The Formal Eviction Process In Nevada

Landlords in Nevada cannot evict a tenant by simply changing the locks or shutting off utilities.  A landlord must instead follow the eviction process to have a tenant evicted for any reason. There are two authorized methods of eviction under Nevada law – (1) the summary eviction process and (2) the formal eviction process.  The summary eviction procedure is the subject of a previous post on our website.  Here’s an overview of the formal eviction process in Nevada. 

Starting The Formal Eviction Process By Serving Initial Notice On the Tenant

The formal eviction process begins by providing the appropriate first notice to the tenant stating the reason for the eviction.  In Nevada, there are several accepted reasons for an eviction, which include nonpayment of rent, nuisance, unauthorized subletting, illegal activities, breach of the lease, ending a tenancy at will, and expiration of the lease term.  The length and content of the notice varies, depending on the reason for the eviction. 

Filing Unlawful Detainer Complaint

If the tenant hasn’t moved out or addressed the reason for the eviction within the time frame specified in the initial notice, the landlord’s next step is to file a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer.

The filing of this complaint with the justice court starts the formal eviction process in Nevada.  At the time of filing the court will issue a summons, which explains why the tenant is being sued and what they can do in response, such as filing an answer. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant by use a constable, sheriff’s deputy, or any person who’s not a party to the eviction lawsuit who’s at least 19 years old.  The server will either personally hand the tenant a copy of the summons and complaint or leave copies at the residence with someone of “suitable age and discretion.”

Response To Unlawful Detainer Action

A tenant has two main types of responses to an eviction lawsuit — affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Affirmative defenses are asserted in an answer to the eviction complaint. Eviction counterclaims are legal claims that are separate from the eviction action but may rely on facts related to the eviction. For example, if the landlord evicted the tenant through an unlawful self-help procedure (like changing the locks), the tenant could sue the landlord for the recovery of monetary damages.

Procedure After Filing Of Unlawful Detainer Complaint

What happens next depends on what the landlord does.  The landlord may elect to go straight to trial by filing paperwork to get a court date, which is typically set no earlier than 20 days after the tenant is served with a copy of the summons and complaint. Alternatively, the landlord can file an application with the court requesting a temporary Writ of Restitution, which allows the landlord to evict the tenant from the rental property right away by having a constable remove him or her from the rental. The tenant can oppose this request by filing the proper paperwork with the court. 

Trial Proceedings

Any remaining issues (such as rent recovery) will typically be resolved by a trial.  Either party may request a jury for the eviction trial.  There will be opportunities for the tenant and the landlord to submit evidence and call witnesses to give direct testimony. Witnesses will also be subject to cross-examination.  After both sides present their cases and give their closing statements, the judge (or jury) will issue a verdict.

Post-Trial Proceedings

If the landlord wins at trial in a formal eviction proceeding, the court will issue a permanent Writ of Restitution and if applicable, a monetary judgment in the landlord’s favor. The landlord then delivers the Writ of Restitution to the constable or sheriff and arranges a date to evict the tenant from the property.

The tenant can appeal the verdict within 10 days after the court enters judgment. To stop the eviction while the appeal is pending, the tenant must post a bond with the court and continue paying rent during the appeal process.

The tenant also has the option to stay if the eviction was filed for nonpayment of rent and a valid lease remains in effect.  Tenant can exercise this option only by paying the monetary judgment entered against them. 

Lynx Legal Service has extensive experience handling Nevada eviction actions.  Please contact us at 888-441-2355 or info@lynxlegal.com with any questions or if you are ready to start a case.  We are standing by to assist in any way we can. 

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