Why seal an eviction record?
Eviction records are court records and, therefore, public records. Many landlords use tenant screening agencies to pull eviction history of tenants. Sealing the record removes it from public view at the moment it is sealed and allows a tenant to legally say on a rental application that the eviction never occurred.
Laws / Rules:
NRS 40.2545 (Nevada Revised Statutes – available online at https://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/)
JCRCP 60 (Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure – available online at https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Legal/LawLibrary/CourtRules/JCRCP.html)
When are eviction records created?
Once the tenant files the Tenant’s Affidavit, an eviction case court file is created. If the tenant does not file the Tenant’s Affidavit and the landlord gets the Lockout Order, this also creates an eviction case court file for the eviction order. The eviction case court file is a public record. NRS 40.2545 now seals eviction records – in some cases automatically in others after a request by the tenant.
Are eviction records sealed automatically?
In some cases, yes.
- If the eviction is dismissed.
- 10 judicial days after eviction denied – tenant prevails at court hearing.
- Landlord seeks to rescind the eviction.
- 31 days after Tenant files the Tenant’s Affidavit if Landlord does not file.
- Eviction notices themselves may not be made available for public inspection.
How do I seal an eviction if it isn't sealed automatically?
In other cases, the tenant must do something to have the eviction sealed.
If the former landlord will agree to seal the eviction, then you can file a Stipulation to Seal that both you and your landlord sign. Otherwise the tenant must file a motion in the eviction case to seal an eviction record.
In the Motion to Seal the Eviction, the tenant must either meet the criteria to set aside an eviction pursuant to JCRCP 60 or must argue that the interest of justice in sealign the eviction are not outweighed by the public’s interest in access to court records.
The factors a tenant has to show in the motion inlcude:
- Circumstances beyond control of the tenant that led to the eviction,
- Other extenuating circumstances that led to the eviction,
- Amount of time that has passed.
How do I file the Motion to Seal?
The motion must be filed in the eviction case so you would use the same case number. You must serve a copy of the motion on your landlord by mail. You can do this before you file so you include a Certificate of Mailing with the motion. Remember to always take copies along with you to file so that you can keep a file stamped copy for yourself.
Make sure to have accurate contact information on the motion – some courts will mail you hearing notices, some courts will only call you on the phone, and if you efile you will have to provide an email address for service of important court documents.
Your landlord does have time to respond to the motion – generally 10 days. If you do not get a response from the landlord you will want to submit a proposed order to the court.
What is a Motion to Set Aside pursuant to JCRCP 60(b)?
If you did not file a Tenant’s Affidavit to contest an eviction, have a good reason for doing so, and a legal defense to the eviction, you might be able to file a Motion to Set Aside or Vacate the Eviction. If you have not yet been evicted, you can also try to file this motion before the actual lockout and request a stay of the eviction from the court. As evictions happen very quickly there is no guarantee a judge will look at your motion before the lockout.
There are multiple reasons to file a Motion to Set Aside or Vacate an eviction. The most common fall under JCRCP 60(b)(1): Where the tenant did not file the Tenant’s Affidavit to contest the eviction due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. The factors a court will consider under 60(b)(1): (1) you are filing this motion as soon as you realized you had the eviction on your record; (2) you do not intend to delay any court proceedings; (3) you did not understand the procedural requirements; and (4) good faith.
In most cases a motion to set aside or vacate an order or judgment must be filed within 6 months of the eviction.