11/4/2011 6:51:55 PM
Las Vegas Small Claims-Big changes!! By Carl Vesper
As most of you probably are not aware, the Las Vegas Justice Center has completely changed it's Small Claims procedures. It's not all bad news. In fact, overall, we beleive that these changes bring good news to Las Vegas Litigants. Please note that the North Las Vegas and Henderson Justice Courts have not yet changed their procedures.
Gone are the days when you file a case and are given a hearing date to appear in front of the Judge. Some of you have probably noticed that your newly filed claims do not have hearing dates at the bottom. A mediation hearing is now required before the litigants ever get a chance to be in front of the Judge.
After being served with the Small Claims action, the Defendant has twenty (20) days to file an Answer. He/she must file this Answer online or utilize a computer at the Justice Center. If no answer is filed, the Plaintiff can file for a Default Judgment.
If there is no settlement agreed upon at Mediation, the court will set a hearing before the Judge. We are told that the trials will be scheduled approximately 2-3 weeks from the date of the Mediation hearing.
Please note that Smallclaimsdepartment.com will prepare and file your Default Judgment for $85.00.
To request the Default Judgment Service, simply make a request to:
In the email, please supply us with your Claim ID number.
How do you know if you can file for a Default? Count the days from the date we serve the Defendant. If after 30 days you have not received either an Answer from the Defendant or a Notice of Mediation from the court, you are ready to file your Default Judgment. Yes, without ever walking into the courthouse, you can have a Default Judgment. This is good news!!
As always, don't hesitate to call or email me with any of your questions.
Click here to enter into SCD Site-Nevada homepage
Below is a more detailed explanation of the changes.
Clark County New Procedures
Small Claims Answer (as of September 1, 2011)
In all Small Claims cases filed on or after September 1, 2011, all Defendants are required to electronically file (E-File) their Answer with the Justice Court Clerk's Office and a 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).
Parties in all Small Claims cases filed on or after September 1, 2011, 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 parties 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.
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.