28 Apr Cybil Dotson
Las Vegas Justice Court, Dept. 10
Campaign Contact Phone: (702) 239-7142
Facebook: Retain Judge Cybill Dotson for Las Vegas Justice Court Dept. 10
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
I was appointed in this position in October 2021. I sought the appointment because I want to ensure that every individual has fair and equal access to the law. Justice Court is often the first interaction that an individual has with the court system. Justice Court presides over traffic citations, eviction matters and civil matters under $15,000. State court criminal matters begin in Justice Court. The court should never be seen as an elusive construct, but instead, as a system run by individuals whose sole purpose is to make the community better. I am uniquely qualified for the position, not just because I actually hold the position to which I seek, but because my background and experience allows me to bring a unique perspective to the bench.
Describe your understanding of the courts’ responsibility to uphold precedent?
The court should uphold precedent. By doing so, it ensures that cases with the same facts will receive the same treatment despite who the parties, attorneys or the judges are on the case.
In what circumstances do the equal protection rights in 5th and 14th Amendments apply to same sex couples?
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the due process clauses in the 5th and 14th Amendments require all states to grant/license same sex marriages and to recognize same sex marriages that were lawfully licensed and performed in other states.
In Brown v. Board of Education, the court declared that the separate-but-equal standard was unconstitutional. Describe ways in which this decision is applicable in today’s society.
Brown v. Board of Education held that even though separate schools may be seen as equal, they were, in fact, inherently unequal. This decision impacted not only education but all areas of life, including public accommodations.
Would you honor the request of a plaintiff, defendant, or witness in a case before you who is transgender to be referred to in accordance with that person’s gender identity?
Describe your understanding of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in places of public accommodation.
In Nevada, the state legislature and former Governor Sandoval passed laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people in places of public accommodation. This grants individuals the right not to be refused entry or services in places such as restaurants, theaters, hotels, hospitals, retail stores, etc.
Have you been involved in a significant case where a primary issue was sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV/AIDs discrimination? If so, can you provide the case, venue, case number and case citation (if published decision) and your involvement?
If you were presiding over a Justice Court, what would be your approach to an eviction proceeding, and what would you consider before moving forward with the eviction process?
My approach would be to hear all of the facts and arguments from both parties and apply the law to reach a fair and impartial decision.
Hypothetical: you are presiding over a case in which the plaintiff is undocumented. Their defense attorney argues that their due process rights were violated by inadequate bail proceedings. How would the plaintiff’s immigration status factor into your decision as to whether or not their right to due process was violated?
When an individual comes before me in court, whether a person is undocumented is not a factor of which I am aware. Inquiring of such would be an ethical violation. Everyone who comes before me will receive equal treatment in all stages of the proceedings.
In recent years, we have seen Immigration and Customs Enforcement detain individuals as they are leaving criminal court hearings. Would you allow this to occur in your courtroom?
Current federal law prohibits ICE agents from detaining individuals inside or near courthouses, except in limited instances. If such an issue came before me, I will follow the law that is in place.
What do you see as the judiciary’s role in advancing restorative discipline practices for Nevada’s students?
Educators are the best resource for advancing restorative discipline practices for students. If Educators develop and adopt restorative discipline practices, and they believe that the judiciary can assist them, then the court should.
What do you think is the most important issue or problem in the state’s justice system today, and how would you work to address it?
I believe that all individuals should have fair and equal access to justice. I will work to increase the knowledge that individuals have of the justice system and ensure that all individuals receive their day in court.
If you were presiding over a specialty court, what would be your approach towards diversion initiatives and how would you evaluate their effectiveness?
While not necessarily deemed a specialty court, I do currently preside over one of the two domestic violence case tracks in the Las Vegas Justice Court. Diversion initiates, such as counseling classes, have been included in the state statutes as a way to help prevent recidivism. One way to evaluate their effectiveness would be to measure the number of repeat offenders during a certain time frame.
What is your view on cash bail following the decision in Valdez-Jimenez v. the 8th Judicial District Court?
Valdez-Jimenez requires the court to hold an individualized hearing when determining bail for a pretrial detention. The State must prove by clear and convincing evidence that no less restrictive alternative to bail will satisfy the public's goals of ensuring the defendant's presence at future court hearings and protecting the safety of the community. I will follow the law in my decisions.
In light of Nevada’s move to legalize recreational marijuana, what procedures would you follow or what factors would you consider in vacating the conviction of an individual for marijuana possession?
I will listen to the facts of the case and apply the applicable law.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade less than 50 years ago established a person’s right to abortion and reproductive freedom. While Roe is considered settled law, the right to reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy is hanging in the balance as states pass increasingly unconstitutional laws to challenge Roe in court regardless of precedent. Do you agree that Roe is settled law?
Justice Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. Matters such as this would not come before me. I will listen to the facts of every case that comes before me and apply the law.