Justia Civil Procedure Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Appellants' Nev. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1) motion, holding that the district court abused its discretion by failing to address the factors announced in Yochum v. Davis, 653 P.2d 1215 (Nev. 1982), when deciding the Rule 60(b)(1) motion.In denying Appellants' motion to set aside a sanctions order based on excusable neglect the district court determined that it did not need to consider the Yochum factors to determine if Appellants established excusable neglect because Yochum concerned relief from a default judgment as opposed to relief from an order. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court abused its discretion by failing to address the Yochum factors; and (2) the district court must issue express factual findings, preferably in writing, pursuant to each Yochum factor to facilitate appellate review. View "Willard v. Berry-Hinckley Industries" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that a government entity does not have "possession, custody, or control" over the content on the personal cell phones of former workers hired through a temporary employment agency so as to be required under Nev. R. Civ. P. 16.1 to disclose that material.Petitioner, the State of Nevada Department of Taxation, entered into an independent contractor relationship with a temporary employment agency to hire and train eight temporary workers to rank the applications received for recreational marijuana establishment licenses. Real party in interest Nevada Wellness Center, LLC sued the Department alleging that the Department employed unlawful and unconstitutional application procedures in awarding licenses. During discovery, Nevada Wellness moved to compel the production of the temporary workers' cell phones for inspection. The district court granted the motion. The Department petitioned for a writ of prohibition or mandamus barring enforcement of the discovery order, arguing that the Department lacked "possession, custody, or control" over the cell phones pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 16.1. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding that the temporary workers' cell phones were outside the Department's possession, custody or control and that the district court exceeded its authority when it compelled the Department to produce that information. View "State, Department of Taxation v. District Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that it does not have jurisdiction to review a district court order denying a request for a joint preliminary injunction pursuant to EDCR 5.517 in a family law matter because no court rule or statute permits an appeal of a district court order denying a request for a joint preliminary injunction.After Husband filed for divorce, the clerk of court issued a joint preliminary injunction pursuant to EDCR 5.85 prohibiting the parties from disposing of any property subject to any community interest claim. After the district court issued a divorce decree the Supreme Court remanded the case to conduct proper tracing to determine community interests. On remand, Wife moved for the district court to reaffirm its prior joint preliminary injunction pursuant to EDCR 5.517. The district court issued a preliminary injunction for two assets subject to community property claims but declined to extend the injunction to other assets in a spendthrift trust. Wife appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that joint preliminary injunctions under EDCR 5.517 are not subject to Nev. R. Civ. P. 65, and therefore, orders denying or granting injunctions under EDCR 5.517 are not appealable under Nev. R. App. P. 3A(b)(3). View "Nelson v. Nelson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that service of a petition for judicial review of an agency's decision does not require personal service under Nev. R. Civ. P. 4.2(a) because a petition for judicial review is best construed as a post-complaint filing so an alternative method of service under Nev. R. Civ. P. 5(b) will suffice.After Patricia DeRosa was fired by the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC), DeRosa requested a hearing. The hearing officer reversed the NDOC's decision. NDOC filed a petition for judicial review and served the petition on DeRosa by mailing it to her counsel under Rule 5(b). DeRosa moved to dismiss the petition for lack of personal service. The district court granted the motion, concluding that personal service was necessary under Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(5). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a petition for judicial review is best construed as a post-complaint pleading and that personal service is unnecessary and an alternative method of service under Rule 5(b) will instead suffice. View "State, Department of Corrections v. DeRosa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed one of Defendant's convictions for robbery but affirmed the judgment of conviction in all other respects after adopting factors to guide the Court in deciding whether to consider an error's harmlessness despite the State's failure to argue it, holding that the district court's error in denying Defendant's motion to suppress was harmless.Defendant was found guilty of two counts of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, murder with the use of a deadly weapon, and other crimes. The jury sentenced Defendant to death. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress statements he made during an interview with detectives before his arrest. The Supreme Court concluded that the district court did err by denying Defendant's motion to suppress. The Court then adopted three factors to help determine whether the Court should consider an error's harmlessness when the State has not argued harmlessness in a death penalty case. After weighing those factors, the Court held (1) sua sponte harmless error review was appropriate in this matter, and the complained-of error was harmless; (2) one of the convictions for robbery was not supported by sufficient evidence; and (3) no other issue warranted relief. View "Belcher v. State" on Justia Law

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In this discovery dispute, the Supreme Court granted Petitioner's petition for writ relief challenging the district court's denial of his motion for a protective order, holding that the district court and its judge (collectively, Respondents) did not engage in the proper process courts must use when determining the scope of discovery under Nev. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1) or use the framework provided by this Court for courts to apply when determining whether a protective order should be issued for good cause under Nev. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1).Joyce Sekera allegedly slipped and fell on the Venetian Casino Resort's (Petitioner) marble flooring and was seriously injured. During discovery, Sekera requested that Petitioner produce incident reports relating to slip and falls on the marble flooring for three years preceding her injury. Petitioner provided sixty-four incident reports but redacted the personal information of the injured parties. When Sekera insisted on receiving the unreacted reports the Venetian moved for a protective order. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court granted writ relief, holding that the district court (1) abused its discretion when it did not consider proportionality under section 26(b)(1) prior to allowing discovery; and (2) should have determined whether Petitioner demonstrated good cause for a protective order under section 26(c)(1). View "Venetian Casino Resort, LLC v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that a voluntary dismissal with prejudice generally conveys "prevailing party" status upon the defendant for purposes of an award of attorney fees and costs under Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.010(2) and Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.020, but district courts should consider the circumstances surrounding the voluntary dismissal with prejudice in determining whether the dismissal conveys prevailing party status.The Residences at MGM Grand - Tower A Owners' Association (the Association) was sued after it was discovered that a unit at The Signature at MGM Grand had mold damage. The Association requested dismissal from the case because it was not a proper party to the action. Eventually, the parties stipulated to dismiss the Association from the case with prejudice. Thereafter, the Association moved for attorney fees and costs. The Trust argued that the Association could not be considered a prevailing party because the case had not proceeded to judgment. The district court concluded that the Association was the prevailing party and awarded attorney fees and costs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that under the facts of this case, the dismissal with prejudice was substantively a judgment on the merits, and therefore, the Association was a prevailing party for purposes of sections 18.010(2) and 18.020. View "145 East Harmon II Trust v. Residences at MGM Grand" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court dismissing Appellant's timely petition for judicial review of an administrative decision, holding that because Appellant did not demonstrate good cause for untimely serving the petition the district court properly dismissed the petition.Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(5), Appellant had to serve its timely filed petition for judicial review within forty-five days. Appellant, however, served the petition fifteen days after the forty-five-day deadline had passed. The district court dismissed the petition, finding that Appellant did not effect service within the required deadline and did not show good cause to extend the service deadline. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the forty-five-day service requirement is not a jurisdictional requirement because section 233B.130(5) affords the district court discretion to extend the time frame upon a showing of good cause; but (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Appellant failed to show good cause under the circumstances. View "Spar Business Services, Inc. v. Olson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the district court dismissing Michael Tricarichi's fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering claims against Respondents, holding that Tricarichi failed to establish personal jurisdiction.Tricarichi brought this action alleging that Respondents lured him into an intermediary tax shelter scheme that left him liable as a transferee for a multimillion federal tax deficiency and penalty. The district court dismissed Tricarichi's claims for lack of personal jurisdiction over Respondents. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly determined that Respondents lacked minimal contacts with Nevada to satisfy due process and support personal jurisdiction; and (2) Nevada's long-arm statute encompasses a conspiracy-based theory of personal jurisdiction, which this Court adopts as a basis upon which specific jurisdiction may lie, but Tricarichi failed to establish personal jurisdiction under that theory. View "Tricarichi v. Coöperatieve Rabobank, U.A." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court overruled the holding in Ballin v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 797 P.2d 978, 980 (Nev. 1990), that an order that resolves fewer than all claims in a consolidated action is not appealable as a final judgment even if the order resolves all of the claims in one of the consolidated cases and held that an order finally resolving a constituent consolidated case is immediately appealable as a final judgment even where the other constituent case or cases remain pending.The order challenged in this appeal finally resolved one of three consolidated cases. While this appeal was pending, the United States Supreme Court decided Hall v. Hall, 584 U.S. __ (2018), holding that an order resolving one of several cases consolidated pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 42(a) is immediately appealable. Appellants urged the Supreme court to interpret Nev. R. Civ. P. 42(a) as the United States Supreme Court interpreted Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a) in Hall. The Supreme Court concluded that compelling circumstances existed warranting departure from the doctrine of stare decisions, overruled its decision in Mallin, and concluded that the appeal in this case may proceed. View "In re Estate of Sarge" on Justia Law