This section, comprised of civil deputies, is responsible for serving and enforcing civil processes issued by the courts to include Summons, Petitions, Subpoenas, Real and Personal Property Executions, Orders of Seizure, Attachment Orders, Warrants of Eviction, Orders of Protection, and Civil Arrest Warrants.
Some examples of their duties include serving and enforcing the following:
- Family Court actions: Support Proceedings, Paternity Proceedings, Custody Proceedings, and Orders of Protection
- Property Executions: real and personal property is seized and sold to satisfy money judgments
- Orders of Protection: issued as a result of proceedings involving child support, paternity, juvenile delinquency, custody, and marital disputes in Family Court (a Civil Court)
- Income Executions: deduction from wages to pay a debt
- Warrants of Eviction: an order of the court directing the landlord be placed in full possession of their property and supervising the actual removal and placement of the tenant’s personal property off the premises (The Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Division is the primary agency in Onondaga County to serve and enforce these warrants.)
The intent of process serving is to give notice of the commencement of a legal action or proceeding. Failure to give notice could impair or prejudice someone’s rights. The methods of serving are personal delivery (delivering to a person of suitable age and discretion), nail /attaching a process to the door/ mail, or a court-ordered alternative. (Variations exist when serving infants, partnerships, and corporations.)
A Warrant of Eviction along with required fees should be delivered to, or mailed, to:
Civil Process Division
407 South State Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
Landlords: The landlord will be asked to provide information regarding the tenant. A deputy will be assigned to the case and will attempt to locate and serve the tenant with the Warrant of Eviction. The tenant will also be served with a Notice of Eviction which indicates the date they need to vacate the premises by. As per RPAPL 749, the tenant is allowed 14 calendar days from the date of service to vacate. Once the Warrant of Eviction is served, the deputy will notify the landlord or their representative once service has been completed. After the expiration of the 14 day period, the landlord or their representative should call the Sheriff’s evictions line at 315-435-3060, option 1 in order to schedule a date and time for the enforcement of the eviction warrant. You may also contact the Sheriff’s Office about your eviction proceeding via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
At that time, the landlord will be expected to provide the personnel and equipment necessary to remove the tenant’s personal property from the premises and placed into a storage facility. At the time of completion of the enforcement the landlord is responsible for changing the locks. Once the tenant(s) and their property have been removed and the locks have been changed, the deputy will officially turn possession of the premises over to the landlord.
The Sheriff’s Office will allow a landlord to accept “legal possession” in lieu of full possession with a signed agreement of the parties. This agreement requires that the tenant’s personal items may be left within the premises, and locks will be changed with the tenants being removed. In these cases the landlord will be required to agree to giving the tenant reasonable access to obtain their personal property. As the landlord, you should obtain legal advice from an attorney while considering your enforcement options.
The landlord is not allowed, by law, to discontinue any essential services to a tenant for non-payment of rent. The tenant should contact the local police department or the New York State Attorney General’s Office to report the matter. A landlord who unlawfully evicts a tenant may be committing a crime designated as a class A misdemeanor as specified in RPAPL 768. In these cases a landlord may also be liable for damages for attempting to unlawfully evict a tenant.
Once a judgment has been issued by a court, a creditor may obtain an Execution. An Execution is an instrument that is used to have personal property or real property levied upon. In these cases, the property would then be sold at a public sale and the proceeds would be turned over to the Creditor to satisfy the debt. If you are a Judgment Creditor, you may want to seek legal advice from an attorney on the remedies that are available to you.
ORDERS OF PROTECTION
In Onondaga County, Family Court will send an Order of Protection to the Civil Process Division to be served on the Respondent. The Order of Protection is not enforceable until it is served, therefore; it is important to provide the court with the most up-to-date information about the Respondent so the deputies will be able to serve him/her quickly. If the respondent violates the conditions indicated in the Order of Protection after it has been served, you should contact 911 and request a police response to file a complaint. For information on how to be notified when an Order of Protection has been served please visit the New York State Sheriff’s Institute’s Order of Protection Notification System at www.sheriff-assist.org