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Top Nevada court takes up Steven Brooks case, seeks response from Legislature

Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | 5:25 p.m.

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Assemblyman Steven Brooks of the 77th (2013) Nevada Assembly District.

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has directed the Legislature to answer a petition filed by Assemblyman Steven Brooks to stop his potential ouster from the lower house.

And it directed Mitchell Posin, the attorney for Brooks, to file additional documentation to back up his arguments that Brooks, despite his erratic behavior, should be seated in the Assembly.

The order was signed Wednesday by Chief Justice Kristina Pickering who gave the Legislature 11 days to respond to the suit. She said this would “facilitate this court's review.”

Pickering said Posin would have five days to produce the letter from Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, that barred Brooks from entering the building because of safety concerns for lawmakers and the public.

Posin quoted from a portion of the Horne letter in the writ but not the full document. And the chief justice told Posin to produce other documents that would help the court decide the case.

Brooks, D-North Las Vegas, filed the writ Monday asking the court to force the Assembly to seat him.

A special committee has been set up in the Assembly to decide whether Brooks should be expelled because of his troubles with the law.

Horne said earlier he had hoped to have a committee meeting next week to consider the evidence and make a recommendation to the full Assembly. Brooks would be allowed to present his side.

But that appears up in the air as the court decides to consider the petition.

Felony and misdemeanor charges were filed Monday in Las Vegas arising out of an incident in which Brooks’ wife reported a domestic disturbance. Police say Brooks tried to grab the gun of an officer and threw punches at them.

He is charged with a felony count of resisting an officer with a weapon. Also misdemeanor counts accuse him of assault on an officer and battery domestic violence.

Also under investigation is whether Brooks made threats to kill Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas.

Brooks was sworn into office Feb. 2 and he maintains the Assembly doesn’t have the constitutional authority to block him from serving because of these allegations.

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