Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
  • Civil Process:

    The Sheriff and sworn members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office are responsible for the service and execution of court orders as they are issued by a judge of a county or circuit court.  For questions pertaining to court procedures and their fees, you may contact the Hillsborough County Courts at (813) 276-8100.

    The Civil Process Section is located at 700 East Twiggs Street, Tampa, and is on the third floor.  This office is open to the public from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday with the exception of recognized holidays.  This office is responsible for the execution of court orders dealing with civil matters.

    The most common types of action taken by this unit include:

    • Writ of Replevin (The Repossession of property under civil contact.)
    • Executions (Civil Judgment)
    • Ex-parte Court Orders (Used to deliver individuals for mental evaluations.)
    • Child Custody Orders (Used to pick-up children only in child custody cases.)
    • Domestic Violence Injunctions
    • Circuit and County Civil Actions
    • Landlord & Tenant Actions
    • Mobile Home Park
    • Civil Fees & Location Information
    • Instructions For Obtaining Possession And/Or Past Due Rents

    **Further information on each of these actions is listed below.

    Writ of Replevin

    A Writ of Replevin or, more commonly known as the repossession of property, is a legal court order issued by a judge as the result of a lawsuit filed in county or circuit court.  In cases involving the amount of $15,000 or less, the action is filed in county court and, in many cases, can be conducted without the aid of an attorney speaking on behalf of the complaining party.

    Cases involving amounts over $15,000 must be filed in circuit court and you must have an attorney represent you.

    Civil actions for a Writ of Replevin can be filed with the courts in one of two methods.  The first is known as a "Prejudgment Writ of Replevin" and in this instance, the court order states that the property will be returned to the plaintiff prior to the actual court hearing.  In such cases, the plaintiff must post a surety bond and the judge will issue an order to the court for issuance of the Writ of Bond and the judge will issue an order to the court for issuance of the Writ of Replevin.  Then the court will issue the summons and writ to the defendant.  In a case of this type, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Civil Process Section and a deputy sheriff will attempt to pick up the property for the plaintiff.

    In the second method, no prejudgment order is issued and the property remains in the possession of the defendant.  In these cases, the defendant is issued a summons for a hearing before a judge and that summons is served on the defendant by a deputy sheriff.  After the hearing, the judge will determine if a Writ of Replevin will be issued.

    In some instances, you may ask the judge to issue what is known as a "Break Order."  Judges will consider requests for such actions when it is believed that a defendant is in fact attempting to hide or damage the property.

    Fees charged by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Include:
    • $40 - For each person served with a Summons or Replevin
    • $50 - For the Writ of Replevin itself
    • $150 - Deposit for a "Break Order" and/or inventory if necessary. (overtime fees may be required)

    Sheriff's Levy (Execution)

    An "Execution " or what was once known as a "Writ of Execution" is issued by the court and is processed with the Sheriff of Hillsborough Court.

    This order gives the Sheriff the authority to "Levy" against property belonging to the judgment debtor for a plaintiff who is seeking to recover financial damages is awarded in connection with a lawsuit.
    In this type of action, the plaintiff must wait ten days after the judgment date, before returning to the court and obtaining the "Execution."  This ten day period allows the judgment debtor time to satisfy with the court or plaintiff before an execution is issued.

    Once the "Execution" is issued by the court, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to identify the property to be levied.  The "Execution" is taken to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Civil Process Section to be processed along with the instruction for levy; naming what property is to be levied upon and where the property is located, an other required paperwork and deposit, a deputy sheriff will then attempt to pick up the property and it will be held for sale.

    Property picked up in this manner is advertised in a weekly newspaper for a period of four weeks.  If the claim is not paid to the plaintiff or Sheriff in satisfaction of the judgment plus all cost incurred and interest, the property is then sold to the highest bidder with funds being used to cover the cost of the process and the balance is applied to the oldest judgment lien file/recorded with the Florida Department of State or the Clerk of Court.

    The judgment debtor does have the option of abating this process at anytime by paying the stated amount in the execution along with the interest and cost incurred.

    Deposits collected by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office include:
    • $5,250 - For a normal size vehicle or boat.
    • $7,000 - For a large vehicle, boat or semi truck.
    • $1,000 - For levy against a business (minimum) and can be increased in amounts of $1,000.
    • $500 - For real estate (per parcel).
    • $300 - Stocks and Bonds

    Ex-parte Order

    An Ex-parte Order is a legal document issued by a judge of the Mental Health Court directing the Sheriff and/or his deputies to take a specific individual into custody and deliver them to a designated mental health facility for evaluation.  Request for such an evaluation can be initiated by anyone, but in most cases will be done by a family member and/or friends who are familiar with the circumstances of the person to be evaluated.

    After reviewing the petition submitted to the court, the judge will  sign an order (good for 15 days) to have the named individual taken into custody.  The signed order is then delivered to the Civil Process Section of the Sheriff's Office and a deputy will then attempt to pick up the individual.

    Fees charged by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office include:
    • $0.00 - There is no fee associated with this service.

    Child Custody Orders

    Court Orders to take a child into custody may be in one of three forms and the action which will be taken will be governed based upon the location of origin of the original court order.  The process of each of these actions is listed separately below.  After the below requirements are satisfied, a Deputy will then attempt to pick up the child and deliver them in accordance with the directions in the court order. 

    A fee of $40 is charged for each individual to be served.

    • INSTATE: (Florida - Out of County) If the order is issued by a judge in a Florida county other than Hillsborough County, a certified copy of the order, plus one copy for each person to be served, should be brought to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Civil Process Section for service.
    • INSTATE: (Within Hillsborough County) If the order is issued by a Hillsborough County Judge, you must have the attorney of record file the order.  After the judge signs the order, a certified copy of the order, plus one copy for each person to be served, should be delivered to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Civil Process Section for service.
    • OUT OF STATE: In cases where the court order is issued by a judge in a jurisdiction outside the State of Florida, the petitioner must have an attorney file  certified copy of the out of state order with any circuit court within the State of Florida.  Normally this will be done in the county where the child or children are located.  After a Florida judge reviews the out of state order and he does concur with the order, he will then issue a Florida order.  When the Florida order is issued, a certified copy of the court order, plus one copy for each person to be served, should be delivered to the Civil Process Section for service.
    For Additional Information Please Contact:
    Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    Civil Process Section
    700 East Twiggs Street, 3rd Floor
    Tampa, Florida 33602
    Phone: (813) 242-5200

    Domestic Violence Injunctions:

    What does the law say?

    If you are the victim of Domestic Violence, you may ask the State Attorney to file a criminal complaint.  You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence and the injunction may include, but need not be limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse; direct the abuser to leave your household; prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment; award you custody of minor children; and direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.

    Can this law help you?

    Yes...If this family member - or former family member - has abused you physically, or if you have good reason to fear that this person is about to be violent toward you.  This special law in Florida enables you to get a judge to order the abuser to STOP hurting you.
    The paper that starts the process in called a "Petition of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence."  This petition explains your story to the judge, telling the judge who you need protection from and exactly what protection you need.
    What can the judge do for me?
    After you file your petition, the judge can sign a Temporary Injunction.  The order will tell the abuser that he/she can no longer be violent toward you.   A Temporary Injunction can be obtained on the same day you file your Petition, and can be issued without a hearing or without the abuser knowing first.  A Temporary Injunction lasts for a stated period of time not to exceed 15 days and is given to you by the judge when you are in immediate danger of being hurt.  A copy of the Temporary Injunction has to be served on the abuser advising him/her of the hearing date and the restrictions.
    A Permanent Injunction can go into effect after your Temporary Injunction hearing.  This injunction is for a stated period of time or can be permanent.

    What does the injunction do?

    • Some times the judge MAY order in the Injunction are:
    • That the abuser may not commit any more acts of violence;
    • That the abuser leave the home you share;
    • That the abuser stay away from your home if you are not living together;
    • That you have temporary custody of any children you and the abuser have together;
    • That the abuser go to counseling.
    • That the abused cannot possess firearms or ammunition.
    The judge can order other relief also, depending upon the circumstances.  This is why the contents of the Petition and your attendance at all hearings is so important - so that you can tell the judge what you need and why you need it.

    What if the abuse or threats happen again?

    If the abuser disobeys the Injunction and threatens or physically abuses you again, call the police or Sheriff's Office and show them the certified copy of the Injunction for Protection.  In some cases the Deputy will arrest the abuser.  If the Deputy does not arrest the abuser, you can file a Motion for Contempt at the courthouse where the petition was originally filed.

    How can I get an Injunction for Protection?

    Go to the courthouse in your county.  Bring proper identification and any papers related to your case.  Tell the clerk that you need an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence.  Tell the clerk all the facts of the case, and the different items you want the judge to order.   If you are upset and have questions, or if you need a safe place to stay, contact the domestic violence center nearest you.  For assistance in Hillsborough County, you may contact "The Spring of Tampa Bay, Inc." at (813) 247-7233.

    Landlord Tenant Actions:

    Before you file your eviction action, please check Clerk of Circuit  & County Court for procedures and forms.
    • After the Sheriff serves the tenant, the tenant has five working days to file a response reading the possession of the premises.  (Do not count the day of service, Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays).  Fees associated with service: $40 per person.
    • If a judgment for possession is signed, the landlord can request that the Clerk issue a Writ of Possession.  After the writ is issued, the landlord takes the writ to the Sheriff's Office to be served.  After service of the writ the tenant has 24 hours to vacate the premises.  If the tenant does not vacate, the landlord may request that the Sheriff return. Fees associated for service and execution: $90, plus $40 for each additional person.

    Instructions For Obtaining Possession And/Or Past Due Rents

    *COUNT I - JUDGMENT FOR POSSESSION:  See Clerk of Circuit & County Courts
    **COUNT II - Judgment For Past Due Rent: See Clerk of Circuit & County Courts

    Mobile Home Park Part III (F.S. 723)

    This section applies to Mobile Home Parks with 10 or more spaces, where spaces and/or lots only, are offered for rent or lease for the placement of mobile homes.  Please consult this statute for notice to be given. 

    In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in this function should contact the County Civil Court no later than one (1) day prior to the function at (813)276-8100.

    For Additional Information Please Contact:
    County Court Civil Division
    800 Twiggs St.
    First Floor
    Tampa, Florida 33602
    Phone (813) 276-2029 ext. 4362


    Schedule of Fees Effective July 1, 2009

    All Summons or Writs for Service $40.00 (per person)
    Writ Requiring Seizure or Levy in Addition to the Service Fee $50.00
    Subpoenas $40.00
    Writ of Possession $90.00 ($40 per person & $50 execution fee)
    Executions Processing $40.00
    Levy Seizure $50.00
    Advertising Sale $40.00
    Sale Under Process $40.00
    Bill of Sale or Deed $40.00
    Certified Letter Actual Cost of Mailing
    Satisfaction of Judgment $40.00

    Alias and Pluries fees are now charged as the type of service listed above.

    Costs for Out of State Process Under Chapter 48.195 (3) F.S. (1979)

    Out of State fees: (Chapter 48.195 (3) F.S. (1979):
    $70.00 Per Service
    Our office will attempt service per your request. If we are unable to comply, we will serve according to our state statute.

    All fees shall be non-refundable per F.S. 30.231 (1)

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