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The Civil Division is responsible for receiving, processing, serving and returning court orders, legal documents and notices. The service of these documents is sometimes simply delivering them. At other times depending on the intention and commands of the court, serve means the Sheriff’s Office must enforce the content of the written document.
This is not legal advice and should not replace a lawyer.
- When the clerk of court receives a ruling on a forcible entry and detainer action in your favor you will need to request the clerk issue a writ of possession to the sheriff. This will not be done automatically.
- Contact the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, civil division, at 641-324-3639 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, (except holidays) to schedule an eviction time.
- The sheriff’s office will be delivering a copy of the writ, along with a letter stating the date of the eviction to the address of the defendant. We require that this be done at least some time during the day before the eviction. It is not necessary to serve this letter on the defendant so we will post it on the door if no one is available to receive it.
- The day of the eviction we will expect the plaintiff or his agent to check the location to see if the defendant has vacated voluntarily. Please call our office to either confirm or cancel the eviction. We will not respond until we hear from you. If you discover that the defendant has vacated previous to the eviction date, please inform our office so we can use that time for other purposes.
- At the time of the eviction we will expect the plaintiff to provide enough manpower to complete the eviction in approximately one hour. We recognize that unusual situations requiring more time will occur occasionally. The process must be completed by 5 p.m. and will be scheduled with that goal in mind. Our function is to provide the authority, keep the peace, and direct the procedure.
- We request that the plaintiff provide enough boxes and large trash bags to facilitate efficient moving of property. If heavy rain is imminent it is suggested that sheets of plastic be used to cover the property to prevent unnecessary damage. The eviction will only be postponed because of severe weather conditions. If a waterbed needs to be drained we may request that you bring a pump in the interest of time. The plaintiff should contact animal control and facilitate the rescue of animals on the premises at the time of removal.
- At the time of the eviction it is the sheriff’s responsibility to keep the peace and oversee the removal of the defendant’s property including vehicles to the curb or nearest public property. The sheriff will see that the property is not negligently handled to avoid unnecessary damage. Refrigerators and freezers should be secured for safety purposes. Weapons, drugs, and cash will be taken into possession by the sheriff and inventoried for the defendant to claim. The keys may be taken from the defendant; however, it is advisable that the plaintiff have the locks changed for security purposes. The sheriff will advise the defendant that they must leave the property, and if they return they would be in violation of trespass laws.
- We will expect the plaintiff to remove all property/garbage from the location. We will not get involved in determining what is valuable and what is not. If the defendant vacates voluntarily it is up to the plaintiff to decide if they want to have our office stand by while any remaining property is removed. If the eviction procedure is canceled, the plaintiff accepts any liability for property left behind.
- The service fees for a writ of possession (eviction) are $30.00 plus mileage.