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> Public Services Bureau > Civil Section


The Sheriff is required to act as an Officer of the Court for service of civil matters in Kern County.  The laws governing civil process are set forth primarily in the California Code of Civil Procedure, Civil Code, and Government Code.  Federal and State laws make clear distinctions between civil matters and criminal cases. 

Civil procedure is a system of laws the courts follow when adjudicating civil matters.  These legal requirements govern the types of process, orders, remedies, judgments and all other procedures allowed in civil matters. 

In civil enforcement matters, the Sheriff’s Office maintains a neutral, impartial standing between involved parties acting only on lawful court orders.   The Sheriff's Civil Section is responsible for the service and execution of civil process as prescribed by law.  

The Sheriff’s Civil Section is comprised of the Civil Processing Unit and the Field Enforcement Unit and works in conjunction with government agencies, courts, and private entities.

The Civil Processing Unit is responsible for reviewing civil documents in order to ensure accuracy and compliance with all legal requirements.  The Section cannot conduct investigative services to verify names and/or addresses; therefore, successful service of documents is dependent upon the information received.  The Unit is also responsible for handling fees for services and disbursement of monies collected in accordance with court orders.

The Field Enforcement Unit is responsible for the actual service of all civil processes including, but not limited to: summons, subpoenas, restraining orders, evictions, small claims documents, and wage garnishments.  The Field Enforcement Unit is responsible to diligently ensure specific legal requirements are met for the service to be valid.  Service of process may occasionally involve volatile situations.  These responsibilities require the Field Enforcement Unit operate with an extraordinary degree of professionalism.

The Sheriff’s Civil Section is committed to working in partnership and providing equitable services for all individuals served by the Sheriff’s Office.

Office Address:

5251 Office Park Dr, Bldg 300,  
Bakersfield, CA 93309

Telephone: 661.635.1300
Fax: 661.635.1320

Mailing Address:

KCSO Civil Section
P.O.Box 70127
Bakersfield, CA 93387

Email: Civil@kernsheriff.com

Public Hours of Operation:

Lobby

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Telephone

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Monday - Friday, excluding holidays

Drop Box
24 hrs per day

Additional Drop Box Locations:

Sheriff Central Receiving Facility
1415 Truxtun Ave (2nd Fl –Jail Office)
Bakersfield, CA  93301

Sheriff Headquarters
1350 Norris Rd (In front of Bldg B)
Bakersfield CA 93308 

(Please do not use these locations for time-sensitive documents
as there may be a delay in reaching our office.)


Attention:  The Sheriff's Civil Section requires a completed threat assessment form with ALL evictions. 
(See "Eviction Instructions" below for the two-page instruction packets.)

The Sheriff's Civil Section serves civil process as prescribed by law. Civil process includes summons and complaints, small claims documents, restraining orders, and evictions. Other services include levies on wages, bank accounts, personal property, real property, or any asset of the judgment debtor. The Civil Section is not permitted to give legal advice nor can we conduct investigative services including computer inquiries (DMV, arrest records, etc.) to verify names and/or addresses; therefore, successful service of documents is not guaranteed.

All general requests for service must include the following:

  • An original letter of instructions directed to the Sheriff and signed by the attorney of record or the plaintiff if there is no attorney.  (Common instruction forms are provided below)
  • A complete set of documents for each person you want served and an additional copy for the Sheriff's file.
  • The proper fee for service or a court-ordered fee waiver.  There is no fee for service of Temporary Restraining Orders including Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Workplace Violence and some Civil Harassment cases.

All documents must be received in our office at least 10 days prior to the last day for service.  We will mail your proof of service to the address provided on your instructions.

*NOTE* Status requests on levies are by fax only and are provided no sooner than 30 days after your case is processed.

General Fee Information:  The debtor assessment fee on disbursements is currently $12.00 as of January 1, 2011.  Please see the following for current year service fees.
Civil Section Fees (2014)

Forms/Instructions:
Writ Declaration Form
Application for Earnings Withholding Order

Confidential Statement of Judgment Debtor's Social Security Number (Wage Garnishment)
Bank-Third Party Levy Instructions
Eviction Instructions
General Instructions
Keeper/Till Tap Instructions
Temporary Restraining Order Instructions
Claim of Exemption/Enforcement of Judgment
Claim of Exemption/Wage Garnishment
Financial Statement
Out of State Documents
Real Property Instructions
Registered Process Server Requirements

Personal Property Instructions
Third Party Claim Requirements
Private Process Server Checklist

FAQs:  (Please note that this is general information only as we cannot anticipate the specifics of your particular case.)
Debtor Questions
Plaintiff / Creditor Questions
Real Property Requirements

Links:
Superior Court, Kern County
California Courts, Self-Help Center
California Court, Online Forms

References:

Reference California Law

California Tenants' & Landlords'
Rights and Responsibilities Handbook