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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the district court’s denial of Appellant’s second postconviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus in a death penalty case, holding that an evidentiary hearing was required as to Appellant’s judicial bias claim. Appellant’s petition challenging his conviction for two first-degree murders and death sentences was both untimely and successive. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of the petition as procedurally barred, concluding that Appellant did not show good cause and prejudice to excuse the procedural bars to his petition. The United States Supreme Court vacated the Supreme Court’s opinion and remanded for further proceedings, concluding that the Court applied the wrong legal standard as to Appellant’s judicial bias claim. On reconsideration of the judicial bias claim, the Supreme Court held that an evidentiary hearing was required with respect to several issues related to the claim. The Court remanded for an evidentiary hearing on the judicial bias claim and affirmed the remainder of the district court’s order. View "Rippo v. State" on Justia Law

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At issue in this criminal case was whether the defense must place intent or absence of mistake at issue before prior act evidence may be admitted under Nev. Rev. Stat. 48.045(2). Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary, robbery with use of a deadly weapon, and other crimes. During trial, the court admitted evidence concerning Defendant’s prior residential burglary conviction to prove intent and absence of mistake. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of conviction, holding (1) the defense need not place intent or absence of mistake at issue before the State may seek admission of prior act evidence if the evidence is relevant to prove an element of the offense; but (2) because the evidence of Defendant’s prior residential burglary conviction had little relevance or probative value as to his intent or absence of mistake when compared to the danger of unfair prejudice resulting from its propensity inference, the district court manifestly abused its discretion in admitting the evidence, and the error was not harmless. View "Hubbard v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Respondents on Appellants’ claim that Respondents conspired with a third party to obtain exclusive franchise agreements with the City of Reno for the collection of waste and recyclable materials, holding that Appellants lacked standing to assert their claim under the Nevada Unfair Trade Practice Act (UTPA) because they were unable to show that they suffered any injuries. Appellants claimed that Respondents’ conspiracy with the third party precluded them from receiving a franchise agreement with the City. The district court concluded that, in terms of damages, Appellants lacked standing to assert a UTPA claim because they were not qualified to service a franchise zone, they never sought to be considered for a franchise zone, and the City determined that they were not qualified waste haulers. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants lacked antitrust standing because they did not make any showing that they suffered any injuries from Respondents’ alleged conspiracy. View "Nevada Recycling & Salvage, Ltd. v. Reno Disposal Co., Inc." on Justia Law

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At issue in this eminent domain proceeding was whether HQ Metro, LLC or Clark County was entitled to compensation for a permanent easement to the installation of electrical transmission lines on property that was owned by HQ Metro when the easement was obtained by Nevada Energy (NV Energy) but sold to Clark County before NV Energy physically entered the property to begin construction. The district court concluded that HQ Metro, as the property’s owner at the time of the taking, was entitled to compensation for the permanent easement and apportioned $775,000 to HQ Metro as damages for the permanent easement. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the right to compensation vested when the district court entered the order granting immediate occupancy, which permitted NV Energy to permanently occupy the easement area and enjoined HQ Metro from interfering with that occupancy. View "Clark County v. HQ Metro, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that double jeopardy did not prohibit Defendant’s retrial under the circumstances of this case because Defendant impliedly consented to the district court’s declaration of a mistrial, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding manifest necessity to declare a mistrial. Defendant stood trial on charges of murder and battery with substantial bodily harm. The district court declared a mistrial after a juror conducted extrinsic legal research and shared that information with other jurors after a weekend recess in jury deliberations. The district court dismissed Defendant’s motion to dismiss the charges based on double jeopardy and set the matter for a new trial. Defendant petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus directing the district court to grant his motion to dismiss and bar his re-prosecution. The Supreme Court denied the petition on the merits, holding that a second prosecution was not barred by double jeopardy where Defendant did not object to the mistrial, Defendant agreed with the court’s analysis of juror misconduct, Defendant gave his implied consent to mistrial, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding manifest necessity to declare a mistrial. View "Granda-Ruiz v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court answered in the affirmative a certified question from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, holding that, even before the October 1, 2015 amendment to Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.31168, the statute incorporated Nev. Rev. Stat. 107.090’s requirement that a homeowner’s association (HOA) provide notices of default and/or sale to persons or entities holding subordinate interests, even when such persons or entities did not request notice. Respondent-Bank filed a complaint in the federal district court of Nevada, naming as defendants an HOA and the current owner of property that was sold at a nonjudicial foreclosure sale. Respondent requested that the foreclosure sale did not extinguish its deed of trust and alleged that the sale violated due process because Nev. Rev. Stat. Chapter 116 lacked any pre-deprivation notice requirements. The federal district court then filed its order certifying the question of law above. The Supreme Court held that section 107.090, which governs trustee sales under a deed of trust, mandates notice to those holding subordinate interests, and by requiring application of section 107.090 during the HOA foreclosure process, section 116.31168(1) required notice to be provided to all holders of subordinate security interests prior to a HOA foreclosure sale. View "SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. Bank of New York Mellon" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that although parents in a termination of parental rights proceeding cannot be compelled to admit to abuse of their children, they can be required to engage in meaningful therapy designed to ensure the children’s safety if returned to the home. The district court terminated the parental rights of Appellants because their oldest child was abused while in their home, the younger children witnessed the abuse and were directed to lie about it, and, while in therapy, Appellants insisted that the child’s injuries were self-inflicted. Appellants appealed, arguing that their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination were violated because the termination of parental rights was based on their refusal to admit to the abuse. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court’s findings of parental fault did not violate Appellants’ Fifth Amendment rights because Appellants did not engage in meaningful therapy and did not demonstrate the insight and behavioral changes necessary to protect the children from future abuse; (2) the district court’s findings of parental fault were supported by substantial evidence; and (3) termination was in the children’s best interests. View "In re Parental Rights as to S.L." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order awarding attorney fees and costs to Defendant on its counterclaim after the court determined Defendant to be the “prevailing party” following bifurcated trials, in which the parties settled as to damages on Plaintiff’s claims in an amount that exceeded Defendant’s damages judgment on its counterclaim. Specifically, the Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by failing to aggregate the settlement recovery and damages award in this case because (1) there is no Nevada statute or court rule that requires the trial court to offset a damages judgment on one party’s counterclaim by the amount recovered by another party in settling its claim to determine which side is the prevailing party; and (2) the most reasonable interpretation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.010(2)(a) and 18.020(3) precludes the use of settlement recovery for this purpose. View "Northern Nevada Homes, LLC v. GL Construction, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this dispute over a noncompete agreement (NCA) the Supreme Court reaffirmed its previous holdings that an NCA must be limited to the geographical areas in which an employer has particular business interests and emphasized that this precedent remains applicable in instances where the NCA imposes a nationwide restriction on the former employee. The Court further clarified that an employer seeking a preliminary injunction enforcing an NCA bears the burden of making a prima facie showing of the NCA’s reasonableness. In this dispute over an NCA, the Supreme Court reversed the district court’s grant of the motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Respondent, an employer, seeking to enforce the terms of a noncompete agreement (NCA) against Appellant, a former employee, holding that Respondent failed to make a prima facie showing that the NCA was reasonable by showing its restrictions did not extend beyond date geographical areas in which Respondent conducted business. View "Shores v. Global Experience Specialists, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the Parole Board’s use of the Static-99R recidivism risk assessment comports with Nev. Rev. Stat. 213.1214’s assessment requirements, that changes to parole procedures do not constitute an ex post facto violation, and that the use of the Static-99R assessment does not violate an inmate’s due process rights. As part of Appellant’s parole review, his recidivism risk was assessed with the Static-99R risk assessment. The assessment classified Appellant as a high risk to recidivate, and the Parole Board denied parole. Appellant filed a petition for declaratory judgment challenging the Static-99R assessment. The district court granted the State’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not err in denying Appellant’s claim that the Static-99R assessment was not formally adopted as or determined to be a “currently accepted standard of assessment” for use in Appellant’s parole hearing; (2) because Appellant failed to show that changes to the parole statute enacted after his conviction created a risk of prolonged imprisonment, they did not constitute impermissible ex post facto punishment; and (3) the district court did not err in denying Appellant’s claim that the use of the Static-99R violated his due process rights. View "Coles v. Bisbee" on Justia Law