“Hoarding” in Henderson, Nevada Can Be Charged as a Public Nuisance

Posted by Neil Shouse | Apr 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

 ce 93 c3 87 c2 a3hoarding ce 93 c3 87 c2 a5 20in 20henderson  20nevada 20can 20be 20charged 20as 20a 20public 20nuisance

If you or someone you know in Henderson, Nevada is a “hoarder,” criminal charges can be added to the pile of problems created by this challenging mental illness.

The Mayo Clinic defines “hoarding disorder” as:

“a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.”

Sometimes, as the Mayo Clinic notes, hoarding includes “keeping dozens or hundreds of pets in unsanitary conditions because they can't care for them properly.”

Hoarding can present serious health and safety problems for individuals living in cramped, filthy, and dangerous conditions. But when the hoarding also affects neighbors and others, it can become a criminal offense. Specifically, excessive hoarding in Henderson could be charged as a “public nuisance” under Nevada law.

Under NRS 202.450, a “public nuisance” is a crime against the order and economy of the State.” This specifically includes any act which annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, comfort or repose of any considerable number of persons.”

In the case of hoarding, if the property owned and occupied by the hoarder is strewn with garbage, furniture, boxes, objects, or other hazards that are visible to the public, it could be deemed a public nuisance. Similarly, if the hoarding has created such unsanitary conditions that the odors from the property “annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, comfort or repose” of those in the surrounding neighborhood, public nuisance charges could be brought against the property owner.

Not only is it a crime in Henderson, Nevada to create or maintain a public nuisance, willfully refusing to perform a legal duty to remove a public nuisance is also illegal. 

Note that it's irrelevant whether the alleged public nuisance actually causes any damage.  The Clark County District Attorney may press public nuisance charges under NRS 202.450 based solely on the defendant's behavior, not whether someone sustained an injury because of it.

A Henderson public nuisance offense under NRS 202.450 is sentenced as a misdemeanor in Nevada.  The punishment for a misdemeanor in Nevada carries:

  • up to 6 months in Clark County Detention Center (or another county jail) and/or up to $1,000 in fines; and
  • a civil penalty between $500 and $5,000

In addition, the court may order the defendant to remove the nuisance, which in the case of hoarding means cleaning up the property and removing the excessive clutter and unsanitary conditions which created the public nuisance.  The defendant then has only three days to begin the abatement process.  Otherwise, the applicable government agency may abate the nuisance itself at the defendant's expense.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a public nuisance in Henderson, Nevada because of hoarding, please give one of our experienced Henderson, Nevada criminal defense attorneys a call today.


About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Free attorney consultations...

The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

Regain peace of mind...

Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Office Locations

Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370