Civil

COVID-19 NOTICE - STATE & FEDERAL PROCLAMATIONS

The State of Washington mandates all County Sheriff's Offices maintain a Civil Division. It is the duty of the Sheriff to execute the service of process, orders of the courts, and of judicial officers, when delivered to the Sheriff for that purpose. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for service of various court documents when a fee is paid, such as: summons, complaints, criminal and civil subpoenas, petitions, notice of claims, family court orders, various types of protection orders (no fee for DV, Sexual Assault, Stalking or Vulnerable Adult protection orders), and numerous types of writs such as: evictions, and personal or real property. The Sheriff seizes and sells both personal and real property at Sheriff’s Sales to satisfy judgments awarded by the court.

Location and Mailing Address:

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Civil
345 W. Main Street
Chehalis, WA 98532
(360) 748-9286

Email: Sheriff.civil@lewiscountywa.gov

Hours:

Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (excluding legal holidays)

By phone: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (excluding legal holidays)

Fees

We accept cash, or local checks only - we NO LONGER accept Credit/Debit cards

There is an ATM in the LOBBY

Current FEE SCHEDULE

Service of Process

  • $25 - Serve one defendant
  • $30 - Serve two or more defendants at the same address/time
  • $15 - Return of Service for each person
  • $0.55 Per Mile - Mileage ($5.00 minimum)
  • $5 - Notary (if required)

Please click here to see the mileage chart

Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders

There is no charge to Petitioners for service of the Temporary and/or Permanent Protection Orders issued by the court, with the exception of Temporary or Permanent Anti-Harassment Orders, there is a charge to serve those types of orders. Per state law, these orders are to be served by the law enforcement agency where the respondent resides or works. In Lewis County we serve the following areas: Unincorporated areas of Chehalis, Centralia; Mossyrock, Morton, Napavine, PeEll, Toledo, and Winlock. The courts will typically forward protection orders to police departments inside city limits of those cities named. In order to serve these protection orders we will need the temporary order, petition and (confidential) law enforcement information sheet. We will NEVER serve the law enforcement information sheet on the respondent. This form provides law enforcement with valuable information that will assist us in effecting service. Please contact Superior or District court for the process to obtain an order for protection

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Human Response Network - Lewis County Victim Assistance

Lewis County Superior Court Clerk - Domestic Violence

Victim Information Notification Everyday - VINE 1-877-425-8463

Washington State Court Forms

Evictions

Writs of restitution – instructions to landlords, agents, and attorneys

Writ of Restitution - Eviction

What is it?

A Writ of Restitution is an order from a Superior Court Judge of the county where the eviction is occurring, directed specifically to the Sheriff. It directs the sheriff to restore specific premises to the plaintiff. A writ is the end result of an unlawful detainer action brought by a landlord/owner against a person unlawfully on his property. These writs are issued under the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, RCW 59.18 or Unlawful Detainer, RCW 59.12, which involves businesses and foreclosed properties. Mobile home parks are governed under RCW 59.20 and RCW 59.18.

TYPES OF RESTITUTIONS

RCW 59.18 - RESIDENTIAL

State law requires the eviction to be completed within ten (10) calendar days of the issuance of the writ, unless an extension is obtained by the landlord/attorney or an extension is written into the body of the writ.

When serving a tenant with a writ of restitution under RCW 59.18, the sheriff shall also serve the tenant with a form provided by the landlord that can be used to request the landlord to store the tenant's property. A sample is provided in RCW 59.18.312 (6). The writ will not be served without this additional form.

RCW 59.12 - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY, BANK FORECLOSURES, ETC.

State law requires the eviction to be completed within twenty (20) calendar days of the issuance of the writ, unless an extension is obtained by the landlord/attorney or an extension is written into the body of the writ. An indemnity bond, as described below, may be required.

SHERIFF'S INDEMNITY BOND

May be required for restitutions under RCW 59.12, commercial property, bank foreclosures, etc.

An indemnity bond indemnifies the sheriff from any liability in the civil action. The bond must be presented at the same time as the writ. The bond must be in an amount twice the value of the personal property to be removed, $5,000.00 minimum. The Sheriff's Office will determine minimum acceptable bond amounts.

PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE ON THE BOND:

The principal shall pay all costs, charges, and damages, and save harmless and indemnify the sheriff against any and all claims by the defendants or by any third person or party against him on account of any and all lawful steps the sheriff is to make or to take under said writ, whether or not such writ is lawful or unlawful.

If required, please make bond out to: Sheriff Robert R. Snaza

REQUIRED to SUBMIT WRIT

  • Automatic 10-day extension language (20-days for Foreclosure and Commercial evictions)
  • "Break and enter” clause (must be in Order Granting Writ with judge's signature)
  • $100 minimum deposit, in advance
  • Copy of Order Granting Writ-signed by Judge
  • 4 conformed copies of writ issued by clerk
  • Eviction Information Sheet
  • 4 copies of Request for Storage

DATE AND TIME OF EVICTION SET BY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

  • Upon receipt of the writ, the eviction date/time will be set the Sheriff’s Office. Service (and/or posting) is usually accomplished within 2 business days after receipt of writ. At least 3 business days must lapse after the property has been posted, before the eviction can be held.

STANDBY TIME

  • Chief Civil Deputy will standby during eviction for one hour, additional time required will be extra cost to Plaintiff.

ACCURATE STREET ADDRESS

  • The common address on the Writ must correspond to the visible address on the property. Maps/photos/other instructions may be helpful.

INTAKE – EVICTION INFORMATION SHEET

  • The Eviction Information Sheet must be submitted with the Writ; it includes all of the pertinent information for attorney, landlord, tenant(s) and contact person who will be at the eviction. You can obtain this form by calling the Sheriff’s Office or stopping by the office and request one.
  • The information sheet also provides information on type of dwelling, problems with tenant(s), if tenant(s) has any disabilities, any criminal activity, if there are domestic animals, such as cattle, etc.

EVICTION NOTICE & REQUEST FOR STORAGE

  • Once the writ has been received, a packet is created that includes the Eviction Notice, Request for Storage and copy of Writ. Packet is sent out for service on the tenants or posted in two conspicuous places within 2 business days of receipt.
  • Once notice has been served/posted the Sheriff’s Office will call you with a date for the eviction and to discuss and prepare you for what happens on that date.

CALL THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE PRIOR TO EVICTION IF TENANT VACATES PREMISES!!

Sheriff’s Office personnel do not move items of personal property during an eviction. Sheriff’s Deputy will standby during a physical eviction to maintain the peace, protect property, and assure that the eviction is performed in an orderly and lawful manner. A break and enter clause authorizes our Deputy to witness the landlord or the landlord' s locksmith change the locks. A defendant who remains on the rental property/premises without written permission from the landlord, as posted by our Deputy, or who returns to the property after being escorted off by our Deputy, may be subject to arrest for criminal trespass.

It is the responsibility of the Plaintiff (landlord or representative) to reasonably secure tenant’s possessions if the Request for Storage has been signed and returned to landlord or landlord's attorney within the three-day posting period. If Request for Storage has NOT been signed, the landlord should provide sufficient bags, etc. to expeditiously remove and place the defendant' s personal property upon public right of way, and with reasonable care. After 24 hours if tenant(s)/defendant(s) do not pick up their possessions, they can be hauled off and legally disposed of at a local solid waste facility. If Landlord chooses to ‘store in place’ tenant’s possessions, they must post a notice indicating how to contact landlord or representative to pick up their possessions and a deadline date for pickup.

If the tenant objects to the Plaintiff's private storage of his/ her personal property, such items are removed from the residence and placed at the nearest public right of way or area designated that would NOT be considered trespassing for them to pick up within the 24-hour period. Goods placed in such a location may not be placed in violation of public health, safety or other regulations.

FEES

  • $80 - Involuntary (with aid)
  • $55 - Voluntary (without aid)
  • $15 - Return of Service
  • $.55 Per Mile - Mileage ($5.00 minimum)

Information and FORMS for the Eviction Process:

Landlord Tenant Act - Washington State

Information for the Landlord/Owner

Eviction Information Sheet - FORM

Request for Storage of Personal Items - FORM

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

Can I mail papers to the Sheriff’s Office for service?


A:

Yes, but we do require fees for one attempt upon receipt of paper service, so you will need to include a check with your paperwork. We will bill for additional attempts-mileage fees only.

Please provide a cover letter with the documents to include the following information:

  • Name and address of the person to be served
  • Any additional information you have such as date of birth, or approximate age, employer, best time to serve, etc.
  • Your name, mailing address (where you want the return of service mailed), and daytime phone number
  • Indicate a court date or deadline for service
  • Note if you would like the documents personally served, or if they can be subserved on any individual residing at the residence, and is 14 years of age or older. If you are unsure, check with the court clerk about personal or substitute service.
  • Note if you want to limit the number of times we attempt service as there is a mileage charge for each attempt made

MAIL DOCUMENTS TO:

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Civil Division
345 W. Main St.
Chehalis, WA 98532

Q:

What if I don’t know the person’s address?


A:

We can use our system to assist in locating the individual. If we have no record of this person we will not be able to serve the paper.

Q:

How do I evict someone?


A:

We cannot provide legal advice. You will need to obtain a court order for the Sheriff’s Office to evict a tenant. There are numerous attorneys in the area with expertise in evictions. Check with Legal Aid for legal advice, (360) 748-0430.

Evictions (See information section above FAQ)

Real Property Executions

In an effort to streamline our process and assist attorneys we require the following (Click on link below for Guidelines). We cannot provide legal assistance.

If you have detailed questions not listed in our Guidelines, we suggest you contact a colleague who is versed in handling such writs.

Guidelines for Real Property Sales

RCWS that govern Personal and Real Property Executions/Orders of Sale

  • RCW 6.13
  • RCW 6.17
  • RCW 6.21
  • RCW 6.25

Personal Property Executions

In an effort to streamline our process and assist attorneys we require the following. We cannot provide legal advice. If you have detailed questions not listed here we suggest you contact a colleague who is versed in handling such writs.

  • Original Writ and three conformed copies (Please ensure the writ contains break and enter language PLUS extension)
  • Copy of the judgment
  • Fee deposit of $200.00 made payable to LCSO.

Letter of Instruction:

  1. Name and address of judgment debtor(s) and any other person(s) having an interest that must be served.
  2. Name of plaintiff’s attorney, address and telephone number.
  3. Address where property is believed to be located.
  4. Description of items to be seized, if known.
  5. Bond for double the value of the property to be seized.
  • Sheriff's Office will decide on storage unit/facility (licensed and bonded), dependent on size, location, security, heated, etc., at Plaintiff's expense.
  • Sheriff's Office will choose the moving van/company, if needed, at Plaintiff's expense.
  • Plaintiff will provide all equipment necessary to seize personal property and deliver to storage unit.
  • If information that is required by law is not included in the writ you may be asked by our office to obtain an amendment to the writ
  • Sheriff's Office will decide if sale will be cried by an outside party, like an auction house