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Small Claims

The Las Vegas Township Justice Court accepts all Small Claims Court filings within the Las Vegas Township. The Clerk's Office is located on the second floor of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Avenue. Business hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays.


The information number for the Civil Division is (702) 671-3478.

Small Claims Filing Guidelines


A Small Claims may be filed in the Las Vegas Justice Court only if:


Small Claims Filing Fees


The Filing Fee depends on the amount of money being sued for in the Small Claims Complaint

For lawsuits seeking recovery of $.00 to $1,000.00, the fee is:

$66.00

For lawsuits seeking recovery of $1,000.01 to $2,500.00, the fee is:

$86.00

For lawsuits seeking recovery of $2,500.01 to $5,000.00, the fee is:

$106.00

For lawsuits seeking recovery of $5,000.01 to $7,500.00, the fee is:

$146.00*

Filing fees are due at time of filing. Payment may be made by cash, VISA, MASTERCARD, ATM and Debit cards (will be processed as VISA or MASTERCARD credit cards), personal check, money order, or cashier's check. Personal and/or business checks must be pre-printed with the customer information of name and address. No filing will be accepted without the payment of the appropriate fee.


If the filing party cannot afford the filing fee, the filing party must also prepare a Fee Waiver Application (the formal title of the document is:  Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis prior to arriving at the Clerk's Office. The Clerk's Office will receive the documents that the filing party wants to file and if the Fee Waiver is granted by a Judge, the documents will be filed.   If the Fee Waiver is denied, the Clerk's Office will call the filing party to advise that they have 2 business days to pay the fee or the case will be closed.


Mandatory E-Filing of All Civil Cases


All documents to be filed with the Justice Court's Civil Division (except Judge's Orders for signature) are required to be electronically filed (E-Filing). Users may file through Odyssey E-File & Serve at http://wiznet.wiznet.com/clarknv/ for a charge of $2.50 for each document. This fee is in addition to any applicable Court filing fees. You must have a credit or debit card. The credit card company charges 8 cents (3% as a service charge) to E-File each document outside of the Regional Justice Center.



Users may E-File documents for free (but will still have to pay any applicable Court filing fees) at the scanning stations located in the Justice Court Clerk's Office on the 2nd floor of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Avenue in Downtown Las Vegas. Cash, Checks or Money Orders will be accepted for court filing fees at the Justice Court Clerk's Office on the 2nd floor of the Regional Justice Center.


An e-mail address is required to receive a file stamped copy of your document. A free e-mail account may be set up at the Self-Help Center on the 1st floor of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Avenue in Downtown Las Vegas. You may also establish a free e-mail account through Microsoft at hotmail.com, Yahoo at mail.yahoo.com or Google at mail.google.com.


Additional information about E-Filing including instructions on how to register for and use E-Filing may be found at:  E-Filing & Serve


Small Claims Filing


Small Claims Complaint documents can be filed in person at the Justice Court Clerk's Office located on the 2nd floor of the Clark County Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada. Business hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays.


Electronic filing (E-Filing) is mandatory for all civil case filings, except Orders needing a Judge's signature.  Court users may E-File from any location with an internet connection for a fee, or may E-File at the Las Vegas Justice Court without an E-Filing fee. See E-Filing & Service for further information.


All documents should be typed or written clearly. All customers must prepare their own Small Claims Documents. Court staff are not permitted to assist you in preparing your complaint. There is a walk-in Self-Help Center located on the first floor of the Regional Justice Center that provides information and forms for people who are representing themselves in Court. Self-Help services are also available at their website, http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/self-help.html.The staff at the Self-Help Center cannot provide legal advice.


Small Claims Forms are available from this web site.


After-Hours Filing  (Effective July 16, 2011, After Hours Filing Will No Longer Be Allowed)


Service of Small Claims Complaint



The Plaintiff is responsible for proper service of the Small Claims Complaint The Small Claims Complaint should be served on the Defendant IMMEDIATELY after the complaint is filed. Plaintiffs should be aware that if the Defendant ?s not served, the Court will not hear the case.  The Proof of Service MUST be fully completed and filed with the Court immediately after service.


Service must be performed by a licensed private process server, a disinterested third party, or the Las Vegas Township Constable. The Plaintiff himself or herself may not serve the Small Claims Complaint on the Defendant.


For information regarding the SERVICE of a Small Claims Complaint contact the Las Vegas Township Constable's Office at (702) 455-4099.


Service by Mail:


The Justice Court Judges have determined that the Defendant must be personally served; however, if the Defendant resides in a gated community, a Judge may allow service by certified/registered mail. You must get approval from the Court in advance to serve the Complaint by certified/registered mail.  See Small Claims Motion For Service By Certified Mail.


Small Claims Answer (August 31, 2011 and PRIOR)


In cases filed prior to and including August 31, 2011, Defendants do not have to file an Answer in Small Claims cases.


Small Claims Answer (as of September 1, 2011)


In all Small Claims, all Defendants are required to electronically file (E-File) their Answer with the Justice Court Clerk's Office Civil and mail a copy by United States Mail, with first-class postage, to the Plaintiff(s) within 20 calendar days of service of the Complaint. Your failure to answer (respond to) the Complaint within 20 calendar days may result in the Plaintiff filing a Motion for Default Judgment against you.  This means the Judge may grant a Judgment for the Plaintiff based on the claims/allegations in the Complaint without considering your possible defense(s) or explanation(s).   You may electronically file your original Answer, for free, at the Justice Court Clerk's Office with this Court, or you may electronically file ($3.00 charge using credit or debit card) at: http://wiznet.wiznet.com/clarknv.


Small Claims Mediation (as of September 1, 2011)


Excluding Small Claims Chapter 604A cases and Small Claims NRS 97A.165 cases (See Small Claims Referee Hearings)


Parties in all Small Claims cases are required to attend mediation. Mediation is an informal dispute settlement process in which a neutral third person called a mediator helps the parties communicate about the issues and options for resolving differences in order to reach an agreement on all or part of the issues in dispute. The partie? keep the right to make decisions about their case; the mediator guides the process but does not decide the case. The mediator assists the parties in identifying issues, encouraging joint problem-solving, and exploring settlement alternatives. Please plan on spending 2-3 hours in mediation, although some matters can be mediated in less time. Only decision-makers may participate in mediation. You may bring evidence to share with the other party, but witnesses are not typically invited into the mediation room.


This free mediation service is offered by well-trained volunteers and staff of the Clark County Courts Neighborhood Justice Center. The Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC) was created through legislation approved by the Nevada State Legislature in 1991 to provide citizens, businesses, and organizations an alternative to the Court process for conflict resolution. If you would like more information about the Neighborhood Justice Center, you may wish to review their website: http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/lvjc/NJC/NJC_CMP.htm


If a settlement has been agreed on by all parties, the mediator will complete the Court Mediation Agreement form and have all parties sign the form. The original Agreement will become part of the case file. The Neighborhood Justice Center will give each party a copy and keep a copy.

Cases that were not successfully resolved by mediation will have a Small Claims hearing date set by the Court 10 to 21 days later. Parties will be notified of their Small Claims hearing date by letter.


Small Claims Filing Process For Cases Excluded From Mediation


Small Claims cases excluded from mediation will be set for a hearing before a Small Claims Referee once the Defendant(s) have filed Answer. This hearing date will be scheduled within 45 days of the Answer.


Proof of Service must be returned to the Court IMMEDIATELYafter service.  Plaintiffs should be aware that if the Defendant is not served, the Court will not hear the case. 


If the Small Claims Complaint was excluded from mediation (Small Claims Chapter 604A cases, Small Claims NRS 97A.165 cases, or a Small Claims case filed by an inmate incarcerated in a Nevada Department of Correction facility) on your Small Claims hearing date, you will go to a courtroom along with many other people who have also been scheduled for an appearance that day. First, the clerk will call the roll from the docket to see who is in attendance. Once this is done, a Default Judgment will be entered in cases where the Plaintiff appeared but the Defendant did not appear. If only the Defendant appears, and the Plaintiff does not appear, the case will be dismissed. It is very important to not be late, because if you arrive after the roll call, your case may already have been handled by either a default judgment or a dismissal. If either an order to dismiss or a default judgment is entered because you have failed to appear, or were not present on time when the roll was called, that order is final and IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FORMAL OBJECTION PROCESS.


If the Mediated Small Claims Case Was Not Successfully Resolved


Cases that were not successfully resolved by mediation will have a Small Claims hearing date set by the Court. The hearing date will be about 10 to 21 days after the mediation date. Parties will be notified of their Small Claims hearing date by letter. YOU MUST?APPEAR AT THE NEW HEARING DATE AND TIME ON THIS SUMMONS & ORDER TO APPEAR. FAILURE TO APPEAR AT THE TIME SET MAY CAUSE YOUR CASE TO BE DISMISSED IF YOU ARE THE PLAINTIFF, OR HAVING A DEFAULT JUDGMENT ENTERED AGAINST YOU IF YOU ARE THE DEFENDANT. Such an order to dismiss or default judgment for failure to appear at the mediation IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FORMAL OBJECTION PROCESS.


Small Claims Hearing


Hearings in Small Claims cases are informal and are designed to promote fair and speedy justice. The PLAINTIFF and DEFENDANT may offer evidence, including witnesses, to support their arguments.


IMPORTANT NOTE: At the beginning of each Court session, in the mornings and afternoons, there may be a lengthy line of people waiting to enter the courthouse through security. Be certain to arrive early so that you do not miss your case being called.


When your case goes to hearing before a referee, you and the other party in your case will move to the front of the courtroom. When your case number and names are called, you can present your arguments and tell your stories to the referee. Small Claims cases usually take no more than 10 or 15 minutes. It is very important, therefore, that you plan ahead regarding what you will say. Your story should be well organized and to the point. Do not go off on tangents, include too many details, or be repetitious. Stay calm and polite.


If you are the Plaintiff, you will speak first. As the Plaintiff, it is your burden to prove your case. You should not assume that the Defendant will admit fault or liability, so you must inform the referee of enough facts to convince him or her that you should win. Your opening statement should summarize the nature of your claim and the damages you have suffered as a result of injury, breach of contract, violation of a right, etc.; why the other person is at fault through intentional or negligent behavior; and why you did not contribute substantially to the loss.


If you are the Defendant, you will speak after the Plaintiff. As the Defendant, you may make an opening statement after the Plaintiff is done, or you may make your opening statement after the Plaintiff has presented their entire case and before you offer any evidence, including your own testimony. The Plaintiff has the burden of proving their case. You may decide whether or not to testify or present any witnesses. You may wish to tell the referee why you are not responsible for the claims made by the Plaintiff or present other evidence. Court staff cannot advise you on whether to testify or present evidence.


You may also bring witnesses, either someone who has firsthand knowledge of the facts (example, he saw the accident) or is an expert on the subject (example, the mechanic who examined your car after it was towed). You can also present documents or other evidence for the referee to consider. After both sides have presented their arguments, the referee may ask questions or allow cross-examination. The referee may decide the case immediately; if the matter is complicated, the referee may take the case "under advisement." This means that the referee will consider the facts, or research questions of law, and will issue a decision in writing at a later time.


If the case is heard by a referee, the referee will prepare written "Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendations." Either party may object to the referee's written decision by filing a Formal Objection within 5 days after receipt of that decision.  Because of this rule, two outcomes are possible:

If a timely objection is not filed, the Court will automatically accept the referee's findings, and the referee's decision will become a judgment. At that time, copies of the final judgment can be obtained at the Justice Court Clerk's Office.


PLEASE NOTE THAT THE REFEREE'S DECISION IS NOT ENFORCEABLE IN ANY MANNER UNTIL THE FORMAL OBJECTION PERIOD HAS EXPIRED.


Parties may search for Small Claims Cases. Look for the case by Case Number, or either Plaintiff or Defendant name. Complete instructions on how to search for calendar dates can be found on the Calendar Inquiry Page.


Important Plaintiff Information


This is your claim. You are the Plaintiff. The Court will make a decision in the case from the information you provide. The Court does not investigate Defendant addresses, employment, bank accounts, or other information. The Court does not collect money for you. If the Court awards you a Judgment on the claim, you are responsible for locating all information needed to collect on that Judgment and taking any other legal action necessary to collect. Court employees cannot offer you advice on how to collect your judgment.


Important Information for Parties in Small Claims Cases


Court employees may only explain Court procedures. They are prohibited by Nevada law from offering legal advice. Assistance is provided by the Self-Help Center located on the 1st floor of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave., in Downtown Las Vegas and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays. They provide instructions and help in filling out common Court forms. Their web site is: http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/CivilSHC/index.html. If you have specific questions on Small Claims matters, consult an attorney or contact the Clark County Law Library. The Law Library's address is: 309 S. Third St. #400, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89155-7340. The phone number is: (702) 455-4696. Library staff cannot provide legal advice, but they may refer you to sources you may research.


To help individuals understand the Small Claims process, a FREE SMALL CLAIMS COURT INFORMATIONAL CLASS is offered by the UNLV Boyd School of Law, Clark County Legal Services, and Nevada Legal Services. The classes are provided in both English and Spanish. For class information or to register, call 702-386-1070, Ext. 155, or toll free 1-800-522-1070, Ext. 155.


Finally, It is the parties' responsibility to understand the purpose and role of the Small Claims process. The Court does not accept liability for the actions or decisions made by the parties in Small Claims proceedings.

Court Forms Page

 

 

Regional Justice Center
200 Lewis Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89155

Family Courts and Services Center
601 N. Pecos
Las Vegas, NV 89155

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