Harvey v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the order of Judge Douglas Smith denying Defendant's post-trial motions for a new trial and to reconstruct the record after discovering a jury note that the trial judge, Senior Judge James Bixler, did not discuss in the presence of counsel, holding that Judge Smith improperly denied Defendant's request to have Judge Bixler decide the merits of his motions.
After a jury convicted Defendant of robbery Defendant discovered the jury note at issue. In filing post-trial motions for a new trial and to reconstruct the record, Defendant requested that Judge Bixler preside over the motions. Judge Smith denied the request and heard the motions and denied them, finding that Judge Bixler did not remember the jury question or whether he presented the jury question to counsel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) where Nev. Rev. Stat. 175.101 and caselaw clearly provide that the trial judge preside over post-trial motions unless the trial judge is absent, sick, deceased or disabled, Judge Smith erred when he declined Defendant's request for Judge Bixler to decide his post-trial motions; and (2) this Court declines to interpret the term "disability" under section 175.101 to include a judge's inability to remember a particular event that occurred during the proceeding.