Civil Process Services

About Civil Process

The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Division is a professional agency whose responsibility is the delivery of legal services and the enforcement of civil orders directed from the Massachusetts Court System. Our Civil Process Office is responsible for executing court orders and the delivery of legal documents essential to the proceedings of state-wide and county civil cases. These legal documents include summonses, divorce papers, levy on real estate, levy on personal property, supplementary process, summary process/evictions, garnishments and writ of attachments.

The Civil Process Office also enforces judgments made by the court which include but are not limited to seizing property and selling property through a Sheriff’s Sale, garnishing wages, and facilitating Capias arrests. Our Business Office staff and Deputy Sheriffs are committed to a high standard of excellence and work each and every day to improve both our delivery of service and our communication with our clients and the public we serve. We understand the importance of achieving court related deadlines and we are proficient in the application of enforcing civil actions.

According to Massachusetts General Law c.37, sections 11&12, the High Sheriff of the County is mandated to serve civil process. MGL c.37, section 3 empowers the Sheriff to appoint Deputy Sheriffs to perform official acts of process. In Massachusetts, as in most states, the service of process is carried out by the Sheriff, through deputies, as public ministerial offices to the judicial branch. Appointed Deputy Sheriffs are trained to properly deliver important court and non-court documents and are held to the same high standards as any law enforcement official.

Here at the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our civil process operations. In 1996, the Civil Process Office became a fully accountable public agency under the direction of the Sheriff, an agency that has always been fully dedicated to serving its county, and a valuable part of the public safety community.

List of Services & Instructions

Service Notes / Instructions
Summons and
Complaint

 

Mail or deliver the original summons with the court seal and complaint to the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office, Civil Process Office and kindly include one copy of each document. Also include any other documents that accompany the summons and complaint. The original will be forwarded back to you with the return of service affixed. You will be responsible for returning the original to the court in a timely fashion.
Judgment Debtor Summons

 

Mail or deliver the original Judgment Debtor Summons to the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office, Civil Process Office and kindly include one copy of this document. The original will be forwarded back to you with the return of service affixed. You will be responsible for returning the original to the court in a timely fashion.
Writ of Attachment

 

Mail or deliver the original Writ of Attachment to the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office, Civil Process Office. You must indicate whether the Writ should be recorded on the Unregistered or Registered/Land Court side of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. You must also state which type of recording you would like for:

Unregistered:

  • General – any and all property located in the County of Norfolk
  • General with Parcel – any and all property located in the County of Norfolk including but not limited to property located at a specific physical address or book & page
  • Specific – property located at a specific physical address and/or book & page

Registered/Land Court:

  • Always requires Certificate Number, Book and Page
  • The original Writ of Attachment will be forward back to you at completion of recording with the appropriate return of service.
Levy on Personal Property

 

Because of the unique characteristics of each legal service, please contact the NCSO Civil Process Office at 781-326-1787 regarding information and fees for these service.
Notice to Show Cause

 

Mail or deliver the original Notice to Show Cause to the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office, Civil Process Office and kindly include one copy of this document. The original will be forwarded back to you with the return of service affixed. You will be responsible for returning the original to the court in a timely fashion.
Notice to Quit / Evictions

 

Because of the unique characteristics of each legal service, please contact the NCSO Civil Process Office at 781-326-1787 regarding information and fees for these service. Sample notice to quit form
Probate Citation

 

Because of the unique characteristics of each legal service, please contact the NCSO Civil Process Office at 781-326-1787 regarding information and fees for these service.
Witness Subpoena

 

Please contact the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office, Civil Process Office for information and fees regarding this service.
Capias and Arrest Capias

 

Please mail or deliver the original capias to our office.  Within five days of our office receiving a capias from an attorney, a deputy sheriff will mail a Contempt of Court notice, specifying the court, the hearing date, and the jacket 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 or leave a message communicating the nature of the complaint and the importance of showing up to the hearing.
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.
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 phone a final time, and make an attempt to visit the premises, if possible, to get the defendant into court.

Arrest Capias

If these three mailings and phone calls should fail, the plaintiff has the option of filing a capias for physical arrest.  For a ProSe, this fee is $500, for an attorney it is $300.  A physical arrest will be scheduled with the attorney for the defendant in question.
Levy on Real Estate Mail or deliver the original Execution on Money Judgment with copy of metes & bounds description of property from the deed to the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office, Civil Process Office. You must indicate whether or not you have recorded a Writ of Attachment in this matter and if so indicate the recording information of such.
Please indicate if you wish this to be a Levy & Suspend or a Levy & Sale. If a Levy & Sale is requested you must call the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office, Civil Process Office for more information.
The original Execution on Money Judgment will be forward back to you at completion of recording with the appropriate return of service.
Probate Summones: Divorce, Modification, etc.

 

The Probate Court issues Summones with complaints for Divorce, Modification, Contempt, Paternity, Support, Visitation and other probate matters. These services require immediate attention please contact the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Office for more information.
Order of Notice

 

The Order of Notice is more-often-than-not issued by Land Court. This document must be served 14 days prior to the hearing date. Please contact the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Office to discuss appropriate service details.
Supplementary Process/Summons to Judgment Debtor This paperwork may also be called “Notice to Show Cause” depending one the issuing court and route of action.
You will need to forward the original document to the Civil Process Office with one copy for service. This document must be served within 7 days of the hearing date. After service, you will be forwarded the original and the appropriate return of service to return to the court.