without issuing another moratorium has fallen on deaf ears at Las Vegas Justice Court.  

“In your correspondence, you suggest that eviction hearings are ‘non-essential’ and should be postponed,” Suzan Baucum, Chief Justice of the Justice Court, wrote to Sisolak’s senior advisor Scott Gilles in response to “correspondence in which you expressed concerns about overcrowding in Las Vegas Justice Court during the pandemic.”  

The Current reported last month about crowded conditions at the court and this week, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom made a public plea to Justice Court to halt evictions.

Baucum’s response to Gilles says Emergency Directive 35, issued by Sisolak on Nov. 23, “contains no provisions relating to evictions, and the Governor’s previous moratoria” have expired.  

“Therefore, Governor Sisolak has imposed no current requirement for eviction cases to be postponed,” Baucum wrote.  

Baucum adds she’s spoken with Justice Court colleagues “across the state” who are hearing eviction cases. 

“Any type of categorical restriction on evictions should be imposed by Governor Sisolak on a statewide basis, as opposed to being imposed piecemeal by some Justice Courts and not others,” Baucum wrote.

Gov. Sisolak’s office has not responded to questions about whether he’ll issue another moratorium on evictions.

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.

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