Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
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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

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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

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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

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court determining that Appellant took certain nonresidential property subject to Respondent's existing mortgage on the subject property, holding that Appellant took its interest subject to Respondent's deed of trust. The conditions, covenants, and restrictions (CC&Rs) of the subject property stated that the property owners' association (POA) may enforce delinquent assessment liens pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3116-.31168 but not the entirety of Nev. Rev. Stat. chapter 116. Specifically, the CC&Rs did not incorporate the provisions of chapter 116 that might invalidate a mortgage savings clause or provide for assessments supporting a lien that would have superpriority status. Appellant purchased the property at a foreclosure sale conducted pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 116.3116. Thereafter, Respondent recorded a notice of default for nonpayment of mortgage payments and filed a complaint for judicial foreclosure of the property. Appellant counterclaimed to quiet title, alleging that the nonjudicial foreclosure extinguished Respondent's deed of trust. The district court entered judgment for Respondent, concluding that the foreclosure sale did not extinguish Respondent's deed of trust. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that no portion of the delinquent POA assessment lien had superpriority status as against Respondent's first security interest. View "Vegas United Investment Series 105, Inc. v. Celtic Bank Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's determination that Ruby Lake Estates Homeowner's Association's (RLEHOA) authority to impose assessments on Appellants, property owners in Ruby Lake Estates (RLE), holding that RLE is a common-interest community within the meaning of Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.021 and that RLEHOA did not need to be organized before the first lot in RLE was conveyed. RLE was create in 1989. Appellants filed a declaratory relief action challenging RLEHOA's authority to impose assessments on them. Specifically, Appellants argued (1) RLE was not a validly created "common-interest community" as defined by section 116.021; and (2) alternatively, RLEHOA was not a validly created "unit-owners' association." The district court granted summary judgment for RLEHOA. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) RLE is a common-interest community because RLE's declaration contained an implied payment obligation for the common elements and other real estate of which Appellants had notice; and (2) Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3101(1) does not apply to common-interest communities formed before 1992, and therefore, RLEHOA did not need to be organized before the first lot in RLE was conveyed. View "Artemis Exploration Co. v. Ruby Lake Estates Homeowner's Ass'n" on Justia Law

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In this homeowners' association (HOA) foreclosure case, the Supreme Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to U.S. Bank, N.A. and remanded for entry of summary judgment for SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC, holding that the mere fact that a foreclosure sale was held in violation of a bankruptcy stay is not by itself evidence of unfairness. The homeowner filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, which imposed an automatic stay on actions against her real property. In violation of the stay, the HOA sold the property at a foreclosure sale. SFR, the purchaser, sought to quiet title. The bankruptcy court issued a limited order retroactively annulling the bankruptcy stay of the stay, which has the legal effect of validating the sale. The district court, however, set aside the sale and granted summary judgment for U.S. Bank finding that the HOA's foreclosure sale being conducted in violation of the bankruptcy stay was evidence of unfairness and that the sale price was inadequate. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that U.S. Bank failed to produce any evidence showing how the sale's violation of the automatic stay constituted unfairness and that SFR met its burden of showing that the HOA foreclosure sale complied with the procedures in Nev. Rev. Stat. Chapter 116. View "SFR Investments Pool 1 v. U.S. Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision to reinstate Happy Creek, Inc.'s original water rights' priority dates in equity, holding that, under the extraordinary circumstances of this case, the district court properly granted equitable relief for Happy Creek. As mandated by Nev. Rev. Stat. 533.410 the State Engineer canceled Happy Creek's ground water permits after Happy Creek's agent missed a filing deadline by a few weeks. Accordingly, Happy Creek lost more than fifty years of priority in water rights despite having invested $1 million in improving water-use efficiency and having met the other substantive criteria for maintaining priority of its water rights. Happy Creek's groundwater rights were in an over-appropriated basin, and therefore, Happy Creek was threatened with complete loss of use of water. The district court granted equitable relief by restoring Happy Creek's original senior priority dates. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that pursuant to State Engineer v. American National Insurance Co., 498 P.2d 1329 (Nev. 1972), and its progeny, the district court properly granted Happy Creek equitable relief. View "State Engineer v. Happy Creek, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this action to quiet title the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court determining that the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) owned the subject loan at the time of a homeowner association's (HOA) foreclosure sale such that the HOA sale purchaser took title to the property subject to the first deed of trust by operation of the 12 U.S.C. 4617(j)(3), commonly known as the Federal Foreclosure Bar, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Before the Court in this appeal were two issues related to the Federal Foreclosure Bar. The Supreme Court held (1) Nevada's recording statutes impose no requirement that Freddie Mac must be identified as the beneficiary on the publicly recorded deed of trust to establish its ownership interest in the subject loan; and (2) Freddie Mac's loan servicer did need not produce either the actual loan servicing agreement with Freddie Mac or the original promissory note to establish Freddie Mac's ownership interest in the loan because the loan provider introduced properly authenticated business records establishing that ownership interest. View "Daisy Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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In this action to quiet title to real property the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the homeowner, holding that the homeowner complied with the redemption statute allowing homeowners, holders of a recorded security interest, and successors in interest to redeem property within a sixty-day time frame after a homeowners' association (HOA) foreclosure sale. Appellant purchased property owned by Homeowner at an HOA foreclosure sale. Within sixty days of the foreclosure sale, Homeowner notified Nevada Association Services (NAS), the entity that conducted the sale, that he intended to redeem the property pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.31166(3). Homeowner provided the redemption amount, and Appellant received a check for the full redemption amount. Appellant, however, rejected the check. Appellant brought this action seeking quiet title to the property. The district court granted summary judgment to Homeowner, terminated the foreclosure sale, and quieted title in favor of Homeowner. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) NAS complied with the plain language of section 116.31166(3), whether or not it explicitly invoked the statute; and (2) Homeowner substantially complied with the HOA foreclosure sale notice of redemption provision. View "Saticoy Bay LLC Series 9050 W Warm Springs 2079 v. Nevada Ass'n Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Respondents, a real estate appraisal company and a professional real estate appraiser, as to Appellants' allegations that Respondents' negligence prevented them from refinancing their home loan, holding that Appellants' claims lacked evidentiary support and were based on little more than conclusory allegations and accusations. After purchasing a home, Appellants brought this action against Respondents asserting claims for professional negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of the statutory duty to disclose a material fact, and breach of contract as third-party beneficiaries. Specifically, Appellants alleged that Respondents negligently relied on inaccurate information in calculating the home's size and market value, which resulted in a misleading appraisal report and inflated purchase price. The district court granted summary judgment for Respondents. The Supreme Court affirmed and took the opportunity of this case to emphasize the important role of summary judgment in promoting sound judicial economy. View "Boesiger v. Desert Appraisals, LLC" on Justia Law