Justia Nevada Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law
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The Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of prohibition directing the district court to grant Petitioner's motion to dismiss the underlying petition for judicial review and clarifying that premature petitions for judicial review do not vest subject matter jurisdiction in the district court. After the administrative agency in this case stated its disposition on the record the petition for judicial review was filed. The agency's statement, however, did not include findings of fact and conclusions of law with an explicit statement of the underlying facts in support. The Supreme Court granted this petition for a writ of prohibition, holding (1) the disposition that was stated on the record did not constitute a final decision for purposes of commencing the period in Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(2)(d) in which an aggrieved party may seek judicial review; and (2) therefore, the petition failed to comply with the relevant statutory requirements and thus did not vest jurisdiction in the district court. View "Nevada State Board of Architecture v. District Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part an order of the district court granting a petition for judicial review of a decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ) and vacated the ALJ's order finding that the Grace Period Payment Deferment Agreement (GPPDA) marketed by TitleMax of Nevada, Inc. violated Nev. Rev. Stat. 604A.445 and Nev. Rev. Stat. 604A.210, holding that the GPPDA impermissibly extended the duration of the loan. In 2014, TitleMax began offering the GPPDA, marketed as an amendment and modification to its 210-day loan and under which TitleMax collected seven months of interest-only payments calculated based on a static principal balance and then collected seven months of payments amortizing principal. The Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Financial Institutions Division brought the underlying administrative disciplinary action alleging that TitleMax violated sections 604A.445(3) and 604A.210. The ALJ ordered TitleMax to cease and desist offering the GPPDA and sanctioned TitleMax for willfully violating the statutes. The district court vacated the ALJ's order. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) because the GPPDA required borrowers to make unamortized payments and consequently charged "additional interest" it violated the pertinent statutes; and (2) TitleMax's statutory violation was not "willful" and thus did not warrant statutory sanctions. View "State, Department of Business & Industry, Financial Institutions Division v. TitleMax of Nevada, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court dismissing Appellant's timely petition for judicial review of an administrative decision, holding that because Appellant did not demonstrate good cause for untimely serving the petition the district court properly dismissed the petition. Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(5), Appellant had to serve its timely filed petition for judicial review within forty-five days. Appellant, however, served the petition fifteen days after the forty-five-day deadline had passed. The district court dismissed the petition, finding that Appellant did not effect service within the required deadline and did not show good cause to extend the service deadline. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the forty-five-day service requirement is not a jurisdictional requirement because section 233B.130(5) affords the district court discretion to extend the time frame upon a showing of good cause; but (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Appellant failed to show good cause under the circumstances. View "Spar Business Services, Inc. v. Olson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting judicial review of the decision of the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration Review Board to overturn a workplace safety citation on the basis that Employer lacked knowledge of the violative conduct, holding that the Review Board properly overturned the citation for lack of Employer knowledge. Employer challenged a citation issued for a workplace safety violation based on violative conduct of a supervisor, arguing that Employer did not have actual knowledge of the violative conduct or that the supervisor's violative conduct was foreseeable under the circumstances presented. The Review Board held a hearing on Employer's complaint and concluded that Respondent, Nevada's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NOSHA), failed to demonstrate a violation of OSHA law. The district court reversed the order, holding that the Review Board lacked sufficient evidence to support its factual findings and legal conclusions. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that substantial evidence supported the Review Board's conclusion that NOSHA failed to demonstrate Employer's knowledge of the violative conduct at issue in this case. View "Original Roofing Co. v. Chief Administrative Officer of Occupational Safety & Health Administration" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court's denial of the petition filed by the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) seeking judicial review of a hearing officer's decision to reinstate Brian Ludwick's employment after NDOC terminated Ludwick for a first-time offense, holding that the hearing officer committed legal error in relying on an invalid regulation to set aside Ludwick's termination. The Supreme Court remanded the case, holding (1) the hearing officer erred in relying on a regulation that the State Personnel Commission had not approved as statutorily required; and (2) in light of O'Keefe v. State, Department of Motor Vehicles, 431 P.3d 350 (Nev. 2018), the hearing officer did not properly consider whether Ludwick's actions constituted violations of the valid regulations NDOC charged him with violating and, if so, whether those violations warranted termination as a first-time disciplinary measure. View "State, Department of Corrections v. Ludwick" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's denial of the City of Reno's petition for judicial review of an appeals officer's decision that the City was not entitled to reduce Respondent's lump sum permanent partial disability (PPD) payment, holding that there is no legal basis to justify a workers' compensation insurer's reduction of the twenty-five-percent lump sum payment limit for an employee's PPD award. An injured employee may elect to receive a lump sum payment for a PPD award, but if the employee's PPD rating exceeds a twenty-five percent whole person impairment (WPI), the employee may only elect to receive a lump sum payment for up to twenty-five percent of the rating. Respondent suffered three industrial injuries. With respect to Respondent's third PPD payment, the City offered Respondent an eighteen-percent lump sum payment, believing it could deduct Respondent's two previous PPD lump sum payments from the twenty-five percent limit. A hearing officer found that the City erred. An appeals officer affirmed and district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the appeals officer correctly determined that Respondent was entitled to a lump sum payment for the first twenty-five percent of her most recent WPI rating and PPD award with the remaining eight percent to be paid in installments. View "City of Reno v. Yturbide" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Jennifer Henry’s petition for a writ of prohibition challenging the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline’s authority to discipline her, holding that Nev. Rev. Stat. 1.428, the statute giving the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline its purported jurisdiction over Jennifer Henry as a hearing master, is constitutional. Henry presided over a hearing in the juvenile court, wherein she acted inappropriately. The Commission later filed a formal statement of charges for Henry’s conduct. Henry filed this petition for a writ of prohibition challenging the Commission’s jurisdiction. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that section 1.428 is constitutional and that Henry falls under the purview of the Commission’s jurisdiction. View "Henry v. Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the Labor Commissioner properly determined that the “repair” portion of a maintenance contract is a public work project under Nev. Rev. Stat. 338.010(15), even if the contract is predominantly for maintenance, and is thus not exempt from prevailing wage requirements. This case involved a maintenance contract for an airport shuttle system. The Labor Commissioner determined in this case that because a portion of the work under the contract in this case was repair work, that work was a “public work” project under the statute and thus subject to prevailing wage requirements. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Labor Commissioner properly determined that twenty percent of the work involved repair rather than maintenance and was thus subject to the prevailing wage, and no exceptions applied that would allow Appellant to forego paying prevailing wages on that portion of the contract. View "Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA, Inc. v. Nevada Labor Commissioner" on Justia Law

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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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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