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County Home => Reno Justice Court => Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Except as to corporations, no. The Court has forms to file your Answer/Response to the Complaint if you don`t have an attorney at the time you are served. You are not required to obtain an attorney; however, the plaintiff will probably have an attorney. This is a more formal type of case and you will be required to follow the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure throughout the case. It would be wise to at least consult with an attorney.
There is a date on the Summons located under the attorney`s name and address. This is the date the Summons was issued. It is NOT when your response time begins. You have 20 days FROM THE DATE YOU WERE SERVED to file an answer/response with the Court. The 20 days excludes the date of service but includes weekends and holidays. If you receive an Order Shortening Time to respond to your Summons you MUST file your answer/response within that time frame.
Yes. The fee is specified on the Summons and is set by state statute.
No. One Answer/Response can be filed if all the details are exactly the same; however, all parties must individually sign their Answer/Response.
If you don`t receive another document with a court date on it along with the Summons and Complaint, you MUST file an answer/response to the Summons and Complaint which will then cause the plaintiff to set the matter for trial and notify you of the court date (at the address you put on your answer/response).
You may appeal the decision to the Second Judicial District Court.
You should appear at least one-half (1/2) hour before your scheduled court appearance. Your attorney will want to meet with you prior to your appearance.
On the date of your court appearance you do not need to appear at the arraignment counter of the Criminal Division. Go to the second floor of Reno Justice Court and check with the clerks behind the counter. They will tell you whether or not your attorney has checked in and where to wait until at which time you are called.
If your attorney has signed an Affidavit of Consent to Represent and a Misdemeanor and/or Felony Waiver of Arraignment, you do not have to appear for arraignment. The Court will process the paperwork and set the Mandatory Status Conference (MSC) with your attorney.
At time of arrest, during the booking process, everyone is interviewed to see whether or not they qualify for the services of the Washoe County Public Defender. On the date of your arraignment, you will be told whether or not a Public Defender has been appointed to your case.

If, at the time of your arraignment, you are told you did not receive a Public Defender appointment, you may re-apply before the Judge during your arraignment. The Judge will determine at that time whether or not you qualify for the services of the Public Defender.
In order to obtain a continuance for your arraignment, you must have a written or verbal stipulation from the District Attorney Office (775) 328-3200. At which time, a continuance of up to TWO (2) weeks may be granted
An arraignment is your initial appearance before the judge. You will receive a copy of the criminal complaint which will indicate the charges made against you, you will be advised of your constitutional rights and the Court will ascertain if your name is correctly spelled on the criminal complaint. If the charges are "misdemeanors", you have a right to plead "guilty", "no contest" or "not guilty". If you plead "guilty" or "no contest" to the misdemeanor charges (except if the charge is either DUI or Domestic Battery) you will NOT be sentenced during the arraignment. Because the penalties are more severe if the charge is either a DUI or Domestic Battery a Deputy District Attorney must also be present and an alcohol evaluation may be required before sentencing. For these reasons, sentencing may be continued to another date. If you plead "not guilty" a pre-trial date is set within THIRTY (30) days of the arraignment date.

If the charge is a felony or gross misdemeanor, you cannot plead "guilty" at arraignment, instead a mandatory status conference (MSC) will be set within SEVEN (7) days thereafter.
Arraignments are scheduled at 10:00 a.m. Monday – Thursday for all out of custody defendants and Monday – Friday for all in-custody defendants. HOWEVER, you must appear no later than 9:30 a.m. at the arraignment counter of the Criminal Division to check in with the clerk. If you do not check in at the arraignment counter and go directly to the courtroom, the necessary paperwork will not be available to the judge and your arraignment will have to be re-scheduled on another date.
Yes. However, they must provide the Court with the correct spelling of your name. It is extremely helpful to the Court if you provide the person making the payment with case number and case type. The more information provided by that person the faster the Court can help with the payment being made.
You must contact the Criminal Department at (775) 325-6500 prior to the payment date or community service completion date and speak with a clerk to determine the status of your payments or community service.
You can either come to the Court Monday - Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and check in with the Criminal Department to appear before the judge in Criminal Arraignments or go to the Washoe County Detention Facility at 911 Parr Boulevard, Reno, Nevada and turn yourself in to be booked on the warrant.
You must sign up with the Court in Reno to obtain the proper paperwork and then take your paperwork to any non-profit organization where you reside. The organization MUST notify the Court within TEN (10) days of your enrollment that you are signed up for community service. The organization must also notify the Court in writing of either your completion or failure to complete the community service. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE COURT IS IN RECEIPT OF ANY AND ALL COMPLETIONS.
Yes. You must notify the Court of your current address and phone number.
You can either complete the community service through the Washoe County Sheriff`s Community Work Program or a non-profit organization depending upon specific sentencing instructions from the judge. You need to contact the Criminal Department to sign up for community service.
No. You can mail a cashier`s check or money order to the Court to make your payment. DO NOT MAIL CASH. Be sure it is postmarked on or before the payment due date. Be sure to include your name and case number. The name and case number MUST BE LEGIBLE. You may send the payment to Reno Justice Court, P.O. Box 11130, Reno, NV 89520-0027.
Yes. The judges require that landlords mail the eviction by "Certificate of Mailing". This requires filling out a very small form at the Post Office. The fee for a Certificate of Mailing is minimal compared to Certified Mail.
Yes, as long as the language is exactly the same on your reproduction as it is on the court forms.
Yes, but you must personally serve the eviction notice on a party at the tenant`s residence and you must bring a witness with you.
No. A lockout order is simply an eviction procedure. It is not a judgment. You cannot start attaching wages by simply getting a lockout order. If you want to pursue collection of the rent, you must file a separate action, go to Court and be awarded a judgment before you may start attaching wages.
No. The clerks in the Civil Division can witness your signature and sign instead of having your signature notarized.
No. If the tenant does not move within the THIRTY (30) days of receiving a 30/7 day no cause notice, you must obtain an unlawful detainer eviction notice. The waiting period for the court date on the unlawful detainer is approximately 10 days after you file the notice.
Refer to the instructions on the type of eviction you have served to see if you qualify to have a lockout order issued. If you do, come to the Court with all the correct paperwork. The clerk will make sure the tenant has not filed an affidavit of tenant and will issue the lockout order. There is a fee of $85.00. You will receive a copy of your file-stamped affidavit of landlord, take it to the Washoe County Sheriff`s Office Civil Division, located at 911 Parr Boulevard and pay the fee to serve the lockout order. If you have any questions, call the Court at (775-325-6501).
Yes, but they cannot represent you on your case. Only someone who can represent your case and sign as the landlord/agent on the affidavit of landlord can appear at the hearing on an eviction; e.g., a property manager.
You are responsible for safeguarding a tenant`s personal property for (not to exceed) THIRTY (30) days. During that period, it would be to your advantage to allow the tenant to remove the property if you can make arrangements to do so in a reasonable amount of time. If the tenant cannot be reached, you must mail a certified letter to his last known address and inform him that he has (THIRTY) 30 days from the day after he was locked out to pick up his property or it will be disposed of after that date. The tenant may also be charged the costs you incur in inventorying, moving and storing his property. If those costs are not paid, you DO NOT have to release his property. However, YOU CANNOT HOLD A TENANT`S PROPERTY IF HE FAILS TO PAY THE RENT. The rent debt after the lockout is a separate action which can be pursued through Small Claims.
You do not have to accept the rent after a lockout order has been issued. If you accept the tenant`s rent, call the Washoe County Sheriff and verbally cancel the eviction. Contact the Sheriff at (775) 328-6544 to find out if you qualify to receive a refund. The Court cannot refund your $85.00 lockout fee after the lockout order was issued.
You can obtain an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent from the Court if you are using it for property that is located in Reno Township. Reno Township includes all of Washoe County except for Sparks, Sun Valley, Palomino Valley, Wadsworth, Gerlach, Incline Village and Verdi. You may also obtain eviction information and forms from the Nevada Supreme Court website http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/viewdocumentsandforms
Yes. It is possible to be served with a 30 day no cause notice AND a non payment of rent notice OR ALL of our eviction notices at the same time. If that happens, each notice MUST be dealt with separately. If one eviction is denied by the Court, IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALL EVICTIONS ARE DENIED BY THE COURT.
If you have received an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent, come to the Court within the time period stated on the eviction notice to file an affidavit of tenant. The filing fee is $33.00 CASH ONLY. If you cannot afford to pay the fee, there are In Forma Pauperis forms available to fill out and submit to the judge. The judge will either grant or deny the motion to proceed In Forma Pauperis.
You can file a pleading called a "motion to stay or vacate eviction order". This motion is submitted to the judge. If the judge grants the stay, the landlord may be required to let you back in and a hearing would be set. If the judge denies the motion you will not be allowed back into the unit.
You can file an appeal. Contact either Washoe Legal Services at (775) 329-2727 or hire an attorney to file a Notice of Appeal. (See Eviction Costs).
This depends upon the type of bankruptcy filed. Contact the Bankruptcy Court at (775) 784-5559 between 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to find out precisely what is required to stop the eviction. You should also notify your attorney that you are being evicted.
Normally the amount of the fine imposed by the judge is the amount indicated as bail in the criminal complaint. If the complaint is a citation, the bail is indicated at the bottom of the citation. If the complaint is other than a citation, the bail is indicated on the last page at the end of the complaint. HOWEVER, the fine imposed by the judge may be less or more than the amount indicated in the criminal complaint. The judge may impose a fine of up to $1,000.00 for EACH offense described in the complaint. The judge may also sentence you to up to SIX (6) MONTHS in the Washoe County Detention Facility for EACH offense described in the complaint, although that does not occur in the normal case.
No. The judge must remain "fair and impartial" and cannot give you legal advice on your case. If you need legal advice you should contact an attorney or a legal service.
No. All cases are randomly assigned by a computer program.
Yes. A Justice of the Peace may perform marriages. However, by law there is a limit to the number of marriages a Justice of the Peace can perform each year. Washoe County also has a Commissioner of Civil Marriages. There is no limit to the number of marriages that the Commissioner may perform each year. The office of the Commissioner of Civil Marriages is located at 350 South Center Street, Suite 100 Reno, NV 89520 and the telephone number is (775) 337-4575.

Marriage Licenses can be obtained at the Washoe County Clerk`s Office located at 75 Court Street, Reno, NV 89501, Room 131. http://www.co.washoe.nv.us/clerks/locations.php
No. The judge can only speak with you about your case if all parties are present. To speak with the judge, you or your attorney must make a request in writing to the judge to do so. You must also provide a copy of your written request to all other parties or their attorneys. When you submit your request, you must specify your case number so that the clerk can place your request in the Court`s file and provide the file to the judge for review.
All cases are randomly assigned by a computer program.
Sometimes, to avoid the appearance of bias or prejudice, because of personal knowledge of a case or party, or for other such reasons, the judge may request reassignment of a case to another Justice of the Peace for hearing.
Yes, an attorney can represent you, but you cannot collect attorney`s fees from your opponent.
The judges do not award punitive damages except on rare occasions. If you feel punitive damages are warranted, sue for the amount you want and itemize what you are suing for and the judge may award them to you. The judge may also subtract them from the principal amount of the judgment.
Yes. If you have a Post Office Box or a regular street address, you can have it served by Certified Mail. The court mails the Small Claim and the fee is $8.00 per defendant.
No. You must either re-file the Small Claim and use your foreign judgment as an exhibit to the Small Claim and obtain another judgment from our court or you can file the foreign judgment in the Second Judicial District Court. You should contact the Second Judicial District Court for instructions at (775) 328-3110.
You do not AUTOMATICALLY get a copy of the judgment after court. You must request it and one will be sent to you.
No, you can just appear in court on the scheduled date and time.
There are several options to collecting on a judgment: 1)You can have an execution issued to attach wages, a cash drawer, a bank account or vehicle; 2) You can obtain an Order for Supplementary Proceedings (where you would be permitted to ask the defendant questions about their assets, e.g., Where do you bank? Where do you work? What`s your social security number? What`s your date of birth?, etc.) You can then use this information to file an execution; 3)You can have an Abstract of Judgment issued and record it at the Washoe County Recorder`s office. The Abstract of Judgment will enable you to collect on the judgment when the defendant sells a piece of real estate since any liens must be satisfied before the defendant can sell the property. (See Small Claims Costs).
You can call the Court at (775) 325-6501 and ask whether or not a Satisfaction of Judgment was filed or not. If a Satisfaction of Judgment was not filed, you must pay the plaintiff in full and they will be required to file a Satisfaction of Judgment. Once the Satisfaction of Judgment is filed, you may request a certified copy of it from the Court and mail it to the credit bureau as proof of payment.
You have a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 6 years to file it depending upon what type of claim you have. To determine what type of claim you have, you must either seek legal advice or research it through the Nevada Revised Statutes. The Nevada Revised Statutes are available to the public at the Washoe County Law Library or www.leg.state.nv.us.
As soon as possible, you must either mail or fax a letter to the judge assigned to your case requesting a continuance. If you are requesting a continuance on the day of court, the judge may not be able to accommodate you.
You can contact the plaintiff and sign a form called a "Stipulation", which will indicate how much principal you owe plus court costs and what your weekly/monthly payments would be and when. Most collection agencies have this form in their office and will fill it out while you are there. Both you and the plaintiff must sign the stipulation. Afterward, the plaintiff may bring the stipulation to the Court for the judge to sign. As long as you adhere to the terms of the stipulation, the plaintiff will not attempt to collect on the full amount of the judgment. If you do not adhere to the terms of the stipulation, the plaintiff may do whatever is necessary to collect on the full amount of the judgment.
Yes, you can meet the plaintiff at Reno Justice Court or any other location on or before the court date and do so.
If you move, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, you must keep the court informed of your new address and phone number and the clerk will include that information on your claim. If you are the plaintiff and you missed your court date, you may file a Motion to Set Aside Dismissal. If you are the defendant you may file a Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment.
The Court does not have the means to find this information for you. You can try the Post Office or you can hire an investigator to find this information for you. You can also have the defendant served at work.
If you are simply the wrong person, with perhaps the same name as the defendant, you should write a letter to the judge who is assigned to hear your case and explain the situation. The judge will decide what should be done. You should also send a copy of the letter to the plaintiff. If you think another person is responsible for the debt, you may file a cross-claim to bring that person to Court as a third-party in the Small Claim case. The filing fee for a cross-claim is $33.00 and the third-party must be served at least 10 days before the hearing.
You need to bring all your pink copies of the Small Claim Complaint to Reno Justice Court and ask that the hearing be RESET. The clerk will put the new court date on your copies and the original and hopefully you can get it served by that date. A new home or work address would be helpful in increasing the possibility of service.
You can request a transfer to another court. For example, if it should have been filed in Sparks Justice Court, you can either write a letter to the judge assigned to your case requesting a transfer or you can file a Motion for Transfer and submit a proposed Order for Transfer. Reno Justice Court does not have forms for either the Motion for Transfer or the Order for Transfer.
In that case, you must amend the Small Claim. You should make sure that your court date is at least 10 days away. If not, you should request a continuance. If you are either amending a name or amount, you need to explain this to the clerk and provide the clerk with the case number and court date. The clerk will prepare an amended complaint for you to sign and serve with the new information.
You should contact the Bankruptcy Court to find out exactly what kind of bankruptcy the defendant is filing and what it means to your Small Claims case. The phone number for Bankruptcy Court in Reno is (775) 784-5559 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
You may appeal the decision to the Second Judicial District Court.

You can file an appeal. Appeal fees total $525.00. (See Small Claims Costs) If the judgment is against you and you are appealing, you may also want to file a Supersedeas Bond for the total of the judgment including court costs so the other side cannot attempt to collect the judgment while the appeal process is taking place.
You need to bring the originals and two copies of all documents (one for you and one for the plaintiff) to court. The originals remain with the Court.
If you wish to file a claim against the plaintiff (counter-claim) or a claim against a third party (cross-claim) in the case in which you are named as a defendant you must follow the same procedure that a plaintiff must follow for filing a claim.
The Small Claims limit is $5,000.00. If you want to sue for more than that amount, you need to file your claim as a Civil Action. You may consult an attorney to file a Summons and Complaint for you or you may reduce the amount to $5,000.00 and do it yourself in Small Claims. The Court does not have forms for filing Complaints.
The stalking and harassing incidents must have occurred in Reno Township for the Court to consider your case. You may come to the Court and fill out the paperwork for a Stalking and Harassment Petition.
The petition will be reviewed by a judge and a decision will be made as to whether to grant it. The Court will contact you to inform you of the judge`s decision. If the petition is granted, an order is signed by the judge and a court date is set for a hearing on the merits of the petition. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if the order should be extended for a one year period.
Contact the local law enforcement agency and inform them of the circumstances and situation. They will REQUIRE a copy of the order as proof before any other action is taken. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR ORDER WITH YOU. If the respondent has truly violated the order, the agency will make a report of the violation of the order and submit it to the Washoe County District Attorney`s Office for review. A criminal complaint MAY or MAY NOT be issued thereafter.
The Second Judicial District Family Court handles all domestic issues. The Court is located on the third floor in the same building as Reno Justice Court. The phone number is (775) 325- 6726.
Stalking and Harassment Orders are non-domestic which means the people involved cannot be husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, significant others or anyone with whom you have had a domestic or intimate relationship. They cannot be issued if the respondent is less than 18 years old.
A person who needs a "Stalking and Harassment" order must to show a consistent pattern of events over a period of time involving a non-family member who is stalking or harassing them.