Civil Process Division

 One of the most important duties of the Sheriff has always been to execute and serve the various processes issued by and for the courts of North Carolina. He shares this responsibility in the area of criminal processes with other agencies, but for civil cases and processes, the responsibility is held by the Sheriff alone.

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Division processes between 500 to 700 summons, pleadings, court orders, judgments and reports per month.

Civil processes are normally designed to accomplish one of four different purposes.

  • Notice
  • Summons
  • Motions
  • Petitions, etc…

These give the parties notice that the court is considering taking some type of action which has been requested by the plaintiff. Preserve the status quo: temporary and permanent restraining orders or injunctions to prevent parties from performing acts that would cause harm to other persons involved, until the matter is settled in the courts. Provide remedies for the parties: Remedy to correct or counteract to compensate a loss or injury, two of those remedies (only two in civil process)

  • Prejudgment: which request parties before the courts to reach a final decision, such as claim and delivery, attachment, garnishment, temporary restraining order and civil orders for arrest.
  • Post judgment: are reminders available after the court has reached a final decision such as execution, writs of possession “real and personal property” executions to deliver specific property & permanent restraining orders.

The civil’s processed by the RCSO include all described, 80% of those are civil summons which notify another party that the plaintiff has notified the courts of action or actions that has harmed them, which could cover : The default of payments, divorce, an accident where the plaintiff has taken a loss, child support, etc….

Most civils received are prepared by attorneys, but you can get all the information you need to prepare and issue a civil action. Information can be obtained from the clerks office at the courthouse, depending on the nature of your complaint, such as magistrate summons & complaint. You also have to get your paperwork from the clerk’s office which covers a large area of complaints and gives notice to the parties that a complaint will go before a magistrate on a set day and time for a decision, which has a 10 day appeal to a high court (District). Most complaints are

  • Money loaned or owed on an account.
  • To recover personal or real property.
  • Personal Property – Clothes, Furniture, Etc….
  • Real Property – Apartment, house, trailer lot etc…

Complaints can be obtained at the clerk’s office by going by and getting the proper paper work and meeting the specific requirements. Requirements must be met especially on writs of possession of real property. (Writs of possession) The basic purpose of Writs of possession is to take possession of certain property from one person and deliver it to another as ordered by the courts. (Executions and Evictions) Executions are issued only after the court has reached a final decision. Requiring the payment of money or the delivery of real or personal property, against the judgment debtor. The Sheriff is commanded to enter the land and seize possession of the personal property and auction to satisfy the judgment.

All paper work received will have certain orders on how they can be served. Some allow:

  • “posting” attaching paper work to the door or stationary location.
  • “Personal service” hand delivering to person named (leaving with suitable age and discretion) leaving with whom the deputy feels is of suitable age discretion and shows the reasonableness and understands the importance of the suit.
  • If parties being served acknowledges or identifies him/herself and refuse to accept service the deputy can lay the paperwork at the feet of defendant. This is still proper service.
Contact the Clerks office with any question you may have. Once your order is received the Sheriff’s office will do their best to serve your paperwork and assist with any information. The Sheriff’s office charges a basic fee of $30.00 per person that is served per civil action. All other fees are collected by the clerk’s office.
Clerks Office 828-288-6100

Civil Division Personnel
Captain Stephen Ellis 828-287-6068
410-Sgt Ed Toney 828-288-4917
412-Cpl. Marvin Escobar 828-286-3919
414-Ptl. Paul Robbins 828-287-6313
413-Ptl Max Gee  828-287-6161 
415-Ptl  828-287-6397