What To Expect At An Eviction Hearing
How an eviction hearing proceeds depends on the type of the hearing at issue. Because you are likely reading this because you intend to represent yourself at your hearing, it may be worth finding out which judge is going to hear your case and sitting in on his or her eviction hearings so that you have a better idea of what to expect when your day in court comes. You should also consult How to Represent Yourself in Court.
Regardless of what type of eviction hearing you are attending, it is the landlord who has the burden of proving the facts on which he or she is seeking to evict the tenant. This means that the landlord must present, through testimony and exhibits, enough evidence to support his or her case.
This section will address:
- Summary Eviction Hearings
- “Formal” Eviction Order to Show Cause Hearings (for a temporary writ)
- “Formal” Eviction Trials (for a permanent writ)
The intent of the summary eviction hearing is “to determine the truthfulness and sufficiency of any affidavit, notice or service of any notice and to dispense fair and speedy justice.” See JCRCP 105
At the hearing, the court will allow both parties to speak and present evidence on their behalf after which the court will determine whether there is “a genuine dispute of material facts.” (See Anvui, LLC v. G.L. Dragon, LLC in which the Nevada Supreme Court held that summary eviction cases should be evaluated like motions for summary judgment.
If the court finds that there is no genuine dispute over material facts and that the landlord is entitled to a summary eviction order as a matter of law, an order for summary eviction will be granted. If the court finds that a genuine dispute of material facts exists, the court is required to dismiss the action, however, this does not mean that the landlord cannot file a “formal” eviction action.
The Order to Show Cause Hearing is a device used by landlords to remove the tenant from the rental unit pending trial of the case. The court will allow both parties to speak and present evidence on their behalf after which the court will determine whether there exists sufficient facts to establish whether the landlord has a clear right to remove the tenant (See Farnow v Department 1 of Eighth Judicial District, in which the Nevada Supreme Court stated that:
We do not believe to be constitutional any procedure so speedy, summary and drastic as to enable a landlord to dispossess a tenant without first showing, by competent, relevant and material evidence, at a hearing, judicially, fairly and impartially conducted, the existence of sufficient facts to establish, at least prima facie, the clear right to the immediate possession of the property involved [Emphasis supplied].
If the Court determines that a Temporary Writ of Restitution should issue, the Court must first require the Landlord to post a bond in the amount to be set by the court. See NRS 40.300(3). The Court determines the amount of the bond based on the Tenant’s probable loss from being wrongfully evicted pending trial.
A formal eviction trial is just like any other trial. The court will allow each party to present the facts of their case, call witnesses, and introduce evidence after which the court must determine whether the landlord has presented enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the facts he or she is alleging are true and whether or not those facts are enough to justify evicting the tenant.