When is Attorney Representation Required in a Nevada Eviction Lawsuit?

This article discusses the circumstances when you should hire an attorney to represent you in a Nevada eviction case, and those situations where attorney representation may not be necessary. 

Attorney representation is always required where the property owner or owner’s agent is a business entity.  Accordingly, if the property owner or his/her authorized agent is a corporation, limited partnership, LLC or some other form of entity, it will need to hire a lawyer because entities generally cannot represent themselves in court. 

Attorney representation is optional in any case where the plaintiff is an individual holder of the right to prosecute the action.  This includes situations where an individual Plaintiff is the owner of the subject property and may include cases where the right to prosecute the action is assigned to an individual third-party agent or property manager.

The question whether an agent or property manager may prosecute the case depends on whether the case is a “formal” eviction proceeding or “summary” proceeding.  A “formal” eviction is an ordinary civil case that involves filing and serving a formal complaint and normal rules of discovery and trial proceedings govern its resolution.  As a result of the complicated rules involved, the legislature has determined that a property manager or agent cannot prosecute the case.  The owner must either represent themselves or hire an attorney to handle the eviction proceedings.

Conversely, if the action is a summary eviction case, the property manager or agent is authorized to sue as the Plaintiff.  This is because the summary eviction process is generally simpler and quicker than the formal unlawful detainer eviction proceeding.  Unlike the formal process, summary eviction only provides for a court hearing, without trial or discovery rights for either party. 

There are circumstances in Nevada where summary eviction cannot be used. For instance, summary eviction is not available for:1) evictions following the foreclosure sale of a rental property (See NRS 40.255), 2) eviction of commercial tenants for other than nonpayment of rent (See NRS 40.254), or 3) eviction of a tenant of a mobile home park from the park. (See NRS 40.253(10) and NRS Chapter 118B.)

Another caveat is that summary eviction may only be used when the only issue to be adjudicated by the court during the proceeding is possession of the rental unit.  The landlord cannot seek damages in a summary eviction case, although the tenant can counterclaim up to the alleged rent amount owed.  Another drawback to summary eviction is that the court must dismiss the case if there is a genuine dispute over material facts. 

The main benefits of summary eviction are that its easy to file on your own without the assistance of an attorney, and you are likely to get the tenant out of your property in a shorter time period than with the formal eviction process.

In cases where attorney representation is optional, you might consider hiring a landlord-tenant lawyer when the situation starts to get complicated, the tenant becomes increasingly difficult, or you get the sense that you could make a big misstep that will cost you far more than what a lawyer will cost.  Thus, landlords should carefully consider their options based on the type of eviction process they choose. Of course, the average attorney does not come cheap.  With that in mind, in the case of most summary evictions, you’ll likely be able to fully handle it on your own without having to shell out the extra expense.   If you decide to represent yourself, ensure you understand the relevant laws and procedures to protect your rights during the eviction process.

Landlords must carefully follow all the eviction rules and procedures enacted by Nevada law, or the eviction may be not valid. This can often be burdensome for the landlord but Lynx Legal can alleviate that burden by ensuring your documentation is in tip top shape for the court. 

Please contact us with any questions regarding the above or if you are ready to start a case.  We can be reached at 888-441-2355, Ext. 2 or  You can also schedule a free telephonic consultation on our website to discuss your needs and issues. 

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