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About

Cynthia Cruz is running to be retained as your  Las Vegas Justice Court Judge Dept. 5

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Chief Judge Cynthia Cruz was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but her family relocated to Las Vegas in 1969 when she was just under two years old. She grew up in Las Vegas, the daughter of a police officer and a secretary. Judge Cruz graduated from Bonanza High School in 1985 and pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1993.

After completing her college education, she ventured into entrepreneurship in Las Vegas. Later, she decided to pursue a career in the legal field and earned her Juris Doctorate in 2003 from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. During her time in law school, Judge Cruz was an active member of the Moot Court Appellate Advocacy team, worked as a student attorney in the Juvenile Justice Department, and participated in the law school's eviction clinic. She received Cali Awards for excellence in Evidence, Gaming Law, and Professional Responsibility. In her final year of law school, she had the privilege of serving as a judicial extern law clerk to the Honorable James C. Mahan in the United States District Court of Nevada, Southern Division.

Following law school, Judge Cruz served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jackie Glass in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada. After completing her clerkship with Judge Glass, she joined Attorney Steve Wolfson as an Associate Attorney. In 2006, Judge Cruz decided to establish her own law practice, expanding her areas of practice to include family law cases. Her career took a significant turn in 2012 when she was elected to the Las Vegas Justice Court bench.

Since taking the bench, Judge Cruz has presided over both criminal and civil caseloads, eviction and traffic dockets, and Initial Appearance Court. She was a part of Project 48, which received the National Association of Counties' 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Court Administration and Management. In 2016, she assumed the role of presiding Judge for the Las Vegas Justice Court's Drug Court program, and in 2019, she took over as the presiding Judge for the DUI Treatment Court. Her dedication to the community earned her the Bob Gray Community Partner Award in 2017 for her work on behalf of the substance abuse recovery community.

From 2019 to 2021, she served as the Vice-Chief Judge for the Las Vegas Justice Court and chaired various committees, including the Las Vegas Justice Court Information Technology Committee and the Criminal Processes Committee. She was instrumental in securing over three million dollars in new funding for the Court through grant authoring. Currently, she is actively involved in the electronic search warrant development committee, collaborating with law enforcement agencies across Southern Nevada. Additionally, Judge Cruz is a member of the Judicial Council of the State of Nevada's Specialty Court Funding and Policy Committee.

In 2022, Judge Cruz was unanimously selected to become the Chief Judge for the Las Vegas Justice Court, beginning her two-year term on January 1, 2023. She currently chairs multiple committees, including the Executive Committee, Information Technology Committee, and Rules Committee for the Las Vegas Justice Court. Her dedication to justice and community involvement was recognized in 2023 when she was appointed to serve on the Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission as the representative for the Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction. She received the 2023 Outstanding Women of the Year for the Judiciary award from Fil-Am News and a certificate of Distinguished Achievements in Judicial Education from the Judicial Department of the State of Nevada. In 2024, she was elected to co-chair the Clark County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and became a committee member for the Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction's Legislative Committee.

In addition to her role as Chief Judge, Judge Cruz, a Proven Legal Mind & Dedicated Public Servant, continues to preside over the Drug Treatment Court and the DUI Treatment Court while actively pursuing innovative ways to enhance the Court's operations through technology.

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