Plaintiff - How to File

  1. The jurisdictional limit for Civil Actions in Incline Justice Court is $15,000.00.
  2. Complaints in Civil Actions are generally prepared by attorneys as forms are not available for Civil actions. A Summons must accompany the Complaint. Summonses are available from the Civil Division.
  3. The fee charged at the time of filing an action is based upon the amount asked for in the Complaint for the principal sum (s) only.
  4. Representation by an attorney is not mandatory; however, such representation is advised because this is a more formal court setting and you will be required to follow the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure as well as prepare all of your own documents. Attorney's fees may be awarded to the prevailing party in Civil actions. This is not true of Small Claims cases.
  5. After filing the Complaint, it is your responsibility to have each defendant properly served. It is also your responsibility to provide Incline Justice Court with a Proof of Service after service is perfected upon the defendant.
  6. After the defendant has been served, it is up to you and/or your attorney to know how to proceed. The clerks at Incline Justice Court cannot give you that advice.

Defendant - How to Answer

  1. After you have been served with a Summons and Complaint, you must respond (in writing) to the allegations made in the Complaint. The length of time to respond is specified in the Summons. Normally the time to respond is 20 days (including weekends and holidays but not the date of service). If an Order Shortening Time is also included you must respond within the time specified in the Order.
  2. Incline Justice Court has forms which may be used to file your Answer/Response to your Summons if you don't have an attorney at the beginning of the proceeding. Unless you are a corporation, you are not required to obtain an attorney for Civil actions. This is a more formal Court setting and you will be required to follow the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure until the case is concluded (by trial if necessary).
  3. When you file your first response (regardless of what kind of response it is), you must pay the filing fee specified on the Summons. (See Civil Action Costs) If you are responding simply to ask the Court to set up a payment schedule you need to contact the plaintiff directly before filing your response since the Court does not make payment arrangements for the parties.
  4. You must provide the attorney for the opposing party with a file-stamped copy of your response. You can accomplish this by mail or personal service. You must then file a Certificate of Mailing or Affidavit of Service with the Court informing the Court exactly how service of the response was accomplished.
  5. The next step in a Civil Action is to set a trial date. You may receive a Notice to Set the Trial, which will allow you to be included in choosing the date and time of trial. You may receive a Notice of Hearing which informs you of the actual date and time of trial. If you receive any document other than those listed above, you need to contact your attorney or Incline Justice Court immediately for further instruction.
For more detailed information, please see this Article on the Overview of a Civil Case.