3275 South Jones Blvd., Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 307-9500

IT'S NOT A LOT, BUT IT'S ENOUGH TO SUE OVER.
12/05/2012

Not every case is worth millions of dollars.  Sometimes, a client may only be owed a few hundred or a few thousand dollars.  Yet, many individuals and businesses rely on such money to properly operate and survive.  Some do not see the economic advantage in pursuing such small claims against those who owe them money.  But, many others understand that over time, these "small" amounts add up to big losses.  So, what if you are owed money by someone who refuses to pay you.  What if someone wronged you, but the damages are minimal.  Can you still pursue a legal action?  The answer is YES. 

A Small Claims case may be filed in the Las Vegas Justice Court if the claim is for money only and does not exceed $7,500.  If your claim is for more than $7,500, you can decide not to pursue any amount over $7,500, and limit your possible recovery to a maximum of $7,500.  Before you can file a Small Claims case against someone, you must first send a demand letter, with return receipt requested, to the Defendant and allow him at least ten (10) days from the date of the letter to pay you before you can file your lawsuit.  A copy of the demand letter along with the signed return receipt (as proof of mailing) must be filed with your Small Claims Complaint when the Small Claims case is filed against the Defendant.

Thereafter, the Small Claims Complaint must be served on the Defendant.  If the Defendant is not served, the Court will not hear the case.  The Proof of Service must be filed with the Court and service must be performed by a licensed process server or the Las Vegas Constable.  You as the Plaintiff cannot serve the Small Claims Complaint on the Defendant.  All Defendants are required to file their Answer with the Court and a mail a copy to you within 20 calendar days of service of the Complaint.  If the Defendant fails to answer the Complaint within 20 calendar days, they you can file a Motion for Default Judgment against the Defendant.  This means the Judge may grant you a Judgment without considering the Defendant's position or defense. 

All parties in Small Claims are now required to attend mediation before going before the Judge to argue their case.  If a settlement can be reached between the 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.  Cases that are not successfully resolved by mediation will have a Small Claims hearing date set by the Court 10 to 21 days later.  Hearings in Small Claims cases are informal.  For those of you who remember the old Judge Wapner People's Court show on TV, Small Claims hearings are procedurally very similar.  You may offer evidence and bring witnesses to support your case.  The judge may decide the case immediately or take the case "under advisement."  This means that the judge will consider the facts, or research questions of law, and will issue a decision in writing at a later time. 

The Small Claims process is designed to be a fast and efficient way to resolve disputes without being locked into protracted litigation.  The attorneys at our firm can consult with you to provide the legal advice, guidance and expertise necessary to assist you with your Small Claims case. 

 

For more information contact us at office@fdlawlv.com.

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