The Washington County Sheriffs Office is able to serve eviction notices and executions throughout the county. In addition to Patrol duties, our Deputies also serve legal papers as well.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will normally serve writs of restitution/assistance for evictions within 10 business days to allow the defendant the opportunity to move out on his/her own. Prior to the execution of the writ, the plaintiff or plaintiff’s agent will be required to provide the Sheriff’s Office with a deposit representing the probable costs of removing the person(s) in possession of the property, their personal possessions and the services of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. This is in compliance with State Statute 799.45(1). The deposit for the move will depend on the property involved and will be determined by the Sheriff’s Office. If the cost of the move and the Sheriff’s Office assistance exceed the amount of the deposit, the Sheriff’s Office will provide the plaintiff with an invoice for the amount due in excess of the deposit along with an itemization of the cost which must be paid within 30 days. If any portion of the deposit remains after final cancelations, a refund will be issued to the plaintiff. The plaintiff/landlord/manager cannot make any “deals” including extensions to the defendant(s) after the Sheriff’s Office receives the eviction papers.
By state law the Sheriff must use a bonded mover to serve the writ, and the availability of such movers can dictate when the defendant(s) are officially ordered out of the premises. The moving company will provide us with a date for the scheduled move, and the defendant(s) are ordered out prior to that date. If it is not confirmed by the Sheriff’s Office or plaintiff that the defendant(s) have moved out by the specified time, a deputy will be at the property at 7AM on the date of the move to determine if the movers are actually needed. The plaintiff/owner/manager must be present to provide a key for entry or a locksmith, at the plaintiff’s expense, or force will be used to enter the building.
If the defendant(s) are still present, the bonded movers are called in at the plaintiff’s expense. If the defendant(s) have moved, the movers are cancelled but still assess a $150 cancellation fee if they receive less than 24 hours notice. Cancelations in excess of 24 hours will still be assessed a $55 cancelation fee by the moving company and then taken out of the deposit.
Plaintiffs also have the ability to handle the move on their own if the plaintiff notifies the Sheriff and the plaintiff accepts the responsibilities for the removal, storage and disposal of the property. In that case, the Sheriff’s responsibilities are as follows: