Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court invalidating Order No. 1293A, which prohibited the driving of new domestic wells in the Pahrump Artesian Basin unless the applicant identified and relinquished 2.0 acre-feet annually from an alternate source (the 2.0 afa requirement), as unlawful, holding that Nevada law authorized the order's 2.0 afa requirement under the circumstances.In invalidating the order, the district court concluded (1) the State Engineer violated due process by issuing the order without first providing notice and a public hearing; (2) the State Engineer lacked authority to issue the 2.0 afa requirement; and (3) substantial evidence did not support the order. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the State Engineer was not required to hold a hearing or develop a more robust record; (2) the State Engineer was not required to provide notice and a hearing regarding the 2.0 afa requirement under the circumstances; and (3) the State Engineer's decision was supported by substantial record evidence. View "Wilson, P.E. v. Pahrump Fair Water, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court entering judgment for Green Tree Servicing, LLC in this action to quiet title brought after a homeowners' association (HOA) lien foreclosure sale upon finding that the first deed of trust had not been extinguished because there had been a valid tender, holding that Saticoy Bay LLC Series 133 McLaren took title subject to Green Tree's first deed of trust.Green Tree was assigned a deed of trust on certain property. The original homeowners because delinquent on their HOA assessments, and the HOA proceeded with a foreclosure sale. The property was sold to Saticoy Bay. Saticoy Bay brought an action to quiet title, and Green Tree counterclaimed for the same. The district court granted summary judgment for Green Tree. On appeal, Saticoy Bay argued that the district court erred in granting equitable relief because the recitals in the foreclosure deed proved that the superpriority portion of the HOA's lien was in default at the time of the sale. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) conclusive recitals of default in a foreclosure deed do not prevent a valid pre-sale tender from preserving a deed of trust; and (2) the valid tender by Green Tree's predecessor preserved the original deed of trust. View "Saticoy Bay, LLC Series 133 McLaren v. Green Tree Servicing LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this foreclosure action, holding that the loan servicer timely commenced the action after the foreclosure sale and sufficiently demonstrated that a regulated entity under the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) conservatorship owned the loan.Defendant purchased property at a foreclosure sale. Plaintiff JPMorgan Chase Bank filed a complaint seeking a declaration that the first deed of trust survived the sale and for quiet title. Plaintiff offered evidence that it was servicing the loan on behalf of Freddie Mac, which had previously been placed into an FHFA conservatorship and that the first deed of trust therefore survived under the Federal Foreclosure Bar. Applying a three-year limitations period, the district court entered summary judgment for Defendant, concluding that the foreclosure sale extinguished the deed of trust. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the claims underlying the action are best described as sounding in contract for purposes of the House and Economic Recovery Act statute of limitations, which provides for a six-year statute of limitations; and (2) the Federal Foreclosure Bar prevented the foreclosure sale from extinguishing gate first deed of trust, and therefore, Defendant took the property subject to that deed of trust. View "JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Ass'n v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court answered in the negative a question certified to it by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, holding that the public trust doctrine does not permit the reallocation of rights already adjudicated and settled under the doctrine of prior appropriation.This litigation stemmed from Mineral County's intervention in longstanding litigation over water rights in the Walker River Basin to protect and restore Walker Lake. Here, the Supreme Court was asked for the first time to consider whether the public trust doctrine permits reallocating water rights previously settled under Nevada's prior appropriation doctrine. The Supreme Court held that the doctrine, as implemented through the state's water statutes, does not permit reallocating water rights already adjudicated and settled under the doctrine of prior appropriation. View "Mineral County v. Lyon County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's amended judgment in favor of the buyers of residential real property and against the sellers and the real estate agents of both the buyers and the sellers and offsetting the judgment by a portion of the settlement amounts paid by the agents pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 17.245(1)(a), holding that the district court did not err.After the buyers brought suit alleging that all parties violated their statutory disclosure obligations the buyers settled with the sellers and the buyers' agents. The case proceeded to a bench trial against the sellers' agents, after which the district court entered judgment in favor of the buyers. Pursuant to section 17.245(1)(a), the district court offset the judgment by a portion of the settlement proceeds paid by the sellers and the buyers' agents. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) when considering if section 17.245(1)(a)'s settlement offsets apply, district courts must determine whether both the settling and the non settling defendants were responsible for the same injury; (2) substantial evidence supported the district court's determination that all the defendants caused the same injury; and (3) the district court properly calculated the offset amount. View "J.E. Johnson & Associates v. Lindberg" on Justia Law

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In this case arising from a failed attempt to restore and reopen the historic Cal Neva Lodge, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision to deny relief on the claims brought by Plaintiff, an investor, against the developers and others involved in setting up Plaintiff's investment on the project, but reversed the damages award for Defendants, holding that the record did not support upholding the damages award.Plaintiff sued Defendants for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligence, conversion, and securities fraud. After a bench trial, the trial judge ordered judgment in favor of Defendants and sua sponte awarded Defendants damages, along with attorney fees and costs. The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding (1) the district court erred in awarding damages to Defendants in the absence of an express or implied counterclaim; and (2) the record supported the district court's denial of relief on Plaintiff's claims. View "Yount v. Criswell Radovan, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this real property dispute, the Supreme Court clarified that its holding in Davidson v. Davidson, 382 P.3d 880 (Nev. 2016), does not apply to claims for enforcement of real property distribution in divorce decrees.The Supreme Court held in Davidson that the six-year statute of limitations in Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.190(1)(a) applies to claims for enforcement of a property distribution provision in a divorce decree. In the instant case, Appellant sought to partition real property that a divorce decree from nine years earlier awarded to Respondent as separate property. Appellant argued that the decree expired pursuant to Davidson, which precluded Respondent from enforcing his distribution rights under the decree and rendered the property still held in joint tenancy subject to partition. The district court granted summary judgment and quieted title in favor of Respondent. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 11.190(1)(a) unambiguously excludes from its purview actions for recovery of real property, and therefore, Davidson did not apply; (2) Respondent was not required to renew the divorce decree pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 17.214 to enforce his real property rights; and (3) Appellant's partition claim was barred by claim preclusion. View "Kuptz-Blinkinsop v. Blinkinsop" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the entire amount of a homeowners' association's (HOA) yearly assessment can be included in the superpriority piece of an HOA's lien under Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3116 so long as the assessment became due in the nine months preceding the HOA's recording of its notice of delinquent assessments.When Homeowners did not pay their 2011 yearly assessment, the HOA, in April 2011, recorded a notice of lien for delinquent assessments. A Bank, the beneficiary of the first deed of trust on the property, requested the super priority amount from the HOA's foreclosure agent and then tendered to the foreclosure agent an amount representing nine out of twelve months of assessments. The HOA continued with the foreclosure sale, and Appellants purchased the property. Appellants filed a complaint seeking to quiet title to the property. The district court granted summary judgment for the Bank, concluding that the Bank's tender cured the default on the superpriority portion of the HOA's lien and that the foreclosure sale did not therefore extinguish the Bank's deed of trust. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the Bank did not tender the entire superpriority amount before the HOA foreclosed on its lien, the foreclosure sale extinguished the Bank's deed of trust on the property. View "Anthony S. Noonan IRA, LLC v. U.S. Bank National Ass'n" on Justia Law

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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

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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