Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Clark County's petition for judicial review of the decision of an appeals officer reversing Clark County's denial of a retiree's claim for ongoing partial disability benefits, holding that the appeals officer correctly found that the retiree was entitled to benefits based on the wages he was earning at the time he retired.Brent Bean worked as a Clark County firefighter and retired in 2011. In 2014, Bean was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had part of his prostate removed. Clark County rejected Bean's claim for occupational disease benefits insofar as it sought ongoing permanent partial disability benefits, concluding that because Bean was retired at the time he became permanently partially disabled, he was not earning wages upon which to base a permanent partial disability benefits award. The appeals officer reversed, and the district court rejected Clark County's petition for judicial review. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the appeals officer correctly found that compensation for Bean's permanent partial disability rating must be based on the wages he was earning at the time of his retirement. View "Clark County v. Bean" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held that Nev. Rev. Stat. 258.007 does not give the Clark County Board of Commissioners (Board) power to remove a constable from office or necessitate quo warranto proceedings because the statute works an automatic forfeiture of office if the constable fails to become certified as a category II peace officer.Section 258.007 requires a constable to become certified as a category II peace officer within a certain amount of time or forfeit the office. The United States District Court for the District of Nevada certified a question to the Supreme Court, asking whether the statute gives the Board the power to remove a constable from office or whether a constable can be removed only through a quo warranto action. The Supreme Court answered the first part of the certified question in the negative, which necessarily resolved the second part of the certified question, holding that the Board has neither the authority nor the need to declare a forfeiture because that forfeiture occurs automatically upon the constable's failure timely to certify as a category II peace officer. View "Clark County v. Eliason" on Justia Law

by
In this appeal regarding the scope of the law-enforcement exception to the "going and coming rule" in workers' compensation matters the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court reversing the decision of the appeals officer, holding that the appeals officer's decision was arbitrary and capricious in light of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the officer's accident.Plaintiff, a police officer, was struck by another vehicle during his drive home from work. Plaintiff filed a workers' compensation claim for the injuries he sustained in the accident. His claim was denied. On appeal, the appeals officer also denied the claim, concluding that Plaintiff's injury did not arise out of and in the course and scope of his employment. The district court granted Plaintiff's petition for judicial review and concluded that Plaintiff's accident indeed arose out of and in the course of his employment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a court must look to the totality of the circumstances on a case-by-case basis in determining whether the law-enforcement exception to the going and coming rule applies; and (2) Plaintiff qualified for the law-enforcement exception under the totality of the circumstances test. View "Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc. v. Figueroa" on Justia Law

by
In this workers' compensation appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court reversing the decision of the appeals officer denying benefits to Respondent, holding that the plain language of Nev. Rev. Stat. 617.366(1) did not exclude the possibility of benefits for hearing loss when at least part of Respondent's current hearing disability was attributable to some level of hearing loss before he began his job that made the hearing loss worse.While serving as a police officer for the City of Henderson, Respondent suffered progressive hearing loss to the point where he was assigned to desk duty. Respondent sought compensation under Nev. Rev. Stat. 617.430 and .440, which entitle employees to workers' compensation benefits if they suffer a disability caused by an "occupational disease." Because Respondent already had some level of hearing loss, perhaps genetically induced, before his employment as a police officer, the appeals officer denied benefits. The district court reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the appeals officer applied the relevant statutes incorrectly as a matter of law. View "City of Henderson v. Spangler" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting the Love Ranch's petition for a writ of mandamus and compelling the Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation (DETR) to comply with the Love Ranch's public records request for various records related to audits of the Love Ranch and other legal brothels, holding that Nev. Rev. Stat. 612.265 did not categorically exempt the requested records from disclosure.After the DETR's Employment Security Division (ESD) audited the Love Ranch the Love Ranch made a formal records request asking that DETR produce all records related to the audit and past audits and decisions regarding the Love Ranch and other brothels. DETR denied the request. The Love Ranch then petitioned the district court for a writ of mandamus, which the district court granted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 612.265 protects from disclosure a person's or employing unit's identity but otherwise does not prohibit disclosure of the ESD's records; and (2) because the request in this case expressly excluded any records that would reveal a person's or employing unit's identity and the district court did not compel disclosure of any records beyond those requested, the district court properly granted the petition for a writ of mandamus. View "State, Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation v. Sierra National Corp." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court granted the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners' petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the district court's decision denying the Parole Board's petition for modification of Marlin Thompson's sentence pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 176.033(2), holding that the district court misapplied the law.In 1992, Thompson, who was convicted of first-degree murder, was granted parole and has remained on parole since. In 2017, the Parole Board petitioned to modify Thompson's sentence. The district attorney's office opposed the petition, asserting that the minimum term for first-degree murder at the time of Thompson's offense was a life term, and therefore, the court could not reduce Thompson's maximum term. The district court agreed and denied the petition. The Parole Board filed a petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the court's order. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding (1) the parole eligibility term prescribed by the penal statute sets the limit for reducing the life sentence under section 176.033(2); and (2) the district court relied on a misunderstanding of the law in denying the Parole Board's petition. View "State Board of Parole Commissioners v. Second Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of prohibition directing the district court to grant Petitioner's motion to dismiss the underlying petition for judicial review and clarifying that premature petitions for judicial review do not vest subject matter jurisdiction in the district court.After the administrative agency in this case stated its disposition on the record the petition for judicial review was filed. The agency's statement, however, did not include findings of fact and conclusions of law with an explicit statement of the underlying facts in support. The Supreme Court granted this petition for a writ of prohibition, holding (1) the disposition that was stated on the record did not constitute a final decision for purposes of commencing the period in Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(2)(d) in which an aggrieved party may seek judicial review; and (2) therefore, the petition failed to comply with the relevant statutory requirements and thus did not vest jurisdiction in the district court. View "Nevada State Board of Architecture v. District Court" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part an order of the district court granting a petition for judicial review of a decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ) and vacated the ALJ's order finding that the Grace Period Payment Deferment Agreement (GPPDA) marketed by TitleMax of Nevada, Inc. violated Nev. Rev. Stat. 604A.445 and Nev. Rev. Stat. 604A.210, holding that the GPPDA impermissibly extended the duration of the loan.In 2014, TitleMax began offering the GPPDA, marketed as an amendment and modification to its 210-day loan and under which TitleMax collected seven months of interest-only payments calculated based on a static principal balance and then collected seven months of payments amortizing principal. The Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Financial Institutions Division brought the underlying administrative disciplinary action alleging that TitleMax violated sections 604A.445(3) and 604A.210. The ALJ ordered TitleMax to cease and desist offering the GPPDA and sanctioned TitleMax for willfully violating the statutes. The district court vacated the ALJ's order. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) because the GPPDA required borrowers to make unamortized payments and consequently charged "additional interest" it violated the pertinent statutes; and (2) TitleMax's statutory violation was not "willful" and thus did not warrant statutory sanctions. View "State, Department of Business & Industry, Financial Institutions Division v. TitleMax of Nevada, Inc." on Justia Law

by
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

by
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting judicial review of the decision of the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration Review Board to overturn a workplace safety citation on the basis that Employer lacked knowledge of the violative conduct, holding that the Review Board properly overturned the citation for lack of Employer knowledge.Employer challenged a citation issued for a workplace safety violation based on violative conduct of a supervisor, arguing that Employer did not have actual knowledge of the violative conduct or that the supervisor's violative conduct was foreseeable under the circumstances presented. The Review Board held a hearing on Employer's complaint and concluded that Respondent, Nevada's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NOSHA), failed to demonstrate a violation of OSHA law. The district court reversed the order, holding that the Review Board lacked sufficient evidence to support its factual findings and legal conclusions. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that substantial evidence supported the Review Board's conclusion that NOSHA failed to demonstrate Employer's knowledge of the violative conduct at issue in this case. View "Original Roofing Co. v. Chief Administrative Officer of Occupational Safety & Health Administration" on Justia Law