Dogs, Dogs, Dogs: Civil Forfeitures & Late Fees

The season of the dreaded Civil Forfeiture process for all dog owners who have failed to renew/license their dog(s) for last year is upon us… yet again.

The RSAs are very specific in regard to when you need to complete the civil forfeiture steps. Below is a timeline to assist you for 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 and/or have never been licensed. (Utilities | Unlicensed Dog Warrant). This list and warrant need to be given to your governing body (selectmen/alderman/councilors) for their signatures to authorize the issuance of the civil forfeiture letters and 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). Note, if you use Invoice Cloud to process online dog payments, you need to upload the civil forfeiture notices to your biller portal, at least monthly.
  • By August 31st: Your local law enforcement officer, or whomever was named on the unlicensed dog 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).

It is extremely important for you to be uploading your dogs to Invoice Cloud (if you have this functionality), on the first of each month, to include the $1.00/month late fee. For information on how to upload dog invoices to Invoice Cloud, and the frequency in which you should do so, select Dog Invoice Upload.

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