Nick Diaz is speechless. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas via US PRESSWIRE.
Yet another twist in the Nick Diaz vs. Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) saga.
After Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites following his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit back in February, one that ended all hopes for a fight between he and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre, it seemed that his decision to retire couldn't have come at a better time, seeing as how many believed Diaz would be facing a drug-related suspension in his immediate future.
Just over two weeks following his controversial loss to "The Natural Born Killer," his license was indeed temporarily suspended by the NSAC while they prepared for a disciplinary meeting at a later date.
However, the NSAC also denied Diaz and his legal team a hearing which was set to be on April 24, 2012 to provide their argument that Diaz indeed qualified for a medical marijuana exemption due to his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and should not be punished for his positive drug test.
Diaz and his legal team failed to produce a medical marijuana card. Soon after, the Stockton slugger's legal team, which is headed by Ross Goodman, filed a lawsuit against the NSAC for failing to give their client his due process and grant him a hearing within 45 days from the date his suspension took place (Feb., 22. 2012).
Or did they?
According to the State of Nevada, the NSAC did nothing wrong in denying Diaz his hearing, but rather, Goodman misunderstood its ban.
Further explanation comes via a letter that Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto sent to Ross Goodman (courtesy of MMA Fighting) after the jump:
"No Notice of Summary Suspension was ever served on your client. In this matter, Mr. Diaz was properly served with a 'Notice of Hearing on Temporary Suspension' and he failed to appear at the hearing. The Commission temporarily suspended Mr. Diaz's license at the hearing. Neither Mr. Diaz nor you objected in any manner to the temporary suspension."
The letter effectively indicates that because Diaz was not given a "summary suspension," his case does not fall under Nevada code NRS 233B.127, which requires a hearing within 45 days. A separate code, NRS 467.117, indicates that the commission can " continue the suspension until it makes a final determination of any disciplinary action to be taken against the licensee or holder of the permit."
The letter also indicates that the NSAC delay in scheduling Diaz's hearing was partially his fault, caused while waiting for him to produce his medical marijuana card.
Goodman understood the suspension to be a "summary suspension." However, Nevada's state codes say that a summary suspension can only be ordered if an agency finds that: "public health, safety or welfare imperatively require emergency action."
The office of the Nevada Attorney General still plans on moving forward with a disciplinary hearing against Diaz, though no date has been established.
What's your opinion Maniacs, was this all a simple case of failure to understand the lingo and/or miscommunication?
Who's to blame in this matter?