One of the main functions of the Ada County Sheriff's Civil Division is to offer low cost, professional civil process services. When you use our services, we promise to make every effort to serve your legal papers in a timely manner and to make what may be a difficult situation easier for you.
Here are a few tips on using our service:
- Bring us the papers you want us to serve as soon as you can. Even with the best instructions you give us, it is sometimes difficult to find the person(s) you wish to serve.
- The more time you allow us, the better the chances that we will be successful on your behalf.
- We will contact you by mail once the service is complete or if we were unable to complete the service.
- If you want to know the status of your case, please submit a request in writing, listing the case title, case number and the defendant's name and address. We will research your request and someone from our office will get back to you with that information.
- Remember that, although we are happy to serve ALL of your papers, certain court documents such as Small Claims Summons, Summons and Complaints, Subpoenas, Orders to Show Cause and Notices can be served by anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action. Due to the number of cases we receive and the service fees, you may choose to have someone other than the ACSO service your documents.
- If your document is an enforcement document (Writ), the Sheriff's Office is the only agency that can serve this document.
Duties of the Sheriff
The Sheriff is responsible for diligence in the service of process. In 2005, the Civil Division served documents in over 17,000 cases. Because of the workload, cases are addressed on a first come, first served basis. This may mean that your documents may not be served immediately. We guarantee that we will attempt to serve your documents in a reasonable and diligent manner. Please let us know if an emergency situation exists and if your documents need to be served immediately.
A letter of instruction must accompany every document brought to the Sheriff's Office for service. This letter must tell the Sheriff:
- Who is to be served.
- Where the defendant is to be served.
- What documents are to be served.
Your attorney must sign this instruction letter. If you have no attorney, then your signature is required.
The Sheriff is required, by law, to charge fees for his services. You must pay the fee in advance (Idaho Code 31-3211). In addition to service fees, other costs may include charges for moving and storage of goods, towing, recording, publishing in a newspaper, posting, and other miscellaneous fees. Pursuant to Idaho Code 31-3203, the Board of Ada County Commissioners sets the current fees for the Sheriff's Office. Click here for the list of fees.
Things We Cannot Do for You
We cannot do your work for you. You must give us the addresses for the people we are to serve. If there is an identification problem, you must supply us a Social Security number or date of birth for the individual. It is your responsibility to provide all service information before submitting the papers to us.
We cannot provide legal advice. Many people attempt to utilize the Sheriff's Office as a place for legal advice. We can supply you with procedures that are required in order to perform a service, but we cannot supply you with how to get the required documents. Only your attorney can advise you.
Note: Civil procedure is different than criminal procedure. In a criminal case, the Sheriff's Office represents the State of Idaho and performs criminal investigations. In civil cases, the ACSO is the intermediary party. The ACSO does not represent the plaintiff or the defendant in the case. You must have a court-issued civil document in your possession in order for the Sheriff's Office to assist you with service of the document.