Weddell v. Stewart, Nos. 55981

Docket Nº56473.
Citation127 Nev. Adv. Op. 58, 261 P.3d 1080
Case DateSeptember 29, 2011
CourtSupreme Court of Nevada

261 P.3d 1080
127 Nev.
Adv. Op. 58

Rolland P. WEDDELL; Granite Investment Group, LLC; and High Rock Holding, LLC, Appellants,
v.
Michael STEWART, an Individual, and as Trustee of the Michael B. Stewart Trust; Empire Energy, LLC; Empire Group, LLC; Empire Foods, LLC; Empire Farms, LLC; Orient Farms, LLC; White Paper, LLC; Empire Geothermal Power, LLC; Nevada Energy Park, LLC; Amor II Corporation; M.B.S., Inc.; Tahoe Rose, LLC; Clearwater River Properties, LLC; Honalo Kai, LLC; and Sierra Rose, LLC, Respondents.Rolland P. Weddell; Granite Investment Group, LLC; and High Rock Holding, LLC, Appellants,
v.
Michael B. Stewart, an Individual, and as Trustee of the Michael B. Stewart Trust; Empire Energy, LLC; Empire Group, LLC; Empire Foods, LLC; Empire Farms, LLC; Orient Farms, LLC; White Paper, LLC; Empire Geothermal Power, LLC; Nevada Energy Park, LLC; Amor II Corporation; M.B.S., Inc.; Tahoe Rose, LLC; Clearwater River Properties, LLC; Honalo Kai, LLC; and Sierra Rose, LLC, Respondents.

Nos. 55981

56473.

Supreme Court of Nevada.

Sept. 29, 2011.


[261 P.3d 1082]

Day R. Williams, Carson City, for Appellants.Bowen, Hall, Ohlson & Osborne and Dan C. Bowen, Reno; Darby Law Practice, Ltd., and Kevin A. Darby, Reno; Law Offices of Amy N. Tirre and Amy N. Tirre, Reno; Robison Belaustegui Sharp & Low and Keegan G. Low, Reno, for Respondents.Before SAITTA, C.J., DOUGLAS, CHERRY, GIBBONS, PICKERING, HARDESTY and PARRAGUIRRE, JJ.
OPINION
PER CURIAM:

Before us are appellants' proffered motions for reconsideration in two appeals, each of which was previously dismissed for failure to pay the filing fee. In Docket No. 55981, a pending appeal in which remittitur has not yet issued, we direct the clerk of this court to file the motion for reconsideration, which we deny. In Docket No. 56473, a closed appeal in which remittitur has already issued, we direct the clerk of this court to reject the proffered motion altogether.

We take this opportunity to elucidate the importance of following the rules pertaining to appellate procedure and to emphasize that failure to pay required fees and comply with this court's directives in a timely fashion is not without consequence. In this instance, the consequences included loss of the right to appeal two independently appealable special orders after final judgment, as well as a referral of appellants' counsel to the State Bar of Nevada for investigation. Because ignorance of, or disregard for, the rules and directives of this court are unfortunately all too common, we elect to address these matters by way of opinion.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

These appeals, along with another appeal not at issue here, arise from the same underlying district court action. In the action below, the district court issued a final judgment against appellants in consolidated civil cases alleging various tort, contract, and declaratory relief claims. Appellants filed a notice of appeal from the final judgment and paid the requisite filing fee: that appeal was docketed in this court on January 6, 2010, as Docket No. 55200. Procedurally, Docket No. 55200 is progressing through the appellate process in an ordinary manner and is mentioned here only to provide a backdrop to the matters at issue.

Docket No. 55981 is an appeal from a subsequent award of attorney fees entered in the same district court case underlying the appeal in Docket No. 55200. The appeal in Docket No. 55981 was docketed in this court on May 6, 2010. The notice of appeal, however, was not accompanied by the requisite filing fee.1 Consequently, on May 13, 2010,

[261 P.3d 1083]

this court issued a notice to pay the filing fee within 10 days, warning that failure to pay the filing fee could result in the imposition of sanctions, including dismissal of the matter. No filing fee was paid. On September 16, 2010, this court issued an order instructing appellants' counsel to pay the filing fee within 10 days, warning that failure to do so would result in a referral of counsel to the State Bar of Nevada for investigation. Still, no filing fee was paid. Consequently, on November 12, 2010, this court issued an order dismissing the appeal. The order noted that appellants had failed to pay the fee required by NRS 2.250 or otherwise respond to this court's directives, and further referred appellants' counsel to the State Bar of Nevada for investigation pursuant to SCR 105. Remittitur has not yet issued in Docket No. 55981, 2 and the case remains pending on this court's docket.

Docket No. 56473 is an appeal from a subsequent order denying a motion to set aside the judgment, entered in the same district court case underlying the appeals in Docket Nos. 55200 and 55981. The appeal in Docket No. 56473 was docketed in this court on July 28, 2010. The notice of appeal, however, was not accompanied by the requisite filing fee.3 Consequently, on July 28, 2010, this court issued a notice to pay the filing fee within 10 days, warning that no action would be taken on the matter until the filing fee was paid and that failure to pay the filing fee would result in dismissal of the matter. No filing fee was paid. On August 16, 2010, this court issued an order dismissing the appeal for failure to pay the filing fee or otherwise respond to the July 28, 2010, notice. Remittitur in Docket No. 56473 issued on September 10, 2010, and the case was closed.

On November 17, 2010, appellants submitted the instant motions for reconsideration in Docket Nos. 55981 and 56473.4 In the motions, appellants' counsel argues that he believed in good faith that, pursuant to NRAP 4(a)(7), he was not obligated to pay additional filing-fees in these appeals, and that he believed they were assigned separate case numbers due to a “glitch” in the system. He indicates that it was not until this court's November 12, 2010, order in Docket No. 55981 dismissing the appeal and referring him to the State Bar that he realized he was mistaken in his belief that only one filing fee was due.5 He asks this court to permit him to pay the fees necessary to reinstate the appeals.6

[261 P.3d 1084]

DISCUSSION

The State of Nevada is presently enduring an unprecedented fiscal crisis. All branches of government are facing significant budget cutbacks as a result of enduring economic turmoil. The judicial branch is certainly not immune from this grave financial crisis: we have reduced expenditures, implemented improved internal procedures, and created new programs to efficiently manage the court's docket. Yet, despite increasingly limited funds, we must adhere to the rule of law and resolve every dispute that is put before us in a fair, impartial, and timely manner.

British statesman William E. Gladstone recognized long ago that “justice delayed is justice...

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29 practice notes
  • Huckabay Props., Inc. v. NC Auto Parts, LLC, Nos. 61024
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • March 27, 2014
    ...expires); NRAP 31(d) (explaining consequences for failing to file briefs, including dismissal); Weddell v. Stewart, 127 Nev. ––––, 261 P.3d 1080 (2011) (addressing counsel's repeated failures to follow court rules and directives and declining to reconsider an order dismissing an appeal base......
  • City of North Las Vegas v. State Local Gov't Employee–mgmt. Relations Bd., No. 54849.
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • September 29, 2011
    ...unprofessional conduct. Both officers were subject to the same 18–month probationary period and were under Chief Paresi's supervision. [261 P.3d 1080] In addition, both officers were subject to an internal affairs investigation. Moreover, both officers were probationary employees when their......
  • Sicor Inc. v. Sacks, No. 58887.
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • December 15, 2011
    ...Salas v. Allstate Rent–A–Car, Inc., 116 Nev. 1165, 1168, 14 P.3d 511, 514 (2000); Weddell v. Stewart, 127 Nev. ––––, ––––, 261 P.3d 1080, 1084 (2011) (stating that rules of statutory construction apply to court rules), we consider civil practice in other jurisdictions, as well as Nevada's c......
  • In re In re Serota, Nos. 57960
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • October 3, 2013
    ...of a formal, written motion, not by way of a letter addressed to the clerk of the court. Weddell v. Stewart, 127 Nev. ––––, –––– n. 8, 261 P.3d 1080, 1085 n. 8 (2011). In addition, Serota's briefs in Docket No. 57960 contain numerous factual assertions not supported by references to the rec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Huckabay Props., Inc. v. NC Auto Parts, LLC, Nos. 61024
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • March 27, 2014
    ...expires); NRAP 31(d) (explaining consequences for failing to file briefs, including dismissal); Weddell v. Stewart, 127 Nev. ––––, 261 P.3d 1080 (2011) (addressing counsel's repeated failures to follow court rules and directives and declining to reconsider an order dismissing an appeal base......
  • City of North Las Vegas v. State Local Gov't Employee–mgmt. Relations Bd., No. 54849.
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • September 29, 2011
    ...unprofessional conduct. Both officers were subject to the same 18–month probationary period and were under Chief Paresi's supervision. [261 P.3d 1080] In addition, both officers were subject to an internal affairs investigation. Moreover, both officers were probationary employees when their......
  • Sicor Inc. v. Sacks, No. 58887.
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • December 15, 2011
    ...Salas v. Allstate Rent–A–Car, Inc., 116 Nev. 1165, 1168, 14 P.3d 511, 514 (2000); Weddell v. Stewart, 127 Nev. ––––, ––––, 261 P.3d 1080, 1084 (2011) (stating that rules of statutory construction apply to court rules), we consider civil practice in other jurisdictions, as well as Nevada's c......
  • In re In re Serota, Nos. 57960
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • October 3, 2013
    ...of a formal, written motion, not by way of a letter addressed to the clerk of the court. Weddell v. Stewart, 127 Nev. ––––, –––– n. 8, 261 P.3d 1080, 1085 n. 8 (2011). In addition, Serota's briefs in Docket No. 57960 contain numerous factual assertions not supported by references to the rec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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