Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

by
The Barton doctrine is extended to a court-appointed accountant in the capacity of a special master, thus requiring an individual to seek leave of the appointing court prior to filing suit in a non-appointing court against a court-appointed special master for actions taken in the scope of his court-derived authority. Larry Bertsch and his accounting firm (collectively, Bertsch) were appointed as special master in a lawsuit between Vion Operations, LLC and Jay Bloom (the Lion litigation). The district court later discharged Bertsch from his duties as special master. When the Vion litigation was dismissed, Bloom filed the underlying complaint against Bertsch alleging, inter alia, gross negligence and fraudulent concealment based on Bertsch’s allegedly wrongful actions in the Vion litigation. Bertsch filed a motion to dismiss, which the district court denied. Bertsch petitioned for a writ of mandamus arguing, in part, that Bloom’s complaint was jurisdictionally improper because Bloom did not first seek leave of the appointing court before instituting the underlying action. The Supreme Court granted the motion, holding that Bloom must first have filed a motion with the appointing court in order to sue Bertsch personally. View "Bertsch v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

by
A plain reading of Nev. Rev. Stat. 174.085(5)(b) permitted the City of Henderson to file subsequent complaints in the same case numbers as the original complaints after the City voluntarily dismissed criminal complaints pursuant to the statute. The district court dismissed the amended complaints, concluding that section 174.085(5)(b) required the City to file new complaints with new case numbers. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court arbitrarily and capriciously abused its discretion when it erroneously determined that the municipal court had violated section 174.085(5)(b) and dismissed the complaints. View "City of Henderson v. Amado" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
A document is filed with the district court upon acceptance for filing by the judge, and the judge’s failure to note the date of filing on the document and failure to transmit it to the office of the clerk is a ministerial error not to be held against the parties. In this case, Appellant filed a motion for a new trial in the district court. The short trial judge accepted the document for filing but did not comply with Nev. R. Civ. P. 5(e) by noting the date of the filing on the document and promptly transmitting it to the clerk of the court. The short trial judge denied the motion. Appellant appealed. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal to proceed because Appellant timely filed her motion and because the short trial judge’s error was not to be held against Appellant. View "O'Neal v. Hudson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
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

by
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

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
This appeal concerned the contested ownership of real property consisting of three lots. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. was assigned the beneficial interest of a deed of trust recorded against the property. In 2007, the Canyon Gate Master Association (CGMA) recorded a notice of default against the property. In 2009, Susan Hannaford filed a complaint against CGMA challenging an arbitration award relating to the property. In 2013, CGMA recorded a notice of foreclosure sale against Lots 21 and 26. Saticoy Bay LLC purchased the two lots and successfully moved to intervene in the action initiated by Hannaford’s complaint. In 2013, Saticoy filed its complaint in intervention. That same year, CGMA recorded a notice of foreclosure sale of Lot 22. CGMA purchased the lot, and Saticoy purchased the lot from CGMA by way of a quitclaim deed. In 2014, JPMorgan filed an answer to Saticoy’s complaint in intervention. The district court dismissed Hannaford’s complaint and Saticoy’s complaint in intervention with prejudice for failure to prosecute pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 41(e). The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) dismissal of the complaint in intervention was mandatory under Rule 41(e); but (2) the district court erred in dismissing the complaint in intervention with prejudice rather than without prejudice. Remanded. View "Saticoy Bay LLC Series 2021 Gray Eagle Way v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

by
Michael Adams died after striking Susan Fallini’s cow while driving on a portion of highway designated as open range. Adams’ estate sued Fallini for negligence. The district court entered a final judgment against Fallini for $1,294,041. Thereafter, Fallini brought a motion pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 60(b), contending that the district court should set aside the judgment because the Estate’s counsel committed a fraud upon the court. The district court granted the motion. Fallini then filed a motion for entry of final argument, arguing that Nev. Rev. Stat. 568.360 provided a complete defense to the Estate’s claims. The district court granted the motion and dismissed the action. The Estate appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) this court had jurisdiction to consider challenges to the district court’s Rule 60(b) order in this appeal; (2) the district court did not err in addressing the merits of Fallini’s the Rule 60(b) motion; and (3) under the circumstances of this case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting relief based on fraud upon the court. View "Estate of Adams v. Fallini" on Justia Law

by
Petitioner loaned Debtors, including Darren Badger, approximately $10,000,000. Debtors defaulted on the loan. A California court issued a judgment against Debtors in the amount of $2,497,568. Pacific Western later domesticated the judgment in Nevada. In order to collect on the judgment, Petitioner served Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA), a company that administered three financial accounts under 26 U.S.C. 529 (529 accounts) on behalf of Badger, with a writ of execution and garnishment. Badger claimed that the 529 accounts were outside of the Nevada district court’s jurisdiction because they were located in New Mexico and that the funds held in the 529 accounts were completely exempt under New Mexico law. The district court quashed the writs of execution and garnishment served upon WFA, ruling that Petitioner must attempt to execute upon Badger’s 529 accounts in New Mexico. The Supreme Court entertained Petitioner’s petition for a writ of mandamus and granted the petition in part, holding (1) funds contained in 529 accounts are a debt, not a chattel; and (2) accordingly, the district court had the power to garnish the debt through device of a writ of garnishment upon WFA. View "Pacific Western Bank v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

by
Ayden A., a sixteen-year-old minor, was admitted to West Hills Hospital because he was deemed to be emotional disturbed and a danger to himself. One week later, the State filed a petition for involuntary placement in a locked facility after emergency admission, arguing that its petition was timely because five days as prescribed in Nev. Rev. Stat. 432B.6075(2) means judicial days. The district court ruled in favor of Ayden, concluding that “five days” in the statute means calendar days. The State subsequently filed this original petition for a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court granted the State’s petition and directed the district court to vacate its order denying the State’s petition to extend the placement, holding (1) although Ayden was released from involuntary placement and this matter is moot, this particular issue is presents an issue that is capable of repetition yet evading review and thus fits within an exception to the mootness doctrine; and (2) the five days in section 432B.6075 must be judicial days based on Nev. R. Civ. P. 6(a)’s instructions on computing time. View "State v. Second Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law

by
This lawsuit arose after Diane Collins rear-ended Ja Cynta McClendon’s car. Collins designated Dr. Eugene Appel as a testifying medical expert and filed an expert witness report. Before McClendon was able to depose Appel, Collins de-designated him as a testifying expert witness. Collins moved for a protective order to prevent McClendon from deposing Appel or calling him to testify at trial. McClendon subsequently moved to designate Appel as her own expert witness. The district court granted Collins’ motion for a protective order and denied McClendon’s motion. The jury subsequently entered judgment in favor of Collins. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) after an expert report has been disclosed, a testifying expert witness cannot regain the confidentiality protections of Nev. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4)(B) by de-designating that witness to the status of a nontestifying expert; (2) after the expert witness has lost Rule 26(b)(4)(B)’s protections, the district court has the discretion whether to allow the witness to be further deposed or called to testify at trial by an opposing party; and (3) the district court abused its discretion by basing its decision on the fact that Appel had not yet been deposed, but the error was harmless. View "McClendon v. Collins" on Justia Law