Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination by state and local government. But individuals who believe a state or local government has discriminated against them must file a claim in court within a certain period of time called the statute of limitations. In Nevada, the statute of limitations period for ADA claims under Title II is likely three years, based on a recent case out of the Ninth Circuit.
In 2015, the Ninth Circuit held that the statute of limitations period for Title II of the ADA in California is three years. (see Sharkey v. O’Neal, 778 F.3d 767 (9th Cir., 2015)). Specifically, it found that not all ADA claims have the same statute of limitations and that Title II does not have an express statute of limitations. As a result, it borrowed the statute of limitations period “applicable to the most analogous state-law claim,” which in California it found to be a law prohibiting discrimination (California Government Code § 11135), as opposed to the state’s personal injury statute of limitations, which other courts have applied.
The Court noted that the statute of limitations for California’s anti-discrimination law was unknown, but it applied the three-year period attached to “[a]n action upon a liability created by statute, other than a penalty or forfeiture.” (Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 338(a)).
Nevada also has a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a disability. I could not find whether a specific statute of limitations applies to that law, but I did discover that, just like California, Nevada has a three-year statute of limitations for “[a]n action upon a liability created by statute, other than a penalty or forfeiture.” (NRS 11.190(3)(a)). Thus, unless a specific period applies to Nevada’s discrimination statute, a court would likely find the statute of limitations to be three years based on the reasoning applied in California by the Ninth Circuit.
Someone might be able to convince a court that only a two-year period should apply, but certainly an ADA claim doesn’t fit within the types of actions with a four or six year statute of limitations under NRS 11.190(1)-(2). In fact, in 2021 a district court judge determined that a two-year period does apply, but the decision is unpublished and subject to review by the court of appeals.