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The one-action rule, which generally requires a creditor seeking to recover debt secured by real property to proceed against the security prior to seeking recovery from the debtor personally, must be timely interposed as an affirmative defense in a party’s responsive pleadings or it is waived. Plaintiff contributed more than $2 million toward funding a loan that was secured by the personal residence of Defendant. When the borrower defaulted on the loan and Defendant refused to repay the loan under a personal guaranty agreement, Plaintiff filed a complaint to recover damages against Defendant. The jury entered a verdict in favor of Defendant. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, which the district court granted based on Defendant’s failure to oppose the motion on the merits. Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint, raising the one-action rule defense for the first time. The district court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss based on the one-action rule. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Defendant failed to raise the one-action rule defense until prior to the commencement of the second trial in this case, Defendant failed timely to interpose the one-action rule defense. View "Hefetz v. Beavor" on Justia Law

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Poverty is not, and never has been, a valid basis for terminating one’s parental rights. After a bench trial, the district court issued an order terminating Mother’s parental rights to all four of her children. Mother appealed, arguing that the district court terminated her parental rights due to her poverty and that poverty is not a valid basis for terminating one’s parental rights. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) while poverty is not a valid basis for terminating a parent’s parental rights, the district court is not prohibited from considering a parent’s failure to maintain housing or employment in contravention of a state-issued case plan; and (2) substantial evidence supported the district court’s finding that Mother’s failure to reunite with her children was not due to her poverty and that she made only token efforts toward reunification. View "In re Parental Rights as to R.T." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family 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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Under the circumstances of this case, where the evidence indicated both juror misconduct during voir dire and resulting prejudice, the district court abused its discretion in denying Defendant’s motion for a new trial. After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of two counts of lewdness with a minor. Defendant filed a motion for new trial on the basis of juror misconduct. The district court denied the motion, concluding that Defendant had failed to demonstrate prejudice arising from the alleged misconduct of the juror at issue. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the evidence indicated that the juror failed honestly to answer a material question during voir dire, and truthful disclosure could have provided a valid basis for a challenge for cause; and (2) therefore, the district court erred in denying Appellant’s motion for a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct. View "Brioady v. State" on Justia Law

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The district court erred in granting a motion to vacate an arbitration award affirming a school district’s termination of a principal. The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s order granting Respondents’ motion to vacate the award, holding (1) the arbitrator did not exceed his authority as an arbitrator because his decision did not contradict the express language of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement; (2) the arbitrator did not manifestly disregard the law because he acknowledged Nev. Rev. Stat. 391.3116 and applied the statute in reaching his decision; and (3) the arbitration award was not arbitrary or capricious because substantial evidence supported the arbitrator’s findings. View "Washoe County School District v. White" 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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A final order adjudicating a judgment debtor proceeding is appealable under Nev. R. App. P. 3A(b)(1), and such an appeal is generally a plain, speedy, and adequate remedy that precludes extraordinary writ relief. Petitioner filed this writ petition challenging the portion of the district court’s order that added her to a default judgment as a joint debtor. Petitioner failed to appeal the judgment. In challenging whether the challenged order was a final judgment from which she could have appealed, Petitioner argued that the order was interlocutory and that writ relief was appropriate because the order adding her to the default judgment was void on due process grounds. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding (1) an order resolving a joint debtor proceeding is a final, appealable order, rendering extraordinary relief unavailable; and (2) extraordinary writ relief is not available when Petitioner View "Rawson v. Ninth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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Portions of the 2013 amendments to Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statutes clarified existing law such that they apply retroactively, but the remaining applicable portions of the 2013 amendments effected a substantive change in the prior anti-SLAPP legislation such that those portions are not applicable retroactively. Based on the findings found in a report prepared by Pat Songer, the Town of Pahrump terminated Appellants’ employment. Appellants filed a complaint against Songer alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Songer filed a special motion to dismiss pursuant to Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statutes. The district court applied the 2013 statutory amendments retroactively in deciding Songer’s special motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court (1) properly applied the 2013 clarifying portions of the amendments in determining that Songer’s communication was potentially protected, but (2) erred in applying the remaining substantive portions of the 2013 amendments retroactively in determining that Appellants failed to meet the burden set forth in the 2013 amendments of establishing a probability of prevailing on their claims. View "Delucchi v. Songer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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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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Nev. Rev. Stat. 200.450 - which provides that if any person, “upon previous concert and agreement,” fights with any and person and one person dies in the fight, the surviving fighter is guilty of first-degree murder - is not vague or overbroad. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 200.450 is neither vague nor overbroad; (2) the district court properly instructed the jury regarding self-defense and its inapplicability to challenge-to-fight murder theory; (3) Defendant was not entitled to relief on his claim that the presence in the courtroom of the State’s expert witness violated the exclusionary rule; and (4) the State’s expert witness impermissibly exceeded her scope as an expert witness, but the error was harmless. View "Pimentel v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law