The Essex County Sheriff's Department Civil Process Division

Common law dictates that the Sheriff's are the highest law enforcement officer within the county and Sheriff Frank G. Cousins, Jr. is committed to excellence and works diligently to maintain a highly trained and professional staff.

In 1997 Sheriff Cousins established the first Civil Process Division in the history of the Essex County Sheriff's Department. This reform was implemented to maximize the accountability of civil process. Prior to the establishment of the Civil Process Division it was operated as a private entity through a myriad of firms which had no accountability to the Sheriff's Department. The result of Sheriff Cousins' decision to reform and bring accountability to civil process has been obvious and revenue now generated sustains civil process and funds capital improvements and equipment thus saving the tax payers of the Commonwealth thousands of dollars annually.



Mission statement

The Essex County Sheriff's Department Division of Civil Process is dedicated to the service of writs throughout the thirty four cities and towns of Essex County. The men and women of civil process strive to deliver process in an efficient and professional manner. Our goal is to serve the courts orders in a consistent and respectful way that the citizens of Essex County expect.


What is civil process?

Civil process is the service of court orders issued from the daily activity of our Superior, District, Probate and Housing Courts. Each service is mandated by law to be served by a deputy sheriff or constable. A constable may only serve process in the city or town they are appointed or elected. A sworn deputy sheriff is authorized to serve process in all thirty four cities and towns of Essex County.


The advantages of using the Essex County Sheriff's Department Division of Civil Process are obvious.

  • Highly Trained Profession Deputies
  • Authority to serve process throughout Essex County
  • Same Day Service
  • Full Time Office Staff to Assist All Of Your Needs
  • Enforcement Unit
  • Sheriff's Sales On Seized Assets
  • Direct communications with local departments
  • Office locations in Salem and Lawrence


A fee schedule is associated with the service of writs. It can cost as little as twenty dollars or as much as five hundred dollars depending on the type of service requested. A portion of all fees collected results in an annual payment to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.




Notice to Quit

  • Notice to Show Cause
  • Summons
  • Capias Arrest
  • Evictions
  • Executions
  • Levy's
  • Peace Keepers
  • Sheriff's Sales
  • Search Warrants
  • Domestic Restraining Orders
  • Witness Subpoenas
  • Writ of Attachments

For a complete list of fees and services please call the Salem or Lawrence Offices.

Harrison L. Whitney Jr. Robyn M. Clarke
Director Assistant Director
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