Sparks approves measure to allow its Municipal Court to hold jury trials

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - The City of Sparks has voted to allow jury trials in the city’s Municipal Court.

A 2019 Nevada Supreme Court decision found that defendants facing misdemeanor domestic violence cases must be afforded a jury trial because, under state law, a conviction would mean the defendant would lose their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

Municipal courts handle misdemeanor cases, but Sparks, like Reno, did not have the facilities to host a jury trial in Municipal Court.

By a vote of 4 to 1 with Councilman Ed Lawson the sole 'no' vote, the council agreed to the measure that allows for municipal court jury trials.

The City of Reno voted in December of 2019 to take similar actions, and the Reno Municipal Court is expected to be able to conduct jury trials this month.

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