Writs of Execution

Writs of Execution are Orders issued by District Court directing the Sheriff to satisfy a judgment. They must be directed to the Sheriff of the county in which the assets to satisfy the judgment are located and they may be for personal or real property.

Minnesota Statutes Chapter 550 applies to executions.

The Writ of Execution document is valid for one hundred eighty (180) days after the date of issue. The judgment on which it is based is usually good for 10 years, and can be renewed by additional court action.

It is the responsibility of the judgment creditor to locate assets belonging to the judgment debtor which can be levied upon (seized) to satisfy the judgment. The most common procedures are wage levies and financial institution levies.

Wage Levies
Financial Institution Levies
Other Types of Levies
Foreign Judgment Information

Wage Levies

If a creditor wants the Sheriff’s Office to conduct a wage levy, it is the creditor’s responsibility to provide a Writ of Execution directed to the Sheriff of the county in which the debtor works. The judgment creditor or the creditor’s attorney must endorse this Writ. The creditor must provide the Sheriff’s Office with a deposit of $100, which will be applied to the cost of executing the Writ. By law, the creditor must also provide the Sheriff’s Office with a check for $15 made payable to the debtor’s employer. This check will be given to the employer when the wage levy is served.

In computing the amount to be collected, the Sheriff’s Office will include the amount of the judgment, the interest accruing at the rate indicated on the Writ and any additional costs that have been added by the Court Administrator. The Sheriff’s Office will also add the approved 5% commission on the above total, plus Sheriff’s Office service fees.

If the judgment is totally satisfied, the creditor will receive the judgment amount, interest, additional costs, $15 employer’s fee and the $100 deposit. If the judgment is only partially satisfied, the Sheriff’s commission on the amount collected, and the service fees, will be deducted from the amount collected.

If for some reason no money is collected, the Sheriff’s service fees will be deducted from the $100 deposit.

The creditor is also required to send an exemption notice (see forms) to the debtor at least thirteen (13) days prior to commencing the levy, if service is by mail, or ten (10) days if it is personally delivered. The deputy receiving the Writ of Execution from the creditor will ask the creditor to indicate on the levy service sheet the date notice was given to the debtor.

Wage levies are conducted for a seventy (70) day period, after which the employer will send a check to the Sheriff’s Office. If the check is insufficient to satisfy the judgment, the Sheriff’s Office will conduct a second seventy (70) day levy. Following the second levy, all money collected will be processed and a check issued to the creditor. If it is not enough to satisfy the judgment, the creditor must obtain a new Writ of Execution and request the Sheriff to continue the levy.


Financial Institution Levies

A levy at a financial institution requires a $100 deposit. The creditor must also provide the Sheriff with a $15 check made payable to the financial institution. The name on the account must be the same as the name of the judgment debtor on the Writ of Execution or the financial institution will not honor it. It is possible to levy on a joint account.

If the debtor is not a corporation or business, the creditor must provide the Sheriff with two copies of a completed levy exemption notice (see on the right under Downloadable Forms) to be given to the financial institution when the levy is served.


Other Types of Levies

It is possible to levy on other items, including vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles, etc. Deposit amounts required to cover seizure and storage costs very depending upon the action requested by the judgment creditor, so please contact our Office for a deposit amount prior to planning this type of levy. It is also recommended that you read Minnesota Statutes Chapter 550 for more information, particularly related to exemptions to levy. Sheriff’s Office staff can discuss a particular fact situation with you, but you are advised to consult an attorney if you have legal questions.

Non-homestead real property may also be levied upon and sold. This is a complex procedure and should be discussed with an attorney.


Foreign Judgment Information

A judgment rendered by a state court outside Minnesota or a federal court is considered a foreign judgment. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is unable to act on a foreign judgment. A certified copy of the foreign judgment must be filed with the Office of the Court Administrator so that it may have the same effect as a judgment issued by the Hennepin County District Court. See Minnesota Statutes 548.26 - .28 below:

548.26 Definition

"Foreign judgment" means any judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States or of any other court which is entitled to full faith and credit in this state.

548.27 Filing and status of foreign judgments

A certified copy of any foreign judgment may be filed in the office of the court administrator of any district court of this state. The court administrator shall treat the foreign judgment in the same manner as a judgment of any district court or the supreme court of this state, and upon the filing of a certified copy of a foreign judgment in the office of the court administrator of district court of a county, it may not be filed in another district court in the state. A judgment so filed has the same effect and is subject to the same procedures, defenses and proceedings for reopening, vacating, or staying as a judgment of a district court or the supreme court of this state, and may be enforced or satisfied in like manner.

548.28 Notice of filing

Subdivision 1. At the time of the filing of the foreign judgment, the judgment creditor or the creditor's lawyer shall make and file with the court administrator an affidavit setting forth the name and last known post office address of the judgment debtor, and the judgment creditor.

Subd. 2. Promptly upon the filing of the foreign judgment and the affidavit, the court administrator shall mail notice of the filing of the foreign judgment to the judgment debtor at the address given and shall make a note of the mailing in the docket. The notice shall include the name and post office address of the judgment creditor and the judgment creditor's lawyer, if any, in this state. In addition, the judgment creditor may mail a notice of the filing of the judgment to the judgment debtor and may file proof of mailing with the court administrator. Failure of the court administrator to mail notice of filing shall not affect the enforcement proceedings if proof of mailing by the judgment creditor has been filed.

Subd. 3. No execution or other process for enforcement of a foreign judgment filed hereunder shall issue until 20 days after the date the judgment is filed.

The current fees for filing a foreign judgment in Hennepin County District Court are as follows:

Judgment Amount
$10,000 or less
Over $10,000

For a complete list of fees click here.

Direct a certified copy of your judgment, applicable filing fee, affidavit of identification in accordance with Minnesota Statute 548.28, subd. 1 (see above) to Hennepin County District Court (see on the right under "Contact Information").

Upon your receipt of the judgment from the Hennepin County District Court, forward it along with the properly-endorsed writ of execution to the Hennepin County Sheriff' Office Civil Unit (see on the right under "Contact Information").

Include one $100.00 (fee deposit) check made payable to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. If the writ of execution is for wages or third party levy on a bank account, also include one or more $15.00 check(s) made payable to the judgment debtor’s employer and/or financial institution, whichever is applicable.

If you have questions, please contact Hennepin County District Court, or the Sheriff’s Office Civil Unit (see on the right under "Contact Information").