After The Trial
Learn about some things that might occur after a trial is ended, including “entry” and “notice” of the judgment, requests to recover costs and attorney’s fees, and other post-trial “motions” (written requests) that could be made to the court.
After the trial ends, there are still some things to wrap up and some things that might need your attention.
- When the judge issues her written decision after trial, the decision must be “entered” (filed with the clerk) and “noticed” (mailed to all parties in the case). To learn more, click to jump down to Entering and Noticing the Judgment.
- It is likely the winning side will want to recover any court costs they spent during the case. If they were represented by an attorney, they may want to recover the attorney’s fees as well. To learn more, click to jump down to Recovering Costs and Recovering Attorney’s Fees.
- It is possible one or both sides might want to alter the judge’s decision in some way or maybe even ask for a new trial. To do this, a party will file a written motion with the court. To learn more, click to jump down to Post-Trial Motions.
After a bench trial, the judge will prepare a written decision (maybe called an “order” or “decree”) resolving the case. This final decision is the “judgment” in the case. (NRCP 54(a); JCRCP 54(a).)
The signed judgment must be filed with the court clerk. This is called “entering” the judgment. (NRCP 58(c); JCRCP 58(c).) If you are the winning party, make sure this is done.
Once the judgment is entered, a notice of that entry must be mailed to all parties in the case and filed with the court clerk. If you are the winning party, make sure is done. You may need to do it yourself.
Prepare a Notice of Entry of Order, attach the signed judgment to the notice, file the Notice of Entry of Order with the court clerk, and mail the filed notice to all parties in the case.
A Notice of Entry form is available, free of charge, at the Self-Help Center, or you can download the form by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:
JUSTICE COURT NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER
DISTRICT COURT NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER
To learn more about filling out legal forms and filing with the court, click to visit Basics of Court Forms and Filing.
After the judgment in the case has been “entered” (filed with the court clerk), the winning party has five days to file a “memorandum of costs” to recover the costs she has incurred in the case. (NRS 18.110(1).) The memorandum must be signed, filed with court, and mailed to the other side.
“Costs” that the winning party can recover include such things as filing fees, witness fees for trial, interpreter fees, process server fees, copy costs, and postage costs. A complete list of recoverable costs is in Section 18.005 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Click to visit Rules and Laws.
The court will usually award costs to the winning party in cases where, for example:
- The case was brought to recover possession of land or real property (NRS 18.020)
- The case was brought to recover “personal property” (like home goods or a computer, for example) valued at more than $2,500 (NRS 18.020)
- The case was brought to recover money or other damages of more than $2,500 (NRS 18.020)
- The case was filed in the justice court (NRS 69.020)
If the losing party disagrees with the costs being claimed, he has three days after the memorandum is served to file a “motion to retax costs.” (NRS 18.110(4).) The court will schedule a hearing on the motion. The losing party must notify the winning party of the hearing date.
Nevada courts generally follow the “American rule” that says each party to a civil case pays its own attorney’s fees, no matter which side wins.
But there are circumstances where the winning party might be able to force the other side to pay any fees incurred by the winning party’s attorney during the case. For example:
- Some Nevada and Federal statutes say that if a party sues for a violation of that statute and wins, the losing side has to pay the winner’s attorney’s fees.
- Some contracts say that if there is a dispute and lawsuit over the contract, the losing party has to pay the winner’s attorney’s fees.
- Nevada law allows a party who wins a judgment for less than $20,000 to request attorney’s fees. (NRS 18.010(2)(a).)
- The winning party might be able to recover attorney’s fees if he can show the other side brought or maintained the case without reasonable grounds or to harass him. (NRS 18.010(2)(b).)
- If the case is in justice court, the winning party is awarded reasonable attorney’s fees as part of the costs in the case. (NRS 69.030.)
- A party might be able to recover attorney’s fees under one of the court’s rules. (NRCP 68; JCRCP 68.)
The judge may have decided the issue of attorney’s fees at trial and either denied an award or included an award in the final judgment. If not, a party can file a written motion for attorney’s fees after the trial. In the district court, this motion must be filed within twenty days after notice of entry of the judgment. (NRCP 54(d).)
For more information about motions generally, click to visit Filing Motions to Resolve the Case or Narrow Issues and Opposing a Motion Filed Against You.
There are a number of motions that one or both sides might file after the trial is over. They could include:
- Motion to amend the court’s findings (filed pursuant to NRCP 52(b) or JCRCP 52(b))
- Motion for a new trial (filed pursuant to NRCP 59(a) or JCRCP 59(a))
- Motion to alter or amend the court’s judgment (filed pursuant to NRCP 59(e) or JCRCP 59(e)
- Motion to correct a clerical mistake in the judgment (filed pursuant to NRCP 60(a) or JCRCP 60(a))
- Motion to set aside the judgment (filed pursuant to NRCP 60(b) or JCRCP 60(b))
- Motion to stay enforcement of the judgment (filed pursuant to NRAP 8, NRCP 62, or JCRCP 62A)
A discussion of each of these motions is beyond this website’s scope. But be aware that many of these motions have short deadlines and must be filed quickly after trial.
To read the court rules that authorize these motions, click to visit Rules and Laws. To learn when and how these motions can be used, research the motions at your local law library. Click to visit Law Libraries for location and contact information.