[Rev. 11/21/2013 8:57:15 AM--2013]

CHAPTER 18 - COSTS AND DISBURSEMENTS

NRS 18.005             “Costs” defined.

NRS 18.010             Award of attorney’s fees.

NRS 18.015             Lien for attorney’s fees: Amount; perfection; enforcement.

NRS 18.020             Cases in which costs allowed prevailing party.

NRS 18.025             Court not to refuse to award attorney’s fees or costs solely because public officer or agency is prevailing party.

NRS 18.030             Costs and disbursements in actions where defendants might have been joined.

NRS 18.050             Discretion of court in allowing costs.

NRS 18.060             Costs of appeal to Supreme Court; discretion of court. [Effective through December 31, 2014, and after that date unless the provisions of Senate Joint Resolution No. 14 (2011) are approved and ratified by the voters at the 2014 General Election.]

NRS 18.060             Costs of appeal to Court of Appeals or Supreme Court; discretion of court. [Effective January 1, 2015, if the provisions of Senate Joint Resolution No. 14 (2011) are approved and ratified by the voters at the 2014 General Election.]

NRS 18.070             Payment of costs on postponement; costs and attorney’s fees on mistrial.

NRS 18.080             Effect of tender in action for recovery of money.

NRS 18.090             Costs in actions by or against executors and trustees.

NRS 18.110             Verified memorandum of costs: Filing and service; witness’ and clerk’s fee; retaxing and settling costs.

NRS 18.120             Interest and costs must be included by clerk in judgment.

NRS 18.130             When plaintiff may be required to secure costs; affidavits of sureties; dismissal of action if undertaking not filed.

NRS 18.140             Plaintiffs for whom bond or undertaking not required.

NRS 18.150             Payment of costs and attorney’s fees when State or county is a party.

NRS 18.160             Costs allowed judgment creditor; memorandum of costs; motion to tax.

NRS 18.170             Notice of motion for order allowing costs and necessary disbursements; order.

NRS 18.180             Entry of amount of costs on margin of judgment.

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      NRS 18.005  “Costs” defined.  For the purposes of NRS 18.010 to 18.150, inclusive, the term “costs” means:

      1.  Clerks’ fees.

      2.  Reporters’ fees for depositions, including a reporter’s fee for one copy of each deposition.

      3.  Jurors’ fees and expenses, together with reasonable compensation of an officer appointed to act in accordance with NRS 16.120.

      4.  Fees for witnesses at trial, pretrial hearings and deposing witnesses, unless the court finds that the witness was called at the instance of the prevailing party without reason or necessity.

      5.  Reasonable fees of not more than five expert witnesses in an amount of not more than $1,500 for each witness, unless the court allows a larger fee after determining that the circumstances surrounding the expert’s testimony were of such necessity as to require the larger fee.

      6.  Reasonable fees of necessary interpreters.

      7.  The fee of any sheriff or licensed process server for the delivery or service of any summons or subpoena used in the action, unless the court determines that the service was not necessary.

      8.  Compensation for the official reporter or reporter pro tempore.

      9.  Reasonable costs for any bond or undertaking required as part of the action.

      10.  Fees of a court bailiff or deputy marshal who was required to work overtime.

      11.  Reasonable costs for telecopies.

      12.  Reasonable costs for photocopies.

      13.  Reasonable costs for long distance telephone calls.

      14.  Reasonable costs for postage.

      15.  Reasonable costs for travel and lodging incurred taking depositions and conducting discovery.

      16.  Fees charged pursuant to NRS 19.0335.

      17.  Any other reasonable and necessary expense incurred in connection with the action, including reasonable and necessary expenses for computerized services for legal research.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 773; A 1981, 1378; 1989, 707; 1993, 263; 1995, 2715; 2003, 2117; 2005, 190; 2007, 2191)

      NRS 18.010  Award of attorney’s fees.

      1.  The compensation of an attorney and counselor for his or her services is governed by agreement, express or implied, which is not restrained by law.

      2.  In addition to the cases where an allowance is authorized by specific statute, the court may make an allowance of attorney’s fees to a prevailing party:

      (a) When the prevailing party has not recovered more than $20,000; or

      (b) Without regard to the recovery sought, when the court finds that the claim, counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint or defense of the opposing party was brought or maintained without reasonable ground or to harass the prevailing party. The court shall liberally construe the provisions of this paragraph in favor of awarding attorney’s fees in all appropriate situations. It is the intent of the Legislature that the court award attorney’s fees pursuant to this paragraph and impose sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure in all appropriate situations to punish for and deter frivolous or vexatious claims and defenses because such claims and defenses overburden limited judicial resources, hinder the timely resolution of meritorious claims and increase the costs of engaging in business and providing professional services to the public.

      3.  In awarding attorney’s fees, the court may pronounce its decision on the fees at the conclusion of the trial or special proceeding without written motion and with or without presentation of additional evidence.

      4.  Subsections 2 and 3 do not apply to any action arising out of a written instrument or agreement which entitles the prevailing party to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees.

      [1911 CPA § 434; A 1951, 59]—(NRS A 1957, 129; 1967, 1254; 1969, 435, 667; 1971, 165, 802; 1975, 309; 1977, 774; 1985, 327; 1999, 903; 2003, 3478)

      NRS 18.015  Lien for attorney’s fees: Amount; perfection; enforcement.

      1.  An attorney at law shall have a lien:

      (a) Upon any claim, demand or cause of action, including any claim for unliquidated damages, which has been placed in the attorney’s hands by a client for suit or collection, or upon which a suit or other action has been instituted.

      (b) In any civil action, upon any file or other property properly left in the possession of the attorney by a client.

      2.  A lien pursuant to subsection 1 is for the amount of any fee which has been agreed upon by the attorney and client. In the absence of an agreement, the lien is for a reasonable fee for the services which the attorney has rendered for the client.

      3.  An attorney perfects a lien described in subsection 1 by serving notice in writing, in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, upon his or her client and, if applicable, upon the party against whom the client has a cause of action, claiming the lien and stating the amount of the lien.

      4.  A lien pursuant to:

      (a) Paragraph (a) of subsection 1 attaches to any verdict, judgment or decree entered and to any money or property which is recovered on account of the suit or other action; and

      (b) Paragraph (b) of subsection 1 attaches to any file or other property properly left in the possession of the attorney by his or her client, including, without limitation, copies of the attorney’s file if the original documents received from the client have been returned to the client, and authorizes the attorney to retain any such file or property until such time as an adjudication is made pursuant to subsection 6,

Ê from the time of service of the notices required by this section.

      5.  A lien pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 1 must not be construed as inconsistent with the attorney’s professional responsibilities to the client.

      6.  On motion filed by an attorney having a lien under this section, the attorney’s client or any party who has been served with notice of the lien, the court shall, after 5 days’ notice to all interested parties, adjudicate the rights of the attorney, client or other parties and enforce the lien.

      7.  Collection of attorney’s fees by a lien under this section may be utilized with, after or independently of any other method of collection.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 773; A 2013, 271)

      NRS 18.020  Cases in which costs allowed prevailing party.  Costs must be allowed of course to the prevailing party against any adverse party against whom judgment is rendered, in the following cases:

      1.  In an action for the recovery of real property or a possessory right thereto.

      2.  In an action to recover the possession of personal property, where the value of the property amounts to more than $2,500. The value must be determined by the jury, court or master by whom the action is tried.

      3.  In an action for the recovery of money or damages, where the plaintiff seeks to recover more than $2,500.

      4.  In a special proceeding, except a special proceeding conducted pursuant to NRS 306.040.

      5.  In an action which involves the title or boundaries of real estate, or the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll or municipal fine, including the costs accrued in the action if originally commenced in a Justice Court.

      [1911 CPA § 435; RL § 5377; NCL § 8924]—(NRS A 1969, 435; 1977, 774; 1979, 65, 1725; 1981, 470; 1985, 1503, 1622; 1995, 2793)

      NRS 18.025  Court not to refuse to award attorney’s fees or costs solely because public officer or agency is prevailing party.

      1.  A court shall not:

      (a) Refuse to award attorney’s fees or costs to the State, a local government, a public officer or a public employee; or

      (b) Reduce the amount of the attorney’s fees or costs it awards to the State, a local government, a public officer or a public employee,

Ê as the prevailing party in a civil action or as a party otherwise entitled to receive attorney’s fees or costs, solely because the prevailing party is the State, a local government, a public officer or a public employee.

      2.  If a court determines that the State, a local government, a public officer or a public employee is entitled to receive attorney’s fees or costs pursuant to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure, the provisions of this chapter or another specific statute, it shall award the attorney’s fees and costs at the rates set forth in the rule or statute. If rates are not set forth in the rule or statute, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

      3.  As used in this section, “local government” means any county, city, district, agency or other political subdivision of this state.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 262)

      NRS 18.030  Costs and disbursements in actions where defendants might have been joined.  When several actions are brought on one bond, undertaking, promissory note, bill of exchange, or other instrument in writing, or in any other case for the same cause of action, against several parties who might have been joined as defendants in the same action, no costs shall be allowed to the plaintiff in more than one of such actions, which may be at the plaintiff’s election, if the party proceeded against in the other actions was at the commencement of the previous action openly within this state; but the disbursements of the plaintiff shall be allowed to the plaintiff in each action.

      [1911 CPA § 436; RL § 5378; NCL § 8925]

      NRS 18.050  Discretion of court in allowing costs.  Except as limited by this section, in other actions in the district court, part or all of the prevailing party’s costs may be allowed and may be apportioned between the parties, or on the same or adverse sides. If, in the judgment of the court, the plaintiff believes he or she was justified in bringing the action in the district court, and the plaintiff recovers at least $700 in money or damages, or personal property of that value, the court may allow the plaintiff part or all of his or her costs.

      [1911 CPA § 438; RL § 5380; NCL § 8927]—(NRS A 1977, 775; 1979, 1726; 1981, 174, 470)

      NRS 18.060  Costs of appeal to Supreme Court; discretion of court. [Effective through December 31, 2014, and after that date unless the provisions of Senate Joint Resolution No. 14 (2011) are approved and ratified by the voters at the 2014 General Election.]  In the following cases the costs of an appeal to the Supreme Court shall be in the discretion of the court:

      1.  Where a new trial is ordered.

      2.  When a judgment is modified.

Ê In the event no order is made by the court relative to the costs in the two instances mentioned in this section, the party obtaining any relief shall have his or her costs.

      [1911 CPA § 439; RL § 5381; NCL § 8928]

      NRS 18.060  Costs of appeal to Court of Appeals or Supreme Court; discretion of court. [Effective January 1, 2015, if the provisions of Senate Joint Resolution No. 14 (2011) are approved and ratified by the voters at the 2014 General Election.]  In the following cases the costs of an appeal to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court shall be in the discretion of the court:

      1.  Where a new trial is ordered.

      2.  When a judgment is modified.

Ê In the event no order is made by the court relative to the costs in the two instances mentioned in this section, the party obtaining any relief shall have his or her costs.

      [1911 CPA § 439; RL § 5381; NCL § 8928]—(NRS A 2013, 1732, effective January 1, 2015, if the provisions of Senate Joint Resolution No. 14 (2011) are approved and ratified by the voters at the 2014 General Election)

      NRS 18.070  Payment of costs on postponement; costs and attorney’s fees on mistrial.

      1.  When an application is made to a court or master to postpone a trial, the payment of costs, occasioned by the postponement may be imposed, in the discretion of the court or master, as a condition of granting the postponement.

      2.  A court may impose costs and reasonable attorney’s fees against a party or an attorney who, in the judgment of the court, purposely caused a mistrial to occur.

      [1911 CPA § 441; RL § 5383; NCL § 8930]—(NRS A 1977, 775)

      NRS 18.080  Effect of tender in action for recovery of money.  When, in an action for the recovery of money only, the defendant alleges in his or her answer that before the commencement of the action the defendant tendered to the plaintiff the full amount to which the plaintiff was entitled, and thereupon deposits in court, for the plaintiff, the amount so tendered, and the allegations be found to be true, the plaintiff shall not recover costs, but shall pay costs to the defendant.

      [1911 CPA § 442; RL § 5384; NCL § 8931]

      NRS 18.090  Costs in actions by or against executors and trustees.  In an action prosecuted or defended by an executor, administrator, trustee of express trust, or a person expressly authorized by statute, costs may be recovered as in an action by and against a person prosecuting and defending in his or her own right; but such costs shall, by the judgment, be made chargeable only upon the estate, fund, or party represented, unless the court shall direct the same to be paid by the plaintiff or defendant, personally, for mismanagement or bad faith in the action or defense.

      [1911 CPA § 443; RL § 5385; NCL § 8932]

      NRS 18.110  Verified memorandum of costs: Filing and service; witness’ and clerk’s fee; retaxing and settling costs.

      1.  The party in whose favor judgment is rendered, and who claims costs, must file with the clerk, and serve a copy upon the adverse party, within 5 days after the entry of judgment, or such further time as the court or judge may grant, a memorandum of the items of the costs in the action or proceeding, which memorandum must be verified by the oath of the party, or the party’s attorney or agent, or by the clerk of the party’s attorney, stating that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the items are correct, and that the costs have been necessarily incurred in the action or proceeding.

      2.  The party in whose favor judgment is rendered shall be entitled to recover the witness fees, although at the time the party may not actually have paid them. Issuance or service of subpoena shall not be necessary to entitle a prevailing party to tax, as costs, witness fees and mileage, provided that such witnesses be sworn and testify in the cause.

      3.  It shall not be necessary to embody in the memorandum the fees of the clerk, but the clerk shall add the same according to the fees of the clerk fixed by statute.

      4.  Within 3 days after service of a copy of the memorandum, the adverse party may move the court, upon 2 days’ notice, to retax and settle the costs, notice of which motion shall be filed and served on the prevailing party claiming costs. Upon the hearing of the motion the court or judge shall settle the costs.

      [1911 CPA § 445; A 1919, 56; NCL § 8934]—(NRS A 1977, 775)

      NRS 18.120  Interest and costs must be included by clerk in judgment.  The clerk shall include in the judgment entered up by the clerk any interest on the verdict or judgment of the court or master, from the time it was rendered or made, and the costs, if the same have been taxed or ascertained; and the clerk shall, within 2 days after the same shall be taxed or ascertained, if not included in the judgment, insert the same in a blank to be left in the judgment for that purpose, and shall make a similar insertion of the costs in the copies and docket of the judgment.

      [1911 CPA § 446; RL § 5388; NCL § 8935]

      NRS 18.130  When plaintiff may be required to secure costs; affidavits of sureties; dismissal of action if undertaking not filed.

      1.  When a plaintiff in an action resides out of the State, or is a foreign corporation, security for the costs and charges which may be awarded against such plaintiff may be required by the defendant, by the filing and service on plaintiff of a written demand therefor within the time limited for answering the complaint. When so required, all proceedings in the action shall be stayed until an undertaking, executed by two or more persons, be filed with the clerk, to the effect that they will pay such costs and charges as may be awarded against the plaintiff by judgment, or in the progress of the action, not exceeding the sum of $500; or in lieu of such undertaking, the plaintiff may deposit $500, lawful money, with the clerk of the court, subject to the same conditions as required for the undertaking. The plaintiff, upon filing the undertaking or depositing the security, shall notify the defendant of such filing or deposit, and the defendant, after receipt of such notice, shall have 10 days or the period allowed under N.R.C.P. 12(a), whichever is longer, in which to answer or otherwise plead to the complaint.

      2.  A new or an additional undertaking may be ordered by the court or judge upon proof that the original undertaking is insufficient security, and proceedings in the action stayed until such new or additional undertaking be executed and filed.

      3.  Each of the sureties on the undertaking mentioned in subsection 1 shall annex to the same an affidavit that the surety is a resident and householder, or freeholder, within the county and is worth double the amount specified in the undertaking, over and above all the surety’s just debts and liabilities, exclusive of property exempt from execution.

      4.  After the lapse of 30 days from the service of notice that security is required, or of an order for new or additional security, upon proof thereof, and that no undertaking as required has been filed, the court or judge may order the action to be dismissed.

      [1911 CPA § 447; A 1939, 20; 1931 NCL § 8936] + [1911 CPA § 448; RL § 5390; NCL § 8937] + [1911 CPA § 449; RL § 5391; NCL § 8938]—(NRS A 1969, 632; 1971, 243)

      NRS 18.140  Plaintiffs for whom bond or undertaking not required.  In any civil action or proceeding wherein the State, or the people of the State, is a party plaintiff, or any state officer, in his or her official capacity or in behalf of the State, or any county, city and county, city or town, or the United States of America, or the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, a federal corporation, is a party plaintiff, no bond, written undertaking, or security can be required of the State, or the people thereof, or of the United States of America, or the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, a federal corporation, or any officer thereof, or of any county, city and county, city or town; but on complying with the other provisions of NRS the State, or the people thereof, or the United States of America, or the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, a federal corporation, or any officer thereof acting in his or her official capacity, has the same rights, remedies and benefits as if the bond, undertaking, or security were given and approved as required by this or any other law of the State of Nevada.

      [1911 CPA § 447a; added 1935, 286; 1931 NCL § 8936.01]

      NRS 18.150  Payment of costs and attorney’s fees when State or county is a party.

      1.  When the State is a party, and costs or attorney’s fees are awarded against it, they must be paid out of the State Treasury.

      2.  When a county is a party, and costs or attorney’s fees are awarded against it, they must be paid out of the county treasury.

      [1911 CPA § 450; RL § 5392; NCL § 8939] + [1911 CPA § 451; RL § 5393; NCL § 8940]—(NRS A 1977, 776)

      NRS 18.160  Costs allowed judgment creditor; memorandum of costs; motion to tax.

      1.  A judgment creditor may claim costs for one or more of the following items:

      (a) Statutory fees for preparing or issuing an abstract of judgment.

      (b) Statutory fees for recording, receiving or filing an abstract of judgment.

      (c) Statutory fees for issuing a writ of execution, or any writ for the enforcement of any order or judgment.

      (d) Statutory fees for issuing an order of sale.

      (e) Statutory fees of sheriffs or constables in connection with serving, executing or levying any writ or making any return, or for keeping or caring for property held by virtue of such a writ.

      (f) Costs or disbursements incurred in connection with any proceeding supplementary to execution which have been approved as to necessity, propriety and amount by the judge ordering or conducting the proceeding.

      2.  A judgment creditor shall serve upon the adverse party either personally or by mail, and file at any time or times not more than 6 months after the items have been incurred and before the time the judgment is fully satisfied, a memorandum of the items of the judgment creditor’s costs and necessary disbursements, verified by the judgment creditor or the judgment creditor’s attorney, stating that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the items are correct, and that they have been necessarily or reasonably incurred in the action or proceeding.

      3.  Any party dissatisfied with the costs claimed may, within 5 days after the service of a copy of the bill of costs, file a motion to have the same taxed by the court in which the judgment was rendered, or by the judge thereof at chambers.

      (Added to NRS by 1963, 310; A 1989, 902)

      NRS 18.170  Notice of motion for order allowing costs and necessary disbursements; order.  A judgment creditor claiming costs or necessary disbursements reasonably incurred in aid of the collection of a judgment or of any execution issued thereon, other than those specified in NRS 18.160, including items which have been disallowed by the judge in the supplemental proceeding, shall serve the adverse party either personally or by mail, and file, at any time or times not more than 6 months after such item has been incurred and prior to the time the judgment is fully satisfied, a notice of motion for an order allowing the same, specifying the items claimed and the amount thereof, and supported by an affidavit of the party or the party’s attorney or agent stating that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the items are correct and showing that the costs were reasonable, and the disbursements reasonably and necessarily incurred. The court or judge hearing such motion shall make such order respecting the costs or disbursements so claimed as the circumstances justify, allowing the same in whole or in part, or disallowing the same.

      (Added to NRS by 1963, 310)

      NRS 18.180  Entry of amount of costs on margin of judgment.  Within 2 days after the costs are tried or ascertained, or after the time for making a motion to tax the same has expired, the clerk or judge shall enter the amount thereof on the margin of the judgment, and thereafter they shall be included together with the amount of the fee charged for issuance thereof in any execution issued upon such judgment.

      (Added to NRS by 1963, 311)