Civil Unit

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 Photo of Civil Unit Officers


Civil Unit
920 Mellus Street
Martinez, Ca, 94553
(925) 313-4201


Monday, Wednesday through Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday - 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Closed on holidays

The Civil Unit is responsible for the enforcement of court orders and/or any judgments by the courts in Contra Costa County.  These enforcement actions occur after cases have been decided in civil court.  These enforcement actions include:  evictions, seizure of property, collection and distribution of funds associated with civil actions, extradition and rendition services of arrestees, and service or postings of any civil orders. 

The Civil Unit staff is made up of both sworn and non-sworn staff.  The Civil Unit’s mission is to receive, document, prepare, and execute all civil processes in a professional and timely manner.  The Civil Unit is a neutral party in these efforts and will not offer any legal advice.

Click here for an excellent source of information regarding the civil process.  On this site you will find an online self-help center.

Warrant Service Unit

The Warrant Services Unit falls under the Civil Unit.  This unit works in collaboration with the United States Marshals Service.  This partnership allows our sworn personnel to participate in the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force. Those individuals with active arrest warrants in and around Contra Costa County are regularly and aggressively sought after for apprehension by this unit. This unit’s priorities are homicide suspects, sexual predators, and suspects who committed violent crimes.

Legal Admonition

The Sheriff’s Office Civil Unit is not authorized to give personal legal advice. Any information that is provided should not be construed as legal advice. Legal advice should be requested from an attorney.

We Now Accept Debit Cards and All Major Credit Cards



Instructions and Information

All documents must be accompanied by a Letter of Instruction, signed and dated by the attorney of record or the plaintiff, if there is no attorney. The instructions must include the name of the person to be served and the address where service is to be made. A wage levy requires an Application for Earnings Withholding Order instead of a letter of instruction. The applications and forms are available at the front counter of our office.

The Sheriff of Contra Costa County will serve the following levies and documents:
Levies followed by an * must be served by the Sheriff.  All others may be served by the Sheriff or a Registered Process Server.

Attachment Lien Notice (AT-1) filed with the Secretary of State via U.S. Mail (must be signed by Sheriff)

Attachment Lien Noticefiled with DMV (must be signed by Sheriff)

Automobile seizure and sale*

Bench Warrant - Civil*

Boat Seizure and Sale *

Book Levy on Funds Held by Sheriff*

Business Levy (keeper levy)*

Claim and Delivery*

Earnings Withholding Order only on Federal or U.S. Postal Employees

Equipment Seizure and Sale*


Keeper Levy*

Levy on Securities*

Order to Show Cause

Personal Property Seizure and Sale*

Real Property Levy

Restraining Order

Seizures of Personal Property*

Subpoena - Criminal

Temporary Restraining Order*

Till Tap*

Warrant of Attachment (see Bench Warrant)*

Writ of Possession of Real Property (Eviction) *


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The Sheriff of Contra Costa County will NOT serve the following levies and documents (unless you are incarcerated or have a fee waiver from the court):
The following levies must be served by a Registered Process Server. Non-levy civil processes can be legally served by anyone over the age of eighteen who is not a party to the action or by a Registered Process Server. Click on "Process Server" Help below.

Affidavit and Order

Bank Levy

Citations/Petition (Probate and Juvenile Court)

Claim of Defendant (Cross Complaint)

Claim of Plaintiff (Small Claims)

Complaint without Summons

Counter Claim or Counter Affidavit

Cross Complaint - Small Claims

Default Judgment (Judge's Order)

Dissolution (Divorce and Annulment)

Earnings Withholding Order (except federal and U.S. Postal Services employees)

Judgment (Order of Court)

Notice of Court Action

Order to Show Cause

Rent Levy (money collected from tenants)

Safe Deposit Box Levy

Statement (foreign support order)

Subpoena (Civil, or Juvenile)

Summons and Complaint

Summons and Petition

Third Party Levy

Wage Assignment

Wage Garnishment


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Forms and Worksheets

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Levy and Sale Help Forms

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County Websites

The Official Website for the Contra Costa County

The Contra Costa County Recorder's Database

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State Websites

State Judicial Council Forms can be found here

 All California Law Codes are available at here

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Service Requirements

For all services, we require a copy of the document, front and back, for each person to be served. For levies and evictions, we require the original writ of execution. Please include more copies if you have more than one levy. All documents must be accompanied by the appropriate fee or a court-ordered fee waiver. All fees are per service. Two defendants equal two services, even if they are at the same address.

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Out of State Services

All documents must be accompanied by a Letter of Instruction, signed and dated by the attorney of record or the plaintiff, if there is no attorney. The fee for service is $40.00 plus an additional $15.00 if the proof of service needs to be notarized. Checks must be made payable to “Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office”.

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Disbursement of Funds

Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedures Section 706.026, levy monies received by the Sheriff are disbursed at least once every 30 days, unless the monies were paid with cash. CA Govt. Code § 26746 provides for the Sheriff a $12.00 assessment to be collected from the judgment debtor on each disbursement of money paid to a judgment creditor.

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Sheriff's Fees

Any document(s) if the recipient is incarcerated in Contra Costa County


Any document(s) with a Certified Copy of a Fee Waiver-CA only


Any seizure of personal property pursuant to writ of attachment, execution, or sale

$100.00 and up

Automobile levy

$1,000.00 and up

Bench Warrants (must come directly from the court)


Writ of Possession ~ Claim and Delivery

$100.00 and up

Criminal Subpoena or Duces Tecum

No fee

Evictions (Writ of Possession - Real Property)


Evictions - Reposting of Eviction Notice


Keeper Levy - 8 hour to seize cash of a going business


Keeper Levy - 48 hour to seize personal property of a going business

(plus added costs)

Real Property Levy ~$800 initial deposit. Approximately, $1,800 or more, additional will be required after 4 months to publish and notice real property sale

(initial deposit)

Seize and sell levy

$100.00 and up

Temporary Restraining Orders
(Civil Harassment, Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse)

(No fee with fee waiver)

Till Tap


Wage Garnishment


Writ of Attachment

$100.00and up

Writ of Possession of Personal Property after judgment

$100.00and up

Writ of Sale (personal property)

$100.00 and up

Bank Levy


Out of State Service

$40 + $15 Notary Fee

Opening Safe Deposit Box


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The Sheriff is entitled to fees whether or not the service is completed.  We cannot guarantee that our service will always be successful (CA Govt. Code § 26736 & 26738).  All fees will be paid prior to performing any service (CA Govt. Code § 6103.2).

Legal Advice

The Sheriff cannot give out personal or legal advice or answer any questions which are legal in nature. If you have a legal question, please contact an attorney.

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