When you file paperwork asking to be named a guardian, you have to “serve” a copy of the Petition and the Citation on the child, if age 14 or older, many of the child's relatives, and possibly some other agencies. The court does not serve these documents for you; you must make sure the right people are properly served. Visit this section to find out how to serve the relatives.

What to Serve

You must send a copy of the Petition (the document you filled out asking to be named the guardian) and the Citation (the document that sets a court hearing) to the required relatives.

 

Who to Serve

You must serve everyone listed on Exhibit A of the Petition, plus some other people if applicable.  The people you must serve generally includes:

  • the child, if age 14 or older;
  • the child's parents;
  • the child's grandparents;
  • the child's brothers and sisters who are 14 years or older;
  • the child if the child is 14 years or older;
  • the Department of Health and Human Services if the child received (now or in the past) Medicaid.

A full list of the people you must serve is on the Who Must Be Told About a Guardianship page. Make sure you serve all of the required people, or your case may be delayed! 

CAUTION!

The child's relatives are entitled to know about the guardianship even if the relatives are not involved in the child's life. The relatives must be notified of the proposed guardianship and must be given a chance to object. If you do not know where to find some of the relatives, please read about Serving by Publication to find out how to get them served.

Many guardianships are delayed because not all relatives and required agencies are served.  Do not skip any of the required people, or your case may be delayed. 

 

How to Serve

There are three ways to have the required people served:

  1. By a signed consent and waiver of service. If a child age 14 or older, parent, or other relative will agree to the guardianship, the person can sign a "Consent and Waiver of Service." All consents must be filed with the court. NOTE: If the child age 14 or older does not sign a Consent and Waiver of Service, you are required to serve them by personal service.

    Consent and Waiver for Parent (pdf fillable)   Consent and Waiver for Parent (pdf)

    Consent and Waiver for Child (age 14 or older) (pdf fillable)     Consent and Waiver for Child (age 14 or older) (pdf)

    Consent and Waiver for Any Other Relative (pdf fillable)   Consent and Waiver for Any Other Relative (pdf)
     
  2. By certified mail, return receipt requested. You can send the documents by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 20 days before the hearing.  When you mail the documents, use the "green cards" at the post office.  You will receive the “green receipts” back from the post office when people sign for the mail. When you get the cards back, complete the Certificate of Mailing indicating which relatives were served, when, and to what addresses. Tape the green receipts to a blank sheet of paper and attach them to the Certificate of Mailing. File the Certificate of Mailing at the court. 

    Certificate of Mailing (pdf fillable)   Certificate of Mailing (pdf)

     
  3. By personal service. You can have a neutral person hand-deliver the documents to any of the required people. This must be done at least 10 days before the hearing. A separate Declaration of Service must be completed for each relative that is personally served, and the Declaration of Service must be filed at the court.

    Declaration of Service (pdf fillable)             Declaration of Service (pdf)

 

What if I Don’t Know Where Some of the Relatives Are?

You must do everything you can to locate any missing relatives. Contact friends, family members, employers, coworkers, or anyone who might know where the relatives can be found. Search for the relatives online through social networking sites and by email. You can also check the Post Office for forwarding information. Check with any source that might lead you to a good address for the relative. This is called doing your “due diligence.” 

If you still cannot find the relatives, you can ask the Court to waive service on the relatives, or instead, for permission to publish the citation in a newspaper and mail a copy of the citation and the petition to the relative’s last known address. You will have to detail all of the efforts you made to find the missing relative.

To ask the Court to waive service or to allow publication, follow these steps:

  1. Mail a copy of the Petition and Citation to the last known address you have for each relative. You must send the Petition and the Citation to each person's last known address by regular mail.  
     
  2. After mailing the Petition and Citation, fill out the following forms. Fill out the forms in the packet below.  You must complete a SEPARATE Affidavit of Due Diligence for each relative that you cannot find, so download as many extras of those as you need. 

    Declaration to Waive Service or Alternatively, Service by Publication (pdf fillable)     Declaration to Waive Service or Alternatively, Service by Publication (pdf)

    Declaration of Due Diligence (pdf fillable)   Declaration of Due Diligence (pdf) - fill out a separate form for each relative

    Order for Service by Publication (pdf fillable)   Order for Service by Publication (pdf)

    Order to Waive Service (pdf fillable)   Order to Waive Service (pdf)

  3. File all of the affidavits with the Court
     
  4. Submit the proposed Orders to the judge. Bring both orders to the courthouse and ask where to turn them in for your judge. The judge's staff will contact you after the judge has had a chance to review your paperwork. 
     
  5. Wait for your answer. If the judge believes that you have done enough and the relatives truly cannot be found, the judge will sign one or both of the orders to waive service or require you to serve by publication. If not, you will receive a memo from the judge's staff letting you know what needs to be fixed.
     
  6. If the judge signs your Order to Serve by Publication, contact a newspaper to arrange for publication. You will have to provide the newspaper with a copy of the Citation (that includes the names of ALL the relatives you are serving by publication) and the Order to Serve by Publication. The citation must be published once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. The last date of publication must be at least 20 days before the hearing in your case.  
     
  7. Make sure the Affidavit of Publication is filed with the court. The newspaper may file this for you, but if they do not, be sure to ask for a copy of the Affidavit of Publication and file it yourself. 

TIP!

If you know that some relatives will have to be served by publication, be sure to ask the clerk to set your hearing far enough out so that you will have enough time to finish publication before the hearing. If there is not enough time to complete publication before a hearing that you already have scheduled, set a new hearing date before you begin publication.

Next Steps

Once the relatives have been served, you will need to prepare for the hearing with the judge. Visit the Guardianship Hearing page to learn how to prepare for your hearing and find out what to expect at the hearing.

About This Website

This website is intended to provide general information, forms, and resources for people who are representing themselves in Nevada's courts without a lawyer. There may be additional information you need to know depending on where your case is being handled. If you will be representing yourself in Clark County or Washoe County, you should visit those self-help websites for specialized forms and instructions.