Nevada Supreme Court oral arguments: May 4

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Schulz (Donald) v. Taylor (Tracy),
Docket No. 53731
Carson City
- 10:00 a.m. - Full Court

This is a groundwater rights case. The Schulz family sought to sell their groundwater rights to Carson City and applied to change the manner and place of use of their rights to facilitate the sale. When the State Engineer did not act on the application, the family filed a district court action and moved for partial summary judgment, declaratory relief, and a writ of mandamus. The district court denied summary judgment and declaratory relief, but granted the writ of mandamus, instructing the State Engineer to adjudicate the Schulz Family's claimed groundwater rights. The Schulz family now appeals.  ISSUES:  Did the district court err in determining that Nevada's groundwater forfeiture statute, NRS 534.090(1), is retroactively applicable to the family's claimed rights? Did the district court err in finding the forfeiture statute constitutional? Did the district court err by refusing to grant equitable relief? Did the district court err when it failed to resolve definitional ambiguities in the statute, or alternatively, to declare the statute void for vagueness?  Did the district court err in not applying issue preclusion?  Did the district court err in directing the State Engineer to conduct forfeiture proceedings? Does NRS 534.090(1) constitute a bill of attainder?

Orion Portfolio Services v. Co. of Clark (NRAP 5),
Docket No. 53969
Carson City
- 11:30 a.m. - Full Court

This appeal involves two certified questions, pursuant to NRAP 5, which arise from a lawsuit over University Medical Center of Southern Nevada's decision to sell certain health care accounts through a public auction.  UMC's invitation to bid at the auction contained a provision that if UMC determined not to sell an account that it initially intended to sell, it could substitute that account with an account of equal value.  However, UMC issued an addendum to its bid invitation, noting that no accounts would be replaced.  Ultimately, UMC accepted appellant Orion Portfolio Services' bid.  The parties entered into a purchase agreement that included a provision that allowed the parties to replace certain accounts.  After the parties finalized the contract, Orion asked UMC to substitute a number of accounts, under the agreement, but UMC refused.  Orion instituted a breach of contract action against UMC in federal district court and UMC moved for summary judgment, arguing that the parties' contract is void because it materially differs from the invitation to bid.  Orion opposed the motion and filed a countermotion for summary judgment, arguing Nevada's statute concerning a government entity's sale of personal property, NRS 332.185, does not require that a government entity conduct a public auction of personal property, but rather gives the government entity discretion to hold a public auction, thereby making Nevada's public bidding statutes, set forth in NRS Chapters 332 and 333, inapplicable.  Because the parties' arguments were questions of Nevada law that have never been addressed by the Nevada Supreme Court, the United States District Court certified two questions.  ISSUES:  When a local government entity sells property at a public auction, does NRS 332.185 require that entity to follow the public bidding rules outlined in NRS Chapters 332 and 333?  Is a contract obtained through a public auction and competitive bidding void when it materially differs from the contents of the invitation to bid? 

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on May 3, 2010 9:12 AM.

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