Articles Posted in Nevada Supreme Court

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Respondent purchased a luxury sports car from Desert Audi. Defendant contracted with Nex-Day Auto Transport, Inc. to facilitate delivery of the vehicle to Washington. Nex-Day negotiated with Dynamic Transit Company/Knights Company (Knights) for delivery of the vehicle. Knights picked up the car, transported it to Washington, but demanded that Nex-Day tender payment for its unrelated past-due invoices before it would proceed with the delivery. Nex-Day failed to do so, and Knights refused to deliver Respondent's vehicle. Respondent brought an action against Knights, alleging various state-law claims. After filing its answer, Knights filed a motion to dismiss Respondent's complaint, asserting that Respondent's state-law claims were preempted by the Carmack Amendment's federal liability limitation for interstate cargo carriers. The district court concluded that the Carmack Amendment was inapplicable and denied Knights' motion. The district court then granted judgment in Respondent's favor. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court properly denied Knights' motion to dismiss; (2) substantial evidence supported the district court's judgment; and (3) the district court's award of damages was proper. View "Dynamic Transit v. Trans Pac. Ventures" on Justia Law

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In this appeal the Supreme Court considered whether the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), an act that governs the disposition of failed financial institutions' assets, divests a court of jurisdiction to consider any defense or affirmative defense not first adjudicated through FIRREA's claims process. The Supreme Court concluded that while FIRREA's jurisdictional bar divests a district court of jurisdiction to consider claims and counterclaims asserted against a successor in interest to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) not first adjudicated through FIRREA's claims process, it does not apply to defenses or affirmative defenses raised by a debtor in response to the successor in interest's complaint for collection. In this case, the Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Successor in Interest on its breach of contract and breach of personal guaranty claims against Debtor, as Debtor's affirmative defenses were not barred by FIRREA. Remanded. View "Schettler v. RalRon Capital Corp." on Justia Law

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Appellants signed a note secured by a deed of trust on their home. Respondents, Regional Trustee Services Corporation (RTSC) and One West Bank, were the trustee and beneficiary of the deed of trust. After Appellants stopped making payments, RTSC initiated judicial foreclosure. Appellants elected mediation under the foreclosure mediation program (FMP), which provides proof of compliance with the state's law requiring mediation upon homeowner request before a nonjudicial foreclosure sale can proceed on an owner-occupied residence. When RTSC failed to attend the mediation, the district court declared RTSC in bad faith and directed that RTSC be denied the FMP certificate needed to conduct a valid foreclosure sale. RTSC later reinitiated nonjudicial foreclosure. Appellants sought to enjoin Respondents from pursuing foreclosure, arguing that the order denying the FMP certificate permanently prevented foreclosure. The district court denied Appellants' request and directed the parties to return to FMP mediation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that under the circumstances of this case, a lender who has been denied an FMP certificate for failing to mediate in good faith can reinitiate foreclosure by means of a new notice of default and election to sell and rescission of the original, thereby restarting the FMP process. View "Holt v. Reg'l Tr. Servs. Corp." on Justia Law

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A group of investors (Borrowers) bought a golf course by contributing part of the purchase amount in cash and financing the remaining balance through a nonrecourse loan with Community Bank of Nevada (CBN). To facilitate the sale, William Walters entered into a separate guaranty with CBN where he personally guaranteed the loan. Prior to the Borrowers' default and the eventual foreclosure of the golf course, Walters filed a complaint against CBN, asserting causes of action for declaratory relief and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. CBN counterclaimed, asserting breach of guaranty against Walters. The district court granted summary judgment in part to CBN, concluding that no genuine issues of material fact existed as to Walters' guaranty liability to CBN. Walters filed a petition for a writ compelling the district court to vacate its partial summary judgment in favor of CBN and to preclude CBN from recovering any amount from Walters under his guaranty. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding (1) CBN complied with the deficiency application requirements of Nev. Rev. Stat. 40, and (2) CBN was not attempting double recovery because double recovery was not an issue in this case.

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Appellant Joseph Francis incurred a $2 million debt at Wynn Las Vegas, a casino. When unable to collect on the debt, Wynn sued Francis for, among other things, breach of contract, conversion, and unjust enrichment. When Wynn deposed Francis during discovery, Wynn invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to nearly every question. Wynn eventually filed a motion for summary judgment, which the district court granted after refusing to permit Francis to withdraw his invocation and denying his request to reopen discovery. At issue on appeal was how, in response to a civil litigant's request for accommodation of his Fifth Amendment privilege, the district court should proceed in order to prevent the opposing party from being unfairly disadvantaged. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) in response to a civil litigant's request for accommodation of his privilege, the district court should balance the interests of the invoking party and the opposing party's right to fair treatment; and (2) after reviewing the particular considerations in the instant case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to permit Appellant to withdraw his invocation or in denying his request to reopen discovery.

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Petitioner William Daane defaulted on a loan secured by a mortgage on his residence. CR Title Services, the trustee of the deed of trust, filed a notice of default to initiate the foreclosure process. Daane opted to participate in the Foreclosure Mediation Program (Program). The district court later found that CitiMortgage, the beneficiary of the deed of trust, had participated in the mediation in bad faith. After the foreclosure process was reinitiated, Daane again elected for mediation in the Program. Daane subsequently brought a petition for a writ of prohibition, seeking to preclude the Program from proceeding with further mediations or issuing a letter of certification. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that a writ of prohibition was unwarranted to preclude the Program from conducting further proceedings with respect to Daane's residence because he had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

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The Pasillases purchased a home with a loan from American Brokers Conduit. The note and deed of trust were assigned to HSBC, and later, Power Default Services became a substitute trustee. The servicer for the loan was American Home Mortgage Servicing (AHMSI). After defaulting on their mortgage, the Pasillases elected to mediate pursuant to the foreclosure mediation program provided for in Nev. Rev. Stat. 107.086. Two mediations occurred but neither resulted in a resolution. Afterwards, the mediator filed a statement indicating that the respondents HSBC, Power Default, and AHMSI failed to participate in good faith and failed to bring to the mediation each document required. The Pasillases subsequently filed a petition for judicial review, requesting sanctions. The district court refused the request. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the respondents did not bring the required documents to the mediation and did not have access to someone authorized to modify the loan during mediation, the district court erred in denying the Pasillas's petition for judicial review. Remanded to determine sanctions.

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Appellant Moises Leyva received a quitclaim deed in exchange for taking over monthly mortgage payments on a house. Leyva did not expressly assume the mortgage note. After defaulting on the mortgage, Leyva elected to pursue mediation with the lender, Wells Fargo, through the state foreclosure mediation program. Leyva then filed a petition for judicial review in district court, claiming that Wells Fargo mediated in bad faith and should be sanctioned because it failed to produce essential documents. The district court concluded that Wells Fargo did not act in bad faith. On appeal, the Supreme Court held, as a threshold matter, that the foreclosure mediation statute, Nev. Rev. Stat. 107.086, and the foreclosure mediation rules (FMRs) dictate that a homeowner, even if he is not the named mortgagor, is a proper party entitled to request mediation following a notice of default. The Court then concluded that the district court abused its discretion when it denied Leyva's petition for judicial review, holding that (1) Wells Fargo failed to produce the documents required under the statute, and (2) Wells Fargo's failure to bring the required to the documents to the mediation is a sanctionable offense under the statute and FMRs. Reversed and remanded.