Judge Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz

Department Five 
Las Vegas Township Justice Court

Term of Office 2013 - present

Norman Gante, Judicial Executive Assistant
Office: (702) 671-3381
Fax:    (702) 671-3472
Email: LVJCDept5@ClarkCountyNV.gov

Department 5 Zoom Information

Judge Cynthia Cruz was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but her family moved to Las Vegas in 1969 when she was less than two years old. Daughter to a police officer and secretary, Judge Cruz grew up in Las Vegas, graduating from Bonanza High School in 1985. Judge Cruz attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for her undergraduate studies and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1993. After graduating from college she started her own small business in Las Vegas.  She returned school 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.                                

While in law school, Judge Cruz was a member of the law school’s Moot Court Appellate Advocacy team, worked in the Juvenile Justice Department as a student attorney, and participated in the law school’s eviction clinic. She was awarded Cali Awards for excellence in Evidence, Gaming Law and Professional Responsibility.  In her final year of law school, she was honored to obtain a position as a judicial extern law clerk to the Honorable James C. Mahan in the United States District Court of Nevada, Southern Division.

Upon graduating from law school, Judge Cruz served as the law clerk for the Honorable Jackie Glass in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada. At the conclusion of her clerkship with Judge Glass, Judge Cruz was hired as an Associate Attorney for Attorney Steve Wolfson. At the end of 2006, Judge Cruz left her position with Mr. Wolfson to form her own law practice, expanding her areas of practice to include handling family law cases. In 2012, Judge Cruz was elected to the Las Vegas Justice Court bench. 

Since taking the bench, Judge Cruz has handled both criminal and civil caseloads, eviction and traffic dockets and Initial Appearance Court. Judge Cruz was part of Project 48, which received the National Association of Countries 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Court Administration and Management. At the start of 2016, Judge Cruz became the presiding Judge for the Las Vegas Justice Court’s Drug Court program and took over as the presiding Judge for the DUI Treatment Court in 2019. In 2017, Judge Cruz was awarded the Bob Gray Community Partner Award for her work on behalf of the substance abuse recovery community.

From 2019 to 2021, she was the Vice-Chief Judge for the Las Vegas Justice Court and chaired the Las Vegas Justice Court Information Technology Committee and the Criminal Processes Committee. In addition to authoring grants to bring in over three million dollars in new funding to the Court, she currently is part of the electronic search warrant development committee, working with law enforcement agencies throughout Southern Nevada. Judge Cruz also sits on the Judicial Council of the State of Nevada’s Specialty Court Funding and Policy Committee.

In 2022, Judge Cruz was unanimously selected to be the next Chief Judge for the Las Vegas Justice Court, beginning her two-year term on January 1, 2023. She currently chairs the Executive Committee, Information Technology Committee and Rules Committee for Las Vegas Justice Court. In 2023, Judge Cruz was appointed to serve on the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission as the representative for the Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction. She was elected to serve as co-chair for the Clark County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for the 2024 calendar year. In addition to being Chief Judge, Judge Cruz continues her role as the presiding Judge for the Drug Treatment Court and the DUI Treatment Court, along with writing grants and exploring new ways to use technology to improve the Court.