Articles Posted in Nevada Supreme Court

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The City brought an eminent domain action to acquire a forty-foot-wide strip of real property from Respondent. Respondent's predecessor-in-interest originally acquired title to this property through a federal land patent that reserved a thirty-three-foot-wide easement across the strip of property for "roadway and public utilities purposes." The City asserted that it sought to utilize its existing rights to the thirty-three-foot right-of-way under the federal land patent's easement and to attain, by condemnation, the remaining seven-foot portion of land. The district court granted Respondent partial summary judgment and awarded Respondent $394,490 in compensation, concluding that the City lacked any right to use the easement because the federal patent did not specifically name the City. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court erred in (1) determining that the federal land patent did not create a thirty-three-foot-wide easement, as the plain meaning of the patent's language created a valid public easement; (2) determining that the City's proposed use of the easement constituted a taking, as the use of this easement was within its scope and did not strip Respondent of a property interest; and (3) awarding Respondent just compensation and attorney fees. View "City of Las Vegas v. Cliff Shadows Prof'l Plaza, LLC" on Justia Law

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In 2003, the Legislature passed the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area and Adjacent Lands Act (Act), which adopted amendments to Nevada law that prohibited Clark County from rezoning land in certain areas adjacent to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, including 2,500 acres owned by Gypsum Resources, LLC (Gypsum). Gypsum subsequently filed suit against the Attorney General in federal district court, asking the court to enjoin the State from enforcing the Act and claiming that the Act violated portions of the Nevada Constitution. The federal district court granted summary judgment in favor of Gypsum. The district court certified questions regarding the state constitutional issues to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found (1) the Act is a local law that regulates county business, and as such, it violates the portion of the Constitution prohibiting the Legislature from passing local or special laws that regulate county business; (2) the Act violates the section of the Constitution prohibiting a nonuniform system of county government by establishing a nonuniform system of county government; and (3) the Act does not fall within any recognized exception to the Nevada Constitution. View "Attorney Gen. v. Gypsum Res., LLC" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a developer, helped construct a planned development (the "community"). The community HOA sued the developers, sellers, and builders of the development, including Petitioner, on behalf of the individual homeowners, alleging construction-defect-based claims for breach of implied and express warranties and negligence. Thereafter, the community HOA filed a motion for the district court to determine that its claims satisfied the class action requirements of Nev. R. Civ. P. 23. The district court concluded that the HOA did not need to satisfy the requirements of Rule 23 and thus allowed the action to proceed without conducting a class action analysis. Petitioner sought a writ of mandamus or prohibition, claiming that the district court acted arbitrarily and capriciously by refusing to undertake a class action analysis. The Supreme Court granted Petitioner's petition to the extent that it directed the district court to analyze the Rule 23 factors in this case. In so doing, the Court clarified the application of D.R. Horton v. District Court when a homeowners' association seeks to litigate construction-defect claims on behalf of its members under Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3102(1)(d). View "Beazer Homes Holding Corp. v. Dist. Court " on Justia Law

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A California district court found that Desert Outdoor Advertising engaged in unlawful business practices through its violation of city ordinances prohibiting Desert Outdoor's erection of an outdoor billboard. The court imposed civil statutory penalties on Desert Outdoor and entered a civil judgment in favor of the city. The city filed its California judgment in a Nevada district court, seeking enforcement of the judgment under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. Desert Outdoor then filed a motion to set aside the foreign judgment and quash execution of the judgment. The district court granted Desert Outdoor's motion, concluding that because California's judgment was penal, it was not entitled to full faith and credit. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the California judgment in this case was penal in nature, and as such, was not enforceable in Nevada under Huntington v. Attrill, which provides an exemption to the Full Faith and Credit Clause such that other states' penal judgments are unenforceable in Nevada.

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Redrock Valley Ranch (RVR) proposed to export water from one hydrographic basin to another in northern Nevada. Both basins lie in Washoe County. The state engineer approved the transfer applications. The county, however, declined to grant RVR a special use permit for the pipelines, pump houses, and other infrastructure needed to make the water exportation plan a reality after determining that the issuance of the special use permit could potentially be detrimental to the public, adjacent properties, or surrounding area. The district court upheld the denial of the special use permit, concluding that substantial evidence supported the county's decision and that the denial did not amount to an abuse of discretion. RVR appealed, arguing that the county did not have authority to deny the special use permit application. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the state engineer's ruling neither preempted nor precluded the county from denying RVR's application for a special use permit for the reasons it did and that substantial relevant evidence supported the county's denial of the permit.