The courthouse in Pahrump will be named for Gerald "Bear" Smith, the bailiff who worked in the courts for 17 years before passing away from COVID-19 related complications earlier this year.
On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution to name the courthouse within the Ian Deutch Government Complex at 1520 E. Basin Ave. in his honor, four months to the day of Smith's passing at age 60.
The courthouse includes the Pahrump Justice Courts, Fifth Judicial District Courts, District Attorney's Office, and the County Clerk Office.
Members of Smith's family attended the County Commission meeting, including his widow Maryanna and daughter Savannah. Also in attendance was Justice of the Peace Kent Jasperson, whose courtroom Smith was a bailiff in for 12 years. Smith had previously worked for District Court Judge Robert Lane, helping establish the drug court program.
"I feel since his entire career was spent in that realm, that it would be an honor to name the courthouse after him," Jasperson said to the Commissioners.
District Attorney Chris Arabia, whose office is in the courthouse, echoed those comments, stating, "What Judge Jasperson said goes double for me."
Placement of commemorative signing at the building will happen at a later date.
Click here to see Courthouse outline
Text of the passed resolution
NYE COUNTY RESOLUTION NO. 2021-14
A RESOLUTION TO NAME THE COURTHOUSE WITHIN THE IAN DEUTCH GOVERNMENT COMPLEX AS THE GERALD "BEAR" SMITH COURTHOUSE IN HONOR OF BAILIFF GERALD "BEAR" SMITH.
WHEREAS, Gerald "Bear" Smith was born in Torrance, California and moved to Pahrump in 1992; and
WHEREAS, Smith joined law enforcement and became POST certified in 2004, and helped the Honorable Robert Lane establish the drug court program; and
WHEREAS, Smith became the bailiff in the Honorable Kent Jasperson's courtroom in 2009; and
WHEREAS, Smith served as bailiff in Judge Jasperson's courtroom until his death on January 18, 2021, from complications related to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, Smith lived his life by the mantra "Treat others the way you would want to be treated", and showed kindness to everyone no matter what side of the law they were on in the courtroom;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Nye County Board of Commissioners express its deepest appreciation for the public service and commitment of Bailiff Gerald "Bear" Smith; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the area depicted in Exhibit A of the Ian Deutch Government Complex located at 1520 E. Basin Ave., Pahrump, Nevada will hereinafter be known as the Ian Deutch Government Complex and the "Gerald 'Bear' Smith Courthouse,"
BE IT ADDITIONALLY RESOLVED that county staff will place appropriate commemorative signage so designating this honor.
APPROVED this 18th day of May, 2021.
NYE COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS