The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office enforces capias warrants issued by the courts. When the court has ruled in favor of the plaintiff against a defendant is issued requiring the defendant to pay the balance due to the plaintiff. If the defendant does not pay what they owe, there are a number of options available to the plaintiff. One option is a capias arrest. Capias are issued through the court and authorize a Deputy Sheriff to physically arrest a defendant and bring him/her to the court.

Norfolk Deputy Sheriffs are highly trained law enforcement officers and have years of experience enforcing capias warrants. Our deputies are highly successful in convincing defendants to come to court voluntarily. This option is frequently the first choice of many pro se plaintiffs as it is the most cost effective. Should this option fail or should you believe that the defendant will not respond voluntarily, we can move immediately to a physical arrest at the defendant’s home or place of employment. Our trained and uniformed Deputy Sheriff’s utilize police vehicles and the latest law enforcement tools and technologies to locate, arrest, and transport the defendant to the court in a safe and professional manner.


VOLUNTARY CAPIAS ARREST

STEP 1: Within five days of our office receiving a capias from the plaintiff, the deputy sheriff will mail a contempt of court notice, specifying the court, the hearing date, and the file number for the particular case. Within five days of this initial mailing, the first attempt at telephone contact will be made. The deputy will contact the defendant by telephone and leave a message communicating the nature of the capias and the importance of showing up to the hearing. Plaintiffs will also be informed of the date of the hearing and must attend in order for the capias to be heard. Please note that each court sets the day and time on which capias will be heard. The Norfolk Sheriff's Office will attempt to work with plaintiffs to schedule the hearing at a convenient date.

STEP 2:
If the defendant fails to show up at the first hearing, a new hearing date will be set. A second mailing will be issued, restating the nature of the case, the hearing date, the court and the importance of their appearance. A second phone call will also be placed.

STEP 3: If the defendant fails once again to show up at their hearing, a third and final notice will be issued and mailed. They will be informed that it is the third contempt of court notice issued. The deputy will call a final time and visit the premises if possible. If this final attempt at a voluntary appearance fails, a physical arrest may be required.

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PHYSICAL ARREST

If attempts at a voluntary arrest fail, or if you believe the defendant will not respond to a request to appear voluntarily, a physical arrest is an option. If you wish to initiate an arrest on a capias, we require a $300 retainer. The original capias is required by the Office to initiate a physical arrest.  The retainer payment must be made by bank check or money order.  We do not accept personal checks or cash.

The Sheriff’s Office will locate the defendant, conduct a background check, and coordinate a date and time with the plaintiff to arrange apprehension and delivery to the appropriate court. We work closely with the plaintiff and do NOT exceed the $300 retainer without your express approval.  The majority of capias arrests do not exceed the retainer. The more information that you can provide us makes for a more efficient and less costly apprehension.




To facilitate the arrest process, please fill out the following form:
Capias Arrest Request Form

Please mail the Capias, arrest form, and the pre-payment to:
Norfolk Sheriff's Office
CIVIL PROCESS DIVISION
P.O, BOX 699245
Quincy, MA 02269