A petition by Carson City District Attorney Noel Waters alleging legal misconduct by a Carson City woman and her lawyer was rejected this week by the Nevada Supreme Court.
Waters filed the complaint last month against Karen Perdue and lawyer Day Williams alleging that they maliciously caused his office to participated in excessive litigation.
The court rejected the argument saying that the alleged conduct "makes it impossible for the court to justify wielding its inherent power when such use must be restricted to the narrowest and most limited sets of circumstances."
Waters requested the financial reimbursement in response to public accusations and a lawsuit that alleged misconduct on the part of his office and the office of Sheriff Rod Banister.
Waters is referring to a lawsuit Perdue filed, that alleges her civil rights were violated when she was reportedly asked to leave while demonstrating on the steps of the Carson City Courthouse.
It was withdrawn without prejudice 19 days later, well after the district attorney's office had invested time in preparation for a response, Waters said.
He said his office believes Perdue and Williams's lawsuit also failed to reveal a pattern of violations of free speech rights, which it must in order to be awarded damages.
Perdue, who has been campaigning for an inquest into the 1997 death of 16-year-old Natasha Jennings, said the high court's decision was justified.
"I know I was not acting inappropriately," she said. "We will not alter our course."
Waters said although he doesn't agree with the decision, he understands the philosophy behind it.
"The court gives leeway to folks who might have legitimate claims," he said. "But we don't go after someone unless we feel the conduct was pretty egregious."