Civil Division

Please note, generally, any person 18 years of age, or older, who is not a party to the action may serve process. Alternatively, a registered process server may be helpful in serving process for a fee. For legal advice, please contact an attorney. If you need legal information, or have general questions about the service of process, you may wish to contact one of the following resources:

Self Help Assistance/Referral Program (SHARP)
 Both Butte County Courthouses
 Phone: 530-532-7015

Oroville Law Library
 1675 Montgomery Street
 Oroville, CA 95965
 Phone: 530-538-7122

Payment of Fees for Services

We accept check, cash or money order only, no debit or credit cards).

Process & Notices

The Sheriff is generally required to serve all process and notices in the manner prescribed by law (Government Code (Govt. C) 26608). The California law governing the duties of the Sheriff is widely disseminated as the duties themselves are varied. References to the obligations of the office are found in three different sections of the State Constitution, in almost all of the California codes, in all county charters, and in hundreds of court decisions.

The Sheriff is a county officer (Govt. C 24000b). He is obligated to obey orders of the courts of the state of California and to serve process and notices delivered to him for service. The Sheriff is under a duty to return the process or notice "without delay". The officer is not under a duty to serve process the instant he receives it, but he is required to do so with reasonable speed and diligence. What constitutes reasonable diligence varies with the circumstances of the case.

Process includes a writ or summons issued in the course of judicial proceedings of either a civil or criminal nature. Process also includes all writs, warrants, summons, and orders of court of justice, or judicial officers. Notice includes all papers and orders required to be served in any proceedings. Examples of these are:

  • Application and Order for Appearance and Examination
  • Order to Show Cause
  • Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Defendant
  • Request for Order
  • Subpoenas
  • Summons and Complaint
  • Summons and Petition

The Civil Division provides this service to the public as well as collects and disburses money on levies, earnings withholding orders, third party levies, till taps, keeper levies, and automobile levies. Levying Officer means the Sheriff or marshal (CCP 680.260). In addition to the process to be served, the Sheriff is entitled to receive written instructions signed by the party requesting service or his attorney, and a deposit of monies sufficient to prepay his fees and expenses (CCP 262, CCP 262.1).

Our website is intended to provide helpful information, inform you of our policies and procedures, and Sheriff's instructions forms for most of our civil process service and enforcement actions. If you have questions about the processes the Sheriff serves, please contact us. This site is for information purposes only and not legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you have a legal question and need legal advice.

Our Process for Service

The Civil Division of the Butte County Sheriff's Office will attempt to process and serve your documents in a timely manner. Note: Service is not guaranteed, date and time of service is not guaranteed. Productivity of a levy is not guaranteed.

  • We cannot provide any legal advice
  • It is our policy to issue a receipt when cash is received; if you pay by check, the Proof of Service will be your receipt
  • We make 2 to 3 attempts of service, Monday through Friday during business hours (excluding holidays)
  • We shred all unserved documents

Proof of Service

For All General Services / Real Property Sales Notices

Per CCP 262, a Letter of Instruction must accompany all service requests. If you are not using our generic fill-in form, the following 4 items are required:

  • Addressed to Butte County Sheriff
  • Name(s) and complete address(s) [include city, state, and zip] of person(s) to be served; please list name as it appears on the court documents
  • Name/List of document(s) to be served
  • Signed (Original "wet" signature) by Plaintiff or the Attorney for Plaintiff (if you have one), including requestor address and daytime phone number

You may also provide us with any additional information you have, i.e.:

  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Description:
    • Hair color
    • Eye color
    • Height
    • Weight
  • Vehicle information
    • Color
    • Year
    • Make
    • Model

On Writ of Execution Processes (Bank Levy or Wage Garnishment)

A Proof of Service is not issued. For a Wage Garnishment, we send a copy of the Employer's Return form to the Attorney/Creditor. When the Bank returns the Memorandum of Garnishee, it is forwarded to the Attorney/Creditor.

At the end of a Wage Garnishment or Bank Levy Process, we prepare a Return to Court/Writ of Execution detailing the Sheriff's actions. The Original Return and Writ are sent to the Court who issued the Writ. A copy is mailed to the Attorney/Creditor.

Changes Required for All Writs - Effective January 01, 2011

Per CCP 712.020(h) and CCP 699.520(k), all writs must state whether the case is "limited" or "unlimited".