Civil process is defined as "the writ or mandate that serves as the means used for bringing a defendant to court to answer in an action or proceeding, civil or criminal." It is the responsibility of the sheriff's department to serve or execute according to law, all processes, writs, precepts, and orders issued or made by lawful authority according to Wisconsin State Statute 59.27 (4).

In a broader sense, any writ, order, notice, summons, subpoena or other document by which a court exercises its jurisdiction over the parties or subject matter of any action or proceeding, is called a process.

Only papers to be served within Jackson County will be accepted for service; (exception being a copy of a restraining order (TRO) or injunction to be served out of county if filed in Jackson County; copy needs to be entered and filed in the Jackson County Communication Center (911). Service of papers is generally attempted the next business day after received by our office.

Civil Process Fees

Fees may be found by clicking on the above link. If you would like to email civil process paperwork for service you may do so.  Please send paperwork for process service to civilprocess@jacksoncountywi.gov We will process in our normal business time frames and return your proof of service along with an invoice for our charges to you via email. We also mail a paper copy if you prefer to the mailing address you provide. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email or phone at 715-284-9009.

FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I obtain legal forms necessary to bring a case to court?

Most forms are obtained from the Clerk of Courts Office located in the courthouse or on their website. Most forms are free, but there are filing fees.

I have papers to serve on a person. Where do I bring them?

Papers can be brought to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office; 30 N 3rd Street; Black River Falls, WI 54615.  Private process service can be used as well for most papers to be served. You can check the yellow pages of the phone book under “Process Servers” for listings in the area. Note that process servers generally have service hours and costs that differ from the Sheriff’s Office ,so it’s best to contact them directly if you decide to use someone else.

How many copies do I bring with me?

Two copies: One for each person/company to be served (authenticated or one with an official court stamp) and one extra copy for the Sheriff to use and return back with the affidavits of service attached. Some papers served do not need to be authenticated so if you aren’t sure you may need to contact Civil Process.

Can you help me fill out my court papers?

No. The Sheriff's Office will only check papers to make sure they are legible (readable) and accurate.

Can I call someone with a legal question?

The Sheriff's Office is not allowed to give legal advice of any kind whatsoever. You may contact an attorney for legal advice.

Can you go to the person's workplace and serve them the papers there?

Many employers request that we do not come to their company for the purpose of serving papers. Serving papers at a company often results in loss of production for the company. The person receiving the papers may become emotional, and the company may not have the resources to deal with this type of situation. Additionally, the actual job site that the employee is at may be different from the company's headquarters, and locating the employee may be difficult. If it is possible to get service at the workplace and it is allowed, it may be served there. In some cases, you may only know the work address so the deputy will attempt service if possible or try to make contact by phone.

I don't have a recent address for the person I want served papers. Will the Sheriff's Office tell me where the person lives?

No. The Sheriff's Office will not provide an address. You will need a current, physical address in order for us to attempt service.

I know the person will be at a specific location at a specific time. Can you serve them there?

We will attempt to accommodate this, but it can be very difficult to "schedule" an officer to be somewhere at a specific time. We would like to have at least a half hour time period to attempt service. (Ex: Say you know for sure the person will be home at 5p.m., you should say between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30p.m. or between 5p.m. and 7p.m. etc.)

The Aid in Serving Papers Form asks for specific information I am not sure of. What do I do?

Answer the questions as completely as you can. All information you provide helps us to serve the papers as efficiently as possible.

Why can't you give the papers to someone else when you first go to the house?

There are many types of legal papers. Some papers require "personal" service meaning the papers must be served on the person who's named on the papers. Other papers can be given (substitute service) to someone else at the residence (at least fourteen years of age). Speak with someone in the Civil Process Unit if you have further questions.

Why can't you put the papers in the mailbox or between the doors?

We do not mail them or leave them in a mailbox or in between the doors because the statutes require papers to be served on a person. If this can’t be accomplished after three diligent attempts of service, then a no-found of service is returned back with the papers.

Time Requirements

Writs of Restitution

A writ of restitution is valid for 30 days from issuance, but is only valid for 10 days from the posting/receiving date (weekends/holidays excluded).

Garnishment

A garnishment summons and complaint shall be served on the garnishee defendant in conformity with the standard procedure for a small claims action or a large claims action, whichever is applicable. Notice of such service or a copy of the garnishee summons and complaint, together with the complaint in the principle action, shall be served on the principal defendant, no later than ten (10) business days after service on the garnishee defendant.

Large claims action

The paper must be served within ninety (90) days of filing and must be over five-thousand dollars ($5,000.00).

Replevin

As a small claims action: The paper must be served eight (8) business days before the court date. The return date for the summons served must be no less than eight (8) business days from the issue date and no more than thirty (30) days from the issue date.

As a large claims action: The paper must be served within ninety (90) days of filing.

Restraining orders

Unless otherwise specified, they can be served right up to the time of the hearing.

Small claims action

General - A small claims action must be served at least eight (8) business days before the date the party must appear. The date of appearance shall be no less than eight (8) business days from the issue date and no more than thirty (30) days from the issue date.


Executions/Evictions

General Information

The following information is offered as a summary of the statutes on executions. It is not intended to be a legal guide, but merely informational.

Procedure – Execution on Writ of Restitution

Pursuant to sec. 799.45(3)(am), Stats., a plaintiff in an eviction action may remove and dispose of a tenant's property as follows:

  1. Notify the Sheriff not later than the date on which the Sheriff executes the writ of restitution of the address of the premises where the defendant's property will be stored.
  2. Notify the Sheriff not later than the date on which the Sheriff executes the writ of restitution of the name, address and telephone number of the person the defendant may contact to obtain possession of the property.
  3. Exercise ordinary care in removing the property from the premises an in the handling and storage of all property removed from the premises.
  4. Have warehouse or other receipts issued with respect to the property stored under this paragraph issued in the name of the defendant.
  5. Obtain a bond to pay the defendant and indemnify the County for any damages to the property removed from the premises that is handled or stored with less than ordinary care.
  6. Impose charges for the removal and storage of the property removed from the premises that do not exceed the rate determined by the Sheriff to be the average rate for such services available in the county.
  7. Within three (3) days of the removal of the property, notify the defendant under sub, (4) of the charges imposed under subd. 6 and of any receipt or other document required to obtain possession of the property.

The plaintiff must provide either (a) an originally certificate of insurance referring to an endorsement on its insurance policy which adds the County of Jackson as additional insured for purposes of coverage under s, 799.45(3)(am)5 Stats.; or (2) an original $5,000 bond to meet the requirements of s. 799.45(3)(am)5., Stats. to the Clerk of Courts office prior to execution on the Writ. Copies of certificates of insurance should be forwarded to The original should be file stamped and entered on the court record as "SBPS" (surety bond posted/signed) and placed in the court file. If a judge orders a bond amount, it would be entered as "SBS" (surety bond set).

Clerk of Courts staff should provide the plaintiff with a certified copy to take to the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office must be notified by the plaintiff on the day the writ is delivered to them that the plaintiff will remove the property themselves. If not advised on that day to the contrary, the Sheriff's Office will proceed to arrange for the removal of the property.