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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Civil Process

The Civil Process Division is assigned to serve civil court documents issued from the various courts of Douglas County.  These documents include but are not limited to summons, citations, garnishments, hearings to appear, income withhold orders, move out orders, notice to appears, court orders, orders to appear and show cause, out of county papers, out of state papers, protection from abuse orders, subpoenas, tax warrants, and writs.

These Courts would include District Court, Magistrate Court, Probate Court, and Juvenile Court.  Civil process is also received from other counties within the state of Kansas as well as out-of-state district courts.

There is a service fee associated with some of the services of civil process as listed below.  The Sheriff's Office DOES NOT accept civil process by fax machine.

The division also collects delinquent tax owed from any unpaid previous Douglas County property tax bills. 
The division is located on the Second Floor of the Judicial and Law Enforcement Building, 111 E. 11th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044. The hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For further information contact us using the link above.

Per 2004 HB 2293, there is a service fee for serving civil process within the State of Kansas.  This fee applies to each address served.

In-State Sheriff's Fee Payment Procedures:
Payment by Check/Money Order is due at the time of filing.

  1. Make the Check or Money Order payable to the Douglas County Sheriff in the amount of $15.00 per address for service.
  2. If you have multiple service addresses on one case, you should include all service fees on one check/money order.
  3. You will need a separate check/money order for each case filed.  List the case number of the check/money order.
  4. Attach the check/money order to the top of the court filing.  The Clerk of the District Court will forward your payment to the Sheriff's Office with the papers to be served.
  5. Civil process that is exempt from service fees will have the words "Fee Exempt" noted on the top of the Service Request Form.
  6. Payment by cash is discouraged.

In-State Service Fee Exceptions/Exemptions:

  • Protection from Abuse Orders
  • Protection from Stalking Orders
  • Tax Warrants filed after July 1, 2004
  • Service for process filed by Government agencies-city, county, or state.
  • Indigent persons that have filed an indigent affidavit with the court.  A copy of the affidavit needs to be attached to the court documents.
  • Post-decree divorce motions (legal custody, residency, visitation rights or parenting time or modification of child support).
  • All papers, order, etc. related to criminal cases.
  • Actions under the Probate Code, which include:
    • Certified Probate Proceeding
    • Probate of an estate or will
    • Determination of descent of property
    • Termination of life estate
    • Adoption
    • Filing a will and affidavit
    • Guardianship
    • Conservatorship
    • Trusteeship

All other exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

NOTE:  The Douglas County Sheriff's Office does NOT serve court documents filed in Federal Court.

Out-of-State Service Fees:

  1. There is a $50.00 service fee per defendant. 
  2. The check/money order is made payable to the Douglas County Sheriff's office.  You may use one check/money order per case.
  3. Attach the check/money order to the top of the court documents.  When available, list the case number on the check.
  4. Court documents to be served should be sent to:  Douglas County Sheriff's Office/Civil Process Division, 111 E. 11th Street,    Lawrence, Kansas 66044.
  5. Court documents should be accompanied by the following:
    1. A self-addressed stamped envelope (for the return of service).
    2. Service instructions explaining your states requirements for service.
    3. A Return of Service document.  Our office can provide an Affidavit of Service if you do not provide this document.
    4. A cover letter explaining who is to be served, the address(es) for service, any information that will assist in service (place of employment, telephone number, physical descriptions, etc.) and contact information of the attorney of person issuing the court document.

Out-of-State Service Fees Exceptions/Exemptions:

  1. The following out-of-state court documents are exempt from the $50.00 service fee:
  2. Protection from Abuse and Protection from Stalking Orders that meet the requirements of the Violence Against Women's Act 18 U.S.C. 2265.
  3. Court documents filed by government agencies - city, county, and state.
  4. All other exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For further inquires contact the Civil Process division using the link above


In all cases an attorney should be consulted for additional information.

    1. NOTICE TO VACATE - Written three (3) day notice to vacate, given to the tenant from the landlord notifying the tenant to leave the premises.  Notice must be given at least three (3) days prior to initiation of the lawsuit for rent and possession.  KSA (Kansas Statutes Annotated) 61-3803 and 58-2540
    2. FORCIBLE DETAINER - this is an official court document consisting of a summons and petition.  The petition outlines the particulars or facts of the action filed by the landlord (plaintiff) against the tenant (defendant) and will list what the plaintiff is asking the court to do (judgment).  This document is filed with the Clerk of the District Court.  The Clerk of the District Court will assign a case number and court date.  KSA 61-3804 and 61-3805
    3. TRIAL - The judgment will depend upon what was listed in the Petition.  Usually this will be for any back rent (money) and possession of the specific premises.  The defendant has five (5) days after judgment is entered to file an appeal.  KSA 61-3902.  A supersedeas bond must be posted with the appeal.  KSA 61-3906.  If after the expiration of the five (5) days and no appeal and supersedeas bond have been filed a Writ of Restitution may be issued by the court.
    4. WRIT OF RESTITUTION - This is an official court document that directs and orders the Sheriff's Office to immediately remove the occupants of the specific premises and turn possession of the property to the Plaintiff*.  Entry may be by whatever means necessary to affect the court order including the use of a locksmith.  Cost for entry will be paid by the plaintiff.  When filing the Writ of Restitution a Journal Entry must also be filed.  The Journal Entry is a summary of the judgment entered at the trial (court hearing).
      1. The Sheriff's office has ten (10) calendar days from the date the Writ of Restitution is received to complete the eviction.
      2. Prior to the Sheriff executing the Writ of Restitution a notice is delivered to the defendant or posted to the premises stating that the Sheriff's Office has a court order to evict the defendant.  The notice states a specific date that the Sheriff's Office will affect the court order.  This is a courtesy only as a notice is not required by law.  This notice is given to allow the defendant one last chance to move on their own.
      3. The Eviction or Writ of Restitution can only be canceled by the courts, the plaintiff, or the plaintiff's attorney.  The defendant cannot cancel the action.

KSA 61-3808            

The landlord is responsible to move and store the tenant's property.  The landlord should check with their attorney for the length of time they are required to store the property.

Eviction laws are in Kansas Statutes Annotated Chapter 60 Article 38.  Landlord and tenant laws are in Kansas Statutes Annotated Chapter 58 Article 25.