Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada

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Where the record showed that, when faced with a resign-or-be-fired option, Appellant’s decision to resign was freely given and stemming from his own choice, such a resignation was voluntary pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.380. Appellant filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits with the Employment Security Division (ESD). An ESD claims adjudicator denied the claim based on section 612.380, stating that Appellant voluntarily resigned because he resigned from his employment in anticipation of being discharged or laid off. An administrative referee and Board of Review upheld the decision. The district court denied Appellant’s petition for judicial review. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant voluntarily resigned pursuant to section 612.380; and (2) substantial evidence supported the appeals referee’s determination that Appellant lacked good cause to resign, which rendered him ineligible for unemployment benefits. View "Dolores v. State, Department of Employment Security Division" on Justia Law

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The grounds on which the district court denied a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel disclosure of records where members of the Lyon County Board of Commissioners conducted county business on private cellphones and email accounts were erroneous. Appellant brought suit against the Board challenging its approval of a zoning change. Appellant then filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel Lyon County to disclose all public records of the commissioners’ communications regarding the change to the county’s zoning plan, including the communications contained on the commissioners’ private cell phones and email accounts. In denying the petition, the district court reasoned that the records were not open to public inspection, within the control of the county, and records of official actions of the county or paid for with public money. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the Nevada Public Records Act does not categorically exempt public records maintained on private devices or servers from disclosure. View "Comstock Residents Ass’n v. Lyon County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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The grounds on which the district court denied a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel disclosure of records where members of the Lyon County Board of Commissioners conducted county business on private cellphones and email accounts were erroneous. Appellant brought suit against the Board challenging its approval of a zoning change. Appellant then filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel Lyon County to disclose all public records of the commissioners’ communications regarding the change to the county’s zoning plan, including the communications contained on the commissioners’ private cell phones and email accounts. In denying the petition, the district court reasoned that the records were not open to public inspection, within the control of the county, and records of official actions of the county or paid for with public money. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the Nevada Public Records Act does not categorically exempt public records maintained on private devices or servers from disclosure. View "Comstock Residents Ass’n v. Lyon County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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Zenor was employed by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) when he injured his wrist on the job. Eleven months later, Zenor underwent an examination and received an evaluation by his treating physician, Dr. Huene, who determined Zenor was not yet capable of performing his pre-injury job duties. Two months later, Dr. Huene again examined Zenor and determined he could fully use his wrist with a brace as needed. Less than one month later, Dr. Huene released Zenor "without limitations." Zenor delivered the full release to NDOT that same day. NDOT nonetheless commenced proceedings and separated him from employment for medical reasons. An administrative hearing officer reversed. The district court affirmed. Zenor sought attorney fees under NRS 18.010(2)(b) on the ground that NDOT unreasonably brought its petition to harass him. The court held that NRS 233B.130 prohibited attorney fees in a judicial action of a final agency decision. The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed. NRS 233B.130(6), which states that the provisions of NRS Chapter 233B provide the exclusive means of judicial action in a petition for judicial review, prohibits an award of attorney fees under NRS 18.010(2)(b) in petitions for judicial review. View "Zenor v. State of Nevada Department of Transportation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court denying Appellants’ petitions for judicial review challenging a 2007 decision by the Nevada Tax Commission regarding a tax refund request, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellants’ petitions for judicial review because they were untimely. In 2008, Appellants filed a second de novo action (Case 2) challenging the administrative denials of their refund requests. The district court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because Appellants failed to file a petition for judicial review. Appellants subsequently filed a petition for judicial review (Case 3). The ALJ affirmed the Commission’s 2007 decision. In 2014, the Commission affirmed the ALJ’s decision. Appellants then filed a second petition for judicial review (Case 4) challenging the Commission’s 2014 decision. The district court consolidated the Case 3 and Case 4 petitions for judicial review and affirmed the Commission’s 2007 and 2014 decisions. The Supreme Court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellants’ Case 3 petition for judicial review and thus lacked the authority to consider the merits of Appellants’ Case 4 petition. View "K-Kel, Inc. v. State, Department of Taxation" on Justia Law

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The Constitution does not permit Nevada to award damages against California agencies under Nevada law that are greater than it could award against Nevada agencies in similar circumstances. Therefore, the Nevada Supreme Court's special rule of law that FTB was not entitled to a damages cap that a Nevada agency would be entitled to violated the Constitution's requirement that full faith and credit shall be given in each state. On remand from the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Nevada reissued its vacated opinion except as to the damages portions addressed by the Supreme Court and applied the statutory damages caps FTB was entitled to under Hyatt II. The state supreme court concluded that sufficient evidence supported a damages award up to NRS 41.035(1)'s $50,000 statutory cap and thus the district court should have awarded plaintiff damages in that amount for his intentional infliction of emotional distress claims; plaintiff was not entitled to prejudgment interest on these damages awards; plaintiff was precluded from recovering punitive damages against FTB; costs awards were reversed and remanded for a new determination; and the district court's prior summary judgment as to plaintiff's claim for economic damages on plaintiff's cross-appeal affirmed. View "Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the district court’s order granting Respondent’s petition for judicial review filed under Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B, the Nevada Administrative Procedure Act (APA), holding that the application process provided by Nev. Rev. Stat. 453A.322 does not constitute a contested case as defined by Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.032, and therefore, the district court did not have authority to grant APA-based relief. Respondent petitioned for judicial review of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Service’s decision not to issue it a Las Vegas registration certificate authorizing it to operate a medical marijuana dispensary. Respondent’s petition was based exclusively on the Nevada APA. The Department moved to dismiss, arguing that the APA only affords judicial review in contested cases, which the marijuana dispensary application process does not involve. The district court granted judicial review and directed the Department to reevaluate Respondent’s application. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court, holding that the APA did not afford Respondent the right of review it sought. View "State, Department of Health & Human Services v. Samantha Inc." on Justia Law

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Exposure to a hazard can be demonstrated by facts establishing that exposure to the hazard is reasonably predictable. Appellant in this case argued that the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NOSHA) improperly cited it for violating 29 C.F.R. 1910.132(f), which requires employers to provide training regarding the use of personal protective equipment to employees exposed to hazards requiring the use of such equipment. Specifically, Appellant argued that it was improperly cited for a violation because no facts established that its employees were actually exposed to such a hazard in the course of their work or were required to have fall protection training. The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Review Board upheld NOSHA’s citation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) when a statute or regulation requires NOSHA to establish employee exposure to a hazard, the Board’s decision regarding a NOSHA citation may be upheld if NOSHA presents substantial evidence demonstrating that exposure to the hazard was or would be reasonably predictable; and (2) the Board in this case relied on an incorrect standard in evaluating the citation. View "Sierra Packaging & Converting, LLC v. Chief Administrative Officer of Occupational Safety & Health Administration" on Justia Law

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Where an offender was sentenced pursuant to a statute that requires a minimum term of not less than a set number of years but does not mention parole eligibility, credits apply to eligibility for parole as provided in Nev. Rev. Stat. 209.4465(7)(b), which provides that credits earned pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 209.4465 apply to eligibility for parole unless the offender was sentenced pursuant to a statute that specifies a minimum sentence that must be served before a person becomes eligible for parole. Appellant was convicted of six counts of driving a vehicle with a prohibited substance in her blood or urine causing death. Appellant later petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that she was entitled to have credits earned pursuant to section 209.4465 apply to her eligibility for parole. The district court denied the petition, concluding that a prison must serve his or her minimum term before being eligible for parole and, therefore, the credits did not apply to Appellant’s eligibility for parole. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the matter, holding that credits that Appellant earned under section 209.4465 should be applied to her parole eligibility for any sentence she is currently serving and on which she has not appeared before the parole board. View "Williams v. State, Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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The district court lacks the authority to extend the deadline for filing the opening brief in a petition for judicial review of a public utilities commission. Rural Telephone Company (Appellant) filed an application with Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) seeking a change in its telephone service rates and charges. PUCN denied the requested changes. Appellant then filed a timely petition for judicial review in the district court and subsequently requested an extension of time to file its opening memorandum of points and authorities. The district court denied the motion for an extension and dismissed the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court lacked statutory authority to grant Appellant an extension of time to file its opening memorandum of points and authorities. View "Rural Telephone Co. v. Public Utilities Commission of Nevada" on Justia Law