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A criminal defendant’s request to represent himself was properly denied as “untimely” when the request was made twenty-four hours prior to the scheduled trial date. Defendant was convicted of burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, first degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon, robbery with use of a deadly weapon, and coercion. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions but vacated his deadly weapon sentencing enhancements, holding (1) under Lyons v. State, 796 P.2d 210 (Nev. 1990), which is consistent with United States Supreme Court precedent, a defendant’s request to represent himself may be denied as untimely if granting it will delay trial; (2) the State produced sufficient evidence to sustain Defendant’s convictions for robbery and kidnapping even when both convictions stemmed from Defendant’s actions over the course of a single incident; and (3) there was insufficient evidence that Defendant’s “weapon” satisfied an applicable definition of deadly weapon. View "Guerrina v. State" on Justia Law

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Granting a parenting coordinator authority to make substantive changes to the parents’ custody arrangement is an improper delegation of the district court’s judicial authority. Renelyn Autista and James Picone agreed to share joint physical custody of their minor child. Thereafter, Bautista filed three motions seeking to modify the custody arrangement. The district court denied the motions and appointed a parenting coordinator to assist in mediating and resolving disputes concerning the minor child. As relevant to this appeal, the district court permitted the parenting coordinator to make substantive changes to the parents’ custody arrangement. Bautista subsequently filed another motion seeking to modify custody. The district court denied the request without conducting an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the district court abused its discretion by (1) granting the parenting coordinator authority to make substantive changes to the parenting plan, and (2) denying Bautista’s motion to change physical custody without conducting an evidentiary hearing. View "Bautista v. Picone" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Neither Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.227(2)(b) nor Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.227(5)(c) required the Washoe County Assessor to value fully developed but unsold condominium units as a single unit or to apply the discounted cash flow method to determine their full cash value. The State Board of Equalization found that the county assessor properly assessed each unsold condominium unit at issue based on its retail price. On appeal, Appellant argued that because the condominium building qualified as a subdivision, the unsold condominium units should have been valued together as a single unit and discounted to determine the net sellout or wholesale value to a single buyer. The district court upheld the State Board’s decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the State Board did not apply a fundamentally wrong principle in assessing the condominiums as individual units and utilizing the sales comparison method to ensure that the taxable value did not exceed the full cash value. View "Montage Marketing, LLC v. Washoe County ex rel. Washoe County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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An attorney for a public body must have authorization from the client in a public meeting prior to filing a notice of appeal. Fred Voltz filed an ethics complaint, termed a request for opinion (RFO), against two assemblymen with the State of Nevada Commission on Ethics. The assemblymen sought dismissal, but the Commission denied the motion to dismiss. The assemblymen then filed a petition for judicial review. The district court granted the petition and directed the Commission to dismiss the RFOs. On the advice of the Commission’s legal counsel and without consulting the Commission, the chair and executive chair authorized the filing of a notice of appeal. Thereafter, the notice of appeal was filed. The assemblymen filed suit against the Commission alleging that the Commission violated the open meeting law by filing a notice of appeal without first making its decision or taking action to appeal the district court’s order in a public meeting. Thereafter, the Commission held an open meeting and voted in favor of appealing the district court’s order directing the Commission to dismiss the RFOs. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the notice of appeal was filed without Commission authorization. View "State Commission on Ethics v. Hansen" on Justia Law

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The Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA) to the Nevada Constitution requires an employer who provides health benefits and pays one dollar per hour less in wages than an employer who does not provide health benefits to provide a benefit in the form of health insurance at least equivalent to the one dollar per hour in wages that the employee would otherwise receive. Employees alleged that their Employer paid them the lower-tier minimum wage without providing sufficient health benefits under the MWA. Employees moved for summary judgment, arguing that the health insurance offered by Employer did not comply with Nevada statutes placing substantive requirements on health insurance. The district court granted summary judgment for Employees, concluding that an employer provides health benefits sufficient to pay the MWA’s lower-tier minimum wage only if the employer offers health insurance that complies with Nev. Rev. Stat. chapter 608, 689A and 689B. The Supreme Court granted Employer’s request for extraordinary relief, holding that an employer is qualified to pay the lower-tier minimum wage if the employer offers a benefit to the employee in the form of health insurance of a value greater than or equal to the wage of an additional dollar per hour. View "MDC Restaurants, LLC v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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The failure to name a party of record in the caption of a petition for judicial review is not jurisdictionally fatal under Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(2)(a) where the party is named in the body of the petition and is properly served with the petition. Appellant, a former corrections officer employed by the State of Nevada, Department of Corrections (NDOC), filed a workers’ compensation claim. Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc. (CCMSI), as NDOC’s third-party administrator, denied Appellant’s claim. An appeals officer affirmed. Appellant then filed a petition for judicial review. The caption of the petition listed as respondents NDOC and the Department of Administration but did not individually identify CCMSI. The district court dismissed Appellant’s petition for judicial review for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellant’s failure to name CCMSI in the caption of the petition did not render the petition jurisdictionally defective because the body of the petition named CCMSI through incorporation by reference of the attached administrative decision and CCMSI was timely served with the petition. View "Prevost v. State, Department of Administration" on Justia Law

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While the parties in this child custody dispute asked the Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of Nev. Rev. Stat. 1.310, the Court declined to do so because the issues between the parties had been resolved, and therefore, the case was moot. David Degraw filed a motion for a continuance of a custody hearing pursuant to Nevada’s legislative continuance statute, section 1.310 because his attorney was a member of the Nevada State Assembly and the 2017 legislative session was about to begin. Misty Degraw opposed David’s request, arguing that the statute was unconstitutional because it violated the separation of powers doctrine. The district court (1) granted David’s motion for a continuance, (2) ordered an evidentiary hearing for a date during the legislative session, and (3) concluded that section 1.310 was unconstitutional. David then filed this writ petition arguing that the statute is unconstitutional as applied. The Supreme Court denied the petition as moot because the custody dispute in the underlying proceeding was resolved, and this case did not fall into the exception to mootness for cases that are capable of repetition yet evading review. View "Degraw v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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A party waives the right to challenge on appeal a juror’s presence on the jury where the party’s appellate argument is based on facts known to the party during voir dire, the party consciously elected not to pursue - or abandoned - a challenge for cause on that basis, and the party accepted the juror’s presence on the jury. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of thirteen counts of possession of credit or debit card without cardholder’s consent. The Court held (1) Defendant waived his appellate argument of juror bias as to two jurors he passed for cause below; and (2) the district court erred by denying one of Defendant’s challenges for cause as to a certain juror, but the error was harmless and did not warrant reversal. View "Sayedzada v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s postconviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus as procedurally barred without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. More than one year after remittitur issued from his direct appeal, Appellant filed the postconviction petition at issue in this case. The petition was both untimely filed and successive and, thus, procedurally barred absent a demonstration of good cause and prejudice. Further, Appellant was required to overcome the presumption of prejudice to the State. To overcome the procedural bars, Appellant argued that the State committed a Brady violation, that his attorneys were ineffective during the litigation of his prior postconviction petition, and that he was actually innocent of the death penalty. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of the petition without an evidentiary hearing, holding that Appellant failed to demonstrate that the district court erred. View "Moore v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In this quiet title action, the Supreme Court held (1) a regulated entity like the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) has standing to assert 12 U.S.C. 4617(j)(3) - the Federal Foreclosure Bar (the FFB) - in a quiet title action; (2) the FFB preempts Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3116, which allows a homeowners’ association (HOA) foreclosure on a superpriority lien to extinguish a first deed of trust; and (3) the FFB invalidates any purported extinguishment of a regulated entity’s property interest while under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) unless the FHFA affirmatively consents. The Morenos obtained a home loan secured by a deed of trust on Las Vegas Property. The deed of trust was assigned to Fannie Mae. When the Morenos failed to pay their HOA dues, Saticoy Bay LLC Series 9641 Christine View (Saticoy Bay) purchased the property at a HOA foreclosure sale. Saticoy Bay then brought suit against Fannie Mae to quiet title. Summary judgment was granted for Fannie Mae. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the FFB protected the deed of trust from extinguishment because Fannie Mae was under the FHFA’s conservatorship at the time of the foreclosure sale; and (2) absent the FHFA’s affirmative relinquishment, Saticoy Bay’s interest in the property was subject to Fannie Mae’s deed of trust. View "Saticoy Bay LLC Series 9641 Chrstine View v. Federal National Mortgage Ass’n" on Justia Law