Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law

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The district court lacks the authority to extend the deadline for filing the opening brief in a petition for judicial review of a public utilities commission. Rural Telephone Company (Appellant) filed an application with Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) seeking a change in its telephone service rates and charges. PUCN denied the requested changes. Appellant then filed a timely petition for judicial review in the district court and subsequently requested an extension of time to file its opening memorandum of points and authorities. The district court denied the motion for an extension and dismissed the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court lacked statutory authority to grant Appellant an extension of time to file its opening memorandum of points and authorities. View "Rural Telephone Co. v. Public Utilities Commission of Nevada" on Justia Law

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South California Edison (Edison) was not due a refund of use tax paid to Nevada because it did not demonstrate the existence of substantially similar entities that gained an unfair tax advantage because of the unconstitutional tax, and Edison was not owed a tax credit in an amount equal to the transaction privilege tax (TPT) levied by Arizona because the TPT did not qualify as a sales tax paid by Edison within the meaning of Nev. Admin. Code 372.055. Edison filed a claim with the State Department of Taxation for a refund of the use tax it paid between 1998 and 2000. The Department and Nevada Tax Commission denied the requested refund. Edison then filed an independent action in the district court seeking a refund of the taxes it paid. The district court concluded that, while the negative implications of the dormant Commerce Clause rendered Nev. Rev. Stat. 372.270 (the use tax exemption) unconstitutional, Edison was not entitled to a refund because it did not have favored competitors that benefitted from the discriminatory taxation scheme. The Supreme Court affirmed for the reasons set forth above. View "Southern California Edison v. State Department of Taxation" on Justia Law

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The district court did not violate Appellant’s due process or equal protection rights when the Storey County Liquor Board denied Appellant’s applications for liquor licenses. Appellant filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the district court, requesting that the court compel Respondents to approve the applications. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Storey County Code 5.12.010(A), which requires an applicant for a liquor license to provide the board with proof of financial standing “to warrant an expected satisfactory and profitable business operation” is not unconstitutionally vague; and (2) the Liquor Board did not violate Appellant’s due process or equal protection rights in denying his liquor license applications. View "Malfitano v. County of Storey" on Justia Law

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Fred Voltz filed an ethics complaint, termed a request for opinion (RFO), against Assemblymen Ira Hansen and Assemblyman Jim Wheeler with the State of Nevada Commission on Ethics. The Commission denied the assemblymen’s motion to dismiss. The district court granted the assemblymen’s petition for judicial review and ordered the Commission to dismiss the RFOs, finding that the Nevada Assembly had sole jurisdiction to consider ethical questions concerning the assemblymen’s acts. The attorney for the Commission then filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court on behalf of the Commission. The assemblymen filed a complaint alleging that the Commission violated the open meeting law when it filed a notice of appeal without first making its decision to appeal the district court’s order in a public meeting. The Commission then held an open meeting seeking to ratify and approve the action taken in the Commission’s filing of an appeal. The Commission voted unanimously in favor of appealing the district court’s order. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the notice of appeal was filed without Commission authorization, and therefore, the notice of appeal was defective thus depriving the court of jurisdiction. View "Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Hansen" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition for extraordinary relief requesting the Nevada Parole Board to reconsider its decision to deny parole, holding that Petitioner was entitled to a new parole hearing because the Board infringed upon Petitioner’s statutory right to receive proper consideration for parole by basing its decision in part on an inapplicable aggravating factor. The court held that, while Nevada inmates have no protectable liberty interest in release on parole, eligible Nevada inmates nevertheless do have a statutory right to be considered for parole by the Board, and when the Board misapplies its own internal guidelines in assessing whether to grant parole, it cannot be said that the inmate received the consideration to which he was statutorily entitled. View "Anselmo v. Bisbee" on Justia Law

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Based on the plain language of Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.530(1), the requirement that all relevant parties be named as defendants must be completed as timely as the rest of the petition. The Board of Review and the Administrator of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Employment Security Division (ESD) awarded unemployment compensation benefits to Jessica Gerry, a former employee of McDonald’s of Keystone. McDonald’s filed a petition for judicial review of the Board’s decision. The ESD moved to dismiss the petition for judicial review on the ground that the caption failed to identify Gerry as a defendant, rendering the petition defective under Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.530(1). The district court denied the ESD’s motion to dismiss and granted McDonald’s motion to amend, concluding that the naming of all relevant parties as defendants was not a jurisdictional requirement. The Supreme Court granted the ESD’s petition for extraordinary relief, holding that McDonald’s failure to follow the statutory requirements of section 612.530(1) deprived the district court of jurisdiction to hear its petition for judicial review. View "Board of Review v. Second Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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This appeal concerned a dispute between taxpayers from the Incline Village and Crystal Bay areas of Washoe County and Nevada State Board of Equalization concerning the State Board’s failure to equalize property values as required by Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.395 for tax years 2003 through 2005. The district court dismissed the taxpayers’ petition for judicial review of the State Board’s interlocutory administrative order requiring reappraisals of properties around Incline Village and Crystal Bay for the tax years in question. The Supreme Court reversed and instructed the district court to grant, in part, the petition for judicial review and vacated the State Board’s interlocutory administrative order directing reappraisals of the properties, holding (1) this Court has jurisdiction to consider the district court’s dismissal of the petition for judicial review; and (2) the district court erred when it dismissed the petition for judicial review because the State Board exceeded its statutory authority to order reappraisals pursuant to section 361.395. View "Village League To Save Incline Assets, Inc. v. State, Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The parties in this case disputed who had rights to certain spring waters. The state engineer adjudicated the parties’ rights and entered a final order of determination. Both parties filed exceptions to the state engineer’s final order. Before the matter was heard before the district court, Respondent filed a motion to supplement his earlier filed exceptions to include property access claims arising from its water rights. The district court granted Respondent’s request. The district court then affirmed the state engineer’s order of determination, as modified. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court properly considered the notice of supplemental exceptions in affirming the state engineer’s order of determination, as modified, including Respondent’s supplemental request that the district court’s judgment confirm Respondent’s right of access to certain property to repair and maintain the facilities necessary to convey water; and (2) the district court’s findings were based on substantial evidence. View "Jackson v. Groenendyke" on Justia Law

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Respondent pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property. Because he could not afford bail, Respondent was incarcerated for one year. Respondent was fired by Employer because of his unexcused absences caused by his incarceration. The Nevada Employment Security Division (ESD) and the ESD Board of Review concluded that Respondent was not entitled to unemployment benefits because, by admitting to the criminal conduct that caused his incarceration, Respondent committed disqualifying misconduct. The district court reversed, ruling that the only misconduct connected with work was Respondent’s absenteeism, which was insufficient to deny benefits. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Respondent’s absence from work was directly caused by his criminal conduct, and therefore, Respondent was disqualified from receiving benefits under Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.385. View "State, Employment Sec. Div. v. Murphy" on Justia Law

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Appellant was terminated from her employment with Employer for failing to maintain an intern certification or obtain a counselor certification as required by Employer’s employment policy. Appellant applied to the Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation, Employment Security Division (ESD) for unemployment benefits. ESD denied Appellant’s claim, finding that she was terminated for misconduct connected with her work. ESD’s Board of Review denied Appellant’s appeal. The district court denied Appellant’s petition for judicial review, concluding that Appellant’s failure to receive her bachelor’s degree within ten years constituted misconduct connected with her employment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Appellant did not provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that she made a reasonable, good-faith attempt to maintain her certification or to timely graduate, Appellant’s conduct amounted to disqualifying misconduct. View "Goodwin v. Jones" on Justia Law