Articles Posted in Real Estate & Property 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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In this quiet title action, the Supreme Court held (1) a regulated entity like the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) has standing to assert 12 U.S.C. 4617(j)(3) - the Federal Foreclosure Bar (the FFB) - in a quiet title action; (2) the FFB preempts Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3116, which allows a homeowners’ association (HOA) foreclosure on a superpriority lien to extinguish a first deed of trust; and (3) the FFB invalidates any purported extinguishment of a regulated entity’s property interest while under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) unless the FHFA affirmatively consents. The Morenos obtained a home loan secured by a deed of trust on Las Vegas Property. The deed of trust was assigned to Fannie Mae. When the Morenos failed to pay their HOA dues, Saticoy Bay LLC Series 9641 Christine View (Saticoy Bay) purchased the property at a HOA foreclosure sale. Saticoy Bay then brought suit against Fannie Mae to quiet title. Summary judgment was granted for Fannie Mae. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the FFB protected the deed of trust from extinguishment because Fannie Mae was under the FHFA’s conservatorship at the time of the foreclosure sale; and (2) absent the FHFA’s affirmative relinquishment, Saticoy Bay’s interest in the property was subject to Fannie Mae’s deed of trust. View "Saticoy Bay LLC Series 9641 Chrstine View v. Federal National Mortgage Ass’n" on Justia Law

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Due process requires junior water rights holders in the Diamond Valley Hydrographic Basin No. 153 (Diamond Valley) be given notice and an opportunity to participate in the district court’s consideration of the request of a vested, senior water rights holder to order the State Engineer to curtail junior water rights in Diamond Valley. Because water in Diamond Valley has been over-appropriated and pumped at a rate exceeding its perennial yield for more than four decades, groundwater levels in southern Diamond Valley have fallen over 100 feet. Sadler Ranch, which claims to be a vested, senior water rights holder in Diamond Valley, petitioned the district court to order the State Engineer to initiate curtailment proceedings regarding junior water rights in Diamond Valley. The Supreme Court granted this writ petition, holding that an upcoming show cause hearing may result in a court order to begin curtailment proceedings, resulting in possible deprivation of property rights. Therefore, due process required junior water rights holders in Diamond Valley to be given notice and an opportunity to be heard before the district court conducted the hearing. View "Eureka County v. Seventh Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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The time limitations set forth in Nev. Rev. Stat. 107.080(5)-(6) do not apply to an action challenging a Nev. Rev. Stat. chapter 107 nonjudicial foreclosure where it is alleged that the deed of trust had been extinguished before the sale because such an action challenges the authority to conduct the sale, rather than the manner in which the foreclosure was conducted. Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations in section 107.080(5)-(6) because Plaintiff failed to file its complaint within ninety or 120 days of the deed-of-trust foreclosure sale. The district court granted the motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 107.080(5) only applies to actions challenging the procedural aspects of a nonjudicial deed-of-trust foreclosure sale; and (2) Plaintiff’s action for quiet title in this case was appropriately governed by Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.080, which provides for a five-year statute of limitations. View "Las Vegas Development Group, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this construction defect action brought by Homeowners, the Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) did not govern the arbitration agreement contained in the common-interest community’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) because, contrary to the conclusion of the district court, the underlying transaction involved interstate commerce. Further, to the extent that Nevada case law concerning procedural unconscionability disfavors arbitration of disputes over transactions involving interstate commerce, that case law is preempted by the FAA. The Court remanded this case for entry of an order directing the parties to arbitration. View "U.S. Home Corp. v. Michael Ballesteros Trust" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court overruling the State Engineer’s decision denying Rodney St. Clair’s application for a permit to temporarily change the point of diversion of the underground water source on property he purchased in 2013 from an abandoned well to another location on his property. The State Engineer found the prior owner of the property had established a right to appropriate the underground water but that a subsequent owner abandoned that right through years of nonuse. In overruling the State Engineer’s decision, the district court found insufficient evidence that any owner of the property intended to abandon the property’s water right. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an extended period of nonuse of water does not alone establish clear and convincing evidence that a property owner intended to abandon a water right connected to the property; and (2) in this case, there was no additional evidence indicating an intent to abandon, and therefore, the State Engineer’s finding of abandonment was unsupported by substantial evidence. View "King v. St. Clair" on Justia Law

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The Dezzanis own a condominium and are members of the Homeowners' Association (HOA). Kern, an attorney, represents the HOA and advises its governing board. In a dispute regarding an extended deck on the Dezzani unit, the board issued a notice of violation with drafting assistance from Kern. Kern notified the Dezzanis that she represented the HOA. Kern and the Dezzanis exchanged several letters. The board held a hearing and upheld the notice. Throughout this time, Kern advised the HOA regarding the Dezzanis' and other members' deck extensions. The Dezzanis filed suit against Kern under NRS 116.31183, which allows a unit owner to bring a separate action for damages, attorney fees, and costs when an “executive board, a member of an executive board, a community manager or an officer, employee or agent of an association" takes retaliatory action against a unit's owner. The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of their action, noting that the Dezzanis did not specify how Kern retaliated against them. An attorney is not an "agent" under NRS 116.31183 for claims of retaliatory action where the attorney is providing legal services for a common-interest community homeowners' association. In a consolidated case, the court held that attorneys litigating pro se and/or on behalf of their law firms cannot recover fees because those fees were not actually incurred by the attorney or the law firm, but they can recover taxable costs in the action. View "Dezzani v. Kern & Associates, Ltd." on Justia Law

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The Dezzanis own a condominium and are members of the Homeowners' Association (HOA). Kern, an attorney, represents the HOA and advises its governing board. In a dispute regarding an extended deck on the Dezzani unit, the board issued a notice of violation with drafting assistance from Kern. Kern notified the Dezzanis that she represented the HOA. Kern and the Dezzanis exchanged several letters. The board held a hearing and upheld the notice. Throughout this time, Kern advised the HOA regarding the Dezzanis' and other members' deck extensions. The Dezzanis filed suit against Kern under NRS 116.31183, which allows a unit owner to bring a separate action for damages, attorney fees, and costs when an “executive board, a member of an executive board, a community manager or an officer, employee or agent of an association" takes retaliatory action against a unit's owner. The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of their action, noting that the Dezzanis did not specify how Kern retaliated against them. An attorney is not an "agent" under NRS 116.31183 for claims of retaliatory action where the attorney is providing legal services for a common-interest community homeowners' association. In a consolidated case, the court held that attorneys litigating pro se and/or on behalf of their law firms cannot recover fees because those fees were not actually incurred by the attorney or the law firm, but they can recover taxable costs in the action. View "Dezzani v. Kern & Associates, Ltd." on Justia Law

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Deng defaulted on special assessments on Las Vegas residential real property, which entered delinquency and underwent a duly noticed and authorized sale (NRS Chapter 271). On January 27, 2014, Pawlik purchased the property at the sale and was issued a sales certificate. Under NRS 271.595(1), Deng had a two-year redemption period from that date. On January 7, 2016, Pawlik began attempting to serve Deng with notice of the upcoming expiration of the redemption period and Pawlik's intent to apply for a deed pursuant to NRS 271.595(3). NRS 271.595 creates a clear redemption period of two years and also creates an ambiguous 60-day redemption window after notice that the certificate holder will demand a deed. On March 14, 2016, 47 days after the Dengs' two-year redemption period expired and 67 days after Pawlik began attempting service, Pawlik applied for a deed. The treasurer denied the request. Deng redeemed on April 6, 2016, with full payment to the city. Pawlik sought to quiet title and applied for a writ of mandamus to compel issuance of the deed. The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed dismissal, finding that the 60-day period does not overlap with the two-year period. NRS 271.595 requires that the 60-day notice and additional redemption period begin after the end of the two-year redemption period. Pawlik attempted service on Deng before the end of the two-year redemption period, which provided Deng with less than two years and 60 days of redemption. View "Pawlik v. Deng" on Justia Law

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Two days after Silver Springs Homeowner's Association recorded a notice of foreclosure sale, First Horizon Home Loans recorded its own notice of foreclosure sale. First Horizon was the first to hold its foreclosure sale and bought the property on a credit bid. Before First Horizon recorded its trustee's deed, Silver Springs held its foreclosure sale, at which SFR purchased the same property. SFR sued to quiet title. The district court granted First Horizon summary judgment, finding that Silver Springs had not provided the statutorily required notices pursuant to NRS 116.31162 and NRS 116.311635. The Supreme Court of Nevada reversed and remanded, finding that the district court erred in finding Silver Springs' foreclosure sale invalid. Because NRS 116.31162 requires a homeowner's association (HOA) foreclosing on its interest to record its notice of foreclosure sale, any subsequent buyer purchases the property subject to that notice that a foreclosure may be imminent. Therefore, an HOA need not restart the entire foreclosure process each time the property changes ownership so long as the HOA has provided the required notices to all parties who are entitled. View "SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. First Horizon Home Loans" on Justia Law