Civil process services

Civil process is in-person delivery of legal and court documents.

You can request civil process services by mail or in person. You must pay all fees or deposits when you make the request.

The sheriff’s office cannot give legal advice. This information does not suggest a course of action if you have legal issues to resolve. For legal advice, contact an attorney.

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Fees and deposits

Fees and deposits are due when you request services. Fees are nonrefundable.

  • Service of process: $80 
  • Writ of execution: deposit of $100 for each action
  • Judgment sale: deposit of $300
  • Vehicle seizures: deposit of $750
  • Execution commission: 5%
  • Levy: $10
  • Notification of wage levy: $10
  • Writ of recovery (eviction): $125
  • Deputy time / Civil standby: $50 per hour
  • Mortgage foreclosure sale: $75
  • Affidavit of postponement: $50
  • Outside bidder certificate fee: $100
  • Redemption: $250
  • Filing of notice of intent to redeem: $100
  • Redemption document(s): $20
  • Document review fee: $150
  • Lien / UCC Sale: $85
  • Judgment and decree sale: $110
  • Execution sale: $110
  • Report of sale: $20

Writs of execution

A district court issues a writ of execution directing the sheriff to satisfy a judgment.

  • The creditor is responsible for locating the debtor's assets, and the sheriff can levy upon or seize those assets to satisfy the judgment.
  • The Hennepin County sheriff can only collect on assets located in Hennepin County.
  • A writ is valid for 180 days from the date of issue. The creditor or the creditor’s attorney must endorse the writ.
  • If you’re a creditor and the debtor tries to pay you directly while the writ is in the sheriff’s possession, refer the debtor to make payment to the sheriff instead. Call our office for questions.

Wage levies

The creditor must provide a writ of execution, a $100 deposit, and a check for $15 payable to the debtor’s employer.

  • At least ten days before starting the wage levy, the creditor must serve the debtor, personally or by first-class mail, an earnings exemption notice. Earnings exemption form (PDF)
  • The creditor must state, on the writ of execution instructions, the date the creditor gave notice to the debtor. Writs of execution instructions (PDF)
  • To determine the amount to be collected, the sheriff will include the subtotal stated on the writ, interest stated on the writ, and the $15 fee paid to the employer. The sheriff will also add a 5% commission plus fees.
  • If the judgment is fully satisfied, the creditor will receive the amount on the writ, plus interest, reimbursement of the $15 fee to the employer, and refund of the deposit.
  • If the judgment is only partially satisfied, sheriff’s fees and commission will be deducted from the amount collected and the creditor will receive the remaining amount, plus refund of the deposit.
  • If no money is collected, sheriff’s fees will be paid from the deposit.
  • Wage levies are conducted over a period of 70 days. If the amount collected during this time doesn’t satisfy the judgment, the sheriff may conduct a second 70-day levy. After the writ expires, the sheriff will issue a check to the creditor and return the writ to court. If the judgment is not satisfied, the creditor may get a new writ of execution and begin the process again.

Financial institution (bank) levies

The creditor must provide a writ of execution, a $100 deposit, and a check for $15 payable to the financial institution.

If the debtor is a person, the creditor must provide the sheriff with two copies of a completed levy exemption notice that the sheriff will give to the financial institution when serving the levy. Levy exemption notice (PDF)

Other types of levies

Items such as vehicles, other personal property and real property can be levied upon and sold. These procedures can be complex. Consult an attorney with any legal questions.

State statute regarding writs of execution

Minnesota Statute 550

Lien sales

To act as lienholder over personal property, you must meet the requirements of Minnesota law. Check these requirements before pursuing a lien sale (Minnesota Statute 514.18).

Sale dates and times

Sales are scheduled Monday through Friday, at 10 a.m. Contact our office to schedule a sale date. Be sure to schedule enough in advance to complete all required notifications.

Instruction letter

Provide the sheriff’s office an instruction letter including:

  • Instructions what you want the sheriff’s office to do
  • Your name, business name, address and phone number
  • Requested date of sale

Fees

  • Serving notice of sale = $80
  • Conducting the sale = $100

Notifying secured creditors

To sell a motor vehicle that has secured creditors on its certificate of title, you must notify creditors by registered mail at least 45 days before the sale. The notice must state your name, address, and telephone number, amount of money owed, and the rate of any storage charges that accrue.

Publishing the sale

You must publish the notice each week for three weeks in a row, in a newspaper printed and published in the county. The last publication must happen at least one week before the sale.

The notice to the property owner and the published notice should contain the same information:

  • Date, time and place of sale
  • Amount due on the date of sale, not including advertising and sale expenses
  • Reason for the lien
  • For motor vehicles, include the make, model, year and vehicle identification number. Otherwise, include a general description of the property. 

Serving your own notice

You don’t have to use the sheriff’s office to serve notice.

  • You can use anyone with no interest in the lien, who’s at least 18.
  • That person must serve notice personally on the property owner, if the owner lives in the county.
  • If the owner lives outside the county, you must serve notice by mail, at least three weeks before the sale.
  • If you can’t determine where the person lives, publishing the notice is enough.

You must prove you served notice on the property owner, and any secured creditors.

Forms of proof can include:

  • A sworn, notarized statement by the person who delivered personal service on the property owner
  • One of the following: signed certified letter receipt, returned envelope from the post office, statement from the person who mailed the notice, or affidavit demonstrating inability to find the owner’s address
  • Copies of the published notice of sale, with dates listed, or affidavit from the publisher that the paper published the notice and the dates published

Questions

Call 612-348-6198

Unlawful detainer and writ of recovery

Unlawful detainer

An unlawful detainer action is required in order to evict a tenant. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 504B regulate these actions.

The Minnesota court system provides instructions for an eviction action. Eviction action instructions (PDF).

The property owner (plaintiff) must file an eviction action complaint in housing court. The court will establish a court date and issue a summons. The summons and complaint must be served by a neutral person at least seven days before the court date.

If you want the sheriff’s office to serve the summons and complaint, bring the original documents and a copy of each document for each named person. The sheriff’s office will not make copies for you. Sheriff’s fees must be paid when service is requested. The cost is $80 plus an additional $25 for each additional named person. For example, the cost for serving three people is $130.

After service, or posting if unable to serve after two attempts, the sheriff’s office will complete the appropriate affidavits and e-file the documents with the court.

Writ of recovery

If the court finds in favor of the plaintiff at the hearing, a writ of recovery of premises and order to vacate will be issued. Bring the writ to the sheriff’s office and pay the $125 fee. A deputy will serve or post the writ notifying the tenant they have 24 hours to vacate the premises and remove their property.

If the tenant fails to vacate, call our office to schedule a time for eviction. You will be asked for the name and telephone number of the person attending the eviction, and whether you will be storing the property on-site or contracting with a licensed and bonded mover. It is responsibility of the plaintiff to be familiar with and comply with storage and movement of property laws.

If you arrange for an eviction and fail to appear at the scheduled time, a $50 fee for additional deputy time must be paid before another eviction time will be scheduled.

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