Oral Argument Calendar: Nov. 10

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Lopez (Eduardo) v. Nevada Dept. of Corrections,
Docket No. 54174
Carson City - 10:00 a.m. - Justices Cherry, Saitta, and Gibbons

This is an appeal from a Carson City district court order granting a motion to dismiss an inmate's lawsuit for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.  Eduardo Lopez, an inmate at the Ely State Prison, brought a tort action alleging that the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) was negligent in failing to follow its policies and procedures by housing Lopez with a known enemy, Jeffery Troxel.  Lopez allegedly sustained injuries caused by Troxel during an altercation in their shared cell on June 29, 2006.  According to NDOC's inmate grievance procedure, an inmate must initiate an informal grievance involving personal injury within six months of when the claim arises.  Lopez filed an informal inmate grievance on March 10, 2007, more than six months after the alleged claim arose. The NDOC rejected the grievance as being untimely.  Lopez filed a first-level grievance on April 2, 2007, and it also was rejected as being untimely.  Lopez never filed a second-level grievance.  Lopez filed a civil complaint against the NDOC in the district court on June 24, 2008.  The district court dismissed Lopez's lawsuit on the basis that Lopez failed to exhaust administrative remedies prior to initiating a state tort action.  Lopez appeals.  ISSUES:  Did the district court err in granting the NDOC's motion to dismiss due to Lopez's failure to exhaust administrative remedies?  Does NRS 209.243(1) violate equal protection by restricting a prisoner's right to file a personal injury administrative claim within six months of the date of the injury, while non-prisoners may file such an action within two years of the injury?  Is the precedent set forth in Turner v. Staggs, 89 Nev. 230, 510 P.2d 879 (1973), still controlling law in Nevada?

Goodlow (Deljuan) v. State of Nevada,
Docket No. 54198
Carson City - 10:30 a.m. - Justices Cherry, Saitta, and Gibbons

This is Deljuan Goodlow's appeal of his judgment of conviction, entered after a Washoe County jury found him guilty, for first-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon, home invasion, and burglary.  The underlying incident began when Carolyn Van Loock and Royce Riley were staying at the Lido Inn in Reno during a trip from California and witnessed two men arguing.  After seeing a gun, they went inside their motel room.  Frank Smith and Deljuan Goodlow broke the couple's motel room window, attempted to kick down the door, and shot Riley, while Van Loock hid in the bathroom. Riley died from a gunshot wound to the chest.  Security cameras from a neighboring property recorded some of the incident.  Smith and Goodlow fled from the Lido Inn in a black car. Police searched for the black car and eventually found it, although no one was inside.  Officers saw blood both inside and outside the car and then found Goodlow nearby, with cuts on his arm and the keys to the car in his possession. The police arrested Goodlow and showed him the surveillance video that recorded the incident.  Goodlow admitted that he was in the recording.  Over Goodlow's objection, the district court ruled that his case and Smith's should be tried together. During jury selection, the district court judge commented on the "horrible" crimes and referred to notorious historical figures. When Goodlow moved for a mistrial due to the statements, the district court denied the motion. The defendants also objected, under Batson v. Kentucky, to the State's use of peremptory challenges to exclude potential minority jurors, but the district court denied the defendants' objection. After a seven-day trial, the jury convicted Goodlow, and the district court sentenced him to consecutive sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole. ISSUES: Did the district court abuse its discretion in joining Goodlow's and Smith's cases?  Do the district court judge's comments during jury selection require this court to reverse Goodlow's conviction?  Did the State's use of peremptory challenges to exclude potential minority jurors during jury selection violate Batson v. Kentucky?  Was there sufficient evidence to support Goodlow's convictions for burglary and first-degree murder?

Kamalaudeen (Mohamed) v. State of Nevada,
Docket No. 53067
Carson City - 11:30 p.m. - Justices Cherry, Saitta, and Gibbons

This is Mohamed Kamalaudeen's appeal of his judgment of conviction, entered after a Washoe County jury found him guilty, for murder and solicitation to commit murder for the killing of University of Nevada, Reno, professor Judy Calder.  Kamalaudeen was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder, a consecutive term of 5 to 20 years for a deadly weapon enhancement, and 4 to 15 years in prison for solicitation to commit murder.   ISSUES: Should the public defender's office have been disqualified from representing Kamalaudeen because it represented one of the State's witnesses in an unrelated case?  Did the district court err by admitting gruesome autopsy photographs?  Was Kamalaudeen's sentence for the deadly weapon enhancement correct?  (Disclaimer:  This synopsis is intended to provide only general information about this case before the Nevada Supreme Court.  It is not intended to be all inclusive or reflect all positions of the parties.)


Smith (Frank) v. State of Nevada,
Docket No. 54234
Carson City - 2:00 p.m. - Justices Cherry, Saitta, and Gibbons

In this case, Frank Smith is appealing his judgment of conviction, entered after a Washoe County jury found him guilty, for first-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon, home invasion, and burglary.  The underlying incident began when Carolyn Van Loock and Royce Riley were staying at the Lido Inn in Reno during a trip from California and witnessed two men arguing.  After seeing a gun, they went inside their motel room.  Frank Smith and Deljuan Goodlow broke the couple's motel room window, attempted to kick down the door, and shot Riley, while Van Loock hid in the bathroom.  Riley died from a gunshot wound to the chest.  Security cameras from a neighboring property recorded some of the incident.  Smith and Goodlow fled from the Lido Inn in a black car.  Police searched for the black car and eventually found it, although no one was inside. Officers saw blood both inside and outside the car and located Goodlow nearby, with cuts on his arm and the keys to the car in his possession.  After the police arrested him, Goodlow identified Smith as being involved.  Smith was eventually extradited from California.  During the seven-day joint trial, Goodlow testified on his own behalf, while Smith chose to remain silent.  A jury convicted both men of first-degree murder, home invasion, and burglary.  The district court sentenced Smith to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an equal consecutive term for the use of a deadly weapon.  Smith now appeals.  ISSUES:  Did the district court err by failing to sever Smith's trial?  Does Smith's conviction rest on insufficient evidence?  Should this court overrule its prior opinion in State v. District Court (Pullin), 124 Nev. 564, 188 P.3d 1079 (2008)? 

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on November 10, 2010 10:35 AM.

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