Step 4: Service of process
If you are granted a temporary order, the abuser has to be served with a copy of it so s/he knows what s/he is restricted from doing (i.e., contacting you, coming to your home, etc.). If you apply for an extended order, the court will give you a hearing date where both you and the abuser have a right to be present. The abuser must be “served” with this notice of the hearing so that s/he knows s/he must appear in court.1
The court may send the paperwork to law enforcement personnel to be served, or you may have to bring the temporary order and notice of hearing to the police or sheriff yourself. Law enforcement must serve the papers without charging you any money. You cannot serve the papers yourself.
If you know the abuser’s home address, and law enforcement is unable to personally serve the abuser with the temporary order at his/her home, the law enforcement agency will leave a notice at the abuser’s last known address that directs him/her to contact them within 24 hours. If law enforcement makes three such attempts to serve the order and leaves three notices but the abuser doesn’t respond, you can file a petition in court to ask that law enforcement be able to serve the abuser at his/her job. If the abuser is unemployed, or if law enforcement agency attempts to serve the abuser at his/her job but they are unable to, you can file a petition in court to allow law enforcement to serve the abuser by an alternative service method other than personal service.
If you do not know the abuser’s home address, law enforcement can attempt to serve the abuser at his/her job. If law enforcement makes two attempts to personally serve the abuser at work but they cannot find him/her, law enforcement can leave a copy of the order at the abuser’s workplace and mail a copy there as well. Ten days after the date on which the documents are mailed to the abuser’s job, the abuser is considered “served” under the law.2
You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?
1 N.R.S. § 33.020(2)-(5)
2 N.R.S. §§ 33.060(2); 33.065(1)-(4)