Articles Posted in Nevada Supreme Court

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After the Department of Taxation denied Respondent's claim for a refund of overpaid taxes, Respondent appealed. The matter reached the Supreme Court, which concluded that Respondent was entitled to a tax refund. Respondent then filed a motion for judgment on the refund, arguing that it was entitled to pre- and post-judgment interest. The district court granted Respondent's request for pre- and post-judgment interest. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Respondent did not waive its right to seek interest by failing to demand interest in its initial tax refund claim; and (2) the Department may not withhold interest on tax refunds when it has failed to timely make a determination under Nev. Rev. Stat. 372.665 whether Respondent's overpayment of taxes had been made intentionally or by reason of carelessness. View "State Dep't of Taxation v. Masco Builder Cabinet Group" on Justia Law

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Petitioners were involved in an altercation with an Assailant at a Casino. The Petitioners filed a complaint against the Casino, alleging negligence. The Casino's answer asserted the Petitioners' comparative negligence as an affirmative defense. Based on Cafe Moda, LLC v. Palma, the Casino moved to compel the Petitioners to join the Assailant as a necessary party under Nev. R. Civ. P. 19, which provides that a person must be joined as a party if the court cannot afford complete relief in that person's absence. The district court granted the motion and compelled Petitioners to join the Assailant. Petitioners petitioned for a writ of mandamus seeking to vacate the order compelling joinder. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding that the Assailant was not a necessary party under Rule 19 because the district court could afford complete relief to the parties, the Casino was able to implead the Assailant as a third party under Nev. R. Civ. P. 14, and creating a per se joinder requirement would unfairly burden the Petitioners. View "Humphries v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law

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While employed by Employer, Appellant sustained an injury. Appellant filed an industrial injury claim. Employer's insurer (Insurer) partly accepted the claim but later closed Appellant's claim. After unsuccessfully filing three requests to reopen his claim, Appellant filed a fourth request, which was again denied by Insurer. A hearing officer affirmed the denial. Appellant administratively appealed. Insurer moved to dismiss, arguing that Appellant was precluded from reopening his claim under the doctrine of res judicata. The appeals officer granted Insurer's motion. The district court denied Appellant's petition for judicial review, concluding that Apellant failed to state a new cause of action that could withstand the application of res judicata. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the district court failed to provide any findings of fact or conclusions of law, the court could not properly review the appeals officer's determination that there was no change of circumstances warranting reopening under Nev. Rev. Stat. 616C.390. Remanded. View "Elizondo v. Hood Machine, Inc." on Justia Law

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After Appellant, the Wynn Las Vegas, restructured its table-games department, it implemented a new tip-pooling policy for its table-games employees. Under the new policy, all tips were gathered and divided among the dealers, boxpersons, and casino service team leads. Respondents, several dealers, filed a class-action complaint with the Labor Commissioner claiming that Appellant's restructured tip-pooling policy violated laws governing compensation and employment practices because it required the dealers to share their tips with employees of different ranks. The Commissioner determined that Appellant's new tip-pooling policy did not violate Nevada law. The district court set aside the Commissioner's decision, determining that the new policy violated Nev. Rev. Stat. 608.160 because the policy directly benefited Appellant. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court erred in overturning the Commissioner's decision because Appellant did not keep any of the tips from the pool but, rather, distributed the money among its employees. View "Wynn Las Vegas, LLC v. Baldonado" on Justia Law

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Appellant was twice convicted in municipal courts of riding a motorcycle without wearing proper headgear. Appellant appealed, seeking a trial de novo. The prosecution subsequently dismissed the charges with prejudice. The district court issued remittiturs, returning the cases to the municipal courts. Thereafter, Appellant filed a motion for his attorney fees and court costs, arguing that Nevada's helmet law is unconstitutionally indeterminate and that his ticketing and prosecution were without probable cause and malicious, entitling him to recover attorney fees as "costs of the action" under Nev. Rev. Stat. 176.115. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant's appeals, holding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear Appellant's cases where, because they originated in the municipal courts and were heard on appeal by the district court, the district court's appellate jurisdiction was final. View "Stilwell v. City of N. Las Vegas" on Justia Law

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Appellant was charged with trafficking, possession for sale, and possession of controlled substances. Appellant filed a motion to suppress the evidence, arguing that the warrantless search of his car that uncovered illegal drugs was prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. The search was conducted after a highway patrol officer saw Appellant run a red light and followed him into a parking lot to issue him a ticket. While the ticket was being processed, a drug detection dog was summoned, and the dog alerted for the presence of drugs in Appellant's car. The district court concluded that for a warrantless automobile search to pass muster under Nevada law, both probable cause and exigency beyond the exigency inherent in a car's ready mobility must be shown. Because the State did not prove exigent circumstances beyond the car's mobility, the district court suppressed the evidence. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) exigency is not a separate requirement of the automobile exception to the constitutional warrant requirement; and (2) the drug detection dog's alert provided probable cause to search Appellant's car. Remanded. View "State v. Lloyd" on Justia Law

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Appellant filed a request with the Administrative office of the Courts (AOC) pursuant to Nevada's Public Records Act (Act) seeking access to certain records related to Nevada's Foreclosure Mediation Program. The AOC agreed to provide some of the documents in redacted or statistical form but refused to disclose other information as either privileged or confidential. Appellant subsequently filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the AOC to produce all of the requested documents in their original form. The district court denied the petition, concluding (1) the AOC was a judicial entity and thus not subject to the Act; and (2) the requested documents were otherwise confidential as a matter of law. The Supreme Court affirmed without deciding whether the Act applied to the AOC, as the records in question were confidential as a matter of law. View "Civil Rights for Seniors v. Admin. Office of Courts" on Justia Law

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Husband and Wife had four children when Wife filed a complaint for divorce. During the trial proceedings, Wife, who was representing herself, failed to comply with several of Husband's discovery requests. Subsequently, the district court concluded that discovery sanctions were warranted and entered a default divorce decree. The decree awarded the parties joint legal and joint physical custody of the children, set forth child support, and divided the parties' community assets and liabilities. The Supreme Court reversed the default divorce decree, holding (1) it is not permissible to resolve child custody and child support claims by default as a sanction for discovery violations; (2) as for division of community property and debt, a court must make an equal disposition as statutorily required before entering a default; and (3) regarding all other claims, a court must first make a through evaluation and express findings of whether less severe sanctions are appropriate, which the court did not do in this case. Remanded. View "Blanco v. Blanco" on Justia Law

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Appellant was convicted of attempted burglary. The following year, Appellant was honorably discharged from probation. More than a decade later, Appellant filed a petition for a writ of coram nobis seeking relief from the judgment of conviction because his trial counsel did not inform him of the immigration consequences of his plea. The State argued that the writ of coram nobis was abolished by statute. The district court construed Appellant's petition to be a post-conviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus and denied relief. At issue on appeal was whether the writ of coram nobis exists in Nevada. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision to deny the petition, holding (1) the common-law writ of coram nobis is available in Nevada only for petitioners who are no longer in custody on the judgment being challenged and may be granted only to address errors of fact outside the record that were not known to the court entering the judgment, could not have been raised earlier, and affect the validity and regularity of the decision itself in that they would have precluded the judgment from being rendered; and (2) the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim raised by Appellant was not within that limited scope. View " Trujillo v. State" on Justia Law

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Respondent, a sitting justice of the peace with twenty-three years of creditable Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) service, retired as justice of the peace and took office as a district court judge. As a district court judge, Respondent was employed by a PERS-eligible employer when he applied for retirement benefits. PERS staff determined that, consistent with Nev. Rev. Stat. 286.541(2), Respondent could not retire from PERS while employed in a PERS-eligible position and therefore denied Respondent's application. The PERS Board denied Respondent's appeal. The district court reversed and ordered PERS to pay Respondent retirement payments, concluding that PERS could and should have equitably excused Respondent's noncompliance with section 286.541 and allowed him to reverse his eventual election to transfer from PERS to the Judicial Retirement System. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated the PERS Board's determination, holding that the district court erred in its interpretation of the controlling statutes and in reviewing the PERS Board's decision de novo, rather than deferentially. View "Nev. Pub. Employees Ret. Bd. v. Smith" on Justia Law