28 Apr Henry N. Sotelo
Henry N. Sotelo
Reno Municipal Court Judge, Dept. 4
Campaign Contact Phone: 775-830-5448
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
What inspired me to run is the growth of therapeutic courts within the Reno Municipal Court system.These courts show promise in addressing corse issues through therapy and not incarceration, save money and also reduce recidivism. I am qualified because over my 30 year legal career, I have served as a Judge Pro Tempore, prosecutor and am currently a contract legal defender in Reno Municipal Court. I have been involved with the creation and growth of three of the four Specialty Courts in RMC. Also, I am the director of and professor at the Truckee Meadows Community College Paralegal Program.
Describe your understanding of the courts’ responsibility to uphold precedent?
As a lower court, Reno Municipal Court must uphold precedent.
In what circumstances do the equal protection rights in 5th and 14th Amendments apply to same sex couples?
Reno Municipal Court does not have jurisdiction over this issue.
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.
In my judicial view, everyone that appears before RMC must be treated equally.
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.
LGBTQ people should not be discriminated against in anyway, shape or form including public accommodation.
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?
I have not
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?
Reno Municipal Court does not handle evictions
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?
Immigration status does not apply to any decision regarding due process rights. Due process rights are applicable to any person within the boundaries of the United States and it's territories.
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?
What do you see as the judiciary’s role in advancing restorative discipline practices for Nevada’s students?
Restorative discipline practices work hand-in-hand with the Specialty Court model I would like to expand in Reno Municipal Court.
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?
Over incarceration, lack of support services for mental health, and controlled substance issues. I would seek to increase grant funding for our specialty court system and clients in Reno Municipal Court.
If you were presiding over a specialty court, what would be your approach towards diversion initiatives and how would you evaluate their effectiveness?
I would attempt to include diversion initiatives in each specialty court in Reno Municipal Court. RMC currently utilizes an outside auditing agency to measure diversion initiative effectiveness and I would support continuing that practice.
What is your view on cash bail following the decision in Valdez-Jimenez v. the 8th Judicial District Court?
I don't believe in cash bail. The use of reasonable bondable bail and pre-trial monitoring are effective tools.
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?
Anyone convicted of marijuana possession should have their record expunged.
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?