vegas law firm Archives - Morris Law Center

More Than You Want to Know About Renewing Judgements

Generally, a judgment is only valid for six years from the date it was entered. NRS § 11.190(1)(a). This means that if the judgment is not collected within that six-year period, the ability to collect the judgment expires. However, Nevada allows for judgments to be renewed, which if done correctly will continue the judgment for another six years from the date of renewal. This process has several steps but they cannot be done incorrectly because Nevada courts strictly enforce the statutory procedure. As the Nevada Supreme Court put it “NRS 17.214’s mandatory requirements of filing, recording, and service of the affidavit are plainly set forth and must be followed for judgment renewal.” Leven v. Frey, 123 Nev. 399, 403 (2007).

When a Judgment can be Renewed

NRS § 17.214 sets forth the process for renewing judgments. Even though the judgment itself is valid for a six-year period, it must be renewed before it expires. The statute requires the renewal process to begin at least 90 days before the judgment expires. If the process is correctly followed, the renewed judgment will be valid for six years. Additionally, the judgment can essentially be continually renewed forever, following the same procedure at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the renewed judgment.

The Affidavit of Renewal of Judgment

To renew a judgment, the judgment creditor (the party to whom the judgment is owed) must file an “Affidavit of Renewal of Judgment” with the clerk of the court. This must be the same court where the judgment was entered and docketed. The affidavit must contain the following information:

  • Names of the parties to the judgment;
  • The date and amount of the judgment;
  • The number and page of the docket in which the judgment is entered;
  • Information as to whether there is an outstanding writ of execution for enforcement of the judgment;
  • The date and amount of any payment on the judgment;
  • Whether there are any setoffs or counterclaims in favor of the judgment debtor;
  • The exact amount due on the judgment;
  • If the judgment was docketed by the clerk upon a certified copy from another court, and an abstract of judgment has been recorded with the county clerk, the name of each county in which the transcript has been docketed and the abstract recorded; and
  • Any other fact or circumstance necessary to a complete disclosure of the exact condition of the judgment.

A very important requirement of the statute is that the Affidavit “must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant, and not upon information and belief.” If there is information that you may need to seek out prior to renewing the judgment, you may want to start preparing your affidavit and gathering the necessary information early. Within three days of filing the affidavit with the court, the judgment creditor must send a copy of the affidavit by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the judgment debtor’s last known address.

Recorded Judgments

Judgments are often recorded with a county clerk to assist with collection efforts. If the judgment has been recorded, the affidavit must also include the name of the county of recording and either the document number of the recorded judgment or the number of the page of the book where it was recorded. Additionally, the within three days of filing the affidavit of renewal, the affidavit must also be recorded with the county where the judgment has been recorded.

So basically….

Renewing a judgment is a valuable tool for a party still trying to collect on a judgment that has not been fully paid. Because there are important deadlines for filing the affidavit of renewal of judgment, and detailed information must be included in the affidavit, consulting an attorney who is familiar with the process can help ensure your judgment renewal goes smoothly and provides additional time for collection.

As always, “If you think you might need an attorney, you probably do.” Contact us here to set up a complimentary consultation.

Litigation: NRCP 54(b) Certification of Partial Summary Judgement

NRCP 54(b) allows a Court to make some orders on a motion for summary judgment final while the rest of the case moves forward. A ruling on partial summary judgment is not final and will not compel action by any party unless it is given finality through NRCP 54(b) certification. See NRCP 54; Allis-Chalmers Corp. v. Phila. Elec. Co., 521 F.2d 360, 365 (3d Cir. 1975).[1]  

NRCP 54(b) states, in relevant part “When an action presents more than one claim for relief…, the court may direct entry of a final judgment as to … fewer than all, claims … only if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay. Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated,… does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims…” This shows that a decision on a partial motion for summary judgment is not final or binding unless it is certified as such under NRCP 54(b).

This reading is further supported by caselaw. See e.g. Cascade Drinking Waters v. Cent. Tel. Co., 88 Nev. 702, 703, 504 P.2d 697, 697 (1972) (“This court has held that a judgment dismissing fewer than all parties to an action without an express determination that there is no just reason for delay by the district court is not a final judgment…”)[2]

Therefore, any order on a motion for partial summary judgment is not final and does not compel action unless it is either certified or incorporated into a final judgment on the entire case. Any order on a partial motion for summary judgment which is not certified is “of an interlocutory nature.” See Curtiss-Wright Corp. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 446 U.S. 1, 5, 100 S. Ct. 1460, 1463 (1980). Furthermore, an order on a motion for partial summary judgment is not appealable unless it is certified pursuant to NRCP 54(b). NRAP 3A(b); Cascade Drinking Waters, 88 Nev. at 703.

At Morris Law Center, we love to dig into the technicalities of the rules. As such, if you are an opposing attorney, do not expect to catch us slipping. However, if you are a fan of legal procedure, give us a call to discuss further.


Sources:

[1] “Under 54(b) procedure, the essential inquiry is whether, after balancing the competing factors, finality of judgment should be ordered to advance the interests of sound judicial administration and public policy.” While that case considered FRCP 54(b) rather than NRCP 54(b), the reasoning is identical and after the amendments which took effect on March 1st, the rules were deliberately brought into harmony.

[2] See also Allis-Chalmers Corp. v. Phila. Elec. Co., 521 F.2d 360, 367 (3d Cir. 1975) (finding that a “lack of competent Rule 54(b) certification” created a “lack of finality”).

Litigation: Submitting Orders Under The New Rules

At our firm, one of us is in court on almost a daily basis, and we deal with the requirement to submit proposed orders frequently. The rules of civil procedure were significantly altered recently, and those changes went into force on March 1, 2019. The way those amendments interact with the Eighth District Court Rules can be confusing at times.

The local Rules of Practice for the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada (“EDCR”) state that proposed orders should be submitted to the court within 10 days. The rule is EDCR 7.21, specifically. However, under the Rules of Civil Procedure which were in place at the time EDCR 7.21 was drafted, that referred to 10 Court days. See e.g. Administrative Order 19-03; NRCP 6(a) (2017).

The changes to NRCP which took effect on March 1st, 2019 caused the issuance of Administrative Order 19-03 which suspends some rules and directs that the rest be interpreted to reasonably comply with the revisions to the NRCP. Id. The most reasonable way to reconcile the EDCR with the revisions is to find that time to submit a proposed order is within 14 calendar days from the time of a verbal order. See ADKT 0522 (revising the NRCP and stating that in general deadlines which were for 6 to 15 days are adjusted to 14 days).

Under the new rules, in some cases, 10 judicial days can turn out to be longer than 14 calendar days when there are intervening holidays.

At Morris Law Center, we love to dig into the technicalities of the rules. As such, if you are an opposing attorney, do not expect to catch us slipping. However, if you are a fan of legal procedure, give us a call to discuss further.

Mediation vs. Arbitration: What is The Difference?

Some people may mistakenly think that mediation and arbitration are synonymous with one another, and while it’s true there are some similarities between these two processes, the differences are considerable. Both mediation and arbitration utilize a neutral third party to oversee the dispute outside of the court system, and both are alternatives to traditional litigation. In some cases, both mediation and arbitration can be binding on the parties.

In mediation, a single agreed upon mediator is selected to assist in facilitating a discussion between two disputing parties to ultimately come to an agreeable resolution on both sides in a more informal environment.

Arbitration, however, has an agreed upon arbitrator taking on the role of a judge, hearing evidence, making decisions, and issuing opinions. In some arbitration cases, the neutral third party is a panel with both sides of the dispute selecting their preferred arbitrator, then the arbitrators themselves selecting a third to join the panel so a majority vote would prevail if necessary.

While mediation seeks mutual agreement through facilitated discussion between the parties, arbitration imposes rules by the arbitrator making decisions on their behalf. In arbitration, one of both of the parties may end up dissatisfied with that decision of the arbitrator.

In some cases, a judge may order a dispute to go through an alternative dispute resolution before continuing in the courtroom. Alternative dispute resolution generally indicates arbitration or mediation, and can many times lead to an acceptable and agreeable resolution for all involved without the need for time consuming and costly litigation in a formal court setting.

In the Eighth Judicial District Court every contested civil case is reviewed by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office, with 75% of cases that are assigned to arbitration being successfully resolved. Parties in District Court can bypass assigned arbitration by agreeing to participate in mediation. According to the United States Department of Justice, in 2017 55% of cases were resolved by court-ordered alternative dispute resolution, and 75% of cases were resolved by parties voluntarily seeking alternative dispute resolution.

For more information on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Clark County, CLICK HERE.

So, mediation and arbitration, although having a different procedure, has a similar and fairly successful goal of resolving disputes between parties.

Our Las Vegas estate planning attorneys at Morris Law Center would love to assist answering any questions about your dispute and obtaining a resolution to it. Contact us today to set up your complimentary consult.

What’s The Difference Between Medical And Recreational Marijuana in Nevada?

Now that recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for some time, many of you may be wondering what differences exist between the two. While the legalization of recreational weed didn’t change how the medical marijuana program was governed, legal differences between the two may affect whether you decide to apply for a medical card.

First, medical users can possess up to two and a half (2.5) ounces of “usable marijuana” in a two-week period, while recreational users can only possess one (1) ounce.[1]  Basically, if you don’t have a medical card and you’re caught with more than an ounce of marijuana on you, it’s a felony charge. [2] Significantly, medical users also don’t have to pay a hefty 10% tax that recreational users pay.

A restriction that applies to recreational users that doesn’t necessarily apply to medical users is the right to grow your own marijuana. Medical users can grow their own pot even if they live within 25 miles of a retail store as long as they are too ill, don’t have the ability to travel, or if they are grandfathered in as a cultivator prior to July 2013[3]. Furthermore, while recreational users can only grow 6 plants per person, medical users can grow 12.

Another difference between recreational and medical use is the legally allowable age. As many of us are familiar with, a person must be over the age of 21 in order to use and buy recreationally, but not so for the medical side of things. Persons under the age of 21, and even 18, may use marijuana if they have qualified for the card.[4] Those under the age of 18 just need to have an official care-giver. Of course, qualifying for a medical marijuana card requires written affirmation from a healthcare provider.[5]

One of the most notable differences is the Medical Marijuana Registry. While those over the age of 21 can purchase marijuana somewhat anonymously in Nevada, those who have a Medical Marijuana license will be on the state’s database of cardholders. There’s no way around this, since the Medical Marijuana program is run by the state. There are also some nuances involved with the registry, since the information technically falls under HIPPA; while HIPPA protects a person’s medical information, it won’t necessarily stop the fact that you’re on the registry from showing up on background checks.

The law does not prevent employers or landlords from discriminating based on the fact that a person uses marijuana. Furthermore, being a Medical Marijuana Cardholder means you won’t be able to apply for gun licenses, or purchase guns. A Nevadan woman actually appealed this very issue all the way to the 9th U.S. Circuit, but the court ruled that the ban of gun sales to cardholders does not violate the Second Amendment.[6]

However, with more states slowly legalizing recreational marijuana, and with the huge amount of tax revenue it’s brought in for the government, the overall stigma will probably fade. The recreational market has also made purchasing marijuana a much easier task for medical users, as more and more legal dispensaries open to support the growing market. Marijuana is still a new industry, so there’s a way to go before all the kinks are ironed out, but for now, there are some significant differences between being a cardholder and buying recreational marijuana.

And finally, as we always say, “If you think you might need an attorney, you probably do.” Contact us before anything is set in stone. We love answering questions!

 

By Winnie Wu, Legal Assistant at Morris Law Center, Former UNLV Undergraduate Research Scholar and 2018 University Libraries Lance and Elena Calvert Undergraduate Research Award Winner


Sources:

[1] NRS. 453A.200 3(b)(1)

[2] NRS. 453A.200 3(b)(vb2)

[3] NRS 453A. 200 (6)

[4] NRS 453A.210

[5] Id.

[6] Thanawala, Sudhin. US Court Upholds Ban on Gun Sales to Marijuana Card Holders. (August, 2016). Associated Press. Retrieved from https://apnews.com/bbb3ef37357d4799bec33cb2d36a7bae

Unwritten Litigation Rules: Three Day Notice of Intent to Take Default

The Three Day Notice of Intent to Take Default (“3DN”) is commonly used in Nevada, particularly in the Eighth Judicial District, to notify an opposing attorney that a default will be entered if they do not immediately respond to a lawsuit. However, it can not be found anywhere in the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, or in the Rules of Practice for the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada.

That is because the basis for this pleading is in the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct:

Rule 3.5A.  Relations With Opposing Counsel.  When a lawyer knows or reasonably should know the identity of a lawyer representing an opposing party, he or she should not take advantage of the lawyer by causing any default or dismissal to be entered without first inquiring about the opposing lawyer’s intention to proceed.

The unwritten rule that evolved in response to this is the 3DN. The 3DN is normally filed into the case with a certificate of service reflecting who it was served upon. While not required, the executive summary is that the Judge won’t report an attorney to the Nevada Bar for investigation if that attorney files the 3DN and then pursues default after the three days run.

The attorneys at Morris Law Center love to discuss procedural strategy. Contact us if you want to discuss the blueprint for litigation.

How do I Certify my Pup to be a Service Dog?

Today a trip to the store likely involves seeing a service animal assisting their owner while they travel about. If you’re a dog lover, you’ve probably wondered what the process is to get your own furry children trained and certified to accompany you in public places. However, it is important to understand the purpose of a service dog and what specific reason would require your dog to join you in public.

Firstly, the most important and albeit shocking piece of information about service dogs is that the American Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require formal training or certification. If you search “service dog” online, you will immediately be barraged with several sites offering certifications for service dogs. These are not required nor are they recognized as legitimate proof that your dog is a service animal by the Department of Justice. Although professional training is not required, a service dog still must be trained in providing a “service” to you. For example, you may train your own dog to guide you as you walk if you have impaired vision or blindness.

So, now you may be thinking, “Great – I can bring my dog anywhere a service animal is allowed and say: I trained him/her myself.” However, the use of a service dog requires the place you are going, whether a restaurant, store, movie theatre, etc., to make accommodations for you and your service dog. This is based on an honor system that you have some reason you need your dog’s assistance. If you don’t, you could be inconveniencing that place and others around you for no good reason. Moreover, it isn’t fair to those who truly do require their service animal. These places should be reserving their reasonable accommodations for individuals who really do need their dog to provide a service in order to participate in their everyday lives.

In sum, while it would be amazing to take our adorable, loving puppies everywhere we go, it is important to respect the purpose of a service dog. Please only train your pup to be a service dog, and bring them around as such, if you truly need their assistance to function in your everyday life.

For more information on service dogs, and the laws that protect them, please review the AmericanDisabilities Act (ADA) at this link: https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

And finally, as we always say, “If you think you might need an attorney, you probably do.” Contact us before anything is set in stone. We love answering questions!