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Civil Process Services

 
Fee schedule for services are listed below. Payments for service fees and citation sign-off fees can be made by check payable to: COUNTY OF ORANGE - SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT or by credit card at our offices. Click here for office locations. 

Updated Requirements for 2024

Each request for civil process services must include instructions signed by the attorney of record or the party without an attorney. Instructions must provide all the information necessary for the Sheriff’s Department to attempt service of the process. Please download and complete the required Request for Sheriff to Serve Court Papers form and Special Instructions for Writs and Levies form. The Sheriff’s Department is unable to serve documents without the required service instruction form.


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Collection on Money Judgements

You must give the Sheriff specific instructions regarding the type of levy you want. (If there is an Attorney of Record, ALL INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE SIGNED BY THE ATTORNEY OF RECORD PER CCP 488.030, 687.010). You must know where the defendant works, banks, has his business, or the year and make of his vehicle.

A new law has changed the enforcement of money judgements. As a result, the Writ of Execution Form has been updated to meet these requirements. 


Order For Examination

Fee: $50.00

If you are unaware of the defendant's assets or the location of these assets you may return to the court of judgment and request an ORDER FOR EXAMINATION. This order, after being served on the defendant by the Sheriff requires the defendant to appear in court to answer questions about his assets. If he does not appear the court will issue a warrant for his arrest. Your instructions for service must contain the defendant's address and the attorney of records signature.

Our office will need 1 copy of the Order for Appearance for service on each defendant; a check or money order payable to the Orange County Sheriff; and a cover letter of instruction stating who, what and where to serve the papers. As these documents must be served no later than 10 days prior to the hearing, please submit the papers for service at least 30 days prior to the court hearing for service. The more time provided would increase our chances of serving the defendant.

Earnings Withholding Order

Fee: $45.00 

An EARNINGS WITHHOLDING ORDER requires an employer to send to the Sheriff approximately 25% of the defendant's net earnings each payday. The employer has 15 days after being served to send an answer to the Sheriff's Department regarding the defendant's employment and pay status.. The defendant is entitled to file a "Claim of Exemption" for return of withheld monies and relief from the order. If a Claim of Exemption is filed, you may file an opposition to this claim. Instructions for filing an opposition are contained in the Notice of Filing of Claim of Exemption that will be mailed if such a claim is filed. Our office does not issue checks directly; they are requested from the O.C. Auditor. You will receive a check approximately 1 week to 10 days from the date we request it. Pursuant to government Code 26746, a $12.00 processing Fee shall be charged for each disbursement of monies collected under a writ execution. Our office will need the original writ of execution, a completed and signed application for earnings withholding order and a fee of $45.00.

Bank Levy/Garnishment

Fee: $50.00

A defendant's bank account may be garnished. Instructions to the Sheriff must include the name of the bank and the address. It is important that the name on the account be exactly the same as on the judgment. Though not necessary, the account number will assist the bank in locating the account. The defendant may file a "Claim of Exemption" for return of monies. If a Claim of Exemption is filed, you may file an opposition to this claim. Instructions for filing an opposition are contained in the notice of filing of Claim of Exemption that will be mailed if such a claim is filed. Upon receipt of the answer from the garnishee, a copy will be mailed to you. If the bank submits payment, our office will make a payment to you within 30 days from the date of levy. Our office does not issue checks directly; they are requested from the O.C. Auditor. You will receive a check approximately 1 week to 20 days from the date we request it. A $15.00 processing Fee shall be charged for each disbursement of monies collected under a writ of execution. Our office will need the original writ of execution, signed instructions and a fee of $50.00.

Vehicle Levy

Fee Deposit: 1,800.00 (Large Vehicles may require additional deposit)

A vehicle registered to and in the possession of the defendant may be levied upon and sold at auction by the Sheriff. Your instructions must state the make, year and license number of the vehicle, and the address where it can be found. The legal owner may file a claim on the vehicle. If the vehicle is the only one registered to the defendant, there is an automatic exemption. This means the bidding at the auction starts at the automatic exemption amount. If the minimum bid is not received, the vehicle is returned to the defendant. The advance deposit of $1,800.00 covers the fee to seize, have it towed to an impound lot and stored. Our office will need the original writ of execution, signed instructions and a fee of $1,800.00.

Till Tap Levy

Fee: $125.00

If the defendant owns or is a business that has a "Cash Till" on the premises, you may instruct the Sheriff to execute a TILL TAP LEVY. Monies from the till are removed and paid to you. Sheriff's instructions must give the name and address of the business. Our office will need the original writ of execution, signed instructions and a fee of $125.00.

Keeper Levy

8 HOURS Fee: $ 300.00

48 HOURS Deposit: $1,300.00

OPEN END Deposit: $3,100.00

If the defendant owns or is a business, you may instruct the Sheriff to execute a KEEPER LEVY. Upon installation of the keeper the business and all assets are under control of the Sheriff, as well as any money. The name on the writ must be the defendant's and he must own the business. Your instructions must give the name of the defendant, the name of the business and the address. If instructed, the Sheriff will take an inventory of the assets on the premises and will arrange for the assets to be moved to storage for the purpose of selling them at public auction. Prior to any move, the keeper must complete an inventory. A written estimate of moving and storage costs is obtained and no move will occur until you deposit with the Sheriff sufficient funds to cover the costs of the move. Taking an inventory and moving the assets to storage is conducted during an OPEN END KEEPER. Our office will need the original writ of execution, signed instructions and appropriate fee.

Eviction Process

The eviction process can be quite complex. Many of your questions involve getting legal advice. The Sheriff's Civil Process Technicians are neither qualified nor authorized to answer legal questions. However, the following information on general eviction procedures is offered and may answer some of your questions. For further information you may consult an attorney or eviction service.

Notices

The first step in an eviction is a written notice. The two most common types of notices are as follows:

  1. Notice to Pay Rent or Quit - This is usually a 3-day notice. This notice gives the tenant the option of paying the rent and remaining in possession of the property. This notice is acceptable as the first step in the eviction process if the tenant does not pay the rent. 
  2. Notice to Quit - This is the 30/60 day notice. This will advise the tenant that you wish to terminate tenancy. In most cases if the tenant has lived at the address for more than one year, you must give them 60 days notice.

You must decide which notice is appropriate. We do not provide blank forms, but they may be purchased at most stationary stores as well as some real estate offices. You must complete these forms in full, including your name and address. You may serve these notices yourself or the Sheriff will serve them for a fee of $50.00 per person.

We must have the original form plus two copies for service on each tenant.

Unlawful Detainer

When the Notice period has expired and the tenant has not moved, you must file an "Unlawful Detainer" complaint with the court. Please contact the Sheriff’s Department for clarification as to what is required for your service via phone or email.  This information is found on “Civil Process Unit” webpage.

Writ of Possession

Only a Sheriff acting under a court order obtained by the landlord can physically remove a tenant from the premises. This court order is a "Writ Of Possession-Real Property". After you have received a judgment in your Unlawful Detainer case you can request the court to issue a Writ of Possession.

When your case is completed be prepared to submit your writ, written instructions and fees in the amount of $180. 

The deputy will contact you the day prior to or the day of the eviction to set up a time to meet and for you to sign for possession of the property.

You must cancel the eviction if you decide to give the defendant additional time. You must submit additional fees and instructions if it becomes necessary to proceed with the eviction. The property must again be posted with an additional 5-Day Notice to Vacate.

Tenants are permitted to take all of their personal property with them when they vacate prior to the expiration of the 5 days. However, at the time of a forcible eviction, all property on the premises is turned over to the landlord for safe keeping. The landlord must return all of the tenant's property upon payment of the "reasonable cost" of storing the property from the date of the eviction to the date of recovery. If the property is stored on the landlord's premises, the reasonable costs of storage may be the fair rental value of the space necessary for the storage.

If the tenant doesn't reclaim his property within 15 days of the eviction, the landlord may either sell the property at public sale or, if the property is valued at less then $700.00, the landlord may dispose of the tenants property or retain it for his own use.

Any third parties living on the premises that are not named on the Writ of Possession may file an "Arrietta Claim" or Claim of Right to Possession. By filing this claim with the Sheriff the eviction may be stayed until further order of the Court. After the court order to proceed and new written instructions are received we will continue with the eviction.

Note: We cannot evict the defendant/defendants until they have had five full days from the previous notice.

The Sheriff may also receive a notice of filing of bankruptcy filed by one or more of the defendants or third parties.

Bankruptcies may or may not stay an eviction and in most cases it will only delay the eviction for a very limited time. Please consult a bankruptcy attorney for advice.

Real Property requirements

The Real Property Levy Instructions form (download below) is required for these services.

Writ of Execution-Money Judgment

1.     Original

2.     Fee deposit: $2,000.00

3.     Instructions from the attorney of record containing:

  • Legal Description
  • Commonly known address
  • Record Owners-names and address
  • How the title is vested (i.e., husband and wife, etc)
  • Statement whether or not property is a dwelling

Writ of Sale-Real Property

1.     Original

2.     Certified Copy of the Judgment

3.     Fee deposit: $2,000.00

4.     Instructions from the attorney of record containing:

  • Legal Description
  • Commonly known address
  • Record Owners-names and address
  • How the title is vested (i.e., husband and wife, etc)
  • Statement pursuant to CCP 701.620 (re: Tax liens or preferred labor claims)
  • Statement whether or not property is a dwelling

Writ of Attachment

1.     Original

2.     Right to Attach Order & Order for Issuance of Writ of Attachment

3.     Undertaking (If EX PARTE)

4.     Fee deposit: $300 Additional funds may be requested if additional parcels are recorded

5.     Instructions from attorney of record containing:

  • Legal Description
  • Commonly known address
  • Record Owners-names and address
  • Statement whether or not property is a dwelling

IF EX PARTE - Statement whether or not summons and Complaint has been served. If Summons and Complaint has not been served and the defendant is in county, we should have the documents for service or a statement that it is being served concurrently.

Requirements for Claim and Delivery

The advance deposit for a Claim and Delivery will vary based upon the type of property to be levied. Please refer to the Civil Supervisor or Sergeant for the appropriate fee amount.

The following will be required for a Claim & Delivery:

  1. Signed instructions from the attorney of record indicating the property to be levied upon.
  2. The address for the enforcement of the writ.  Note: The address for enforcement of the writ and the property description must match the writ exactly.
  3. Any special information such as a person to aid in the identification of the property, etc.
  4. Original Writ of Possession - Claim & Delivery
  5. Order for Possession - Claim & Delivery
  6. Undertaking/Bond
  7. Supporting documents for service upon the defendant.

    Civil Process Services Fees

$1,600 deposit

SERVICE Effective January 1, 2024
Plaintiff’s Claim and Order/Claim of Defendant  $50
Order for Appearance (Examination) $50
Subpoena $50
Summons & Complaint  $50
Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession

$50

Other Single Process  $50
Civil Bench Warrant - CCP 1209 No charge
Civil Bench Warrant - CCP 491.160 & CCP 708.170 $50
Civil Bench Warrant - CCP 1993 $175 deposit
Keeper Levy - 8 hours $300 fee
Keeper Levy - 48 hours $1,300 deposit
Keeper Levy - Open End $3,100 deposit
Vehicle Levy (large vehicles may require additional deposit) $1,800 deposit
Earnings Withholding Order $45
Bank Levy/Garnishment $50

Safe Deposit Box Opening

$170 plus locksmith fees to the bank

Personal Property Levy & Sale  $330 deposit
Attachment - Bank; Escrow $50
Attachment - Secretary of State $100 plus $10 check payable to the Secretary of State
Attachment - DMV $100 plus $15.00 check payable to DMV
Real Property - Writ of Attachment  $300 deposit
Real Property - Writ of Execution

$2,000 deposit

Real Property - Writ of Sale $2,000 deposit
Writ of Possession (real property)  $180
Writ of Possession - Repost  $100
Till Tap  $125
Claim and Delivery  $2,200
Book Levy $50
Cancellation  $50
Not Found $50
Processing Fee $15
Citation Fee $25