Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: The Latest (and best!) clarification on paying for Sheriff's service fees.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Latest (and best!) clarification on paying for Sheriff's service fees.

On November 2nd, I posted some information on Sheriff's service fees that wasn't right. I'm sorry!

Clerk Debra Walker from Henry County And Laura Martin, President of the Clerk's Association helpfully called to explain the preferred process to me. Here is how the Clerks' Association and the Sheriffs' Association want you to handle paying fees for civil service:

No matter where service is to occur or how many defendants or counties are involved, you always pay the Sheriff's civil service fee to the clerk of the county you are filing the case in.  No exceptions.

A few details:
  • If you are filing in a county that e-files, the preferred method for paying the clerk is through the e-filing system.
  • If you are filing in a county that doesn't use e-filing yet, then write your check to the Clerk (not the Sheriff.)
  • If you forgot to add the Sheriff's service fee when e-filing, the case won't be rejected, and there is no way to pay it later via e-filing. If that happens to you, just write a check to the Clerk of the county you filed that case in.
In some counties, the Sheriff will require proof that the payment occurred. Here's how you provide that:

  • If you paid via e-filing: Attach the first emailed "Notice of Electronic Filing" that you receive showing the fee breakdown and the "Notice of Acceptance" to the front of the packet of documents you deliver to the Sheriff for service. The first email shows the fee and the second one confirms the case number and acceptance.
  • If you already paid via check at the clerk's office: Attach the receipt from the clerk's office.
  • If you haven't paid yet, and service is to occur in the same county that the case is filed in: Make the check out to the clerk and send it along with the documents to the Sheriff. The Sheriff will hand off the check to the clerk, but can process the papers right away because the payment was noted.
  • If you haven't paid yet and service is in a different county from the one you filed the case in, you will have to pay the clerk in the county of filing first, and then attach the receipt for that payment. (Yes, this results in a delay- that's why you really ought to pay at the time of filing, and do it via e-filing.)

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