Summary Eviction Hearings
Learn what happens at a "summary" eviction hearing.
Before Your Hearing
You are likely reading this because you intend to represent yourself at your eviction hearing. If so, you may want to find out which judge will be hearing your case, then sit in on a couple of that judge's eviction hearings to get a better idea of what to expect when your day in court comes. Try to sit in on an eviction hearing that is the same type as your ("summary" or "formal").
To learn which judge is hearing your case and when that judge is holding eviction hearings, look online or call the court directly. Click to visit Look Up My Case, Justice Courts, and Find My Court for links and contact information.
To prepare yourself for your big day in court, you should read Going to Court and Risks and Tips.
At Your Hearing
A summary eviction hearing is intended "to determine the truthfulness and sufficiency of any affidavit, notice or service of any notice and to dispense fair and speedy justice." (JCRCP 105.)
CAUTION! Be on time and dress appropriately! Allow extra time for traffic, court security, and other possible delays. If you're late to your hearing, you'll probably lose. Dress conservatively. The bailiff may not let you in the courtroom if you're wearing shorts, a tank top, halter-top, a midriff, or a hat.
At the hearing, the judge or the court clerk will call the case (meaning accounce the names of the parties). Both parties should go to the front of the courtroom. There will typically be two tables facing the judge, one for the "plaintiff" (in an eviction, the landlord) and one for the "defendant" (the tenant in an eviction case). The judge will allow both parties to speak (typically starting with the landlord, then the tenant) and present evidence on their behalf. The judge will evaluate the evidence and testimony to decide:
- Whether the landlord has demonstrated a valid basis for eviction,
- Whether the tenant has raised a legal defense to the eviction, and
- Whether there is any "genuine dispute of material fact" between the landlord's version of the facts and the tenant's.
(NRS 40.253(6); Anvui, LLC v. G.L. Dragon, LLC, 123 Nev. 212, 163 P.3d 405 (2007).)
The court will likely grant a summary eviction order if the judge decides that there are no genuine issues of materials fact regarding the landlord's valid basis for eviction and the tenant's stated defense to the eviction, if any. (NRS 40.253(6); Anvui, 123 Nev. at 215-16, 163 P.3d at 407.)
If, on the other hand, the judge finds that the landlord has failed to state a valid basis for eviction, or the tenant has raised a legal defense that is supported by the facts, or a genuine dispute of material fact exists between the landlord's version of the facts and the tenant's, the judge will likely deny the eviction. (NRS 40.253(6); Anvui, 123 Nev. at 215-16, 163 P.3d at 407.)
In either case, the justice court's decision granting or denying a summary eviction probably does not mean the issues between the landlord and the tenant are finally resolved.
If a "summary" eviction is denied, the landlord can pursue the same eviction by filing a "formal" eviction case based upon the same eviction notice. (NRS 40.253(6).) In that formal eviction case, the court (or perhaps the jury) will resolve at trial the issues of fact that prevented the summary eviction from being granted. The landlord can also seek monetary damages in addition to an eviction. Click to read Choosing the Summary or Formal Process and Filing a Formal Eviction for more information.
Either the landlord or the tenant can appeal the justice court's decision to the district court. Click to read Responding to a Court Order for Eviction for more information.
CAUTION! If you're a tenant, keep in mind that each eviction notice you receive potentially starts a new eviction case. If you disagree with a notice you receive, you must file the appropriate paperwork with the justice court to contest the notice – even if you have appealed an eviction, are waiting for an eviction hearing, or have had an eviction denied. Don't ignore any eviction notice you receive! Click to visit our Responding to an Eviction Notice page for more information.
Read Going to Court and Risks and Tips to learn more and get tips to help you on your day in court.