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Old March 16th @ 08:09 am   #1
buellrider's Avatar
From: In that old blue chair...

Motorcycle: FXB12RR
For all you voting types it's that time again to throw a dart and vote for the lesser of all the evils for various political positions. I would like to express my endorsement to Martin (Marty) Hastings for Muni Judge. I have known Marty for quite a few years and I feel he would be a fair and impartial judge. I have seen him in court and know his practice. He has a good reputation amongst other lawyers in the valley. There are a couple of others who, if Marty wasn't running, I would recommend but I will support him during the election.

BTW I was not compensated in any way for this endorsement...

Old March 16th @ 08:15 am   #2
2upFZ1's Avatar
From: NLV - Lone Mt & Clayton

Motorcycle: 2002 Yamaha FZ1
Thanks for the info Mark. Les and I usually don't vote. The reason is because I don't know enough about the contenders. If they mailed out a list of things each person was for/against, I would vote every time.
Old March 16th @ 10:46 am   #3
buellrider's Avatar
From: In that old blue chair...

Motorcycle: FXB12RR
Yeah if not here's the kind of fucknuckles you get...

March 14, 2007

Judge refuses mistrial after she converses with jury
Las Vegas Sun

A conversation between a District Court judge and a deliberating jury, away from the presence of the attorneys in the case, caused a motion for a mistrial Monday that was refused by the judge.

Nevada law specifically warns judges in criminal trials that they may not communicate with the jury unless the attorneys are present or have been given notice.

But neither lawyer was present when District Judge Elizabeth Halverson engaged the jury, and according to both the prosecutor and the defender, neither was asked to return to court to be there for the conversation.

The incident caused Presiding Criminal Division Judge Stewart Bell to speak to Halverson at a social function Monday evening to tell her that should she have questions about appropriate judicial behavior, she should speak with him first.

The communication in question took place in the case of Nevada vs. Vada McDaniel, a man who had been charged with 23 felony counts of lewdness with a child under 14 and sexual assault.

According to a videotape of the Monday afternoon proceedings, Halverson engaged in a wide-ranging, 15-minute chat with jurors in which she joked with them and answered questions about criminal process and procedure.

She also gave them her beliefs regarding what happens when a jury becomes deadlocked.

Her conversation with the jurors, which took place Friday afternoon, more than 10 hours after the jury had been deliberating, was shown to the lawyers Monday in court.

"If you don't have a verdict, if you can't reach a verdict, then you can say, 'We can't reach a verdict,' " Halverson told the jurors. "Nobody's required to do anything against their conscience. After listening to all the evidence and hearing all the instructions of law, if you can't, you can't. If you can, you can."

Halverson continued: "We're not here to tell you that you have to believe a certain way or not believe a certain way, or that you have to give up any view about what you've heard."

When asked what the attorneys thought, Chief Deputy District Attorney Elissa Luzaich of the prosecutors' special victims unit told Halverson that under state law, "in the big scheme of things, it's very clear that the court can't have any contact whatsoever with the jury, without notifying the parties, having the parties present."

In fact, state law says that after a jury is brought into court after they have started to deliberate, "the information required shall be given in the presence of, or after notice to, the district attorney and the defendant or his counsel."

Halverson said in court that she was under the impression that the lawyers had waived their right to come back into court Friday afternoon - even though the attorneys denied ever being contacted.

After Halverson played the tape of her chat with the jury, McDaniel's defense lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Jeff Maningo, urged that Halverson declare a mistrial.

"We just don't know," Maningo said, "what kind of impact there would be on a juror after having any kind of conversation with someone from the court, and whether or not that would sway them one way or the other."

Luzaich fought the mistrial motions, saying that she didn't believe the conversation rose to that level. Prosecutors often fight mistrial motions, because sometimes, if granted, it can prevent them from ever bringing the same charges against the defendant again.

Halverson denied the mistrial motion. The jury then came back and delivered 13 "no verdict" decisions, meaning they were deadlocked, and 10 not guilty verdicts.

According to Lynne Henderson, a professor at UNLV's Boyd School of Law, the jury room, and juror deliberations generally, are "sacrosanct."

There are strict ways in which judges can communicate with a deliberating jury, and in which they can ask juries to break a deadlock, Henderson said - time-tested ways to avoid any appearance of favor or bias.

"Juries can be too deferential to a judge and (her) opinion," said Henderson.

Bell, after hearing about the incident, said he thought it was appropriate that he and Halverson "had a communication" regarding his availability to talk if ever judgment questions should arise. Halverson was elected in November and took the bench in January.

"As a system, we want to do the job right all the time," Bell said, to ensure fairness for victims and defendants alike.

"To her credit, she seemed receptive" to their discussion, Bell said, noting that Halverson is not the only judge over the years that he has advised regarding judicial procedure.

Halverson couldn't be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon.

Old March 16th @ 10:55 am   #4
buellrider's Avatar
From: In that old blue chair...

Motorcycle: FXB12RR
Mo on this POS judge...lookie at the dates too. The policy is two weeks after NOV (notice of violation) sent, two more weeks on final notice then two more weeks after "cost to abate." ie: total of 6 weeks then county abates. This has gone one way too long and the county has been more than accominidating. Not to mention that Officer Coburn has sent documentation (pictures) with the spicific violation to her. The dumb broad didn't even show up for her Administrative Hearing.
Want to look at the pool? go into the county website and the gis program and take a look at the aerial shot of her house and black pool compaired to the others-then back the dates up. The street is Oxnard.

Judge's property gets a look from Metro, county officials

Jurist says First Amendment rights violated

Las Vegas Sun

The property of newly elected District Judge Elizabeth Halverson was searched by a team of Metro Police and Clark County employees this week, escalating the county's campaign to force her to clean up her front and back yards.

According to county officials, a "task force" of three Metro officers, three county code enforcement officers, two animal control officers and one firefighter served the warrant Tuesday morning.

The original public nuisance complaint about random trash and debris found on Halverson's lawn near Tropicana Avenue and U.S. 95, came in to the county's public response office in November.

The search this week was necessary, county officials said, because they discovered what they termed potentially dangerous items on her property, including a carport erected too close to her one-story home, without a fire wall. Her back yard pool has allegedly become so clogged with algae that it was "more black than green," one official said, and was a growing public health risk.

The pool is clean and the carport is not a fire hazard, Halverson said Thursday.

After conducting an initial investigation, county officials filed a civil abatement notice. Halverson, who uses a wheelchair, appealed, claiming that the county's assertions are unspecific, and that she didn't know which items are in violation and need to be removed from her lawn.

Halverson capitalized each word in her Jan. 7 appeal, a copy of which was obtained by the Sun.

"In This Statement What Is An Unsafe Structure?" the judge wrote. "How Can A Property Owner Change Anything When Said Owner Has No Idea What Is A Violation?"

The judge also argued she unfairly could not confront the person who made the initial complaint to the county, and that her First Amendment rights were being violated as the selective enforcement of the county code against her violated rights of "political speech."

Halverson did not show up for her Feb. 6 appeal hearing, which was her chance to explain why she had not cleaned up her property to county specifications.

The hearing went on anyway, Clark County Zoning Administrator Chuck Pulsipher said.

The county subsequently asked for a search warrant, officials said, because new information gave them reason to believe the potentially dangerous items were sitting on Halverson's property.

E-mails from top Clark County officials obtained by the Sun confirm that the county has had previous issues with Halverson and her property.

According to a Jan. 10 e-mail from Deputy District Attorney Steven Sweikert to District Attorney David Roger, "It turns out that this is the third case (that the county's public response office) has had with the property."

Acting Chief District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez signed the search warrant on March 1. In the warrant's return, which became publicly available Thursday afternoon, Don Coburn, a county code enforcement officer, wrote that no items were seized. Instead, video and several photographs were taken to document the county's case.

Halverson had been given many chances to clean up her property after the public response office received the anonymous complaint on Nov. 28.

According to an e-mail from Coburn to several county officials, officers conducted their first inspection of the property on Nov. 29. A violation notice was sent soon thereafter.

On Dec. 20 a second inspection of the property was made, with "very little change" noticed. The next day, an abatement notice was sent to Halverson.

Coburn said in the e-mail that his initial inspection found "an accumulation of junk, trash and debris, and campaign signs stacked on the lawn. There was a golf cart and a utility trailer parked on the grass, unlicensed inoperable motorcycle in the driveway."

In fact, Coburn sent Halverson a letter on Jan. 17 detailing 23 alleged county code violations.

On Feb. 21 Pulsipher sent a letter to Halverson explaining that the initial proceeding against her was dropped with no civil penalties assessed to her - but that future penalties could be issued and a new abatement notice filed "if necessary, to address the nuisance activities remaining on your property."

Halverson said Thursday that she thought the issues with the county had been cleared up. Much of the debris had been cleared away, she said, and her husband had mowed the lawn.

She also said some of the photos used by the county to obtain the warrant were outdated - that debris had been cleared up by the time the warrant was obtained.

"I'm concerned about the ethics of all this," Halverson said. "They knew those things had been abated."

Halverson said that with limited mobility - she has only limited use of her feet and legs - and a husband who doesn't do what she asks of him, it has been difficult to live up to every single county decree.

"The truth is this is a poor neighborhood, and I'm not a wealthy person," Halverson said. "And, I have my own medical issues. So, I try my best."

Because of the potentially dangerous items, county officials said, they are likely to start from scratch, with a new abatement notice likely to be sent to Halverson soon.

Joe Boteilho, the county's chief code enforcement official, declined to comment other than to say that "there is an ongoing investigation, and we're looking at all the information."

Halverson could be issued civil penalties of as much as $10,000. Plus, she also could be charged the contractor's costs for an abatement of the property, fees that could affect assessment on her property taxes.

Halverson, a former District Court law clerk, was elected in November to her first term as a judge. She beat her opponent by less than 1 percentage point.

Old March 16th @ 02:52 pm   #5
mattyrides07's Avatar
From: (Home) Las Vegas; (Stationed) Alaska; (currently) East Paktika, Afghanistan

Motorcycle: (2) 1984 Matty-Legs (they're SUPER fast!)
I don't think citizens should vote on judges. I think we should leave that for our state government to do.
Old March 16th @ 07:02 pm   #6
buellrider's Avatar
From: In that old blue chair...

Motorcycle: FXB12RR
We would still be by proxy since we elect our state officials. One exception is when there is a vacancy the governer appoints the judge until the next election for that particular department.

plug, political

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