Wanderlei Silva files appeal with Nevada State Supreme Court

September 15, 2015

Wanderlei Silva has filed its brief with the Nevada State Supreme Court seeking to overturn a lower court ruling which allowed discipline over him despite the fact he was not licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at the time.

You may recall that Silva sought judicial review in the Nevada Superior Court of the NSAC’s ruling that Silva be banned indefinitely and fined him $70,000 as a result of allegedly evading a drug test leading up to UFC 175.  The state court reversed and remanded the commission’s lifetime ban and fine, but ruled that the NSAC had jurisdiction over Silva.  The order can be found here.

Silva’s attorney, Ross Goodman, argues, as it did in the underlying proceedings, that Silva did not fall within the jurisdiction at the time the commission claims he ran out on the drug test since he was not licensed at the time.

The brief argues that since Silva was not licensed, he could not be disciplined for a violation of NRS Chapter 467 (the chapter which promulgates authority for the commission).  As cited by Goodman, the Chapter only applies to licensees of Nevada citing NAC 467.885.

The Commission may suspend or revoke the license of, otherwise discipline or take any combination of such actions against a licensee who has, in the judgment of the Commission:

3. Violated any provision of this chapter;

Goodman also argues for the plain meaning of the words within the statute.  Thus, according to the interpretation, Silva could not be disciplined by the commission, since the commission’s authority is limited to that within the regulations of NFS Chapter 467.

The brief states that since agencies, like the NSAC, are “creatures” of statute, it cannot attempt to expand jurisdiction over subject matter not conferred by the legislature.  Thus, any rulings outside of the statutory authority should be void.

Silva State Supreme Court – Appellant Brief

Payout Perspective:

It will be an interesting appeal that Silva’s attorney hopes focuses on the statutory interpretation of the jurisdiction of the NSAC.  This case highlights the problem with commissions and if you were to look at the plain meaning of the rules, Silva has a viable argument.  While the commission argues (and the state district court agreed) that it has jurisdiction over unarmed combat in the state and the fact that Silva was scheduled to fight in Nevada it had authority over Silva, the governing administrative rules do not reflect that fact.  If Silva wins, we could see retooling of rules for combat sports within the state.

One Response to “Wanderlei Silva files appeal with Nevada State Supreme Court”

  1. mmaguru on September 16th, 2015 3:20 AM

    I do not have any legal experience, but I think this is one that Silva will win. What the repercussions will be from this case is yet to be seen. Retooling of the rules is badly needed. In fact, a national level standard and regulation would be ideal.

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