Nevada governor’s divorce case moved to Reno
May 8, 2008
CARSON CITY – A judge on Thursday approved a request from Nevada first lady Dawn Gibbons, hit with a divorce complaint from Gov. Jim Gibbons, to have the couple’s closed-door divorce trial moved from Carson City to Reno.
Carson City District Judge Bill Maddox noted in his order that the governor didn’t oppose the venue change to Washoe County District Court.
Dawn Gibbons’ attorney, Cal Dunlap, said in requesting the change that the trial should be held in the county that the Gibbonses list as their permanent legal residence. He said that legal residence was listed by Gibbons’ attorney, Gary Silverman, in the governor’s divorce complaint.
At the governor’s request, Maddox on Monday sealed the files in the case and provided for a closed-door trial. Dunlap is considering a state Supreme Court appeal of that order but hasn’t made a final decision on that yet.
While the Supreme Court ruled in December that most civil case records in Nevada must be open, Maddox cited a specific state law that allows for the sealing of such records and the trial at the request of either person in a divorce case.
Dunlap has said Dawn Gibbons would prefer that the divorce files and trial be open, “like any other legal proceeding.”
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The first-term Republican governor filed for divorce after moving out of the 23-room Governor’s Mansion to the couple’s Reno home. He also is seeking a court ruling to have her evicted so that he can move back to the mansion.
Gibbons, 63, isn’t talking publicly about why he wants a divorce. His 54-year-old wife has said she has no idea why he wants to end their marriage of nearly 22 years.