Formal Eviction Hearings
Learn what happens at a "formal" eviction hearing or trial.
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 yours.
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 Justice Courts, Find My Court, or Look Up My Case for links and contact information.
At Your Hearing
Formal Eviction Order to Show Cause Hearings (for a Temporary Writ)
The order to show cause hearing is a device used by landlords at the beginning of a "formal" eviction case. If, at the hearing, the landlord obtains a Temporary Writ of Restitution, the landlord can remove the tenant from the rental property and regain possession of the property while the case moves forward, eventually to trial. (NRS 40.300(3); JCRCP 107.) Click to read Choosing the Summary or Formal Process and Filing a Formal Eviction for more information.
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 "show cause" hearing, the judge or the court clerk will call the case (meaning announce the names of the parties). Both parties should go to the front of the courtroom. There will typically be two tables at the front facing the judge's bench, one table for the "plaintiff" (typically the landlord) and one table for the "defendant" (typically the tenant). The judge will allow both parties to speak and present evidence on their behalf, usually starting with the landlord.
After hearing the evidence, the judge will decide whether the landlord has shown (by competent, relevant, and material evidence) the existence of sufficient facts to establish, at least at first appearance, the clear right to immediate possession of the property. (Farnow v. Department 1 of Eighth Judicial District, 64 Nev. 109, 126, 178 P.2d 371, 379 (1947).)
If the judge decides that a Temporary Writ of Restitution should be granted, the court must first require the landlord to post a bond in an amount to be set by the court. (NRS 40.300(3)(c).) The court sets the amount of the bond based upon the tenant’s probable loss from being wrongfully evicted pending trial. (NRS 40.300(3)(b).)
FYI! In a "formal" eviction case, there's a difference between a Temporary Writ of Restitution (which gives the landlord temporary possession of the property while the case moves forward) and a Permanent Writ of Restitution (which gives the landlord permanent possession of the property). Typically, you can only appeal from a final judgment in a case. (JCRCP 72A(b).) Because a temporary writ is, by its nature, temporary, it doesn't finally resolve the case and is not an appealable order. If you're seeking to stop enforcement of a Temporary Writ of Restitution, you should hire a lawyer. Click to visit Lawyers and Legal Help.
Formal Eviction Trials (for a Permanent Writ and Judgment)
A trial in a "formal" eviction case is a lot like any other trial. The judge will allow each party to present the facts of their case by calling witnesses and introducing evidence. After all of the testimony and evidence has been presented, the judge (or the jury, if one has been properly demanded under NRS 40.310) must decide:
- Whether the landlord has presented enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the landlord's version of the facts is true, and
- Whether those facts are enough to justify evicting the tenant.
The scope of the trial is limited. (Chapman v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., 129 Nev. Adv. Op. 34 (2013).) Typically, the issues at trial are whether the landlord gave the statutorily required notice, and who as between the landlord and the tenant has a superior right to possession. (Id.) The court will not decide title issues, but proof of title is evidence of a right to possession. (Id.)
If the landlord wins at trial, the judgment the landlord receives can award him permanent possession of the property, can declare the lease forfeited, and can award money for any damage to the property and rent. (NRS 40.360(1).)
FYI! If the "formal" eviction was for nonpayment of rent and the tenant's lease has not expired, the landlord cannot evict the tenant until five days after the entry of judgment in the case. (NRS 40.360(3).) During that five-day period, the tenant can pay the judgment and costs to the court to satisfy the judgment and stay on the property. (NRS 40.360(3).)