Retired Washoe County District Court Judge Steven P. Elliott died Tuesday, Jan. 5, after a short bout with cancer. He was 72.
Elliott was elected to Department 10 of the Second Judicial District Court in 1996 and served in that role until March 2013. He started his career as the city prosecutor in Sparks in 1977 and two years later was elected Sparks city attorney, a position he held for 16 years.
“Judge Elliott was a leader in the Northern Nevada legal community,” Chief Judge Scott Freeman said in a statement released by Washoe County. “He was a wonderful Sparks city attorney, judge, and man who had tremendous wisdom. He will be greatly missed.”
While serving as judge Elliott helped to found Washoe County’s Domestic Violence Task Force and served on the Statewide Court Security Task Force, a group aimed at improving security at courthouses throughout the state.
Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam praised Elliott for his compassion and dedication to the community.
“My heartfelt condolences go out to Judge Steven Elliott’s family – his wife Mendy, and their children,” Balaam said in a Facebook post. “Judge Elliott served our community with distinction for 17 years. He was a respected jurist who had an excellent relationship with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Many of our personnel worked with him and for him. And as a founding member of the Washoe County Domestic Violence Task Force, Judge Elliott cemented his career as a man who cared for some of the most vulnerable in our community. We have suffered a great loss.”
Elliott was born in Mammoth Lakes, California and graduated in 1971 from Stanford University, followed by University of Denver, School of Law in 1975. He chose Reno in which to settle down as it was the nearest big town to Mammoth Lakes, according to the Second Judicial District Court’s historical perspective on the judge.
The Elliott family, which includes his wife Mendy and three children, said additional details are forthcoming. They have requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to either the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, where he has served on the board of directors, or to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with 20 years’ experience working in communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. In her free time, she is a volunteer backpacking guide along the Tahoe Rim Trail, an avid home cook and baker, cyclist, wife and stepmom.