It’s time to start your dog civil forfeiture process for all owners who have failed to renew/license their dog(s) for last year. The RSA’s are very specific in regards to when you need to complete the civil forfeitures steps.
Below is a timeline to assist you in knowing when things need to be done, as well as links to instructions on how to create the civil forfeiture letters and assign the fees to the dogs.
- June 1st to June 20th: Create your unlicensed dog warrant and list for all dogs that have not been renewed or have never been licensed. (Utilities | Unlicensed Dog Warrant) The warrant and list is given to your governing body (selectmen/alderman/councilors) for their signatures to authorize the issuance of the civil forfeiture letters and the corresponding fees. (RSA 466:14 Warrants; Proceedings)
- June 21st to July 11th: Your governing body will issue the warrant to “a local official authorized to issue a civil forfeiture for each unlicensed dog.” This could be your local police department, dog officer, or even you if you send the letters by certified mail. (Utilities | Dog Civil Forfeitures). Also, when you are creating your civil forfeiture letters and select “Print Forfeiture Letters & Assign Costs to Dogs” a dialog box prompts “Would you like to preview the forfeiture letters?” Selecting “Yes” presents the opportunity to make corrections to the letters (e.g. signature line, custom message). However, the fees will not be displayed on the letter, as you have not yet assigned them at this point.
Once you have previewed the letters, and made any necessary corrections, you must select the“Print Forfeiture Letters & Assign Costs to Dogs” again and answer “No” when asked if you wish to preview the forfeiture letters. The resulting dialog box will ask if you are sure you want to proceed, noting that civil forfeiture fees will be assigned at this point. The civil forfeiture letters are generated with the appropriate fees and are now ready for you to print. Dog owners have 15 calendar days from the date the notice was given to pay the civil forfeiture fee and license their dog.
Note, in order to capture every unlicensed dog (not renewed and never licensed) for the civil forfeiture letters, you may need to select both options under the heading “Dogs That Have Never Received Notices.” This means you may have to do the civil forfeiture process twice, once for “Dogs That Have Not Been Renewed” and again for “Dogs That Have Never Been Licensed.”
- By August 31st: Your local law enforcement officer, or whomever was the name listed on the unlicensed warrant, must return a list showing the owners who paid (and licensed their dogs), the dogs that were seized, and the owners who have not licensed their dogs and may need to receive a summons to your district court. (RSA 466:16 Returns)
Once the civil forfeiture fees have been assigned to each dog, they will automatically be added to the cart when you license the dog. If a customer wants to license their dog, but they have not received their civil forfeiture notice, you can waive the fee through Charge Maintenance (Utilities | Charge Maintenance) or simply delete the charge from the cart at fee settlement.
Note, if you use Invoice Cloud to process online dog payments, you need to upload the civil forfeiture notices to your biller portal.