PUBLIC NOTICE FAQ
What are public notices?
They contain information required by law to be distributed to the public. They include notices for new ordinances, water-rights applications, ballot questions, bids on public works projects, hearings on zoning changes and many more. They are also sometimes call legal notices.
Why are they published in newspapers of ‘general circulation’?
Public notices must be actively disseminated to citizens who may be affected by the information they contain. All government records are “available,” if people know where to search. But the information in public notices is so essential to an informed citizenry that it needs to be published where people will find it even if they’re not necessarily searching for it.
Shouldn’t public notices be placed on the internet?
They are. When notices are published in newspapers, they are also posted on the web. If you search for ‘Nevada public notices,’ one of the top results is this website, which strives to post every notice published in Nevada newspapers. They also appear on individual papers’ websites.
Couldn’t the government just do this itself?
A fundamental purpose of public notices is to help ensure that government is accountable. Notices are published through third-party organizations that are independent of the government — local newspapers — to create a verifiable record of the date they were published and show that the content met legal requirements. Without such verification, government would be accountable only to itself.
Do people bother to read these?
Our most recent study in Nevada, which got results similar to studies in other states, showed that 10 percent said they “never” read public notices. But 31 percent said they read them “frequently” and another 33 percent said they “sometimes” read the notices.
Is this the best use of my tax dollars?
Yes. Nevada newspapers are strong proponents of the three key requirements for open government — open records, open meetings and public notices. They are the citizens’ tools for reducing fraud, waste and abuse in their government, and in the long run they save taxpayer dollars. It’s also worth noting that the cost of publishing notices in newspapers represents a small fraction of the total budgets of state and local government agencies.
HOW TO PLACE A NOTICE
Public notices must be published in newspapers of general circulation in Nevada.
If you need to have a notice printed:
1. Determine the county in which the notice must be published. Because notices reach local audiences, most are required to be published in the county where the court action, foreclosure, name change, etc. is taking place.
2. Contact a newspaper in that county. Every county in Nevada has at least one newspaper qualified to publish notices. You can find newspapers by visiting the Nevada Press Association‘s website, or drop us an email at admin (at) nevadapress.con and we’ll help you.
3. Once the newspaper has published your notice, it will be sent to this statewide site and be available online here, and it will usually be posted on the paper’s website as well.