A sign announces a park closure for homeless sweeps in Reno

Northern Nevadans struggling with homelessness have a right to exist in public spaces, and they have property rights! 

Read below to learn what is prohibited and to understand your rights under the law. 

If you or someone you know has been affected by homeless sweeps or laws that criminalize homelessness, please contact the ACLU of Nevada by filling out this form.

Can police or government officials ask me to leave a public space where I have been staying?

Q.Can police or government officials ask me to leave a public space where I have been staying?
A.

Police and/or other government officials can ask you to temporarily leave a public space for routine maintenance, but they must provide advanced notice that clearly states the date and location of the routine maintenance.

Can police arrest or ticket me for sleeping or camping in public spaces?

Q.Can police arrest or ticket me for sleeping or camping in public spaces?
A.

Police cannot legally arrest or ticket you for sleeping, sitting, lying, eating, camping, etc. when shelter space is not available. If shelter is available, then police/government officials must offer it to you before issuing a citation or making an arrest.

What if I refuse to go to an emergency shelter?

Q.What if I refuse to go to an emergency shelter?
A.

If you refuse shelter when it is available, the police can arrest or ticket you for sleeping or camping in a public space.

Can police or government officials take my belongings?

Q.Can police or government officials take my belongings?
A.

You have the right to be free from unreasonable seizure and confiscation of your property, but police or government officials can ask you to move your property to perform routine maintenance.

Police or government officials cannot take your belongings without advanced notice that clearly states the date and location of the routine maintenance.

Can police or government officials throw my belongings in the trash?

Q.Can police or government officials throw my belongings in the trash?
A.

Police or government officials cannot destroy your belongings and must hold them for you to reclaim.