Over the years, I’ve advised numerous clients about the risks and benefits of lawsuits. Many of my cautionary warnings focus on the emotional and financial toll that accompanies protracted litigation. Some matters take years to resolve, costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate. Occasionally the benefits of pursuing a large monetary award arguably outweigh the drawbacks. But what about claims that are only worth a few thousand dollars? The good news is that some courts are more informal, less involved, and therefore generally far less expensive than others, significantly reducing the downside of pursuing litigation.
One forum that’s designed to be inexpensive is small claims court. A small claims action streamlines the overall litigation process, but it also is limits the amount a party can recover. Until recently, small claims monetary awards in Nevada were capped at $7,500. However, that ceiling has now been increased to $10,000, providing a wider group of victims the opportunity to seek justice without costly litigation.
Small claims actions aren’t without requirements, though. Prior to initiating a small claims action in Boulder City, the plaintiff needs to make a written demand on the defendant. If the defendant doesn’t pay or ignores the demand, the plaintiff can then file a small claims petition under the following requirements: (1) the plaintiff must be at least 18 years of age; (2) the defendant must reside, work, or operate a business in Boulder City; (3) the claim must be for an amount not to exceed $10,000; (4) and the defendant must be personally served with a copy of the claim. Once that’s complete, the court will schedule a trial within 90 days. During the trial, parties have an opportunity to testify, call witnesses, and present evidence. The judge then renders a decision.
When considering litigation or the merits of potential claims, it’s always wise to seek help from an experienced attorney. Rod Woodbury can be reached at 702-933-0777 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com