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What To Do If A Judgment Has Been Entered Against You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though a judgment has been entered against you, there are steps that you can take to either request the same judge or a higher court to reverse the judgment. This section will address:

How to Contest a Default Judgment

If you have been sued and a Default Judgment has been entered against you because you did not file an Answer, you can file a Motion to Vacate, (link to form) in which you request that the Judge vacate, or set aside, the judgment against you.  In order to succeed on your motion, you need to establish that there exists certain legal reasons why the judgment should not stand.  These reasons, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Clerical mistakes in judgments or orders
    Mistakes can be corrected by the court on its own initiative but are typically brought to the court’s attention by a motion.  NRCP and JCRCP 60(a)
  2. Mistakes; Inadvertence; Excusable Neglect; Newly Discovered Evidence; Fraud; the judgment is void; or the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged.    
    This is brought to the court’s attention by motion and, for the first 3 reasons, the motion must be filed within 6 months of service of the notice of entry of order/judgment). NRCP and JCRCP 60(b)
  3. Default Judgments where the Defendant Was Not Personally Served.  
    This is brought to the court’s attention by motion that must be filed within 6 months after the date of service of written notice of entry of such judgment (if a default judgment was entered against a party that was personally served, they have to proceed under #2). NRCP and JCRCP 60(c)

How to Appeal From a Judgment or Order

An appeal is a request to have another court change or reverse a judgment.  A judgment entered in Justice Court will be appealed to the District Court.  A judgment entered in District Court will be heard by the Nevada Supreme Court.  In order to perfect your appeal, you should take the following steps:

Step 1: Determine Whether You Can File An Appeal
Step 2:  Understand the Time Limits For Filing Your Appeal        
Step 3:  File A Notice of Appeal and Cost Bond
Step 4:  Serve the Notice of Appeal
Step 5:  Decide Whether To Stay Execution Of The Order/Judgment
Step 6: Order A Transcript, If One Was Made, Or File A Statement Of The Evidence Or Proceedings
Step 7: File a Brief For Appeals to the Supreme Court and Await Instruction/Scheduling For Appeals to the District Court

Step 1: Determine Whether You Can File An Appeal. 

Not every order is appealable.  NRAP 3A(b) and JCRCP 72A list many of the orders that can be appealed.  Other appealable orders may be found in NRS 155.190 and NRS 38.547.  Please note, even though an appeal may not be available, there may be other avenues by which you can seek to challenge the order at issue.  Speaking to a lawyer is the best way of evaluating your available options.

Step 2: Understand the Time Limits For Filing Your Appeal.   

The time in which to appeal from a civil judgment depends on where the judgment was entered. 

If the Judgment was entered in Justice Court, you must file your Notice of Appeal within 20 days of the date of service of written notice of the entry of   the judgment or order. JCRCP 72B(a). 

If the judgment entered in District Court, you must file your notice of appeal within 30 days after service of notice of entry of the judgment or order.  NRAP 4(a)(1)

Step 3: File the Following:

Notice of Appeal. ( link to form) The Notice of Appeal should be filed with the clerk of the court that entered the judgment along with the required filing fees.

A Cost Bond.  Unless you are exempted by law or have filed a “supersedeas bond” (See Step 5 below) you must post bond in the amount of at least $250 if you are appealing from a decision made in Justice Court, or $500 if you are appealing from a decision made in District Court, unless the court from which you are appealing has ordered a different amount.

Step 4: Serve the Notice of Appeal.  You should serve a file-stamped copy of the Notice of Appeal on the opposing party or, if they are represented by an attorney, on their attorney. 

Step 5: Decide Whether To Stay Execution Of The Order/Judgment.  The fact that you filed an appeal does not automatically prevent the opposing party from executing on an order or judgment in their favor.  If you want to prevent the party from, for instance, garnishing your wages to collect a money judgment pending the appeal, you will need to take the following measures depending on which court entered the order or judgment:

Judgments from the Justice Court.  Justice Court Orders/Judgments may be stayed by filing a Supersedeas Bond.  See JCRCP 73A.  The amount of the bond will depend on the nature of the judgment order from which you are appealing (ie if you are appealing from a money judgment, you must file a bond in the amount of the judgment together with costs and interest to prevent the opposing party from executing on the judgment pending the appeal).

Judgments from the District Court.  District Court Orders/Judgments may be stayed only by filing a motion in the District Court requesting a stay pending an appeal although the same motion may be filed directly with the Supreme Court under certain circumstances.  See NRAP 8(a).  The stay may be conditioned on filing a Supersedeas Bond.

Step 6:  Order A Transcript, If One Was Made, Or File A Statement Of The                                Evidence Or Proceedings.

The timelines and procedures with which you must comply depend on which court you are appealing from and whether or not the proceedings were recorded.  Please note, civil court proceedings are generally only recorded if one of the parties paid for this service.

Appeals from Justice Court.  Within 10 days after filing the Notice of Appeal, the Appellant must do one of the following:

A. Order a transcript of the proceedings and deposit $100 with the Justice Court to absorb the cost of the transcript; or

B. If the proceedings were not recorded, the Appellant may prepare a Statement of the Evidence or Proceedings ( link to form) which must be served on the opposing party (known as the Respondent); or

C.  Regardless of whether the proceedings were recorded and if the parties agree, they may prepare and sign a Statement of the Case ( link to form) which serves to show how the issues presented by the appeal arose and were decided in the Justice Court.

NOTE:  If findings of fact and conclusions of law are not included in the record and if the parties are unable to agree on a Statement of the Case (See C. above), the Appellant must serve a Statement of Points ( link to                               form) on which he intends to rely on the appeal.

Appeals from District Court.  Within 15 days after filing the Notice of Appeal, the Appellant must do one of the following:

A. If the proceedings were recorded, the Appellant must file in the District Court an original and one (1) copy of a transcript request form within 15 days from the date of the notice to appeal was filed; or

B. If the proceedings were not recorded, the Appellant may prepare a Statement of the Evidence or Proceedings ( link to form) which must be served on the opposing party (known as the Respondent).

NOTE:  While the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure require Appellants represented by counsel to file a Case Appeal Statement and Docketing Statement, parties representing themselves are not required to and may not do so unless ordered by the Supreme Court.

Step 7: File a Brief For Appeals to the Supreme Court and Await                                      Instruction/Scheduling For Appeals to the District Court.

If the appeal is to the District Court, the parties may or may not be required to file briefs.  The Court oftentimes sends the parties a briefing schedule or schedules a hearing at which the parties may argue the appeal  orally. 

If the appeal is to the Supreme Court, the briefing proceeds as follows:

A. The Appellant must serve and file an Opening Brief within 120 days after the date that the appeal was docketed in the Supreme Court;

B. The Respondent then has 30 days from the date that the Opening Brief was served to file an Answering Brief;  and

C.  The Appellant then has 30 days from the date the Answering Brief was served to file a Reply Brief.

 

 

 

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