THE STATE OF NEVADA, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Petitioner,
THE JUSTICE COURT OF LAS VEGAS TOWNSHIP; AND THE HONORABLE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE DEBORAH J. LIPPIS, Respondents, and MARIA ESCALANTE; AND RAMIRO FUNEZ, Real Parties in Interest.
petition for a writ of mandamus or prohibition challenging a
justice court order denying a motion to reconsider an order
dismissing a criminal complaint.
Paul Laxalt, Attorney General, Carson City; Lawrence VanDyke,
Solicitor General, and Jordan T. Smith, Assistant Solicitor
General, Carson City, for Petitioner.
McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry and Richard G. McCracken
and Paul L. More, Las Vegas; Pitaro & Fumo, Chtd., and
Thomas F. Pitaro, Las Vegas, for Real Parties in Interest.
HARDESTY, PARRAGUIRRE and STIGLICH, JJ.
original proceeding requires us to determine whether NRS
30.130 entitles petitioner Nevada Office of the Attorney
General (AG) to notice and an opportunity to be heard when
constitutional challenges to Nevada statutes are raised in
criminal proceedings. We conclude that the AG is not entitled
to such notice or opportunity to be heard, and we thus deny
the AGs petition for writ relief.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
December 2015, real parties in interest Maria Escalante and
Ramiro Funez were cited for trespassing at Red Rock Casino
Resort & Spa in Las Vegas. An amended criminal complaint
was filed charging Escalante and Funez (collectively,
Escalante) each with one count of trespass in violation of
NRS 207.200(1)(a). Escalante moved to dismiss both charges
arguing that NRS 207.200(1)(a) is unconstitutionally vague.
Specifically, Escalante argued that the 'Vex or
annoy" intent requirement is void for vagueness. The AG
was not notified of the constitutional challenge to NRS
justice court subsequently issued an order granting the
motion to dismiss in part, determining that the 'Vex or
annoy" intent requirement in NRS 207.200(1)(a) is
unconstitutionally vague. The justice court ordered defense
counsel to provide a copy of the order to the AG. Upon
receiving notification of the justice court's order, the
AG filed a "motion to place on calendar, " arguing
that the AG was entitled to notice of the constitutional
challenge under NRS 30.130. Escalante objected, arguing that
the AG was not entitled to notice before the court ruled on
the constitutionality of NRS 207.200(1)(a).
briefing, the justice court issued a second order denying the
AG's motion and deciding that NRS 30.130 only applies to
declaratory relief actions, has no applicability to criminal
proceedings, and only entitles the AG to notice and
opportunity to be heard in constitutional challenges to
municipal ordinances or franchises. This petition for writ
of the AG's writ petition
of mandamus is available to "compel the performance of
an act" that the law requires or to control an arbitrary
or capricious exercise of discretion. NRS 34.160. Because
mandamus is an "extraordinary remed[y], we have complete
discretion to determine whether to consider [it]."
Cote H. v. Eighth Judicial Dist Court,124 Nev. 36,
39, 175 P.3d 906, 908 (2008). "This court will exercise
its discretion to consider petitions for extraordinary
writs... when there . . . are .. . important legal issues
that need clarification in order to promote judicial economy