Vegas May Set up Night Court to Process Minor Cases on the Strip


Las Vegas police routinely arrest lawbreakers in its casino area, but justice often is elusive, says the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Police are frustrated by minor offenses that appear to have no consequences for offenders who skip court dates or don’t face justice, their cases dismissed because judges have more severe problems to handle. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson is studying a proposal to create a night court on the Strip where offenders would be forced to pay up, and instead of putting offenders in jail, fine them heavily that same night and quickly send them on their way.

It’s welcome news for Police Capt. Todd Fasulo, whose Convention Center Area Command officers patrol the Strip. “We get bombarded from hotel complaints and continue to write the same 50 to 60 tickets for the same people,” Fasulo said. “The judges dismiss it because there’s no way they’re going to put somebody in jail for selling a bottle of water. We’re telling (officers) to go out there, and they’re thinking, ‘Why keep spinning my wheels?’ That’s when a level of frustration kicks in,” he said. A prosecutor is studying Philadelphia Municipal Court’s Nuisance Night Court model, a mobile court program that began in 1996 using volunteer judges to hear low-level cases, including underage drinking and disorderly conduct, among others. The goal is to deter crime by assessing civil penalties, such as community service and court fines, to offenders while keeping them out of jail.

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