Justia Nevada Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

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The district court did not violate any rules and complied with due process requirements when it terminated Mother’s parental rights without her presence and ability to assist in her defense. Mother had been arrested before the hearing and declared incompetent in her criminal proceedings. A guardian ad litem was appointed, however, and the district court continued the trial in the parental rights case numerous times due to Mother’s inability to regain competence. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decision, holding that the district court (1) properly proceeded with the parental rights despite despite Mother’s incompetence to stand trial in her criminal case; and (2) had personal jurisdiction over Mother despite allegations of insufficient service because Mother waived the issue. View "In re Parental Rights as to M.M.L." on Justia Law
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These consolidated appeals concerned orders issuing a preliminary injunction, appointing a temporary trustee, granting summary judgment, and awarding attorney fees in a trust action. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and dismissed in part, holding (1) the district court correctly granted summary judgment regarding the trust interpretation; (2) the district court correctly granted summary judgment regarding the trustee’s breach of fiduciary duties of impartiality and to avoid conflicts of interest, and consequently, attorney fees were warranted; and (3) the preliminary injunction merged with the final judgment and was therefore moot. View "In re W.N. Connell & Marjorie T. Connell Living Trust" on Justia Law
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Defendant appealed his convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary, robbery, and first-degree kidnapping, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction of both robbery and kidnapping and that the Miranda warning given by the police prior to questioning was legally insufficient. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s convictions for kidnapping and robbery; and (2) Defendant received an adequate Miranda warning prior to making statements to police and thus did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress those statements. View "Stewart v. State" on Justia Law
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My Entertainment TV (MET) filmed Michael Solid’s first-degree murder trial for use in a television “docudrama.” Solid filed this writ petition seeking interpretation of the Supreme Court Rules involving media in the courtroom. The Supreme Court denied Solid’s writ petition, holding (1) MET is a “news reporter” under these rules; (2) MET is using the footage for educational or informational purposes, as opposed to unrelated advertising; (3) the district court did not err in allowing MET to film the trial because Solid did not overcome the presumption in favor of electronic coverage; and (4) the terms of MET’s television series agreement with the Clark County District Attorney did not require the consent of Solid’s trial counsel. View "Solid v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law
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At issue in this consolidated matter was whether Nevada’s general slayer statutes apply to the Public Employees’ Retirement Act (PERS Act) for the purposes of determining payment of survivor benefits. The Supreme Court held (1) Nevada’s general slayer statutes are applicable to the PERS Act, and therefore, any person who kills their PERS-member spouse must be treated as if they predeceased the PERS-member spouse for the purposes of determining payment of survivor benefits (2) the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (PERS) is not exempt from paying prejudgment or post-judgment interest; (3) it is within the district court’s discretion to award up to $1,500 in reasonable costs for a non testifying expert consultant under Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.005(5); and (4) attorney fees should not have been awarded in this case under Nev. Rev. Stat. 7.085 and 18.010. View "Pub. Employees' Retirement System of Nevada v. Gitter" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of thirty-six felony offenses and sentenced to a total term of life with the possibility of parole after eighty-five years. The conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. Thereafter, Appellant filed a pro se postconviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus and moved for appointment of counsel. The district court denied the petition following a hearing at which Appellant was not present. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in declining to appoint postconviction counsel to represent Appellant in light of the severity of the consequences that Appellant faces, the potential need for discovery, and Appellant’s questionable proficiency with the English language. Remanded. View "Renteria-Novoa v. State" on Justia Law
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An amended criminal complaint was filed charging Maria Escalante and Ramiro Funez (collectively, Escalante) each with one count of trespass in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 207.200(1)(a). Escalante moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that section 207.200(1)(a) is unconstitutionally vague. The Nevada Office of the Attorney General (AG) was not notified of the constitutional challenge to the statute. The justice court granted the motion to dismiss in part, determining that the “vex or annoy” intent requirement in the statute was void for vagueness. When it received notification of the justice court’s order, the AG filed a “motion to place on calendar,” arguing that the AG was entitled to notice of the constitutional challenge under Nev. Rev. Stat. 30.130. The justice court denied the AG’s motion, concluding that section 30.130 applies only to declaratory relief actions and has no applicability to criminal proceedings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 30.130 does not entitle the AG to notice and opportunity to be heard in criminal cases; and (2) Escalante was not required to notify the AG of their constitutional challenge to section 207.200(1)(a). View "Office of the Attorney General v. Justice Court" on Justia Law

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Respondent filed an amended complaint asserting several claims relating to the construction of a solar electricity plant. The district court granted Appellant’s motion to dismiss the claims and certified the judgment as final under Nev. R. Civ. P. 54(b). Respondent filed a timely tolling motion asking the district court to amend or reconsider the order dismissing the complaint and allow the action to proceed. The district court granted the motion, vacated the order granting the motion to dismiss, and denied the motion to dismiss. Appellant appealed from this order, arguing that the order was appealable as a special order after final judgment under Nev. R. App. P. 3A(b)(8). The Supreme Court disagreed and dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that an order granting a motion to amend or reconsider and vacating a final judgment is not appealable as a special order after final judgment. View "TRP International, Inc. v. Proimtu MMI LLC" on Justia Law
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Law firm Hall Jaffee & Clayton (HJC) defended Petitioner in a tort action. The district court ultimately dismissed the action with prejudice. Jordan Schnitzer worked as an associate attorney at HJC during the case but never represented Petitioner or obtained confidential information regarding Petitioner while employed at HJC. Schnitzer subsequently left HJC to join the law firm Kravitz, Schnitzer & Johnson, Chtd. (KSJ). Martin Kravitz from KSJ later filed a tort action in behalf of real parties in interest against Petitioner. Kravitz permitted Schnitzer to assist on the case. Petitioner filed a motion to disqualify real parties in interest’s attorneys, Kravitz and Schnitzer. The district court denied the motion. Petitioner then filed a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking review of the district court’s order. The Supreme Court denied the petition for writ relief, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Petitioner’s motion to disqualify the real parties in interest’s attorneys due to absence of evidence indicating that Schnitzer acquired any confidential information from HJC’s prior representation of Petitioner. View "New Horizon Kids Quest III, Inc. v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law
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After they were married, Mother and Father had a child. Before their child was born, the parties failed to reach an agreement regarding the child’s surname. The parties were estranged when their child was born, and Mother gave the child her surname. Thereafter, Father filed a complaint for divorce and filed a petition to change the child’s surname to his last name. The district court determined that the child’s name should be hyphenated to include both parents’ surnames. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that it was in the best interest of the child to change the child’s surname. View "Petit v. Adrianzen" on Justia Law
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