The Nevada Court System is organized into a hierarchy involving municipal courts, justice courts, community courts, district courts, a Court of Appeals and the Nevada Supreme Court.
Nevada's municipal courts exercise limited jurisdiction over cases involving city ordinances, city taxes and other local issues. Each of the state's cities has a municipal court unless governing bodies agree that the justice of the peace also acts as the "'ex officio" municipal judge.
Nevada's Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over civil matters involving up to $15,000; misdemeanors; small claims and traffic cases; and evictions. These courts also determine whether a felony or gross misdemeanor case has enough probable cause to send to the local district court. There is at a minimum one justice court and one justice of the peace per township.
Nevada's Community Courts allow local government bodies to issue alternate sentences in cases regarding misdemeanor charges, except for those involving domestic violence or DUI.
Since 2015, Nevada has operated 11 judicial districts. Nevada's District Courts have original jurisdiction over all cases not heard in justice and municipal courts. They also hear appeals from those lower courts, as well as exercise jurisdiction over juvenile cases.
Clark and Washoe Counties have established family courts as a division of the district courts, and these are supported by specially marked tax dollars.
Nevada's Legislature has also established 42 specialty courts as follows: 17 adult drug courts; 3 family drug courts; 3 mental health courts; 4 juvenile drug courts; 6 DUI courts; 5 DUI/drug courts; 1 prostitution prevention court; 1 veterans treatment court; and 2 habitual offender courts.
In 2013, Nevada's Legislature approved the creation of the Court of Appeals to perform appellate court duties in the state. There are three judges in the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court decides which types of cases the Court of Appeals will preside over, as well as which of those cases the Supreme Court will review.
The Nevada Supreme Court is comprised of seven justices, and serves as the court of last resort for the state. This court hears cases appealed from the district court civil cases, as well as criminal cases where the law comes into question.
One of the most famous cases originating in Nevada's judicial system is that of State v. Millain, which occurred in 1867. In this case, the state charged a man with the murder of Virginia City's most notorious prostitute, Julia Bullette. He was convicted and subsequently executed publicly. Perhaps most interesting is that Mark Twain was known to have attended the trial.
In State v. Kuhl (1918), a murderer was convicted after a bloody palm print was allowed to be submitted in court as evidence against the defendant. The murder took place during the last known stagecoach robbery in the U.S.
In 1915, four years after the last Indian Battle in the U.S., courts upheld that members of a posse which captured a group of Shoshone Indians to collect a reward for returning Shoshone Mike to the government were well within their rights.