Civil Enforcement Bureau

400 County Center, 3rd Floor (View Map)
Redwood City, CA 94063

(650) 363-4497
(650) 363-4833

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 8:00AM – 4:30PM
*except holidays

 

 

Civil Enforcement Bureau

The Sheriff’s Civil Enforcement Bureau serves civil processes in the manner prescribed by law and performs civil enforcement duties with integrity and without prejudice or bias in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and statutes. The Sheriff’s Office’s role in civil enforcement is that of a neutral party, acting only on a lawful court order. The majority of procedures and laws governing the service and execution of civil process are set forth in the California Code of Civil Procedure.

The Sheriff’s Civil Enforcement Bureau works in conjunction with the Civil Courts in San Mateo County and Civil Courts throughout the state of California in the execution and service of process. It is the goal of the Civil Enforcement Bureau is to serve civil processes in a timely manner while maintaining an impartial position between all parties involved.

All requests for service or levy must include a signed letter of instruction by either the Plaintiff or his/her attorney, the appropriate number of copies and the required service fees. There are no fees for the service of Restraining Orders related to Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Workplace Violence and some Orders involving Civil Harassment. Letters of instruction must be complete and include a physical address of where the service is to be made. The Civil Bureau does not conduct any investigative tactics such as stakeouts or computer inquiries (DMV, arrest records, etc.) in order to affect service.

Although the Sheriff’s Civil Enforcement Bureau provides a cost effective, credible service and successfully serves most defendants, there are many variables to consider when requesting service. Some of these variables may delay, or in some cases, even prevent successful service. In some cases, the individual the Civil Detectives attempting to serve may evade service or is not available during normal business hours. The Sheriff’s Civil Enforcement Bureau normal hours of service are Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. The Civil Detectives will make a minimum of two attempts on different days, at different times each day. In these cases where the subject is unavailable for service, it may be in the best interest of the party to consider the services of a private process server.

Legal Admonition

The Sheriff’s Office Civil Bureau is not authorized to give personal legal advice. Any information that is provided should not be construed as legal advice. Legal advice should be requested from an attorney. Legal reference and resource information can be found on the San Mateo County Superior Court - Self Help website at: https://www.sanmateocourt.org/self_help/


 

Services

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office requires certain levies/attachments be served by a Registered Process Server (RPS) per Code of Civil Procedure § 699.080 and § 700.015. The Sheriff’s Office will enforce the judgment and collect monies for the Plaintiff.

Listed below are common civil processes, orders, levies, and services performed by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Civil Enforcement Bureau:

Civil Enforcement Bureau will serve the following:

Levies followed by an * must be served by the Sheriff.

All others may be served by the Sheriff or a Registered Process Server per Code of Civil Procedure § 699.080 and § 700.140

  • Attachment Lien Notice (AT-1) filed with the Secretary of State via U.S. Mail (must be signed by Sheriff)
  • Attachment Lien Notice filed with DMV (must be signed by Sheriff)
  • Automobile seizure and sale *
  • Bench Warrant - Civil *
  • Boat Seizure and Sale*
  • Book Levy on Funds Held by Sheriff *
  • Business Levy (keeper levy) *
  • Claim and Delivery *
  • Equipment Seizure and Sale *
  • Eviction *
  • Keeper Levy *
  • Levy on Securities *
  • Order of Appearance or Examination (to obtain arrest warrant for failure to appear, Sheriff must serve) *
  • Personal Property Seizure and Sale *
  • Real Property Levy
  • Restraining Order
  • Seizures of Personal Property *
  • Subpoena - Criminal *
  • Temporary Restraining Order *
  • Till tap *
  • Warrant of Attachment (see bench warrant) *
  • Writ of Possession of Real Property (Eviction) *
  • Writ of Sale – Real Property *

OUR OFFICE REQUIRES THAT REAL PROPERTY LEVIES, 3RD PARTY/BANK LEVIES, WAGE GARNISHMENTS AND ATTACHMENTS BE SERVED BY A REGISTERED PROCESS SERVER (RPS) PER THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE.

You may locate a San Mateo County registered process server by searching for “attorney support services” or “process serving” in a telephone directory or search engine. You may also check the National Association of Professional Process Servers web site.


 

Will Not Serve

Service of non-enforcement processes will still be made when a California court has ordered a waiver of fees for the party requesting service. A certified copy of the order indicating that it applies to Sheriff’s fees is required when submitting the process for service. Non levy civil process can be legally served by anyone over the age of eighteen who is not a party to the action or by a Registered Process Server.

Civil Enforcement Bureau will not serve the following
  • Affidavit and Order
  • Bank Levy
  • Citations/Petition (Probate and Juvenile Court)
  • Claim of Defendant (Cross Complaint)
  • Claim of Plaintiff (Small Claims)
  • Complaint without Summons
  • Counter Claim or Counter Affidavit
  • Cross Complaint - Small Claims
  • Default Judgment (Judge’s Order)
  • Dissolution (Divorce and Annulment)
  • Earnings Withholding Order (except federal and U.S. Postal Services employees)
  • Judgment (Order of Court)
  • Notice of Court Action
  • Order to Show Cause
  • Rent Levy (money collected from tenants)
  • Safe Deposit Box Levy
  • Statement (foreign support order)
  • Subpoena (Civil, or Juvenile)
  • Summons and Complaint
  • Summons and Petition
  • Third Party Levy
  • Wage Assignment
  • Wage Garnishment

OUR OFFICE REQUIRES THAT REAL PROPERTY LEVIES, 3RD PARTY/BANK LEVIES, WAGE GARNISHMENTS AND ATTACHMENTS BE SERVED BY A REGISTERED PROCESS SERVER (RPS) PER THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE.

You may locate a San Mateo County registered process server by searching for "attorney support services" or "process serving" in a telephone directory or search engine. You may also check the National Association of Professional Process Servers web site.


 

Civil Process Instructions

A letter of instruction must accompany all process or notices brought to the Sheriff for service or enforcement (CCP 262, 684.130, 687.010 etc.) This letter of instruction is required by law and must include information specific to the type of process or notice you are asking the Sheriff to serve or execute. For example, at a minimum you are required to identify the process or notice you want served or executed, the name and service address of the individual/judgment debtor, a detailed description of any property sought, the relevant code section and must be signed and dated by the plaintiff or attorney of record.

Certain types of levies, such a real property levy and sale, require very specific instructions. You should be familiar with the specific legal requirements of your process or notice before you submit your paperwork.

The following Sheriff Instructional Forms are available to assist you in providing the information we need to process your request. They do not address every situation. Click to view and print the form.

CIVIL ENFORCEMENT BUREAU INSTRUCTIONAL FORMS

Post-Judgment Enforcement Instructions & Worksheets

Pre-Judgment Enforcement Instructions & Worksheets

Other Instructions/Worksheets

County Websites

The Official Website of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office:

Legal Assistance

State Websites


 

Sheriff Sales

Notices of Sheriff's Sales are posted on the public bulletin board, First Floor, Hall of Justice and Records, 400 County Center, Redwood City. Real Property sales are published in the San Mateo County Times & San Jose Mercury News and posted here.

The Sheriff's Office does not maintain a mailing list for auctions.

Prospective bidders should refer to Sections 701.510 to 701.680, inclusive, of the Civil Code of Procedure for provisions governing the terms, conditions, and effect of the sale and the liability of defaulting bidders. (CCP 701.547).

Quick link to: Upcoming Sheriff’s Sales *


 

Fee Schedule

Evictions$145 (No Refund if Cancelled After Posting)
Till-Tap$100
Writ of Execution - Keeper 8 Hour$240
Writ of Execution - Keeper Levy-48 Hour Sezur & Sell$1,200*
Writ of Execution - Till Tap$100
Bench Warrant - Civil Contempt$140
Writ of Execution - Earnings Withholding Order$35
Writ of Execution - Bank, 3rd Party, Rent Levies, Etc.$40
Writ of Execution - Auto Levy$1,500*
Writ of Execution - Personal Property$1,000*
Writ of Execution - Real Property$2,000*
Writ 0f Sale - Real Property$2,000
Writ of Attachment- Bank or 3rd Party$40.00
Writ of Attachment - Real Property$200.00*
Writ of Attachment - Personal Property$Call for deposit amount*

*DEPOSIT ONLY, ADDITIONAL FEES MAY BE REQUIRED
Fees are subject to change without notice
Deposits, Additional Charges, Disbursement of Funds