Closed-door conference today in judicial dispute

Nevada Supreme Court justices are to have a conference today behind closed doors to discuss the emergency motion filed Tuesday by Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Halverson.

“Whether they will rule on the motion (after that conference) remains to be seen,” said Bill Gang, spokesman for the court. “They are expected to decide on whether to request an answer from (Chief Judge Kathy) Hardcastle on the facts of the case.”

All of the justices are expected to participate except for Justice Michael Cherry, who recused himself. Halverson hired most of Cherry’s staff from when he was a district judge, and some of those staffers are at issue in the dispute between Halverson and Hardcastle, Gang said.

Halverson wants the state’s high court to force the District Court’s chief judge to allow Halverson back into the Clark County courthouse. Halverson also is asking the justices to order Hardcastle to justify actions she has taken against Halverson since April.

Before ejecting Halverson from the Regional Justice Center for allowing her private bodyguards to bypass the normal security checks, Hardcastle had required Halverson to seek guidance from a panel of veteran judges. She also had taken Halverson’s criminal cases away from her, citing mistakes Halverson had made.

Halverson and her supporters have said that Hardcastle has a personal vendetta against Halverson. Hardcastle fired her from a 2004 position as law clerk. Hardcastle pointed out that it is supposed to be a temporary job, but Halverson held it for nine years.

After she was fired, Halverson ran against, and nearly defeated, Hardcastle’s then-husband for a Family Court position.

Halverson ran last year for a District Court bench, won and became a judge in January.

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