Roles & Responsibilities
The constable is elected to a four-year term and is an officer of the Justice Court and a peace officer, according to state law. This office serves judicial process for the lower courts. Services include summonses, subpoenas, writs of execution, writs of restitution, writs of garnishment, orders of protection, injunctions against harassment, court orders, and the execution of arrest warrants. The constable attends both civil and criminal Justice Court hearings when requested to do so and also provides security for Justice Court.
The office is comprised of three sections:
- Administration handles the accounting, clerical, correspondence, and record keeping for the department.
- The Civil Division is responsible for the service of civil summonses, complaints, and subpoenas.
- The Criminal Division serves both the County Attorney's Office (subpoenas for preliminary hearings and trials) and the Justice Court (court orders and warrants).
What the Constable Needs to Serve Documents
All original documents provided to the constable will be returned to the court for appropriate filing. The cost for service will be included on the "return of service."
- Criminal and civil subpoenas - Original subpoena and two copies
- Orders of protection and injunctions against harassment - Original and two copies; constable will provide copies to the associated law enforcement agencies as necessary
- Summonses and complaints in forcible detainers and special detainers - Original and two copies of the summons and two copies of the complaint
- Writs of restitution - Original and one copy of the writ along with a copy of the underlying judgment
- Orders to show cause - Original and two copies
- Notices of hearings - Original and two copies
- Summonses - Original and two copies
- Summonses and complaints - original and one copy of the summons and one copy of the complaint
- Writs of garnishment and summons - Probably the most difficult paper to prepare for proper service; the constable needs:
- The original writ with two copies and summons with two copies
- One copy of the underlying judgment
- Four copies of the garnishee's answer form
- Two copies of the second notice to judgment debtor of garnishment
- Two copies of second hearing request and notice of hearing on garnishment
- Two copies of the instructions to garnishee
- Four copies of the garnishee's non-exempt earnings statement
- Four copies of hearing request of hearing on garnishment earnings statement
- Writs of replevin and writs of attachment - The original writ and two copies must be accompanied by a bond equal to twice the amount of the value of the property being seized
- Writs of general execution and writs of special execution - Original writ and two copies along with a copy of the underlying judgment