Civil Removal Process
Civil Removal Process
An owner can move forward with the removal of an unlawful/unauthorized occupant through a civil process, whether or not there has been an arrest.
If the owner decides to move forward with removal of the unlawful or unauthorized occupant, the owner can serve one notice on the occupant. Nevada law requires a 4-day notice to the occupant, instructing the occupant to surrender (leave) the property.
CAUTION! If you're an owner, you can prepare and serve the Notice to Surrender yourself. But be careful! This "notice" step is one place where there is the potential to make a lot of mistakes. If you believe you need help, you can have the constable prepare and serve the eviction notices for you for a fee. Click to visit Constables & Sheriffs for contact information.
Contents of the Notice
The 4-day Notice to Surrender form is available, free of charge, at the Civil Law Self-Help Center. You can also download the form on your computer here.
NOTICE TO SURRENDER
The notice should be specific, typed or neatly written, and must not be altered in any way. (JCRCP 101, JCRLV 34(f)(1).)
The 4-day Notice to Surrender must tell the tenant:
- The name of the court that has jurisdiction over the matter,
- That the occupant has the right to oppose the notice by filing an affidavit with the court before the court's close of business on the fourth judicial day following the date of service,
- That if the court decides the occupant is guilty of forcible entry or forcible detainer, the court could issue a summary order, directing the sheriff or constable to remove the occupant within 24 hours,
- That the owner will provide safe storage of the occupant's property for 14 days after the removal or surrender of the property, but that the occupant will have to pay for the reasonable and actual costs of inventory, moving, and storage of the property.
Service of the Notice
The owner must then properly serve the Notice to Surrender on the occupant. The notice must be served in 1 of the 3 following ways in compliance with NRS 40.280:
- Serving the occupant personally, in the presence of a witness. (NRS 40.280(1)(a).) FYI! If you are an owner, you should fill out 2 copies of the notice, so that when you get to the property, the first one is left with the unlawful or unauthorized occupant, person who answers the door, or posted on the door, and the second one is for your records.
- If the occupant is not at the property, leaving a copy with a person "of suitable age and discretion" (at least 14 years old) AND mailing a copy to the occupant at the address of the property.
- If no one answers the door, by posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the property AND mailing a copy to the occupant at the address of the property. (NRS 40.280(1)(c).)CAUTION! Remember! You must go in order. Meaning you have to knock first and see if the occupant is there. If the occupant isn't there, then you can give it to the person of suitable age and discretion AND mail it. If no one answers, then you can post it AND mail it.
The owner can also have the constable serve the notice, and constable does not require a witness upon service. If you want the constable in your township to prepare and serve the eviction notice for you, contact the local constable's office to make arrangements and obtain fee information. Click to visit Constables & Sheriffs.
Upon being served with the Notice, the occupant can (1) surrender or leave the property or (2) file an affidavit with the court that states a defense and/or asks for additional time to move out.
OCCUPANT'S AFFIDAVIT/ANSWER TO NOTICE TO SURRENDER
Filing the affidavit does not guarantee the occupant a hearing. The occupant must state a legal defense in the answer in order to get before the judge.
The occupant can also ask for up to 20 extra days to move out. The affidavit/answer contains a section in which the occupant can ask the court to stay (pause) or delay the removal and grant the occupant up to 20 more days to move. This is the occupant's only opportunity to request that extra time. If the occupant does not file an answer within the 4-day period, the occupant cannot request more time after the constable locks the occupant out.
After the occupant files the answer, the occupant will get a file-stamped copy from the Justice Court, either via email, or if the occupant does not have email, he/she will have to come back to the Justice Court's clerk office to pick up a copy of the file-stamped answer. The occupant then must mail the file-stamped answer to the owner, fill out a Certificate of Service, then file that Certificate of Service with the Justice Court.
OCCUPANT'S CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE OF OCCUPANT'S AFFIDAVIT/ANSWER TO NOTICE TO SURRENDER
After the end of the 4-day period, the owner can file a complaint with the Justice Court where the property is located. The owner must attach the Notice of Surrender and proof of service to the complaint.
OWNER'S AFFIDAVIT OF COMPLAINT FOR REMOVAL OF UNLAWFUL/UNAUTHORIZED OCCUPANT
After the affidavit and complaint are filed, the court will look at the documents. If the occupant filed within the 4-day period and the affidavit raised an element of a legal defense, then the court will schedule a hearing and mail notice of the hearing to both the occupant and the owner. The hearing will be scheduled within 7 judicial days after the filing of the complaint.
If the occupant did not file an affidavit at all, or if the affidavit was late, or if the affidavit did not raise an element of a legal defense, the removal order will be granted.
The court can also grant the removal, but give the occupant extra time to leave the property. The court's order will include the amount of extra time given.