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Las Vegas Municipal Court
Department 5
200 Lewis Avenue, Second Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89127
Telephone: (702) 229-6061 / Fax: (702) 382-6589
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Judge Cedric A. Kerns was elected to Las Vegas Municipal Court, Department 5 in June of 1997.

Judge Kerns came to Las Vegas in 1985 to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was a member of the nationally ranked debate team before graduating in 1989. He received his J.D. in 1992 from the University of San Diego.

Prior to being elected, Judge Kerns was a partner and co-founder of the Law Office of Kerns and Lybarger, where he focused on criminal defense and domestic law. While in private practice, Judge Kerns was an appointed member of the Nevada Supreme Court Task Force for the “Study of Economic Bias” in the justice system.

Judge Kerns is an active member of the American Bar Association, Judicial Division Delegate to the National Conference   of   Specialized  Court   Judges;  Department  of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency (SAPTA), and Multidisciplinary Prevention Advisory Committee (MPAC); American Judges Association, where he has served as delegate and governor representing the State of Nevada; Nevada Judges Association, where he served as a member of the Board of Directors as well as the president for the year 2005. Judge Kerns was chosen as Outstanding Judge of the Year for 2006 by the Nevada Judges Association and served on the Supreme Court 2012 Judicial Leadership Planning Committee.

Judge Kerns is the presiding judge over Las Vegas Municipal Court’s Youth Offender (YO) Court. This is a specialized court that focuses on young offenders with drug offenses.  Judge Kerns was also the creator of the specialized court H.O.P.E. that focuses on habitual offenders.


Sparks Justice Court
Department 2
1675 East Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89434-8964
Telephone: (775) 353-7620 / Fax: (775) 352-3016
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Judge Kevin Higgins was appointed to the Sparks Justice Court on April 15, 2003. He was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2010 for his second full term. Judge Higgins came to the bench from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office (AGO) after 16 years as a prosecutor. At the time of his appointment, he was the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Reno Office. 

During his tenure at the AGO, he prosecuted everything from DUIs to death penalty cases and appeared in almost every district court in Nevada, the Nevada Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Higgins is the past president of the Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction and is a frequent presenter at their conferences as well as those of the Nevada District Judges Association. Judge Higgins sits on the national scholarship selection panel for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. In 2001, he was presented the Joseph Stevens Award as the outstanding attorney in public service in the United States in a ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Judge Higgins graduated from Willamette University in 1982 and was awarded the “Senior Key,” presented to 10 seniors who had contributed the most to the University. In 1985, he graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with his J.D. 

Dr. Alex Stalcup, M.D. is a graduate of Whittier College and a graduate of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.

He is Board Certified in Pediatrics, and in Addiction Medicine. He is certified as a Medical Review Officer by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (A.S.A.M.).

In 1990, after three years as Medical Director Medical Director, Drug Detoxification, Treatment & Aftercare Project, Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco, Dr. Stalcup opened a private practice in addiction medicine.

Since 1996, he has served as the Medical Director of the New Leaf Treatment Center in Lafayette, California.

Debbie "Sam" Smith began working directly and actively with families experiencing domestic violence since in 1983 when she participated in launching the "Child Assault Prevention Project." She then served as the family services director for a local domestic violence program and manager of the emergency shelter. Later, she directed the county protection order project and served as a domestic violence advocate and co-chaired, the Washoe County Adult Fatality Review Team. At the local domestic violence program, Sam also worked with survivors and their children in a transitional housing program and facilitated community support groups for battered women.

From 1995-2005, Sam worked as an information specialist with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) Family Violence Department. In 2007, Sam bridged the efforts of her local child welfare agency and the domestic violence advocacy community by working as a domestic violence specialist. As the only specialist in Nevada housed within the child protection agency, Sam developed the local collaborative response to domestic violence survivors and their children involved with child services.

In 2007, Sam returned to NCJFCJ to coordinate the Greenbook project, a federal inter-agency initiative that funded six communities across the country to implement the recommendations found in the NCJFCJ's publication Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice (Greenbook). During this time, Sam provided technical assistance to child welfare agencies, domestic violence agencies, and family courts to work together more effectively to help families that are experiencing violence.