Filing a Small Claims Action in Las Vegas, Nevada
Filing a small claims case in the Las Vegas Justice Court is easily accomplished by non-represented parties due to the Court's rules, which purposely simplify the process to make it easy for non-attorneys to navigate the process.
Small Claims Court JurisdictionIf you have alleged damages that are monetary only (not seeking an injunction), and the disputed amount is less than $15,000, you may file a small claims action. If you are asking for other types of relief, or the amount is greater than $15,000, you must file your claim with the Eighth Judicial District Court.
* Please note, prior to 1/1/17, the amount cannot exceed $10,000.
Filing your small claims complaintIn general, small claims actions are filed by individuals (often referred to as "pro se," "in proper person," and/or "pro per") without the assistance of counsel. The process is simplified in the Las Vegas Justice Court because the Court requires the use of its own form, called an "Affidavit of Complaint and Order." Thus, the plaintiff (the party initiating the lawsuit) merely needs to print the Affidavit and then fill in the blanks, using normal every-day language. Alternatively, the plaintiff may download the "word" file and type in the information, but this extra step is not necessary. However, please note that the Affidavit of Complaint states "the [plaintiff] has demanded payment of the sum; that defendant refuses to pay the same." Accordingly, prior to filing the Affidavit of Complaint, the plaintiff must first send a letter demanding payment before filing the Affidavit of Complaint.
Service of the Affidavit of ComplaintOnce a plaintiff files the Affidavit of Complaint, it must be served on the defendant. The method of service is determined by the Clerk, who will inform the Plaintiff when they file the Affidavit of Complaint whether they can effectuate service by mailing a copy by certified mail, or whether personal service is required. (See Nevada Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure "NJCRCP" Rule 91).