The Monroe County Sheriff's Civil Bureau is an agency that aggressively seeks and develops partnerships with the community to satisfy their need for delivery of quality enforcement and service of process.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Civil Bureau is the agency of choice for quality enforcement and service of process.
Area of Responsibility
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office Civil Bureau is the sole entity in Monroe County that has jurisdiction in all Monroe County Courts. As such, we have statutory authority to act as the enforcement officer for all court within the County of Monroe.
Our responsibilities fall within two distinct areas; the Service of Process and Enforcement. The service of process could include but is not limited to the service of summons, subpoena’s, petitions and orders. Executions could include, but are not limited to Evictions, Income Executions, Property Executions, Seizures, and Warrants of Civil Arrest.
Fee’s for services are due in advance. A current fee schedule is attached at the end of this document, but it is advisable that for any complicated service, a call is made to our office for costs. Certain services call for escrow or deposits to cover storage, towing, or unforeseen expenses. This is not detailed on the fee schedule, so if you believe these fees may be applicable, a call to our office is required. Mileage is based on round trip miles, and service fees are based on each person served.
All work is based on the information you provide, so the more accurate, detailed and copious the information, the more likely we are to succeed. A Post Office box is not an acceptable address, as we can not serve a P.O. box. Any information regarding officer safety issues, the elderly or infants, dogs, etc. must be conveyed when the work is delivered. Your work will be carried out by highly trained professional staff, with customer service a reinforced theme. All deputies are highly trained and motivated, and are Police Certified. Our hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Fridays 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Our office location is 65 West Broad Street, Suite 300, Rochester, N.Y. We can be reached during business hours at (585) 753-4320 and our fax number is (585) 753-4288.
Below, you will find a general explanation of some of the work we do. By no means is it all encompassing or viewed as legal advice. The Sheriff’s Office can not give legal advice, and as such, we highly advise you to seek competent legal counsel for any civil action.
In general, the purpose of an execution is to enforce a creditor’s money judgement. The type of property possessed by the judgement debtor and sought by the judgement creditor will determine the type of execution used. In general, executions fall into two categories, Income Executions and Property Executions.
In the case of Property Executions, the judgement debtor’s assets are seized and applied to the debt. If the property is tangible, this is done via a Sheriff’s sale, with the proceeds applied to the debt. With non-tangible property (bank accounts, rents etc.), the money is applied directly. It is worthy to note that the purchaser of any said property buys the debtor “interest” in the property. This means the property, as well as the lien or loan balance is transferred to the purchaser as well. The interest sold is then subject to the lien, transferred to the purchaser. For practical implications, this is noteworthy. If the loan and or lien is close to or greater then the value of the property, little or no interest will be garnered at the sale, thus this process would not be financially practical for the judgement creditor.
Regardless of the type of execution used, certain common rules must be followed. The full names and addresses for judgement debtors and garnishees must be provided. The assets must be properly identified in a manner that the Sheriff can accurately verify it. Proof of the debtor’s interest in the property must be provided to the Sheriff. Any disputes over ownership must be resolved by judicial means. The Sheriff does not make this determination, nor take either party’s “word” for it. The Sheriff is viewed as a neutral third party, enforcing court orders. In no case will the Sheriff be expected to conduct asset or address searches. Everything must be documented in writing. Monies obtained are first applied to all fee’s, poundage and interest before being applied to principle debt. All executions must be signed by the clerk of the Court where the judgement was entered, the County Clerk of the home county, or a New York State licensed attorney.
For all actions, it is highly recommended that all litigants obtain competent legal counsel. While some types of executions may seem straight forward, others are very intricate and complicated. The Sheriff can not give legal advice. If the judgement debtor or a garnishee refuses to transfer the requested property, it is up to the Judgement Creditor to bring forth the appropriate Court action compelling such transfer, not the Sheriff.
Income Executions, CPLR 5231
This instrument, commonly referred to as a wage garnishment, is used to satisfy a money judgment from the debtor’s earnings. This is done in two separate stages after you obtain a judgment in court.
At stage one, the income execution is served by the Sheriff on the debtor, who is directed to start making voluntary payments to the Sheriff’s Office within 20 days of receiving the execution. The Sheriff within the county that the debtor lives must complete this stage. The creditor must have a correct home address for the debtor. Post Office boxes will not suffice.
If the debtor fails to make the required payments within the 20-day window, second stage is initiated. The Sheriff in the County of the employment serves the execution on the debtor’s employer, who will then deduct a percent of the debtor’s earnings during each pay period. This money will then be remitted to the Sheriff, who applies it against poundage, fees, interest and principal.
If the judgment is obtained in a lower court (Justice Court), and either first or second stage is in a County other then the County of the lower court, you must first obtain a transcript of the judgment from the lower court, and file it with the County Clerk’s Office in the County the judgement was obtained. This will elevate the judgement to a Supreme Court level, thus making it enforceable throughout New York State. When using this method, you must reference the transcript. It is both acceptable and common that different Sheriff’s handle first and second stage.
All executions must be signed by the Clerk of the Court, the County Clerk in the originating County, or a New York State licensed attorney. Pro Se clients can not sign an execution. It is imperative that accurate addresses and places of employment are provided, as they are unenforceable if accurate information is not provided. If a Sheriff from one County has enforcement action on the judgement and the case is then transferred to another Sheriff, the original Sheriff must indorse the Judgement and the proper balance/interest must be applied. It is worthy to note that the debtor may be exempt from wage deductions based on a variety of things such as but not limited to child support payments or income level.
Property Execution, CPLR Article 52
The property execution is an instrument whereby a judgement creditor “can stand in the shoes” of a judgement debtor. The judgement creditor has obtained a judgement from a court, and looks to obtain property, either tangible or non-tangible, of the judgement debtor to satisfy the debt. The type of property the judgement debtor has and the judgement creditor would like to obtain dictates the method or type of property execution utilized.
If the property is tangible such as a motor vehicle, machinery or other valuable items capable of delivery, the Sheriff will make a demand for said property, seize it, and sell it at public auction, commonly referred to as a Sheriff’s distress sale. The proceeds will then be used to pay the cost of the seizure (fee’s, towing, storage, etc.), poundage, with the remaining monies applied to the debt. The judgement creditor must provide the names and addresses of any and all parties holding a lien on the property, as well as the status and outstanding balance of said liens. This information must be provided in writing.
If the property is non-tangible such as a bank account or monies expected (rent or payments for services), it is referred to as a Third Party property execution. In this case, the third party, the individual or entity holding the judgement debtor’s property, will be directed by the Sheriff to turn this property over to the Sheriff for satisfaction of the debt. The third party is referred to as the garnishee, similar to an employer in an income execution. Please note, if the property is to be received in installments (rents), in it is unlikely the debt will be satisfied during the life of the execution (90 days), you must take the appropriate steps to extend the life of the execution.
If the property is considered real estate (land, buildings, manufactured homes, condominiums, etc.), a Real Property execution must be utilized. Again, the property is seized by the Sheriff and sold at a Sheriff’s sale (after a court order is obtained). The real property must lie, in part or in whole, within the County of the Sheriff conducting the execution. The judgement must be transcribed in that County. If the property is a primary residence of the debtor and the debtor is a natural person, the homestead exemption may apply, and must be researched. If the judgement arose from an instrument secured by the mortgage on the targeted property, neither CPLR 5230(a) or 5236(a) can be used. A judgement lien must be placed against the property within the last ten (10) years. Docketing the money judgement against the property with the County Clerk in the County where the property lies does this.
Evictions are generally viewed as a two-part process. The first part may or may not involve the Sheriff in part or in whole. The first part generally is viewed as putting the inhabitant on notice with the opportunity to challenge the proceeding. The second stage is the enforcement of the judgement, or in this case, the warrant of eviction. Within evictions, there are two types. Evictions for non-payment of rents are the most common. Evictions for all other reasons are called holdovers. An example of this could be a piece of real property that is sold. The new owner wants the inhabitants removed so they can take physical possession. When handling these, the main difference is that the holdover eviction requires a 30-day notice rather then a 3-day notice.
The first step is the three-day notice (or 30-day notice for holdovers) for non-payment. This can be served by the landlord on the renter. The second step is the 30-day notice to vacate. These two steps are often served at the same time. The third step is the Notice of Petition and Petition for Non-Payment. The landlord can NOT serve this. These petitions must be served no less then 5 days and no more then 12 days from the court date. This allows the renter due process, a fundamental right under the U.S. constitution. Proof of service must be filed with the court within three days of service.
Once judgement is passed in your favor, the Judge will issue a Warrant of Eviction. This is a Court order that directs the enforcement officer to put a landlord in full possession of a particular property, and to remove all persons and personal property that are blocking his right to his real property. Please note, the judgement alone is not sufficient for the Sheriff to act upon. The actual Warrant of Eviction must be provided and it must specifically address the Sheriff as the enforcement officer.
Once the Warrant of Eviction is delivered to the Sheriff, he will produce the Notice of Eviction. This is the Sheriff’s notice whereby he informs the renter of the date and time the eviction is to commence. The Sheriff must serve this and the warrant of eviction on the renter, and at least 72 hours notice needs be given prior to the eviction.
All warrants of evictions must be conducted between sunrise and sunset. Prior arrangements need to be made by the landlord for locksmiths and moving companies at the time of the eviction. The eviction can not be considered perfected until all people and personal property are removed from said premises. Personal property must be stored off site, and can not be placed curbside. Reasonable care must be taken to protect the property. This protects all parties involved. Throughout this process, the tenant has a right to his/her personal property. Denying access to this could result in the landlord being charged criminally.
Special considerations must be taken when dealing with evictions. An eviction falls under portions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, Real Property Actions and Proceedings, and the Real Property Law. If the eviction involves a mobile home, the Real Property Law can come into play. If the mobile home is in a mobile home park, and the eviction is based on the lot rent not being paid, a 30-day notice of eviction must be used. If the mobile home is in a mobile home park, and the eviction is a holdover eviction, a 90-day notice of eviction must be used. Only a court order can reduce this to a 30-day notice.