Articles Posted in Construction Law

by
At issue in this case is when a notice of completion has been “issued” for purposes of determining the commencement date under Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.2055(1)(b) for Chapter 11’s construction defect statutes of repose. Appellants owned homes developed by Respondent. Approximately ten years after notices of completion of Appellants’ residences were signed, notarized, and recorded, Appellant served notices of construction defect on Respondent. Respondent moved to dismiss the claims on the grounds that their claims were untimely under Chapter 11’s statutes of repose for construction defect claims. Appellants opposed the motion to dismiss, arguing that the statutes of repose began to run on the date the notices of completion were recorded rather than the dates the notices of completion were signed and notarized. The district court dismissed the claims, concluding that they were time-barred under the ten-year statute of repose in Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.203. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a notice of completion is “issued” on the date it is recorded, not when it is signed and notarized. View "Dykema v. Del Webb Communities, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Construction Law

by
Respondent, a contractor, and Appellant, a homeowner, entered into a contract under which Respondent agreed to install automation, sound, surveillance, and landscaping systems in Appellant’s residence. Respondent did not have an electrical contractor’s license when it bid the contract and began the work but did receive a license before it completed the work. When the parties disagreed on the performance of the contract, Appellant refused to tender further payment to Respondent, and Respondent filed a notice of lien against Appellant’s residence. Respondent filed a complaint alleging breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, foreclosure of notice of lien, and declaratory relief, alleging that an electrical license was not required for the work performed on Appellant’s residence and that its lien was proper and perfected. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Respondent. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that genuine issues of material fact existed regarding whether Respondent’s work on Appellant’s residence required a license and whether Respondent completed the contract in a workmanlike manner, thereby possibly negating Appellant’s obligation to make final payment under the contract. Remanded. View "Tom v. Innovative Home Sys." on Justia Law

by
High Noon at Arlington Ranch Homeowners Association filed a complaint against D.R. Horton, Inc. alleging breach of implied warranties of workmanlike quality and habitability, breach of contract, breach of express warranties, and breach of fiduciary duty. High Noon moved, ex parte, for a stay and enlargement of time for service of the complaint until the Nev. Rev. Stat. Chapter 40 prelitigation process for constructional defect cases was complete. The district court granted High Noon’s motion. The Chapter 40 process was still not complete more than eight years later. In these original petitions for extraordinary relief, D.R. Horton argued that the district court erred when it initially granted the ex parte stay and further erred when it denied a motion to dismiss the underlying complaint pursuant to the five-year rule in Nev. R. Civ. P. 41(e) when the Chapter 40 process was still not complete. The Supreme Court denied both of these petitions for a writ of prohibition or mandamus, concluding (1) the district court’s order granting a stay was not in error; and (2) the five-year period was tolled under the Boren exception to Rule 41(d). View "D.R. Horton, Inc. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law

by
A subordination agreement subordinated a lien for original land financing to a new construction deed of trust. The holder of mechanics’ liens for work performed after the date of the original loan but before the date of the construction deed of trust filed suit. The district court determined that the subordination agreement only partially subordinated the lien for the original land financing to the new construction deed of trust and left the mechanics’ liens in the second-priority position. The holder of the mechanics’ liens petitioned for a writ of mandamus to compel the district court to vacate its order and recognize its mechanics’ liens as holding a first priority. The Supreme Court denied the petition for extraordinary writ, holding that the priority of the mechanic’s lien remains junior to the amount secured by the original senior lien, as (1) contractual partial subordination differs from complete subordination, and therefore, a contractual partial subordination by creditors of a common debtor do not subordinate a first priority lien to a mechanic’s lien; and (2) nothing in Nev. Rev. Stat. 108.225 changes the priority of a mechanic’s lien to a partially subordinated lien recorded before the mechanic’s lien became effective. View "In re Manhattan West Mechanic's Lien Litig." on Justia Law

Posted in: Construction Law

by
These consolidated writ petitions arose from a construction-defect action initiated by The Regent at Town Centre Homeowners’ Association against Oxbow Construction, LLC. Oxbow served as the general contractor of the Regent at Town Centre mixed-use community (Town Centre). The Association, on behalf of itself and the condominium unit-owners, served Oxbow with Nev. Rev. Stat. 40 notice, alleging construction defects in the common elements of the condominiums. The district court ultimately allowed claims seeking Chapter 40 remedies to proceed for alleged construction defects in limited common elements assigned to multiple units containing at least one “new residence.” Both parties filed writ petitions challenging the district court’s rulings. The Supreme Court denied both petitions, holding that the district court did not act arbitrarily or capriciously by (1) failing to perform a Nev. R. Civ. P. 23 class-action analysis; (2) determining that previously occupied units in Town Centre did not qualify for Chapter 40 remedies; and (3) concluding that the Association could pursue Chapter 40 remedies for construction defects in the common elements of buildings containing at least one previously unoccupied unit, i.e., a “new residence.” View "Oxbow Constr., LLC v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law

by
The Copper Sands Homeowners Association (the HOA) brought an action against the developer and general contractor (collectively, the Developers) of the Copper Sands common-interest community, alleging several claims for various construction defects. The Developers impleaded subcontractors who had performed work on the project into the action as third-party defendants. Eventually, the district court dismissed the HOA’s claims against the Developers, awarded the Developers attorney fees and costs, and awarded the third-party defendants costs against the HOA. The HOA appealed, arguing that the district court did not have the authority to award the third-party defendants costs. The Supreme Court reversed the costs award to the third-party defendants, holding that when a third-party defendant prevails in an action and moves for costs pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.020, which mandates an award of costs for the prevailing party in a case, the district court must determine which party - plaintiff or defendant - is adverse to the third-party defendant and allocate the costs award accordingly. Remanded. View "Copper Sands Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Flamingo 94, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Construction Law

by
Respondent supplied steel for projects on six properties. Respondent was not fully paid for the steel delivered to the properties, and consequently, Respondent perfected mechanics’ liens on the six properties. Respondent then filed a complaint for foreclosure against each property. Thereafter, surety bonds were posted and recorded for four properties. Respondent then amended its complaint to dismiss its lien foreclosure claims against those four properties, replacing them with claims against the sureties and principles on the surety bonds. The district court concluded that Respondent established liens on the six properties. The district court ordered the sale of all six properties without demonstrating that each surety bond was insufficient to pay the sum due on its respective property. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) a materialman has a lien upon a property and any improvements thereon for which he supplied materials in the amount of the unpaid balance due for those materials; (2) in this case, Respondent established a materialman’s lien on each of the six properties for the unpaid balance due on the steel delivered; and (3) the district court erred by ordering the sale of all six properties. View "Simmons Self-Storage Partners v. Rib Roof, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada certified three questions of law to the Supreme Court regarding the mechanic’s lien priority law, specifically, the visible-commencement-of-construction aspect of the law, which states that a mechanic’s lien takes priority over other encumbrances on a property that are recorded after construction of a work of improvement visibly commences. The Supreme Court answered (1) the Court’s holding in J.E. Dunn Northwest, Inc. v. Corus Construction Venture, LLC does not preclude a trier of fact from finding that grading property for a work of improvement constitutes visible commencement of construction; (2) the contract dates and permit issuance dates are irrelevant to the visible-commencement-of-construction test, even in this case where dirt material was placed on a future project site before building permits were issued and the general contractor was hired; and (3) the Court declined to answer the third certified question because it asked the Court to make findings of fact that should be left to the bankruptcy court. View "Byrd Underground, LLC v. Angaur, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Petitioners found allegedly defective plumbing parts in their residences. Petitioners provided Nev. Rev. Stat. Ch. 40 prelitigation notice to the general contractor/developer, Centex Homes, informing it of the alleged defect. Centex forwarded the notice to various subcontractors and suppliers, including Uponor, Inc. Uponor declined to make repairs. Petitioners filed a complaint against Centex, and Centex filed a third-party complaint against numerous subcontractors, including RCR Plumbing & Mechanical, Inc. RCR filed a fourth-party complaint against Uponor. The district court stayed the proceedings and directed RCR to provide Uponor notice of the construction defectsafter Uponor moved to dismiss the fourth-party complaint against it based on lack of notice. Once RCR provided notice, Uponor made repairs. Petitioners sought an extraordinary writ arguing that neither they nor RCR were required to give Uponor Chapter 40 notice and an opportunity to repair prior to RCR’s filing of its fourth-party complaint. The Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus, holding that claimant homeowners or subcontractors are not required to give notice to other subcontractors, suppliers, or design professionals prior to commencing or adding an action against them. View "Barrett v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court " on Justia Law

by
Petitioners were two German limited liability corporations who were sued by a homeowners association for alleged construction defects in plumbing parts. Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaints, arguing that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over them because they had no direct connection to Nevada, did not manufacture or distribute the allegedly faulty plumbing parts, and had no responsibility or control over their American subsidiaries such that the subsidiaries’ contacts with Nevada could be imputed to Petitioners. The district court asserted jurisdiction over Petitioners, determining that the companies’ American subsidiaries acted as Petitioners’ agents and concluding that the subsidiaries’ contacts with Nevada could be imputed to Petitioners. Petitioners filed a petition for writ of prohibition challenging the validity of the district court’s exercise of jurisdiction over them. The district court granted the petition, holding that no agency relationship was shown in this case, and accordingly, the district court exceeded its jurisdiction in imputing the subsidiaries’ contacts to Petitioners. View "Viega GmbH v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law