Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
by
In this property dispute, the Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting Respondents' motion to dismiss on the basis of claim preclusion, holding that Appellant's action in Case 2 could not have been brought in Case 1, and therefore, Case 2 was not precluded. In Case 1, Appellant claimed that its neighbors' masonry wall and other property improvements were compromising Appellant's retaining wall. Appellant sought only monetary damages. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of the neighbors. The neighbors subsequently sold their property to Respondents. In Case 2, Appellant filed a declaratory relief action seeking a declaration that it had a right to remove its own retaining wall, even if doing so would impact the structural integrity of Respondents' masonry wall. The district court dismissed the case based on claim preclusion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Appellant's declaratory relief action in Case 2 was not brought in Case 1; (2) Appellant's action in Case 2 was not based on the same facts or alleged wrongful conduct as its claims in Case 1; and (3) therefore, Appellant's action in Case 2 was not precluded. View "Rock Springs Mesquite II Owners' Ass'n v. Raridan" on Justia Law

by
In this case involving the extent to which a judgment debtor's rights of action are subject to execution to satisfy a judgment the Supreme Court held that a judgment debtor's claims that are unassignable cannot be purchased at an execution sale. Respondents filed a motion to substitute themselves in place of Appellants and to voluntarily dismiss this appeal because they purchased Appellants' rights and interests in the underlying action at a judgment execution sale. The Supreme Court denied the motion in part and granted the motion in part, holding (1) because Appellants' claims for fraud and elder exploitation were personal in nature, they were not assignable and not subject to execution at a sheriff's sale, and therefore, Respondents did not purchase the rights to these claims at the execution sale; and (2) Appellants' claims of negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract were assignable and subject to execution, and therefore, this appeal is dismissed as to these claims. View "Reynolds v. Tufenkjian" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held that a voluntary dismissal with prejudice generally conveys "prevailing party" status upon the defendant for purposes of an award of attorney fees and costs under Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.010(2) and Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.020, but district courts should consider the circumstances surrounding the voluntary dismissal with prejudice in determining whether the dismissal conveys prevailing party status. The Residences at MGM Grand - Tower A Owners' Association (the Association) was sued after it was discovered that a unit at The Signature at MGM Grand had mold damage. The Association requested dismissal from the case because it was not a proper party to the action. Eventually, the parties stipulated to dismiss the Association from the case with prejudice. Thereafter, the Association moved for attorney fees and costs. The Trust argued that the Association could not be considered a prevailing party because the case had not proceeded to judgment. The district court concluded that the Association was the prevailing party and awarded attorney fees and costs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that under the facts of this case, the dismissal with prejudice was substantively a judgment on the merits, and therefore, the Association was a prevailing party for purposes of sections 18.010(2) and 18.020. View "145 East Harmon II Trust v. Residences at MGM Grand" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of U.S. Bank seeking to foreclose on a defaulted loan, holding that because U.S. Bank presented evidence to meet its burden to show that the original note was lost, it was entitled to enforce the note because the facts established that the action may proceed. U.S. Bank acquired the deed of trust secured by Appellant's residence and sought to foreclose on the defaulted loan. The original lender did not execute an assignment of the note to U.S. Bank when assigning the deed of trust to U.S. Bank. The loan servicer, however, swore an affidavit certifying that the note was lost. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of U.S. Bank. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because U.S. Bank showed by a preponderance of the evidence that it acquired ownership of the note from a party that had the right to enforce it, that the note was not lost as a result of a transfer or lawful seizure, and that the note could not be reasonably obtained, U.S. Bank satisfied the requirements of Nev. Rev. Stat. 104.3309 and was entitled to seek a judicial foreclosure on Appellant's default. View "Jones v. U.S. Bank National Ass'n" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's quiet title action under Nev. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(5), holding that the limitations period in Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.080 does not run against an owner who is in undisputed possession of the land, and because the facts alleged did not establish whether or when possession was disturbed here, the complaint was improperly dismissed. Six and one-half years after purchasing property at a homeowners' association foreclosure sale Appellant filed this action seeking a judicial declaration that the foreclosure extinguished the deed of trust that secured the prior homeowner's mortgage. At issue was whether the action was barred by section 11.080 because Appellant had been in possession of the property for more than five years before commencing the quiet title action. The district court concluded that the limitations period in section 11.080 began to run against Appellant when he acquired the property at the foreclosure sale. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the district court did not consider the fact that the statute of limitations ran from the time Appellant's ownership or possession of the property was disputed the court erred in granting Respondent's motion to dismiss. View "Berberich v. Bank of America, N.A." on Justia Law

by
In this homeowners' association (HOA) lien foreclosure dispute between the holder of the first deed of trust on the property and the assignee of the buyer at the lien foreclosure sale the Supreme Court held that while a homeowner can cure a superpriority default the district court did not decide whether the homeowner's partial payments in fact cured the superpriority lien default. After receiving a notice of delinquency, the homeowner made partial payments to the HOA but did not specify whether she wanted the HOA to apply to the superpriority or subpriority portion of the lien. The district court concluded that because the homeowner's payments exceeded the defaulted superpriority lien amount the default was cured such that the foreclosure sale did not extinguish the first deed of trust. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision denying summary judgment to the buyer's assignee but vacated its grant of summary judgment to the holder of the first deed of trust, holding that the homeowner has the ability to cure a default as to the superpriority portion of an HOA lien, and allocating partial payments by a homeowner to her HOA depends on the intent and actions of the homeowner and the HOA. View "9352 Cranesbill Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court finding that a deed of trust beneficiary's agent was excused from making a formal tender, such that under Bank of America, N.A. v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC, 427 P.3d 113 (Nev. 2018), the ensuing foreclosure sale did not extinguish the first deed of trust, holding that substantial evidence supported this finding. In Bank of America, the Supreme Court held that a deed of trust beneficiary can preserve its deed of trust by tendering the superpriority portion of a homeowners' association's (HOA) lien before the foreclosure sale is held. At issue was whether an offer to pay the superpriority amount when that amount is determined constitutes a tender sufficient to preserve the first deed of trust. The Supreme Court answered the question in the negative but held that a formal tender is excused when evidence shows that the party entitled to payment had a known policy of rejecting such payments. Specifically, the Court held (1) the beneficiary was excused from making a formal tender because, pursuant to a known policy, its tender would have been rejected; and (2) therefore, the beneficiary preserved its interest in the property such that the property was purchased subject to the beneficiary's first deed of trust. View "7510 Perla Del Mar Ave Trust v. Bank of America" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellants' putative class action alleging that Respondents, current or former Nev. Rev. Stat. Chapter 107 trustees, engaged in unlicensed debt collection agency activities by pursuing nonjudicial foreclosures on their homes, holding that Appellants did not plead a cognizable cause of action. In dismissing the complaint the district court found that the plain language of Chapter 107 authorized the actions allegedly performed by Respondents. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the legislature did not intend that deed of trust trustees be subjected to Nev. Rev. Stat. Chapter 649 licensing requirements when they are engaged in nonjudicial foreclosures; and (2) because Appellants' allegations fell within the bounds of Chapter 107, Appellants did not plead a cognizable cause of action. View "Benko v. Quality Loan Service Corp." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed nine district court orders directing payment from the Nevada Real Estate Education, Research and Recovery Fund (the Fund), one to Melani Schulte individually and eight to various LLCs in her control, stemming from William Schulte's fraudulent management of properties, holding that the spousal exception to Fund recovery in Nev. Rev. Stat. 645.844(4)(a) applied at the time of the misconduct and that transactions involving one's own properties do not qualify for Chapter 645's protections. The Fund compensates victims of real estate fraud whose judgment against a fraudulent real estate licensee is uncollectible. The district court issued the nine orders stemming from the fraudulent management of properties by William, Melani's then husband. All but one of the properties were jointly owned by the Schultes. The Supreme Court reversed the orders, holding (1) because Melani and William were married at the time of the fraud, the spousal exception prohibits Melani's individual recovery; and (2) because transactions involving one's own properties do not require a real estate license, the district court erred in granting awards to the eight LLCs. View "Chandra v. Schulte" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court denying a prisoner's petition for judicial review challenging the amount of compensation he received, upon his release, in connection with the industrial injury he suffered while incarcerated, holding that the administrative appeals officer properly affirmed the calculation of the prisoner's average monthly wage. Appellant was injured while working for Nevada Division of Forestry while he was incarcerated. Respondent accepted Appellant's workers' compensation claim. After Appellant was released he sought to have the benefits calculated at the minimum wage guaranteed under the Nevada Constitution. Under the modified workers' compensation program for prisoners, however, the amount of compensation a prisoner may receive upon release is based on the average monthly wage the prisoner actually received as of the date of the injury. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's order denying Appellant's petition for judicial review, holding that an administrative appeals officer is not permitted to recalculate the average monthly wage at an amount the prisoner did not actually receive while incarcerated. View "White v. State, Division of Forestry" on Justia Law