Interesting unpublished decisions

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The Nevada Supreme Court has issued several unpublished orders resolving appeals in criminal cases.  Some are of interest, though they may not be cited as precedent under SCR 123.

In Dealba v. State, the Court reverses a judgment of conviction of one count each of robbery with use, attempted murder with use, and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.  The district court allowed a detective to testify about several statements made by Dealba's co-defendant following the co-defendant's arrest.  The trials of the two defendants were not severed.  The co-defendant did not testify, but the district court did order that Dealba's name be replaced with the word "individual" in the interrogation transcript of the co-defendant.  No limiting instruction was given.  The Court finds that it was error to fail to give the jury a limiting instruction under Richardson v. Marsh, 481 U.S. 200 (1987).  The Court rejects Dealba's argument that the use of the word "individual" as a redaction was error.  The Court finds that the error was not harmless and notes that neither of the two victims were able to identify Dealba.

In Hodson v. State, the Court affirms a judgment and rejects the defendant's First Amendment arguments concerning his conviction for one count of making a bomb threat.

In Spinks v. State, the Court affirms an order of restitution for $16,040.49, on a reckless driving and DUI conviction, based upon the victim's medical expenses relating to a pre-existing heard condition which the victim argued was exacerbated by the car accident involved in the DUI incident.  No medical or expert testimony was presented to establish causation.  The Court upheld the district court's retitution order based upon the testimony of the victim and receipts for the expenses.  This one is pretty interest and fairly controversial.  I'm surprised it's an unpublished disposition. 

In Croft v. State, the Court affirms an order of the district court denying a post-conviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus, but also finds that the district court was wrong to find that the petition was a "fugitive document" because the defendant filed the petition in proper person and his trial counsel had not filed a motion to withdraw.  "A post-conviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus is a collateral proceeding from the underlying criminal conviction, and thus, the fact that trial counsel had not withdrawn from the case when appellant filed his petition had no bearing upon the propriety of the filing of the petition in proper person."  This is a basic proposition, but the fact that it had to be explained to a seasoned judge should have warranted publication of the order as an opinion so as to provide guidance to the district courts.

Downs v. Napolitano - an inmate non-lawyer may not not receive a contingency fee for preparing a medical malpractice action.  The Court will not recognize an action for breach of contract based upon an act which violates state law. 

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on January 15, 2009 8:04 AM.

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