Small Claims - Plaintiff Information
Plaintiff is the person filing the claim.
- The purpose of Small Claims is to resolve disputes, not to act as a collection agency.
- An invoice or a 10-day letter of demand must be mailed to the party you are suing prior to filing.
- Cases may be filed for the recovery of money or services rendered where the amount claimed does not exceed $10,000.00. The Defendant being sued must be a resident of Humboldt County, or have a business license to do business in Humboldt County, or be employed in Humboldt County, pursuant to NRS 73.010. The Plaintiff must supply the Court with the Defendant's full name, correct residential address, or employment address.
- The filing fees are payable to Justice Court and are as follows:
- If the sum claimed does not exceed $1,000
Fee = $ 46.00
- If the sum claimed exceeds $1,000 but does not exceed $2,500
Fee = $66.00
- If the sum claimed exceeds $2,500 but does not exceed $5,000
Fee = $ 86.00
If the sum claimed exceeds $5,000 but does not exceed $7,500
Fee = $126.00
- If the sum claimed exceeds $7,5000 but does not exceed $10,000 Fee = $176.00
- If the sum claimed does not exceed $1,000
- There is also a service fee, per defendant, payable to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. The fee varies depending upon the physical location of service and the number of defendants named. You may contact the Sheriff's Department, Civil Division at (775) 623-6419 to obtain the required fee. Although the Court recommends service by the Sheriff, service can be made by Certified Mail, only if a physical address is unavailable. The cost is $10.00 , per defendant, payable to the Humboldt County Treasurer.
- To sue a business or a corporation in Small Claims Court, the proper party to represent it must be named on the claim. If it is a business, the City Clerks Office 623-6339, or the County Clerks Office 623-6344, can provide the name on the license and the person listed as the licensee. If you are suing a corporation, the Secretary of State (775) 684-5708, can provide the name of the corporation, and who is listed as the Resident Agent, along with the Resident Agent's address. In either case, it is important to list the business, or corporation exactly as it reads. If the party you wish to sue is an agency governed under the United States Federal Government, you will need to contact the U.S. Federal Court for the procedure on filing.
- The validity of your claim is not the Clerk's responsibility. Please make sure your claim is correct in its filing and issuance. NRS 7.285 prohibits the Clerk from giving legal advice; therefore if the Justice of the Peace dismisses your claim, it is due to your misinterpretation of the Small Claim procedures and requirements.
- The Court date will be approximately 4-8 weeks following the filing of the affidavit. Court is held on Wednesdays only at 10:00 AM. Before appearing in court at the time set for hearing, make certain the Defendant has been served by calling the Justice Court at 623-6379, the court will not call you. If a Plaintiff fails to appear for trial, the case will be dismissed.
- Do not submit any evidence of your claim prior to the hearing. No pre-trial conferences with the Judge will be granted unless BOTH parties are present. Although an attorney may represent a person, the Court cannot award attorney fees.
- When you appear in Court to establish your claim, you must establish
such facts of your case by showing a preponderance of the evidence. This
means the Plaintiff must prove:
- That the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff.
- The amount of the indebtedness.
- That demand for payment of the sum has been made.
- That the Defendant has refused to acknowledge the debt.
Bring 3 sets of copies of all documents that you will present as evidence. (1 set for the judge - 1 set for the Defendant and 1 set for yourself). Failure to comply will result in your hearing being rescheduled for a later date at your expense.
To subpoena any witnesses that will not come voluntarily, the subpoena should be prepared and served at least 3 weeks prior to the hearing. The subpoena forms are available at the Justice Court and can be prepared by the Clerk. There is a $25 witness fee plus .56 cents for every mile the witness must travel to get to the Court. This fee will be money out of your pocket and will not be considered as Court Costs. You may contact the Sheriff's Office, (775) 623-6419 for service of the subpoena.
- If the Defendant, after being served, would like to make an out-of-court settlement with the Plaintiff, the Court can provide a "Stipulation/Judgment" form. This form must be completed, signed by both parties and filed with the Court prior to the hearing. Should the Defendant default on the payments, Plaintiff will automatically have judgment.
- If the Defendant, after being served, wishes to pay you in full prior to the court date, defendant is also responsible to pay you the filing & service fees, but it is up to you to collect it. You are required to file a "Motion to Vacate the Civil Action."
- If the Defendant does not appear on the hearing date, you will be awarded the Judgment by Default. The Defendant does have 6 months from the Court Date to file a motion with the Court to have the Default Judgment set aside. If this motion is granted, a new trial will be set and you will be notified by mail of the new date. The issuance of any execution would be frozen until the outcome of the trial.
- Either party may appeal to the District Court WITHIN FIVE (5) WORKING DAYS of judgment. A Notice of Appeal to the District Court must be filed with the Justice Court, along with the appropriate filing fees, an appeal bond in the amount of $250, and you must post with the Court Reporter sufficient money to cover the cost of transcript preparation. The Judge or the Clerks cannot give legal advice regarding the District Court requirements. You may wish to contact a private attorney to help you with this procedure.
- Judgments state the resolution of the dispute. Even though a Plaintiff is granted judgment in an action, the plaintiff must provide the Court with information needed to execute upon any available assets, bank account, or salary after such judgment has been granted.
- When the Defendant satisfies the judgment it is necessary to file a "Satisfaction of Judgment" with the Court. The Court will provide the form to the Plaintiff when the Plaintiff requests it.
- If you should move, please notify the Court of your new address so you will be sure to receive any correspondence regarding your case.