Nevada Supreme Court issues opinions in 4 civil cases

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City of Reno v. Citizens v. Cold Springs - land use and municipal code - you're on your own as I have no interest in this.

Carrigan v. Commission of Ethics - The majority summarizes the issues and its holding:  "In this appeal, we consider whether the Nevada Commission on Ethics' censure of an elected public officer for alleged voting violations under NRS 281A.420(2)(c) violates the First Amendment.  NRS 281A.420(2)(c) sets forth one of the legal standards for determining whether a public officer must abstain from voting on a particular matter, based on the officer's "commitment in a private capacity to the interests of  others."  NRS 281A.420(8) defines this commitment to include four specific prohibited relationships between a public official and others and describes a fifth catchall definition as "[a]ny other commitment or relationship that is substantially similar to a commitment or relationship described in this subsection."  The catchall definition of a prohibited relationship by a public official in NRS 281A.420(8)(e) confronts the First Amendment on appeal."  

          We first conclude that voting by public officers on public issues is protected speech under the First Amendment.  Because NRS 281A.420(2)(c) directly involves the regulation of protected speech by a public officer in voting, we next determine that the definitional statute NRS 281A.420(8)(e) must be strictly scrutinized under a First Amendment overbreadth analysis.  Applying a strict scrutiny standard, we conclude that NRS 281A.420(8)(e) is unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment, as it lacks necessary limitations to its regulations of protected speech.  Consequently, the district court erred in its interpretation of NRS 281A.420(8)(e) and its application to NRS 281A.420(2)(c), and thus, we reverse the district court's order."

The relationship at issue was that of a personal friend and campaign manager to a city council member.  Justice Parraguirre did not participate.  Justice Pickering dissents.  She summarizes her position:    "Before today, no published decision has held that an elected local official engages in core political speech when he or she votes on an individual land use matter.  Likewise, no published decision reviewing the ethical propriety of such a vote has subjected the applicable legislative prohibition against conflicts of interest to strict scrutiny or invalidated it on overbreadth grounds.  Because I believe charting this course is both unprecedented and unwise, I respectfully dissent."

Boorman v. Nevada Mem'l Cremation Society - Certified question under NRAP 5 relating to the alleged handling of a deceased person's remains:  "First, close family members who were aware of the death of a loved one and to whom mortuary services were being provided may assert an emotional distress claim for the negligent handling of a deceased person's remains against a mortuary.  Those persons do not need to observe or have any sensory perception of the offensive conduct, and do not need to present evidence of any physical manifestation of emotional distress.  Second, the only person who may assert an emotional distress claim against a county coroner for the negligent handling of a deceased person's remains is the person with the superior right to dispose of the decedent's body.  That person does not need to observe or have any sensory perception of the offensive conduct, and does not need to present evidence of any physical manifestation of emotional distress.  Third, a claim for conversion of a deceased human body or its parts does not exist under Nevada law." 

Quinlan v. Camden USA - "Audrey Quinlan sued Camden USA, Inc. for damages after she tripped on a sidewalk in its apartment complex.  She lost at trial and was ordered to pay Camden $41,976 in attorney fees and costs.  The district court based its award on the offer of judgment Camden made under NRS 17.115 and NRCP 68, which Camden sent by facsimile.  Although Quinlan's lawyer received the offer of judgment, he had not expressly consented to fax service as NRCP 5(b)(2)(D) requires.  It was error to shift fees and costs based on Camden's offer of judgment because NRS 17.115, NRCP 5(a), and NRCP 68(a) all require an offer of judgment to be served in compliance with NRCP 5 and Camden's was not."  



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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on July 29, 2010 11:12 AM.

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