According to Massachusetts Civil Process law, every subpoena issued by the clerk of court, a notary public, a justice of the peace, attorney, or a pro se includes the name of the court and the title of the action. It commands each person named in the subpoena to attend and give testimony in court at the time and place specified within or produce documents/records for an upcoming court date. For your convenience, these forms can be submitted online.

If you choose to email your subpoena please do not notarize the subpoena. Our office will notarize upon receipt which will allow us to have an original document. Please email your subpoenas to

If you choose not to email your subpoena, please send your subpoena by mail at least 7 days before the hearing and attorneys will be invoiced for the Civil Process Office's fees, notary fee (if necessary) and the appropriate witness fee.

Our Deputy Sheriffs have access to databases and resources not available to the public at large, giving them a superior ability to locate defendants, who often try to avoid being served.



The three most common reasons for evicting a tenant are the non-payment of rent, the expiration of the lease, or a violation of the lease. The first step in an eviction is to determine what kind of lease exists between the tenant and the landlord. There are two main types of tenancies, a tenancy at will and a tenancy under lease. A tenancy at will is usually identified by the provision it has for termination, stating that either party in the lease, the landlord or tenant, can terminate the agreement by giving a written Notice to Quit that states the relationship will end in a time that is equal to a rental payment or thirty days, whichever is longer.

Most evictions arise over non-payment of rent.

  • If it is a tenancy at will, the landlord must give a written Notice to Quit that allots the tenant 14 days to vacate the property, or to pay in full the rent owed along with interest and cost of suit, to the landlord or the attorney representing the landlord.
  • If the tenant is under a lease, and the reason for the termination of the lease is nonpayment, a Notice to Quit must be given to the tenant, who has 14 days to comply. If the tenant has been involved in an illegal activity, such as drug use, the landlord has the right to an expedited eviction process through the court.

SAMPLE 14 Day Notice to Quit form
After the Notice to Quit has expired, the landlord may serve a Summary Process Summons and Complaint form upon the tenant. This document must be obtained from the court, and can only be served by those who have the proper qualifications and training, such as the Norfolk County Deputy Sheriffs. The Summary Process Summons and Complaint instructs the tenant when to come to court, as well as instructing them to file an answer with the court before trial. If the tenant does not arrive at court on their scheduled trial date, the landlord will automatically be granted the Summary Process Summons and Complaint case.

If the landlord wins the Summary Process Summons and Complaint case, the tenant has ten days to comply and vacate the property. After the ten days have passed, the landlord can request an execution. The landlord cannot cut off essential services, lock out a tenant, or remove a tenant from the premises by themselves. The landlord can only evict the tenant with the assistance of a sheriff. A court ordered execution authorizing the eviction is addressed to the deputy sheriff, and they are required to give 48 hours notice to the tenant before the actual eviction is to take place. Executions are good for 90 days for the acquisition of the property or unit, and the monetary portion is good for twenty years from the date issued.



The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office conducts numerous evictions every year. Our office has decades of experience handling commercial and residential evictions.  The process of eviction can be arduous for everyone involved. We work closely with attorneys and landlords to enforce their Execution for Possession.  We can negotiate with the tenant on behalf of the Plaintiff/landlord or if communication is no longer a viable option, physically evict the tenant after the required 48 hour notice period has elapsed.  The sheriff’s office has handled all manners of evictions from residential evictions to complicated and litigious commercial evictions like warehouses, restaurants, retail store chains and racetracks.  Norfolk Deputies are trained to minimize both keep cost and liability. Our initial goal is to convince the tenant to move out on their own as this solution is the best solution for both parties especially the landlord.  The Plaintiff/ Landlord saves thousands of dollars in moving costs and the tenant is able to move on without facing additional and costly collection litigation.  In the majority of evictions enforced by this office our Deputies convince the tenant to move out on their own.

Norfolk Deputy Sheriff’s stay current with Mass General Laws and are prepared to deal with any situation regardless of how complicated.   



Step 1 Submit the original Execution for Possession and $300.00 retainer to the
Norfolk Sheriff’s Office .

Step 2: Submit a cover letter (or fill out the EVICTION REQUEST FORM) with your contact information and information regarding the property or tenant being evicted. Please include the following information if available; number of tenants living at the property, length of time tenant has resided at property, reason for evicting tenant, and any other information you feel may be relevant. Please also include the name and phone number of the moving and storage facility you will be utilizing. Moving and storage companies must meet statutory requirements outlined in MGL 239 Sec 1-5.  You are responsible for hiring a moving and storage company that meets the statutory criteria for evictions. A list published by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security is available online. The company must be on this list and the tenant’s property must be warehoused within a reasonable distance from the property where the eviction is to occur. If you have any questions regarding choosing a mover please contact our office.

Step 3: Our Office will contact the mover and schedule the eviction as soon as possible. 
If you have any specific scheduling needs our office can work with you to set a date to fit your or your client’s schedule.

Step 4: For Residential Evictions, a 48 hour notice (see sample) is required and will be served by our office informing the defendant of the date and time of the eviction and the information of the moving and storage company.

Step 5: If the defendant cannot be convinced to move out voluntarily within the 48 hour period a Deputy Sheriff will arrive at the location and take possession of the property. The tenant’s property will be transported to the predetermined storage facility and possession of the property will be returned to the landlord.