Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

O'Neal v. Hudson

Supreme Court of Nevada

June 1, 2017

JENNIFER O'NEAL, Appellant,
v.
SHARNA HUDSON, INDIVIDUALLY; AND GERALD LYLES, INDIVIDUALLY, Respondents.

         Jurisdictional prescreening of an appeal from a judgment on a short trial verdict and a post-judgment order denying a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or alternatively for a new trial. Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County; James Crockett, Judge; Robert A. Goldstein, Short Trial Judge.

         Appeal may proceed.

          Kirk T. Kennedy, Las Vegas, for Appellant.

          The Howard Law Firm and James W. Howard, Las Vegas, for Respondents.

          BEFORE HARDESTY, PARRAGUIRRE and STIGLICH, JJ.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         In this appeal, we consider whether a motion for a new trial was filed with the district court where it was accepted by the short trial judge for filing, but there is no indication that the short trial judge complied with NRCP 5(e) by noting the date of filing on the document and promptly transmitting it to the office of the clerk. We conclude that a document is filed with the district court upon acceptance for filing by the judge, and his or her failure to note the date of filing thereon and transmit it to the clerk of the court is a ministerial error not to be held against the parties. Accordingly, the motion for a new trial was timely filed when the short trial judge accepted it for filing.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Appellant filed a complaint against respondents for negligence related to a motor-vehicle accident. After a trial in the short trial program, the district court entered a judgment on jury verdict in favor of respondents. Notice of entry of judgment was electronically served on March 24, 2016. No post-judgment motions appear on the district court docket sheet; however, appellant represented in her docketing statement that she filed a motion for a new trial with the short trial judge on March 24, 2016. The short trial judge entered an order on April 25, 2016, denying a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or in the alternative, motion for a new trial. Appellant filed the notice of appeal on May 19, 2016.

         This court entered an order directing appellant to show cause why this appeal should not be dismissed in part for lack of jurisdiction. We explained that the notice of appeal was filed more than 30 days after service of notice of entry of the judgment on jury verdict. Thus, the notice was untimely as to the final judgment unless a timely tolling motion was filed. See NRAP 4(a)(1), (4). It was not clear whether the motion for a new trial tolled the time to file the notice of appeal where the district court docket entries did. not indicate that any such motion was filed in the district court, and the copy of the motion for new trial included with the docketing statement did not bear the file-stamp of the district court clerk or a notation of the filing date made by the judge.

         In response, appellant points to an email exchange between appellant and the short trial judge. Appellant emailed the short trial judge and inquired whether the new trial motion should be e-filed. A copy of the new trial motion was attached to the email. The short trial judge responded that he did not know and directed appellant to contact the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) office. Appellant then informed the short trial judge that she was instructed by the ADR office to file the motion directly with the short trial judge by service and not to file the motion with the clerk's office. Once a ruling was made, the short trial judge's order was to be filed with the motion as an exhibit. Appellant asked that the short trial judge accept the earlier emailed motion as "my submission to you for consideration and decision." The short trial judge then set a briefing schedule for the motion.

         Based on this exchange, appellant asserts that the new trial motion was filed in accordance with the direction of the ADR office, and the short trial judge accepted the motion as properly filed. Respondents concede that if emailing the motion to the short trial judge was the correct manner of proceeding, the notice of appeal was timely filed. However, respondents argue that emailing the motion does not meet the definition of filing set forth in NRCP 5(e) because the motion was not filed with the clerk. Respondents thus request that this appeal be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

         DISCUSSION

         In order to qualify as a tolling motion under NRAP 4(a)(4), a motion for a new trial must be timely filed in the district court under the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure. NRAP 4(a)(4). Documents may be filed with the court "by filing them with the clerk of the court, except that the judge may permit the papers to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the office of the clerk." NRCP 5(e). When a case is in the short trial program, unless ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.