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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order granting a petition for review of a decision of a hearing officer to reinstate a classified employee after that employee was terminated by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), holding that the hearing officer applied the wrong standard of review. After the DMV terminated the employee’s employment for disciplinary reasons, the employee requested a hearing to challenge the decision. The hearing officer reversed the DMV’s decision to terminate the employee and recommended the lesser discipline of a suspension. The district court granted the DMV’s petition for judicial review and set aside the hearing officer’s decision. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) whether the employee violated a law or regulation is reviewed de novo, but the agency’s decision to terminate the employee is entitled to deference; and (2) the hearing officer did not apply that deferential standard in this case. View "O’Keefe v. State, Department of Motor Vehicles" on Justia Law

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At issue was the correct interpretation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 616B.578, under which an employer may qualify for reimbursement on a workers’ compensation claim if the employer proves that it retained its employee after requiring knowledge of the employee’s permanent physical impairment and before a subsequent injury occurs. After noting that the statutory definition of a “permanent physical impairment” must support a rating of permanent impairment of six percent or more of the whole person the Supreme Court held (1) section 616B.578 requires an employer to prove that it had knowledge of a preexisting permanent physical impairment that would support a rating of at least six percent whole person impairment; (2) the statute cannot be reasonably interpreted to require knowledge of a specific medical diagnosis for an employer to successfully seek reimbursement; and (3) in the instant case, because it was unclear whether the employer knew of any permanent condition that hindered the employee’s employment and whether it could be fairly and reasonably inferred from the record that the employer knew of the employee’s preexisting physical impairment supporting a rating of at least six percent whole person impairment, this matter must be remanded for further proceedings. View "North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District v. Board of Administration of Subsequent Injury Account for Associations of Self-Insured Public or Private Employers" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the State’s petition for a writ of prohibition or mandamus, holding that the district court had authority to order the State to share criminal history information obtained from databases to which the defense did not have access. Francisco Ojeda, who was charged with murder, filed a pretrial motion seeking an order compelling the State to disclose the criminal histories of veniremembers before jury selection. The district court granted the motion, grounding its authority to order disclosure in Nev. Rev. Stat. 179A.100(7)(j). Thereafter, the State filed the instant petition arguing that the district court did not have the authority to compel the disclosure of the veniremembers’ criminal history records. The Supreme Court denied the petition, holding (1) a district court has the authority compel the State to disclose veniremegber criminal histories; and (2) the district court did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in requiring the State to share veniremember criminal history information. View "State v. Second Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s judgment of conviction, pursuant to a guilty plea, of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm committed against an older person, holding that the district court did not impermissibly impose double sentencing enhancements for the same primary offense. The district court sentenced Defendant to a maximum of sixty months’ imprisonment for the crime of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm under Nev. Rev. Stat. 200.481(2)(b) and an additional 120 months’ maximum imprisonment for committing that crime against an older person under Nev. Rev. Stat. 193.167. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that the addition of an older person enhancement to Defendant’s sentence under section 200.481(2)(b) did not violate Nevada law prohibiting multiple sentencing enhancements for the same primary offense because the statute is not an enhancement statute. View "Rodriguez v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court denied the State’s petition for a writ of mandamus or prohibition challenging the district court’s decision finding Nev. Rev. Stat. 176A.290(2) unconstitutional and striking the unconstitutional language from the statute, holding that the statute, which grants the prosecutor veto power over a district court’s sentencing decision, violates Nevada’s separation of powers doctrine. Matthew Green Hearn pleaded guilty to battery by a prisoner. A specialty courts officer deemed Hearn eligible for the veterans court, but at sentencing, the State refused to stipulate to Hearn’s assignment to veterans court pursuant to section 176A.290(2). The district court concluded that the statute violates the separation of powers doctrine by conditioning the judicial department’s discretion to place certain offenders into a treatment program on the prosecutor’s stipulation. The Supreme Court agreed with the district court, holding (1) because section 176A.290(2) grants a prosecutor veto power over a district court’s sentencing decision, the district court correctly deemed the statute unconstitutional; and (2) the district court correctly determined that the unconstitutional language was severable. View "State v. Second Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s special motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint filed under Nev. Rev. Sta. 41.660(1), Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute, holding that an attorney’s statement on a website summarizing a jury’s verdict was not a statement in direct connection with an issue under consideration by a judicial body. Under section 41.660(1), a defendant may file a special motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s complaint if the complaint is based on a defendant’s “good faith communication in furtherance of the right to petition or the right to free speech in direct connection with an issue of public concern,” including a “statement made in direct connection with an issue under consideration by a…judicial body.” Plaintiff brought an action asserting defamation per se for the attorney’s statement on a website. The district court denied Defendant’s special motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the statement was not protected under section 41.660. View "Patin v. Lee" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting Respondent’s motion to dismiss the indictment charging him with violating Nev. Rev. Stat. 212.165(4), holding that that a person who is not a prisoner can be held vicariously liable under section 212.165(4), which prohibits prisoners in jail from possessing a cellphone or other portable telecommunications device. Respondent was an attorney who represented a number of clients in jail. Respondent was indicted on several charges brought pursuant to section 212.165(4) for possession of a cellphone by a prisoner under an aider and abettor theory. Respondent moved to dismiss the charges against her, contending that she could not be charged with or convicted of violating the statute because it only criminalizes conduct by jail prisoners. The district court granted the motion, concluding that only a prisoner can be sentenced under section 212.165(4). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a person can be criminally liable as an aider or abettor under section 212.165(4). View "State v. Plunkett" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In this dispute between two labor unions over which entity has the right to represent Clark County School District employees as the exclusive bargaining representative, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court concluding that the Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board exceeded its statutory authority by ordering a second, discretionary, runoff election with a different vote-counting standard, holding that the Board incorrectly interpreted the governing statute and regulation. In the three elections that have occurred since the dispute in this case arose, the challenging union secured a majority of the votes cast but failed to secure a majority of the members of the bargaining unit. After the last election, the Board deemed the challenging union the winner of the election because the union obtained a majority of the votes cast. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order granting the petition for judicial review, holding (1) the vote-counting standard mandated by Nev. Rev. Stat. 288.160 and Nevada Administrative Code 288.110 is a majority of the members of the bargaining unit and not simply a majority of the votes cast; and (2) therefore, the Board’s interpretation of section 288.160(4) and 288.110 as allowing for the use of a majority-of-the-votes cast standard at the runoff election was improper. View "State, Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board v. Education Support Employees Ass’n" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that a physician’s due process rights do not attach at the investigative stage of a complaint made to the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners (Board), thereby extending the holding in Hernandez v. Bennett-Haron, 287 P.3d 305 (Nev. 2012). Appellant, a physician, filed a writ petition and a motion for injunctive relief in the district court, arguing that the Board violated his due process rights by keeping a complaint filed against him and identity of the complainant confidential during its investigation. The district court denied relief. On appeal, Appellant argued that the Board’s investigative procedures violated his due process rights. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court appropriately applied Hernandez to find that the investigation did not require due process protection because it did not also adjudicate the complaint, and therefore, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Appellant’s motion for a preliminary injunction; and (2) the Board reasonably interpreted Nev. Rev. Stat. 630.336 to mean that the complaint and complainant may be kept confidential from the licensee. View "Sarfo v. State Board of Medical Examiners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s judgment of conviction and remanded this case for further proceedings, holding that the district court erred by denying Defendant’s Batson challenge and by categorically excluding evidence to show that the two young victims had the knowledge to contrive sexual allegations without having experienced the sexual acts with Defendant. Defendant was convicted of lewdness and sexual assault with a minor under the age of fourteen for sexual misconduct involving his girlfriend’s two daughters. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court clearly erred in denying his Batson challenge to the State’s use of a peremptory strike to remove an African-American woman from the venire and in excluding evidence that the two young girls had the ability to contrive sexual allegations. The Supreme Court agreed and reversed and remanded for a new trial, holding that the district court (1) clearly erred in denying Defendant’s Batson challenge; and (2) erred by not conducting an evidentiary hearing before denying Defendant’s motion to admit the evidence regarding the young victims’ sexual knowledge. View "Williams v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law