Civil Process/Court Services
Monday - Friday / 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2019 - NEW SERVICE FEES
Legal Paper Service
The Rock County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Office is responsible for serving several different kinds of legal documents. A person or business that requests the sheriff’s department to serve any legal document must complete the Civil Process Worksheet [pdf] or include a cover letter with instructions for service. The worksheets are also available at the Sheriff's Office lobby. You are required to submit the Civil Process Worksheet or include a cover letter with the legal documents. The worksheets are also available at the Sheriff’s Office lobby. Any documents submitted without a completed worksheet or cover letter will be returned to the plaintiff.
A deposit, either by cash, check, money order, or order of indigence must accompany legal papers submitted for service. For information about service fees please review the Civil Process Fees [pdf]. To limit the number of attempts, the plaintiff should include as much information as possible about the person/business who they want to be served so that successful service can be accomplished on the first attempt.
Some businesses within Rock County will not allow the Sheriff’s Office to serve at their place of employment. If service is required at a business, the plaintiff needs to contact the business owner/manager and seek their permission to have a deputy serve at the business. The plaintiff needs to obtain a contact person, a phone number for this person, and the time it is best to have the defendant served. This information should be documented on the Civil Process Worksheet or within the cover letter.
There are time limit considerations for all different legal papers. Please refer to the Civil Process Service Timelines for those required limits. It is recommended that the plaintiff allow sufficient time for service. The civil process division handles hundreds of papers on a monthly basis and documents are usually executed with consideration to expiration dates.
If you have any questions about the process, it is recommended you contact our Civil Process Office during the regular hours of operation, which is 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday at 608-757-7996.
Civil Process Timeline
|Paper Type||Time Before Court|
|Citation||2 Business Days|
|Criminal Summons & Complaint||2 Business Days|
|Eviction Summons & Complaint||5 Business Days|
|Guardianship Order||10 Business Days|
|Notice of Motion||5 Business Days|
|Notice||2 Business Days|
|Orders||2 Business Days|
|Replevin Summons & Complaint||8 Business Days|
|Summons & Complaint (Small Claims)||8 Business Days|
|Summons & Complaint (Large Claims)||90 Days from Issuance|
Evictions done by the Sheriff’s Office are Court ordered with a Writ of Restitution or Writ of Assistance. Writs of Restitution are issued for landlord/tenant issues. Writs of Assistance are usually issued for foreclosure issues.
The Plaintiff, or agent of the plaintiff must be there along with whoever is removing the personal property.
For procedures the Sheriff’s Office uses for Writs of Restitution, please reference the Procedure for Eviction by Landlord.
When dropping off a Writ of Restitution to the Sheriff’s Office, you will need the Eviction Worksheet filled out along with the Civil Process Worksheet.
Procedures for Writs of Assistance
- Upon receipt of the Writ, the Sheriff’s Office has 60 days to execute that writ, and return a report to the court. The Sheriff’s Dept will serve the Writ upon residents or by posting.
- If the residents fail to leave, the plaintiff or agent must book an eviction date with the Sheriff’s Office.
- Lock changing and posting No Trespassing signs are not required, but recommended after the eviction.
- There is a service fee, and a Writ service fee of $45/hour/deputy.
Temporary Restraining Orders are court orders to keep a person from having direct or indirect contact with another person, place, or thing. Restraining Orders and Injunctions are civil matters, if a violation occurs, that violation is a criminal matter.
The four types of restraining orders of concern to the Sheriff’s Office are: Domestic Abuse, Child Abuse, Harassment, and Individual at Risk. The Sheriff’s Office keeps records of these types of restraining orders. The Sheriff’s Office also receives firearms that are required to be surrendered from some orders.
To apply for a Temporary Restraining Order, go the Clerk of Courts, or an attorney. There must be a petition to the court to get the Temporary Restraining Order, and the order is not always granted.
Temporary Restraining Orders do not need to be served by the Sheriff’s Office. They must be personally served. In Domestic Abuse orders, if proof is shown that the person to be restrained is avoiding service, service may done by publication (see the Clerk of Courts for help).
The petitioner must show up at the Injunction Hearing to get the Injunction. Injunctions are restraining orders granted after a hearing. The duration of an Injunction is up to four years.
Some Injunctions require the respondent to surrender firearms. The court issues this order. Please call the Bureau of Identification (B of I) office at 608-757-7980 if ordered by the court.
DO NOT BRING FIREARMS INTO THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Writ of Execution
Executions are Court Orders to the Sheriff to take money, repossess property, or to sell personal or real property to pay off a judgment.
Executions are quite involved, and usually require an attorney for assistance. There are many laws governing how Executions are handled, as well as many procedures the Sheriff’s Office also must follow. In most cases, the Sheriff’s Office will require a Bond to Indemnify the Sheriff valued at one and a half times the value of the judgment. Please refer to Ss 815 for further information about Executions.
Writ of Replevin (Reposession)
A Writ of Replevin (Repossession) is a court order to regain personal property held or retained by another. It usually involves a bank or lending institution to recover collateral (cars, trucks, mobile homes, boats, campers, furniture, etc.).
A Writ of Replevin can only be acted upon by the Sheriff’s Office. The Writ has to be issued in Rock County, or if issued by another court, then docketed in Rock County. The Writ itself is only good for 60 days. A Judge, Court Commissioner, or Clerk of Courts must sign it. The Writ must have the case number, be dated, and sealed by the court. The Writ must contain a description of the property to be recovered.
The Sheriff's Office requires a Bond to Indemnify the Sheriff. The bond must be for one and a half times the value of the property to be recovered.
If the property is being held in a building or fenced area, the Sheriff’s Office may require a Warrant to enter that area. An attorney must draft that Warrant.
The Sheriff’s Office will need instructions on how to get the property recovered back to you. We will not transport most property. We will only allow local towing companies to take vehicles and wheeled property. We will need to know where the property should be delivered to within our county.
The more information given will assist the Sheriff's Office in returning the property sooner.
16 S. River, Janesville, WI
Legal Action of Wisconsin Inc.
744 Williamson St, Ste 200, Madison, WI 53703
1-800-362-3904 or 608-256-3304
Tenant Resource Center
1202 Williamson Street, Suite A, Madison, WI 53703
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Agriculture Drive 2811, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708