Some websites to view are:
Claims may also be filed in the Justice Courts up to $10,000.
Justice Court Claims can include actions for damages for
personal injury; or for taking or injuring personal property;
or for injury to real property if there is no issue involving
the title to or boundaries of the real property, if the damage
claimed does not exceed $10,000; actions on bonds or undertakings
conditioned for the payment of money, up to $10,000; actions
to recover the possession of personal property valued up
to $10,000; evictions and rental actions for the possession
of real property in a landlord/tenant relationship exists
- up to $10,000 - or when no damages are claimed; suits for
the collection of taxes, where the amount of the tax sued
for does not exceed $10,000; actions for the enforcement
of mechanics’ liens; for the issuance of an order for
protection against harassment in the workplace pursuant to
NRS 33.200 to 33.360, inclusive; actions to challenge the
validity of liens on mobile homes or manufactured homes;
stalking orders. (NRS 4.370.)
Most lawsuits are filed in District Court. If the amount
claimed as damages is under $40,000, then the case may be
sent to arbitration under the Nevada Arbitration Rules. Most
cases filed in District Court are settled by the parties
before they go all the way to trial. If you do go to trial
and lose in the District Court, you may file an appeal to
the Nevada Supreme Court.
In the federal system, the United States District Court is
the trial court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is
the court in which you would file your appeal. The two court
systems involve different laws and rules. But unless you
try to sue someone out of state, or you are working with
a specific federal law, most likely any lawsuit you find
yourself involved in will be in the state District Court.
Are there time limits for filing
Yes. There are statutes of limitation for almost all types
of claims. They are set out generally in Nevada Revised Statutes
11.090. If you fail to file your complaint within the time
limits set by the statutes, then your case will be dismissed
and you will not be able to move forward.
How do I know if I get sued? And
what do I do?
You have been sued if you are handed a “Summons” that
has been issued by the clerk of the court. It will tell you
that a “Complaint” has been filed against you
and who filed the Complaint. It should also give you a copy
of the Complaint. You will have twenty (20) days to file
an “Answer.” NRCP 4.
What if I just ignore the Summons
and pretend I don’t know about the lawsuit? Or what
if I just leave the state?
If you do not respond to the summons and complaint, then
a default and a default judgment can be entered against you
by the court. A court can enter judgment for the full amount
that the plaintiff asks for, and you will thereby owe that
amount under the law.
On the basis of that default judgment, the plaintiff who
sued you will be able to contact your employer and take or “garnish” a
portion of your wages, or may be able to get access to the
value of your property to satisfy the judgment. The judgment
will not go away and can also be recognized and enforced
by other states. Having a judgment entered against you can
also affect your ability to obtain credit and loans.
Do I have to hire an attorney?
You are not required to hire an attorney, and if the action
against you is in Small Claims Court, you must represent
yourself. But you can always consult an attorney. And if
the complaint against you is filed in District Court, it
is in your own best interests at least to talk to an attorney,
and you probably should hire one to help you defend yourself.
By the same token, if you file a lawsuit against someone
in Small Claims, you must do it yourself; but if your case
is in District Court, you should probably hire or “retain” an
attorney. If you choose to represent yourself, you will
still be held to the same knowledge and understanding of
the system and the laws as an attorney.
What if I don’t have money
for an attorney?
There are various offices locally that can help you with
debt collection and bankruptcy, immigration, housing discrimination,
some employment and public access claims under the Americans
with Disability Act, landlord/tenant issues, consumer issues
- such as dealing with retailers who won’t give you
what you have paid for, family law and domestic violence
problems, and help with children if you don’t have
enough money to hire a private lawyer.