Small claims cases are for money judgments only, not for the return or possession of object(s). The amount of a money judgment is based on actual amounts owed for services or actual amounts proven to be owed. The maximum amount that can be claimed in a small claims case is $10,000. It is recommended you seek the advice of an attorney if your claim is for over $10,000. If your claim is for more than $10,000, but you still want to file in small claims court, your claim cannot be for more $10,000 and you will waive your right to collect any remaining balance.
Some cases may be deemed too complicated for small claims and could be dismissed by a Judge. Contract dispute, employer/employee dispute, improper workmanship, and breach of contract cases are examples of cases that may be too complicated for small claims. If your case is dismissed without prejudice for this reason, you have the right to contact an attorney and re-file your claim in either Justice Court or District Court.
This Court does not have jurisdiction over cases involving medical malpractice by any type of doctor. Small claims cases claiming new construction or remodel defects (including landscaping and/or damage resulting from a defect) that fall under Chapters 40.600 to 40.695 of the Nevada Revised Statutes will be deferred to mediation before the filing of a small claims action in this Court.
Your small claims action may be filed in the Sparks Justice Court if:
- the defendant was a resident of the Sparks Township at the time the cause of action arose or at the time you are filing your claim;
- the defendant was doing business in the Sparks Township at the time the cause of action arose or at the time you are filing your claim;
- the defendant was employed in the Sparks Township at the time the cause of action arose or at the time you are filing your claim;
- your case involves injury to person or property and Sparks Township is where the injury took place; or
- your case involves a contract to perform an obligation and Sparks Township is where the obligation is/was to be performed.
Townships can be checked on the Washoe County Registrar of Voters website: https://www.washoecounty.gov/ voters/reporting_and_statistics/precinct-districtmaps.php
The filing fees to open a small claims case or file a Counterclaim in Sparks Justice Court are as follows:
|From $1,000.01 to $2,500.00||$86.00|
|From $2,500.01 to $5,000.00||$106.00|
|From $5,000.01 to $7,500.00||$146.00|
|From $7,500.01 to $10,000.00||$196.00|
Filing Your Small Claims Case:
- You may Efile your paperwork using the Odyssey efileNV website: https://nevada.tylertech.cloud/ofsweb
- If you do not have access to Efile, you may mail your paperwork. Please make sure your Declaration and Order and Small Claims Application are easy to read. Mail your documents, with your filing fees and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Your case will be processed your paperwork will be sent back to you by return mail, notifying you of your case number and court date. Please make check or money order payable to Sparks Justice Court.
- If you choose to come to Sparks Justice Court to file your claim in person, a clerk will prepare your Declaration and Order for you.
Small Claims forms and instructions for filling out Declaration and Order and Small Claims Application can be found here: https://www.washoecounty.gov/sjc/Forms.php
If your claim is against a business or corporation, you must contact either Sparks Business Licensing at 775.353.2360 or Washoe County Business Licensing at 775.328.3733 (if the business is located in the Sparks Township but outside city limits) to determine if the business is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. Licensing bureaus will be able to tell you the names of all owners listed.
If the business is a corporation, you will also need to contact the Secretary of State’s office at 775.684.5708 or visit their website at http://nvsos.gov to obtain the name and address of its Resident Agent. Make sure to verify the full correct spelling of its corporate name. Your claim could be affected if you fail to sue the company exactly as it is listed with the Secretary of State.
Once you have determined the business type, you will need to complete the forms appropriately. If the business is a sole ownership or a partnership, you will need to list the owners as individuals as well as the business. E.g., John/Jane Doe is the sole owner of ABC, Co., so you will file your claim against “John/Jane Doe individually and dba ABC, Co.”. If the business is an LLC or corporation, you will need to file your claim against XYZ, Inc. and list John/Jane Doe as the Resident Agent, listing both the physical business address and the Resident Agent’s address for the defendant.
- If damages have already been repaired, you must provide an invoice for repairs and note your claim to reflect that damages have been repaired.
- If damages HAVE NOT been repaired, you must provide three original estimates with your claim and the amount of your claim must be for the lowest of the three estimates.
- If the vehicle was totaled, only a statement from a repair shop or your insurance company, along with a copy of a blue book estimate indicating the value of your vehicle before the accident is required.
- If your insurance company has reimbursed you for the damages, you may only file for your insurance deductible.
- If the defendant was cited at the collision, you must provide a copy of the police report and a copy of the court’s decision regarding the citation. If there is no conviction to show that the defendant is liable, it will be up to you to prove that the defendant was at fault, and you are urged to have witnesses to the accident appear at your court date.
- If the damage to the vehicle was a result of improper workmanship, you (as the plaintiff) have the burden to PROVE that the work was done improperly. This will require an expert witness testify in Court on your behalf as to what or how the repair should have been made. You may need to subpoena a mechanic to testify on your behalf. Make sure to note whether the amount claimed is for a refund or costs for repairing the improper work.
Pursuant to JCRCP 91, the Declaration and Order and Small Claims Application must be personally served on each defendant by their local sheriff’s office or licensed process server. See Nev. Justice. Ct. R. Civ. P. 4(d). There are no exceptions unless approved by a Judge, in writing. Service must be completed at least 10 days prior to your court date. Proof of service must be filed immediately with the Court. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to make sure proof of service is filed. If your paperwork is not served correctly, or your proof of service is not filed with the Court before your hearing, a Judge will continue your court date.