Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Nevada Supreme Court
Anderson v. State Employment Sec. Div.
In 2004, Appellant sustained a work injury and received temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Appellant returned to work from 2006 until 2008, at which time his back problems recurred. Appellant received TTD benefits until 2010. Appellant was later medically released to return to work, but because he could not find a job, he filed for unemployment compensation. Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.344 allows an individual who cannot find work after a period of temporary disability the option of using his work history for the fifteen months preceding his disability leave to determine his unemployment compensation instead of the fifteen months preceding his application. To qualify for this option, the application must be filed “within 3 years after the initial period of disability begins.” The Employment Security Division denied Appellant’s claim, concluding that because Appellant received disability benefits for his back injury starting in 2004, he could not use section 612.344’s alternative-calculation option because the statute’s three-year window closed in 2007. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the alternative-calculation option in section 612.344 renews when a temporarily disabled worker recovers and returns long enough to reestablish himself in the unemployment compensation system. View "Anderson v. State Employment Sec. Div." on Justia Law
Nassiri v. Chiropractic Physicians’ Bd.
Dr. Obteen Nassiri owned and operated a chiropractic practice and employed Dr. Edward Johnson as a chiropractic physician. Both Appellants were licensed chiropractic physicians in Nevada at the time. Responding to allegations of unprofessional conduct, the Chiropractic Physicians’ Board of Nevada filed complaints for disciplinary action against Appellants. After an adjudicative hearing, the Board found Appellants had committed professional misconduct, revoked Nassiri’s license and mandated that Nassiri could not own any interest in a chiropractic practice until his license was restored, and suspended Johnson’s license for one year with conditions. On review, the district court entered judgment against Appellants. On appeal, Appellants argued that the Board improperly used a substantial evidence standard of proof to determine that Appellants committed professional misconduct. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) in the absence of a specific statutory mandate, agencies generally must utilize, at a minimum, the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard in adjudicative hearings as a standard of proof; and (2) because the Board applied at least the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard in this case, the Board did not err in finding that Appellants committed violations warranting professional discipline. View "Nassiri v. Chiropractic Physicians' Bd." on Justia Law
Harrah’s Operating Co. v. State Dep’t of Taxation
Appellant, a Delaware corporation registered to do business in Nevada, purchased four aircraft to transport its employees and guests to and from its worldwide establishments. Each of the aircraft consistently flew to and from Nevada while in service and were continuously used in interstate commerce. Appellant paid Nevada use tax on each of the aircraft but later requested refunds for the taxes paid, claiming that the aircraft were not purchased for use in Nevada within the meaning of Nev. Rev. Stat. 372. The Nevada Department of Taxation denied the requested refunds. The Nevada Tax Commission and the district court upheld the denial. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether, by purchasing the aircraft out of state and later bringing them to Nevada, Appellant became subject to the use tax imposed by section 372.185. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Department erred in its interpretation of chapter 372, and Appellant’s aircraft were not subject to Nevada’s use tax. View "Harrah's Operating Co. v. State Dep't of Taxation" on Justia Law
Liberty Mut. v. Thomasson
Respondent filed a workers’ compensation claim for an injury he received when slipping down a flight of stairs. Liberty Mutual, Respondent’s employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, denied the claim. A hearing officer with the Department of Administration affirmed, but an appeals officer reversed the claim denial. Liberty Mutual subsequently filed a petition for judicial review in the Second Judicial District Court. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition because Liberty Mutual was not a resident of Washoe County, and therefore the petition did not comply with Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(2)(b)’s residency requirement. The Second Judicial District Court transferred venue. The Supreme Court vacated the district court’s order transferring venue and remanded with directions to dismiss the petition for judicial review, holding that section 233.130(2)(b) is a mandatory jurisdictional requirement and because Liberty Mutual was not a resident of Washoe County, the Second Judicial District Court lacked jurisdiction to consider Liberty Mutual’s petition. View "Liberty Mut. v. Thomasson" on Justia Law
Taylor v. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs.
Appellant was terminated from his position as a group supervisor at a youth center after an incident involving Appellant and one of the youths. Appellant, who was a classified employee with the State Department of Health and Human Services in the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), administratively appealed his dismissal. A State Personnel Commission hearing officer set aside Appellant’s dismissal and remanded to DCFS to determine the appropriate level of discipline for Appellant’s infraction. Appellant subsequently sought judicial review to have a district court decide the issue of whether the hearing officer, as opposed to the employer, should determine the appropriate level of discipline for Appellant’s situation. The district court denied Appellant’s petition, concluding that hearing officers, after finding that dismissal was unreasonable, are not required to determine the appropriate level of discipline. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that only appointing authorities, and not hearing officers, have the power to prescribe the actual discipline imposed on permanent classified state employees. View "Taylor v. Dep't of Health & Human Servs." on Justia Law
County of Clark v. LB Props., Inc.
In 2007, the Nevada Tax Commission (NTC) promulgated Nev. Admin. Code 361.61038, which set forth an apportionment formula for calculating remainder-parcel property values for purposes of Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.4722. Respondent owned a parcel that was divided from a larger piece of land before the regulation's enactment and was properly characterized as a "remainder parcel" under section 361.4722(6). Appellant, the county assessor, valued the land under the approach he used before section 361.61038 was enacted. Respondent appealed, seeking application of the new regulation's apportionment formula. The NTC upheld the assessor's valuation and declined to apply its new regulation retroactively. The district court reversed the judgment of the NTC and directed it to apply section 361.61038 to Respondent's remainder parcel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, in this case, (1) application of the regulation would be impermissibly retroactive; and (2) the methods the assessor used did not violate the Constitution. View "County of Clark v. LB Props., Inc." on Justia Law
State Dep’t of Taxation v. Masco Builder Cabinet Group
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
Elizondo v. Hood Machine, Inc.
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
Civil Rights for Seniors v. Admin. Office of Courts
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
Nev. Pub. Employees Ret. Bd. v. Smith
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