An agreement between the City of Caliente for a one-year contract for services by the Meadow Valley Justice of the Peace Court at the county courthouse in Pioche was approved by the Board of County Commissioners at their July 6 meeting.
Judge Mike Cowley said the City of Caliente was able to increase the rate they could pay to $3,500 a year to the county for the services of a part-time judge and part-time clerk.
He said the $3,500 will go towards what he figures to be $4,900 in costs with the difference to be made up in monies taken in from criminal and traffic citations issued. “The county is not going to lose any money on it,” he said. “There is about a $1,400 difference based on what we agreed on and what the costs would be,” but figured the extra will be easily recovered.
Cowley said if it turns out to be a plan that is not beneficial, there is a 180-day period in which the city can walk away from the agreement.
City Attorney Dylan Frehner said the way the breakdown for cases will be, “If the case is specific to a Caliente city ordinance, it will be handled in Caliente Municipal Court. If there is something that can be charged by a county ordinance or a state law, then it will be directed to Pioche.”
Commission chair and former Mayor of Caliente Kevin Phillips said, “It makes sense. They (Caliente) reside in the Meadow Valley Justice Court area anyway, and if the city had never chosen (years ago) to have their own court, it would be a moot point. I think the agreement is fine. It’s really kind of a formality.”
In the past, Caliente has had a justice court, but as of late, have chosen not to because of rising costs and thus have worked out an agreement with the Meadow Valley Justice Court.