Nevada Small Claims Court Process

Nevada Small Claims Court Process

Last Updated: February 27, 2023 by Ashley Porter

Quick Facts Answer
Small Claim Maximum $10,000
Deadline to File 4 years – Oral lease agreement

6 years – Written lease agreement

Filing Fees Vary by court
Appeal Deadline 5 days

Small Claims Court Basics in Nevada

Small Claims Court is an informal court designed for minor cases limited to a maximum claim amount. The plaintiff and defendant present their case to the judge, who makes a decision unless either party requests a jury trial.

Common suits filed by landlords include:

  • Recovery of unpaid rent
  • Damages that exceed the amount of the security deposit
  • Failure to uphold the responsibilities of the rental agreement
  • Early termination of a lease

Common suits filed by tenants include:

  • Failure to return the security deposit correctly
  • Failure to uphold the responsibilities of the rental agreement
  • Overcharging for damages

How Long Does the Small Claims Court Process Take in Nevada?

A typical small claims case in Nevada takes one to three months, from the date of filing, but can be longer if there are problems serving the defendant, the trial is continued, or other delays occur.

How Much Can You Sue For in Small Claims Court in Nevada?

In Nevada, the maximum amount that can be recovered through Small Claims Court is $10,000.

To attempt to recover an amount of more than $10,000, the suit must be filed as a civil case in Justice Court.

How Long Do You Have to File a Small Claim in Nevada?

In Nevada, you have up to 6 years from the date of the dispute to file a small claims case if the tenancy was governed by a written lease agreement. If the lease was oral, the case must be filed within 4 years.

Are Lawyers Needed or Allowed in Small Claims Court in Nevada?

Small Claims Court is designed to be simple and not require an attorney in most situations. However, either party can be represented by an attorney if they so choose.

Where are Small Claims Cases Filed in Nevada?

In Nevada, Small Claims Court is a division of Justice Court. A small claims case should be filed in the Justice Court in the township where the rental property is located or where the defendant lives, works or does business.

To find your local Justice Court, you can use the court map.

How to File a Small Claims Case in Nevada

Step 1: Send a demand letter to the landlord by certified mail with a return receipt requested. You must wait 10 business days (15 business days if filing in Henderson Justice Court) after mailing the letter to file a small claims case.

However, if the demand letter is returned to you marked “refused” or “unclaimed,” you can proceed with filing a case right away.

Step 2: Contact your local court clerk to obtain a Small Claim Complaint form and determine the local filing procedures. Courts throughout Nevada have their own form, may require a Civil Cover Sheet, and have different rules for filing.

Step 3: File your Complaint, demand letter, and proof of mailing (and any other forms required by the court) electronically, in person, or by mail depending on the filing methods allowed or required by your local court.

Step 4: Pay the filing fee.

How Much Does it Cost to File a Case in Small Claims Court in Nevada?

The fee for filing a case in Small Claims Court in Nevada varies by court and depends on the amount of money you claim you are owed. Contact your local court clerk for filing fees in your area.

What if You Can’t Afford to File a Case?

You can still file a case if you cannot afford the fees by filing an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. Contact the court clerk to obtain the correct form.

Small Claims Court Process in Nevada

The Small Claims Court process in Nevada varies by court, but the first step is to serve the Complaint on the defendant. Contact your local court clerk to make sure you understand your responsibilities after filing.

Step 1: Serve the defendant. After you have filed the Complaint in person, by mail, or electronically, you will need to serve the defendant at least 10 days prior to the first appearance date (mediation or trial, depending on the court).

Service on the defendant can be completed by certified or registered mail, constable, sheriff, email, or process server. The available methods for serving the defendant vary by court, so check with your local court to determine the correct process.

Step 2: File a Proof of Service form prior to the mediation or trial. The deadline to file varies by court so check with the court clerk to obtain the correct form and filing deadline.


Some courts require a mediation session to attempt to resolve the issue without a formal trial. Check with the court clerk to see if this step is required. If the defendant fails to attend the scheduled mediation, a default judgment may be issued.

Step 3: Attend the trial. On the trial date, you should bring copies of any evidence you have to support your claim. The judge (and jury, if requested) will give you and the defendant an opportunity to provide your arguments before deciding to dismiss the case or issue a judgment.

If the defendant does not attend the trial, the judge will issue you a default judgment. Depending on where you filed the case, your local court may have additional requirements to obtain a default judgment, like proving the amount claimed to the judge or filing a Memorandum of Costs.

Winning a Small Claims Judgment in Nevada

If you win the judgment in Nevada, the other party may appeal the case, you may be paid the judgment within the allotted time period, or you may need to pursue additional actions to recover the debt.

If the defendant disagrees with the outcome of the trial, they have 5 days to appeal to District Court by filing a Notice of Appeal.

When the judge issues the judgment, they will determine a time period for repayment. In the best case, the judgment debtor pays their debt within this period.

If the debtor is delinquent on their payment or refuses to pay, there are multiple court actions available to recover the debt. The most common methods of enforcing a judgment are garnishment of wages, bank garnishment, or placing a lien on real estate. To initiate these processes, you would need to file a case through the District Court to seek court-enforced repayment of the judgment.

A judgment gains interest at a rate of 2% plus the prime rate at the largest bank in Nevada (9.5% between January 1, 2023 and July 1, 2023). The interest rate changes every January and July 1st until the judgment is satisfied. However, the judge may determine a different rate of interest.

You have 6 years to collect or renew a judgment before it expires.