N.R.S. 293.182 - Written challenges concerning qualifications of candidates; enforcement in preelection actions
Overview of Statute
This section outlines the process for the written challenges of the qualifications of candidates.
1. After a person files a declaration of candidacy to be a candidate for an office, and not later than 5 days after the last day the person may withdraw his or her candidacy pursuant to NRS 293.202, an elector may file with the filing officer for the office a written challenge of the person on the grounds that the person fails to meet any qualification required for the office pursuant to the Constitution or laws of this State. Before accepting the challenge from the elector, the filing officer shall notify the elector that if the challenge is found by a court to be frivolous, the elector may be required to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs of the person who is being challenged.
2. A challenge filed pursuant to subsection 1 must:
(a) Indicate each qualification the person fails to meet;
(b) Have attached all documentation and evidence supporting the challenge; and
(c) Be in the form of an affidavit, signed by the elector under penalty of perjury.
3. Upon receipt of a challenge pursuant to subsection 1:
(a) The Secretary of State shall immediately transmit the challenge to the Attorney General.
(b) A filing officer other than the Secretary of State shall immediately transmit the challenge to the district attorney.
4. If the Attorney General or district attorney determines that probable cause exists to support the challenge, the Attorney General or district attorney shall, not later than 5 working days after receiving the challenge, petition a court of competent jurisdiction to order the person to appear before the court. Upon receipt of such a petition, the court shall enter an order directing the person to appear before the court at a hearing, at a time and place to be fixed by the court in the order, to show cause why the challenge is not valid. A certified copy of the order must be served upon the person. The court shall give priority to such proceedings over all other matters pending with the court, except for criminal proceedings.
5. If, at the hearing, the court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenge is valid or that the person otherwise fails to meet any qualification required for the office pursuant to the Constitution or laws of this State, or if the person fails to appear at the hearing, the person is subject to the provisions of NRS 293.2045.
6. If, at the hearing, the court determines that the challenge is frivolous, the court may order the elector who filed the challenge to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs of the person who was challenged.
1. Definition for Filing officer
The Secretary of State, county or city clerk or any other officer authorized by law to receive designations and declarations of candidacy, certificates and acceptances of nomination or any other nomination papers.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.057.
2. Definition for State
A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293D.080.
3. Definition for Person
1. A natural person;
2. Any form of business or social organization;
3. Any nongovernmental legal entity, including, without limitation, a corporation, partnership, association, trust, unincorporated organization, labor union, committee for political action, political party and committee sponsored by a political party; or
4. A government, governmental agency or political subdivision of a government.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 294A.009.
4. Definition for Elector
A person who is eligible to vote under the provisions of Section 1 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.055.
5. Definition for Candidate
1. Who files a declaration of candidacy;
2. Who files an acceptance of candidacy;
3. Whose name appears on an official ballot at any election; or
4. Who has received one or more contributions in excess of $100, regardless of whether:
(a) The person has filed a declaration of candidacy or an acceptance of candidacy; or
(b) The name of the person appears on an official ballot at any election.
See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 294A.005.
Case Name: Williams v. Clark County Dist. Att’y
Citation: 118 Nev. 473, 50 P.3d 536
- A candidate must have both actual residence and legal domicile in pertinent area.
- Facts indicated candidate did not have legal domicile in appropriate county commission district.
- Computation of period for deadline for filing challenge regarding qualification of candidate: Application of rules of civil procedure; exclusion of certain days.
- Filing of challenge: Requirement to attach documentation and supporting evidence demands only substantial compliance.
Case Name: DeStefano v. Berkus
Citation: 121 Nev. 627, 119 P.3d 1238
- Statute that authorizes a written challenge to the qualifications of a candidate for public office does not invalidate the jurisdiction of a district court to determine a candidate's residency in an action for declaratory judgement.
Case Name: Child v. Lomax
Citation: 124 Nev. 600, 188 P.3d 1103
- A newly elected State Legislator begins serving in office on the day after the general election, and his or her predecessor is no longer a member of the Legislature after that date.
- A newly elected State Legislator's term of office is not linked to the canvass of the votes, and he or she becomes a member of the Legislature on the day after the general election even if a special session is called on that day.
- A writ of mandamus was an available remedy in a pre-election challenge to the qualifications of a state legislative candidate under the term-limits amendment to the Nevada Constitution.
- The authority to judge the qualifications, elections and returns of newly elected State Legislators is vested in reach House of the Legislature and is not dependent upon the canvass of the votes.
- The term-limits amendment to the Nevada Constitution did not bar a state legislative candidate from being re-elected where a prior term of office commenced before the amendment's effective date.
Case Name: Miller v. Burk
Citation: 124 Nev. 579, 188 P.3d 1112
- A position on the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada is a "state office" under the term-limits amendment to the Nevada Constitution.
- The court may issue a writ of mandamus to require an elections official to comply with the law and exclude the name of an unqualified candidate from the ballot.
- A writ of mandamus was an available remedy in a pre-election challenge to the qualifications of certain state and local candidates under the term-limits amendment to the Nevada Constitution.
- A constitutional amendment adopted through the initiative process becomes effective on the date of the canvass of the votes and applies only prospectively unless the amendment specifically provides otherwise.
- The term-limits amendment to the Nevada Constitution barred certain state and local candidates from being re-elected where their prior terms of office commenced after the amendment's effective date.