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Longtime Las Vegas justice of the peace to retire from bench

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa-Stratton is stepping down after more than 17 years on the bench in Las Vegas Justice Court.

July 1 will be her last day in Justice Court’s Department 4, said Saragosa-Stratton, who was previously known as Melissa Saragosa. She told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday that she is taking a position with the Kaempfer Crowell law firm’s litigation division.

“I feel like in my heart it’s just the right time,” she said.

Saragosa-Stratton said that being a judge was an “incredibly rewarding and challenging experience” but that she’s looking forward to a new challenge after her many years on the bench.

“I’ve presided over every type of calendar that we have,” she said.

She said she’s viewing 2024 as “embarking on the next chapter” of her life, after getting married this year and retiring in April from 30 years in the Air Force, where she served as an attorney and judge in the reserve corps.

She worked for the Clark County district attorney’s office in her civilian capacity from 2000 to 2006, when the Clark County Commission appointed her to fill a vacancy in Justice Court’s Department 4.

Saragosa-Stratton served as the chief judge for Las Vegas Justice Court from 2021 to 2022. She has overseen civil and criminal dockets, and helped develop and presided over Nevada’s first domestic violence court in 2011, according to the Justice Court website.

She also oversaw the Resort Corridor court, a program started in 2022 that handled defendants accused of crimes in the Strip corridor, and who could be banned from the area under the county’s “order-out corridor” ordinance.

Saragosa-Stratton’s term was set to expire in 2028.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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