New legislation known as AB 66 was passed in 2015 that affects the jurisdictional limits for cases being filed in Justice Court and Small Claims Court in Clark County, Nevada. While this new change may not yet be widely known in the Las Vegas legal community, it can have a significant impact on cases and how a matter proceeds to a final resolution.
The new rule increases the limits in Justice Court from $10,000 to $15,000, effective January 1, 2017. The limit for Small Claims Court, meanwhile, is increased from $7,500 to $10,000, and is already in effect (as of October 1, 2015).
The change is significant because low-value cases that might otherwise have been litigated in District Court could now be heard in Justice Court. By instead filing in Justice Court, parties can obtain an earlier trial date and quicker resolution.
This limit increase can be an important issue for cases where the policy limits are $15,000/$30,000. There is a potential that more such cases could be heard in Justice Court as opposed to District Court if there are smaller policy limits and one claimant. In-house counsel for insurance companies that handle cases with minimum-limit policies may be impacted the most by this rule change.
Justice Court and Small Claims Court have their own rules and procedures, which parties and their counsel should carefully consider before deciding which Court to pursue their claims. For more information about the changes, contact Shannon Splaine in LGC’s Las Vegas office.