Civil Forfeitures: Timeline & RSAs

Dog Licensing season is currently upon us, and the dreaded Civil Forfeiture process for all dog owners who have failed to renew/license their dog(s) for the year is right around the corner. Let’s get prepared.

The RSAs are specific with 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 in Avitar’s Clerk program.

  • 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 | Dog Civil Forfeitures). 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).

NOTE: In Avitar Clerk, you have the option to assess one Civil Forfeiture fee per dog in the group or one Civil Forfeiture fee for the entire group. To charge one Civil Forfeiture fee per dog, go to Utilities | System Administration | System Options | Dog Licensing tab. Select “Charge Civil Forfeiture Per Dog” and select Save.

It is extremely important for you to be uploading your dogs to Invoice Cloud (if you have this functionality), at least 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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