Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law

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Neither Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.227(2)(b) nor Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.227(5)(c) required the Washoe County Assessor to value fully developed but unsold condominium units as a single unit or to apply the discounted cash flow method to determine their full cash value. The State Board of Equalization found that the county assessor properly assessed each unsold condominium unit at issue based on its retail price. On appeal, Appellant argued that because the condominium building qualified as a subdivision, the unsold condominium units should have been valued together as a single unit and discounted to determine the net sellout or wholesale value to a single buyer. The district court upheld the State Board’s decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the State Board did not apply a fundamentally wrong principle in assessing the condominiums as individual units and utilizing the sales comparison method to ensure that the taxable value did not exceed the full cash value. View "Montage Marketing, LLC v. Washoe County ex rel. Washoe County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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An attorney for a public body must have authorization from the client in a public meeting prior to filing a notice of appeal. Fred Voltz filed an ethics complaint, termed a request for opinion (RFO), against two assemblymen with the State of Nevada Commission on Ethics. The assemblymen sought dismissal, but the Commission denied the motion to dismiss. The assemblymen then filed a petition for judicial review. The district court granted the petition and directed the Commission to dismiss the RFOs. On the advice of the Commission’s legal counsel and without consulting the Commission, the chair and executive chair authorized the filing of a notice of appeal. Thereafter, the notice of appeal was filed. The assemblymen filed suit against the Commission alleging that the Commission violated the open meeting law by filing a notice of appeal without first making its decision or taking action to appeal the district court’s order in a public meeting. Thereafter, the Commission held an open meeting and voted in favor of appealing the district court’s order directing the Commission to dismiss the RFOs. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the notice of appeal was filed without Commission authorization. View "State Commission on Ethics v. Hansen" on Justia Law

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The failure to name a party of record in the caption of a petition for judicial review is not jurisdictionally fatal under Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(2)(a) where the party is named in the body of the petition and is properly served with the petition. Appellant, a former corrections officer employed by the State of Nevada, Department of Corrections (NDOC), filed a workers’ compensation claim. Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc. (CCMSI), as NDOC’s third-party administrator, denied Appellant’s claim. An appeals officer affirmed. Appellant then filed a petition for judicial review. The caption of the petition listed as respondents NDOC and the Department of Administration but did not individually identify CCMSI. The district court dismissed Appellant’s petition for judicial review for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellant’s failure to name CCMSI in the caption of the petition did not render the petition jurisdictionally defective because the body of the petition named CCMSI through incorporation by reference of the attached administrative decision and CCMSI was timely served with the petition. View "Prevost v. State, Department of Administration" on Justia Law

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Where the record showed that, when faced with a resign-or-be-fired option, Appellant’s decision to resign was freely given and stemming from his own choice, such a resignation was voluntary pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.380. Appellant filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits with the Employment Security Division (ESD). An ESD claims adjudicator denied the claim based on section 612.380, stating that Appellant voluntarily resigned because he resigned from his employment in anticipation of being discharged or laid off. An administrative referee and Board of Review upheld the decision. The district court denied Appellant’s petition for judicial review. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant voluntarily resigned pursuant to section 612.380; and (2) substantial evidence supported the appeals referee’s determination that Appellant lacked good cause to resign, which rendered him ineligible for unemployment benefits. View "Dolores v. State, Department of Employment Security Division" on Justia Law

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The grounds on which the district court denied a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel disclosure of records where members of the Lyon County Board of Commissioners conducted county business on private cellphones and email accounts were erroneous. Appellant brought suit against the Board challenging its approval of a zoning change. Appellant then filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel Lyon County to disclose all public records of the commissioners’ communications regarding the change to the county’s zoning plan, including the communications contained on the commissioners’ private cell phones and email accounts. In denying the petition, the district court reasoned that the records were not open to public inspection, within the control of the county, and records of official actions of the county or paid for with public money. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the Nevada Public Records Act does not categorically exempt public records maintained on private devices or servers from disclosure. View "Comstock Residents Ass’n v. Lyon County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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Zenor was employed by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) when he injured his wrist on the job. Eleven months later, Zenor underwent an examination and received an evaluation by his treating physician, Dr. Huene, who determined Zenor was not yet capable of performing his pre-injury job duties. Two months later, Dr. Huene again examined Zenor and determined he could fully use his wrist with a brace as needed. Less than one month later, Dr. Huene released Zenor "without limitations." Zenor delivered the full release to NDOT that same day. NDOT nonetheless commenced proceedings and separated him from employment for medical reasons. An administrative hearing officer reversed. The district court affirmed. Zenor sought attorney fees under NRS 18.010(2)(b) on the ground that NDOT unreasonably brought its petition to harass him. The court held that NRS 233B.130 prohibited attorney fees in a judicial action of a final agency decision. The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed. NRS 233B.130(6), which states that the provisions of NRS Chapter 233B provide the exclusive means of judicial action in a petition for judicial review, prohibits an award of attorney fees under NRS 18.010(2)(b) in petitions for judicial review. View "Zenor v. State of Nevada Department of Transportation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court denying Appellants’ petitions for judicial review challenging a 2007 decision by the Nevada Tax Commission regarding a tax refund request, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellants’ petitions for judicial review because they were untimely. In 2008, Appellants filed a second de novo action (Case 2) challenging the administrative denials of their refund requests. The district court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because Appellants failed to file a petition for judicial review. Appellants subsequently filed a petition for judicial review (Case 3). The ALJ affirmed the Commission’s 2007 decision. In 2014, the Commission affirmed the ALJ’s decision. Appellants then filed a second petition for judicial review (Case 4) challenging the Commission’s 2014 decision. The district court consolidated the Case 3 and Case 4 petitions for judicial review and affirmed the Commission’s 2007 and 2014 decisions. The Supreme Court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellants’ Case 3 petition for judicial review and thus lacked the authority to consider the merits of Appellants’ Case 4 petition. View "K-Kel, Inc. v. State, Department of Taxation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court denying Appellants’ petitions for judicial review challenging a 2007 decision by the Nevada Tax Commission regarding a tax refund request, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellants’ petitions for judicial review because they were untimely. In 2008, Appellants filed a second de novo action (Case 2) challenging the administrative denials of their refund requests. The district court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because Appellants failed to file a petition for judicial review. Appellants subsequently filed a petition for judicial review (Case 3). The ALJ affirmed the Commission’s 2007 decision. In 2014, the Commission affirmed the ALJ’s decision. Appellants then filed a second petition for judicial review (Case 4) challenging the Commission’s 2014 decision. The district court consolidated the Case 3 and Case 4 petitions for judicial review and affirmed the Commission’s 2007 and 2014 decisions. The Supreme Court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellants’ Case 3 petition for judicial review and thus lacked the authority to consider the merits of Appellants’ Case 4 petition. View "K-Kel, Inc. v. State, Department of Taxation" on Justia Law

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The Constitution does not permit Nevada to award damages against California agencies under Nevada law that are greater than it could award against Nevada agencies in similar circumstances. Therefore, the Nevada Supreme Court's special rule of law that FTB was not entitled to a damages cap that a Nevada agency would be entitled to violated the Constitution's requirement that full faith and credit shall be given in each state. On remand from the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Nevada reissued its vacated opinion except as to the damages portions addressed by the Supreme Court and applied the statutory damages caps FTB was entitled to under Hyatt II. The state supreme court concluded that sufficient evidence supported a damages award up to NRS 41.035(1)'s $50,000 statutory cap and thus the district court should have awarded plaintiff damages in that amount for his intentional infliction of emotional distress claims; plaintiff was not entitled to prejudgment interest on these damages awards; plaintiff was precluded from recovering punitive damages against FTB; costs awards were reversed and remanded for a new determination; and the district court's prior summary judgment as to plaintiff's claim for economic damages on plaintiff's cross-appeal affirmed. View "Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the district court’s order granting Respondent’s petition for judicial review filed under Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B, the Nevada Administrative Procedure Act (APA), holding that the application process provided by Nev. Rev. Stat. 453A.322 does not constitute a contested case as defined by Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.032, and therefore, the district court did not have authority to grant APA-based relief. Respondent petitioned for judicial review of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Service’s decision not to issue it a Las Vegas registration certificate authorizing it to operate a medical marijuana dispensary. Respondent’s petition was based exclusively on the Nevada APA. The Department moved to dismiss, arguing that the APA only affords judicial review in contested cases, which the marijuana dispensary application process does not involve. The district court granted judicial review and directed the Department to reevaluate Respondent’s application. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court, holding that the APA did not afford Respondent the right of review it sought. View "State, Department of Health & Human Services v. Samantha Inc." on Justia Law