Carstarphen v. Milsner

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Justia Opinion Summary

This appeal addressed the factors a district court must consider when determining whether to grant a motion for a preferential trial date to avoid the expiration of Nev. R. Civ. P. 41(e)'s five-year period for bringing a case to trial. Appellant brought an action against Respondents. Before the five-year period had elapsed, the parties stipulated to vacate their previous trial date and reset the trial for a date that was beyond the expiration of the five-year period. Appellant then filed a motion for a preferential trial date. The district court denied the motion and instead granted Appellant's motion to confirm that the five-year rule had been tolled or extended. The district court subsequently held that its previous order was ineffective and dismissed the underlying case, finding that because the stipulation was silent on the five-year period, it was insufficient to toll or extend the running of that period. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in denying Appellant's motion for a preferential trial and dismissing the complaint, as (1) Appellant filed his motion with more than three months remaining in the five-year period, and (2) Appellant diligently moved his case forward. Remanded.