SERVICE OF CIVIL PROCESS

IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT CIVIL PROCESS SERVICE

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has discontinued service of all non-enforcement types of civil processes.

Non-enforcement civil process can be served by anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action or by a registered process server.  You may locate a San Diego County registered process server by searching for "attorney support services" or "process serving" in a telephone directory or internet search.

Service of non-enforcement process will still be made where 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.

Civil process no longer served after January 2, 2009:

  • Citations
  • Landlord Notice (Eviction Letter)
  • Request for Order/Order to Show Cause
  • Subpoena - Civil
  • Claim & Order to go to court (Small Claims)
  • Notice of Motion
  • Out-of-State process
  • Summons & Complaint (or Petition)
  • All other NON-ENFORCEMENT process not listed

Civil process service continuing after January 2, 2009:

  • Restraining Orders
  • Order for Examination or Appearance
  • Warrant of Attachment (Civil Bench Warrant)
  • Subpoena - Criminal or Juvenile (only)
  • Subpoena duces Tecum/Subpoena for production of documents and things
  • Writ of Possession - Real Property (Eviction)
  • Writ of Possession - Personal Property
  • Writ of Possession - Claim and Delivery
  • Writ of Sale
  • Writ of Execution or Attachment
  • Bank Levy
  • Keeper
  • Personal Property Levy
  • Real Property levy
  • Rent Levy
  • Till Tap
  • Verbal Demand for Payment
  • Wage Garnishment
  • 3rd Party Levy

SHERIFF’S SERVICE INSTRUCTIONS

Out of a concern for deputy safety the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has revised their service instruction forms, including the implementation of a new instruction specifically for evictions. The forms were revised to allow for additional deputy safety information.

Eviction Service Instructions (C-1UD): This is a new instruction specifically for eviction services. All items must be completed on the instructions and failure to complete all items may result in a delay in processing of the eviction. Use of the new Eviction Service Instructions (C-1UD) will be mandatory effective Monday, April 22, 2013 and no other form of instruction will be accepted for eviction services.

Restraining Order Service Instructions (C-1A): The Officer Safety Information section of the instructions was revised to allow for the collection of a larger volume of officer safety information. Use of the revised Restraining Order Instructions (C-1A) is mandatory effective immediately and no other form of instruction will be accepted for Restraining Order services.

Document/Levy Service Instructions (C-1): An Officer Safety Information section was added to the Document Service side of the C-1 service instructions to allow for the collection of any officer safety information. Use of the revised Document/Levy Service Instructions (C-1) is mandatory effective immediately and no other form of instruction will be accepted for document services.

All of the service instructions are available under the Court Services Forms header on the right side of this webpage.

ELECTRONIC WRIT STATEMENT

Effective January 1, 2014, pursuant to the revisions made to the Code of Civil Procedure section 687.010 by Assembly Bill §1167, and in particular the addition of sub-section 687.010(e)(4):

If the instructions directing the levying officer to perform a levy are accompanied by a writ of execution for money, possession, or sale of personal or real property issued by the court as an electronic record, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 263.1, or a document printed from an electronic record issued by the court, the instructions shall include a statement indicating that the accompanying writ is either of the following:

  • An original writ, or a copy of an original writ issued by the court as an electronic record, not already in the possession of the levying officer.
  • A copy of the original writ already in the possession of the levying officer.

If the process being requested includes instructions submitted on the SDSD instructions (for a levy or eviction) or if submitting an Application for Earnings Withholding Order, you can use the Electronic Writ Statement Pursuant to CCP 687.010(e)(4) form to make the electronic writ statement.

If a levy (other than a real property levy) service is being requested and the instructions submitted are not on the SDSD instructions, the electronic writ statement should be included within the instructions being submitted or you can use the Electronic Writ Statement Pursuant to CCP 687.010(e)(4) form to make the electronic writ statement.

INSTRUCTIONS AND PROCESS REQUIRED FOR SERVICE

Each process submitted for service MUST include instructions. The instructions must be original, must include a physical address for service and must be signed by the Plaintiff/Requestor or their Attorney of Record. Instructions for garnishments, levies and earning withholding orders must be signed by the attorney of record or by the judgment creditor acting as his/her own attorney.

Summons and Complaints - Two copies of each process per defendant to be served.

  • Small Claims Process - Two copies of each process per defendant to be served.
  • Other Non-Writ Process - One copy per defendant to be served.
  • Earnings Withholding Orders - Original Writ of Execution plus original Application for Earnings Withholding Order.

IMPORTANT TIPS TO EXPEDITE SERVICE OF YOUR CIVIL PROCESS

Please provide as much of the following information as possible to assist us in serving your process.

  • Defendant’s full name, alias, or fictitious business name if a business Defendant’s home address and telephone number
  • Defendant’s business address and telephone number and work hours, specific location at work, and supervisor’s name if known
  • Full physical description of defendant (include picture if available) and defendant’s vehicle
  • Best times to find defendant at the address(s) provided. Our normal service hours are Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • A daytime/nighttime telephone number(s) where you can be reached regarding the service of your process
  • If a business is being served, verify business license information with the appropriate licensing agency. In order to properly serve the process and eventually enforce your judgment, the defendant business entity must be named in your case the same way as they are licensed or incorporated to do business
  • An extra copy of the summons and complaint or claim and order for substitute service