Rule 4. Summons and Service
(1) Contents. A summons must:
(A) name the court, the county, and the parties;
(B) be directed to the defendant;
(C) state the name and address of the plaintiff s attorney or—if unrepresented—of the plaintiff;
(D) state the time within which the defendant must appear and defend under Rule 12(a) or any other applicable rule or statute;
(E) notify the defendant that a failure to appear and defend will result in a default judgment against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint;
(F) be signed by the clerk;
(G) bear the court’s seal; and
(H) comply with Rule 4.4(c)(2)(C) when service is made by publication.
(2) Amendments. The court may permit a summons to be amended.
(b) Issuance. On or after filing a complaint, the plaintiff must present a summons to the clerk for issuance under signature and seal. If a summons is properly presented, the clerk must issue a summons under signature and seal to the plaintiff for service on the defendant. A summons—or a copy of a summons that is addressed to multiple defendants—must be issued for each defendant to be served.
(1) In General. Unless a defendant voluntarily appears, the plaintiff is responsible for:
(A) obtaining a waiver of service under Rule 4.1, if applicable; or
(B) having the summons and complaint served under Rule 4.2, 4.3, or 4.4 within the time allowed by Rule 4(e).
(2) Service With a Copy of the Complaint. A summons must be served with a copy of the complaint. The plaintiff must furnish the necessary copies to the person who makes service.
(3) By Whom. The summons and complaint may be served by the sheriff, or a deputy sheriff, of the county where the defendant is found or by any person who is at least 18 years old and not a party to the action.
(4) Cumulative Service Methods. The methods of service provided in Rules 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 are cumulative and may be utilized with, after, or independently of any other methods of service.
(d) Proof of Service. Unless a defendant voluntarily appears or waives or admits service, a plaintiff must file proof of service with the court stating the date, place, and manner of service no later than the time permitted for the defendant to respond to the summons.
(1) Service Within the United States. Proof of service within Nevada or within the United States must be made by affidavit from the person who served the summons and complaint.
(2) Service Outside the United States. Service not within the United States must be proved as follows:
(A) if made under Rule 4.3(b)(1)(A), as provided in the applicable treaty or convention; or
(B) if made under Rule 4.3(b)(1)(B) or (C), by a receipt signed by the addressee, or by other evidence satisfying the court that the summons and complaint were delivered to the addressee.
(3) Service by Publication. If service is made by publication, a copy of the publication must be attached to the proof of service, and proof of service must be made by affidavit from:
(A) the publisher or other designated employee having knowledge of the publication; and
(B) if the summons and complaint were mailed to a person’s last-known address, the individual depositing the summons and complaint in the mail.
(4) Amendments. The court may permit proof of service to be amended.
(5) Failure to Make Proof of Service. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service.
(e) Time Limit for Service.
(1) In General. The summons and complaint must be served upon a defendant no later than 120 days after the complaint is filed, unless the court grants an extension of time under this rule.
(2) Dismissal. If service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant before the 120-day service period—or any extension thereof—expires, the court must dismiss the action, without prejudice, as to that defendant upon motion or upon the court’s own order to show cause.
(3) Timely Motion to Extend Time. If a plaintiff files a motion for an extension of time before the 120-day service period—or any extension thereof—expires and shows that good cause exists for granting an extension of the service period, the court must extend the service period and set a reasonable date by which service should be made.
(4) Failure to Make Timely Motion to Extend Time. If a plaintiff files a motion for an extension of time after the 120-day service period—or any extension thereof—expires, the court must first determine whether good cause exists for the plaintiffs failure to timely file the motion for an extension before the court considers whether good cause exists for granting an extension of the service period. If the plaintiff shows that good cause exists for the plaintiffs failure to timely file the motion and for granting an extension of the service period, the court must extend the time for service and set a reasonable date by which service should be made.
Advisory Committee Note—2019 Amendment
Rule 4 is revised and reorganized, preserving the core of former NRCP 4, incorporating provisions from the federal rule and Rules 4, 4.1, and 4.2 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, and adding new provisions. The amendments break up former NRCP 4 into Rule 4, Summons and Service; Rule 4.1, Waiving Service; Rule 4.2, Service Within Nevada; Rule 4.3, Service Outside Nevada; and Rule 4.4, Alternative Service Methods.
Subsection (a). Rule 4(a)(1) restates the first sentence in former NRCP 4(b) with stylistic changes. The second sentence of former NRCP 4(b) is moved into Rule 4.4(c)(2)(C), service by publication, with a cross-reference in Rule 4(a)(1)(H). Rule 4(a)(2) is new and is incorporated from the federal rule.
Subsection (b). Rule 4(b) makes stylistic changes to former NRCP 4(a). It borrows language from its federal rule counterpart, with changes to accommodate Nevada practice.
Subsection (c). Rule 4(c)(1) states the service requirements. Rule 4(c)(2) restates the first two sentences of former NRCP 4(d). Rule 4(c)(3) is a stylistic restatement of the former NRCP 4(c). Rule 4(c)(4) is carried forward from the last sentence of the former NRCP 4(e)(2).
Subsection (d). Rule 4(d) incorporates former NRCP 4(g), with stylistic revisions. Rule 4(d)(2), addressing international service, and Rule 4(d)(4), addressing amendment of proof of service, are new and drawn from FRCP 4(1)(2) and (3), respectively.
Subsection (e). Rule 4(e) revises former NRCP 4(i) to clarify that the 120-day period for accomplishing service generally applies to all civil actions. Rule 4(e) does not incorporate the federal exemption for foreign service. A plaintiff needing to serve a defendant in a foreign country may move to extend the time for service; if appropriate, the court can extend the deadline and set a reasonable deadline for service. Rule 4(e)(2) makes clear that, if the court acts on its own, it must issue an order to show cause giving the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard before dismissing an action for failure to make service.