Legal Process Service

Small Claims in Nevada

Legal Process Service (LPS) has been providing townships in Southern Nevada and Northern Nevada with professional and quality service of process and assistance with Small Claims filings since 1982. Small Claims is a simple and effective collection tool when suing for amounts up to $10,000.00. LPS trained staff is able to guide you step-by-step through the Small Claims process.

The Small Claims courts are a division of the justice court system. In most Small Claims proceedings, applicable parties (the person bringing the suit, the Plaintiff, and the party being sued, the Defendant) will represent themselves, “pro se” or “in proper person”. Attorneys can represent either party in a small claims case; however, attorney fees are not recoverable from the losing party. So if you hire an attorney to represent you in Small Claims court, you are personally responsible for attorney fees.

Small Claims is a quick and effective way to deal with cases involving money judgments up to $10,000.00. Important: Judges in Small Claims court can only order the other side to pay money.

WHEN CONSIDERING A SMALL CLAIMS FILING THERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PROCEEDING. TAKE THE TIME TO ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

Is it worth my time and money? – Although Small Claims is a quick and inexpensive process, there is still time and money involved. If the court sets a hearing date you, or someone who represents you, will need to appear at that hearing. There are costs involved with preparing, filing and serving your Small Claims documents that also need to be taken in to consideration.


Small Claims Service

LPS Staff can take your Small Claims case from beginning to end, thus making the process as simple as possible for you. LPS will prepare the necessary case documents, file with the court of jurisdiction, and then serve the small claims document. All that is left is for you, the client, to show up at the hearing to present your case. Once a judgment has been rendered and upon client request, LPS can proceed with execution of the judgment. A Writ can be prepared and filed to record and/or satisfy a judgment by executing upon a judgment debtor’s wages, real property, bank account or cash box. Contact you LPS Small Claims specialist for assistance with execution of a judgment.



OVERVIEW OF THE SMALL CLAIMS PROCESS. UNDERSTANDING THE SMALL CLAIMS PROCESS

There are a few steps to the Small Claims process.


FIRST STEP: SEND A DEMAND LETTER

  1. Identify the Defendant you are suing and the amount of the suit;
  2. Send a Demand Letter (certified, return receipt requested) – The letter must state 1) the amount of money owed or being sought; 2) reason for the suit; 3) must state that the recipient of the letter has 10* days from receipt of letter to respond or a civil action will be filed with the court. *Henderson Justice Court requires a 15 day window for response. Click here if you would like LPS to process your Demand Letter.
  3. If there is no response to the Demand Letter contact your LPS Small Claims specialist to begin your new case filing. Click here to get a new Small Claims case started.


Second Step: LEGAL ACTION AND COURT FEES

Upon completion of the Small Claims documents, filing fees must be tendered to the Justice Court of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is determined by where the proposed Defendant lives, works or does business. In order to get your case heard in Small Claims court, a fee must be paid to the court to open your case. Filing fees are determined by amount of the claim/or lawsuit and are listed below:

  • If the sum claimed does not exceed: $1,000.00 --Court filing fee is $66.00
  • If the sum claimed exceeds $1,000.00, but does not exceed $2,500.00 –Court filing fee is $86.00
  • If the sum claimed exceeds $2,500.00, but does not exceed $5,000.00 –Court filing fee is $106.00
  • If the sum claimed exceeds $5,000.00, but does not exceed $7,500.00 –Court filing fee is $146.00
  • If the sum claimed exceeds $7,500.00, but does not exceed $10,000.00 –Court filing fee is $196.00


Third Step: WHAT TO DO AFTER FILING

FOR NORTH LAS VEGAS, HENDERSON, RENO, SPARKS AND CARSON CITY JUSTICE COURTS ONLY:

Once the case has been filed, the case will be assigned a tentative hearing date. The Defendant must be served with a copy of the Small Claims Complaint within ten (10) calendar days of the hearing date. Service may be effected at either residence or place of employment/business. If the Defendant is served at place of employment/business, personal service is required. Once the Defendant has been served, the Affidavit of Service along with a Memorandum of Costs and Disbursements must be filed with the court in a timely manner so as to confirm your case on calendar and to notify the court of the costs incurred processing your Small Claims Complaint. A decision will be rendered by the court at the hearing.



Fourth Step: FINALIZING THE JUDGMENT

Once judgment is received you can proceed with collecting your judgment by filing a Writ. A judgment is valid for six years and can be renewed for another six years as many times as necessary until the judgment is paid. There are various types of Writs; however, only one Writ per judgment is allowed at a time. Please review the various Writs below and click here to submit your request for a Writ of Execution.

  1. Garnish Wages – this is a recurring deduction from the Defendant’s wages for up to 120 days. You must have the Defendant’s employment information (please include the social security number and/or department, if known). This will deduct an allowed amount from the Defendant’s paycheck every pay-period up to the total amount of the judgment, this writ is only valid for 120 days. If the total amount of the judgment is not collected within the 120 days, another Writ will need to be processed;
  2. Lien Property – this is a one-time filing and you must know the APN number for the property. This writ will place a Lien on the property owned by the Defendant. Once sold the amount, up to the total judgment amount, is deducted from the sale and provided to the Plaintiff. If the property is not sold within 6 years you will need to renew your judgment and rerecord the lien.
  3. Levy Bank Account – this is a one-time filing and you must know the Defendant’s bank account number, bank branch, name and address. An allowed amount up to the judgment amount is deducted from the bank account; if the judgment isn’t satisfied with that bank levy another Writ will need to be processed;
  4. Levy Cash Drawer – if the Defendant is a business you have the option of filing a writ for a Cash Drawer Levy / Till Tap. This is also a one-time filing which the amount up to the total judgment amount is removed from the cash drawer, till, safe, tip jar, etc. If the judgment isn’t satisfied with that Cash Drawer Levy another Writ will need to be processed;
  5. Lien Vehicle – if the Defendant owns a vehicle you will have the option of filing a writ to place a lien on the vehicle. You must have a full description of the vehicle, including make, model and serial number and where it can be found. You must also have a printout from the Department of Motor Vehicles at the time the execution is filed. The vehicle will be held by the Constable’s Office for 10 days to give the defendant a chance to pay the judgment in full. If the defendant does not pay the judgment in full, they will set the vehicle for auction and notify you of the time and date of auction. You may attend the auction and bid on the vehicle. This is also a one-time filing which the amount up to the judgment is deducted from the amount received from the sale of the vehicle; if the judgment isn’t satisfied another Writ will need to be processed.

SMALL CLAIMS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FAQs

Can I file in the court that is closest to me? – The court rules dictate that your complaint should be filed in the Justice Court of the township where the Defendant(s) currently reside, does business or is employed. If you file in the wrong court you risk the chance that the Judge may dismiss your case. Similarly, the Defendant can petition the court to dismiss based on the wrong court of jurisdiction.



LPS SMALL CLAIMS SPECIALISTS

LPS Small Claims Specialists are trained and ready to assist you with the Small Claims process. Upon your instruction, LPS staff will complete all documentation, oversee the filing of the Small Claims Complaint, service of process, filing of the Affidavit of Service and LPS Staff can assist you with processing your Writ to collect on your judgment.