Common Court Processes
Unlawful Detainer Action | Bankruptcy | Conciliation Court | Divorce Actions | Divorce Actions-Property Dispute | Orders for Protection | Harassment Orders | Mortgage Foreclosures | Redemption of Foreclosed Property | Sale Guidelines | Sales; Lien, Foreclosure | Sale Types | Subpoenas | Summons and Complaints | Writs of Execution
This web page is a brief guide to Civil Process for the citizens of Rice County.
We have provided information which answers the most common questions received by our staff. The information presented is not comprehensive. It does not provide legal advice, nor does it attempt to suggest a course of action if there are legal issues to be resolved. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney. Our office is not permitted to provide legal advice nor can we recommend any specific attorney.
We hope this web site will be beneficial. Should you have any questions, please contact the Rice County Sheriff's Office Civil Division at 507-332-6009
An Unlawful Detainer Action is required in order to evict a tenant from rental property. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 504B regulates these actions.
There are four common reasons for evicting a tenant:
Delinquent rent payments.
Violation of lease provisions.
Failure to move after thirty (30) day written notice.
Landlord is notified by law enforcement authorities of narcotics sales or activities on the tenant's premises.
To commence an Unlawful Detainer Action the property owner (plaintiff) must file a "Complaint In Unlawful Detainer" with the Rice County Court Administrator.
When a complaint has been filed, the Court Administrator will establish a court date, issue a Summons, and provide the plaintiff with enough copies of the Summons and Complaint to serve each defendant. If the tenant has unknown parties living on the premises, the plaintiff can list John Doe, Mary Roe, etc. as additional defendants.
The Summons and Complaint must be served on each tenant/defendant no less than seven (7) days before the court date, exclusive of the court date. The service must be made by a third person who is not part of the court action. A notarized Affidavit of Service must be filed with the Court Administrator before the date of the court hearing.
The Rice County Sheriff's Office – Civil Department can serve the papers on the tenant/defendant. The original Summons, plus copies of the Summons and Complaint for the defendants should be delivered to the Rice County Sheriff's Office – Civil Department as soon as the plaintiff receives them.
If a Sheriff's Deputy does not find the defendants at home after making attempts on at least two different days, one day before 6:00 p.m. and one day after 6:00 p.m., the Deputy will post the Summons and Complaint on the door of the premises involved in the Unlawful Detainer Action.
The Deputy will complete the appropriate Affidavits and the original Summons and Affidavit will be filed with the Court Administrator's Office by the Sheriff's Office.
If a judge finds in favor of the plaintiff at the hearing, a Writ of Recovery will be authorized. This is an Order for the Sheriff to restore the premises to the plaintiff.
The Writ must be taken to the Rice County Sheriff's Office – Civil Department for service. A deputy will serve the Writ on the defendants if they are home, or it will be posted on the door of the premises. In either case, the defendants will be provided with a 24-hour notice advising that the Sheriff can remove the defendant 24 hours after the Writ is served or posted.
If the defendant fails to vacate the premises, the plaintiff must contact the Rice County Sheriff's Office - Civil Division at 507-332-6009 to schedule an eviction.
Charge for deputies to standby for evictions is $75.00 per hour.
Bankruptcy actions are filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Residents of Rice County file with the Minneapolis Office.
A bankruptcy filing will automatically stay any action to collect judgments or conduct Mortgage Foreclosure Sales. In most cases, it will automatically stop an Unlawful Detainer Action.
Following a hearing by the Bankruptcy Court, creditors may be permitted to continue their collection actions or the bankruptcy judge may permit other actions to resume.
Conciliation Court, also known as "Small Claims Court", was created to allow citizens to bring legal claims to the court without expensive costs or complicated legal procedures. Conciliation Court can accept claims for filing that are at, or below, the limit set by law. Currently the limit is $10000.
You cannot file a claim in Conciliation Court involving the title to real estate.
You may represent yourself or you may hire an attorney.
If you file a claim in Conciliation Court, you must do so in the county where the defendant resides.
For additional guidance you can phone and/or visit the District or contact the Conciliation Court office.
In a divorce action, the person seeking the divorce (petitioner) will have a Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage prepared, usually by an attorney. This must be served on the respondent personally. Substitute service is not permitted.
If the petitioner requests the Sheriff's Office to serve this process, the original Summons and a copy of the Summons and Petition for service should be presented to the Sheriff's Office.
Following service, the Sheriff's Office will return the original and an Affidavit of Service to the petitioner, who must file the documents with the Court Administrator.
The Sheriff's Office does charge for this service.
Often in divorce actions a judge will award property to one of the parties, but the other party will not release the property. The Sheriff's Office cannot force one person to turn property over to another. It would be prudent to consult an attorney in this situation.
Victims of domestic violence may seek an Order for Protection (OFP) from Family Court. It is not necessary for a victim to report the violence to the police in order to request an OFP, but the Rice County Sheriff's Office strongly recommends they do. This allows the criminal justice system to intervene in the situation.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statue 518B.01 Subd. 2(b), domestic abuse occurs to a family or household member if committed by a family or household member. Family or household member is defined as:
Spouse and former spouse
Parents and children
Persons related by blood
Persons who are currently residing together or who have resided together in the past
Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
A man or a woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship
An adult may file a Petition for an Order for Protection on behalf of any victim who is a minor, is considered vulnerable because of mental deficiency, or is of an advanced age.
Anyone seeking an OFP should contact the Rice County Court Administration at 507-332-6107. When a judge reviews the Petition and Affidavit for an OFP, the judge will determine if an Ex Parte Temporary OFP should be issued. Hearings to review the OFP are usually scheduled seven (7) days following the filing of the OFP.
After the hearing, a judge will listen to both the petitioner (the filing party) and the respondent (the person the OFP is filed against) and will determine if a long-term Order for Protection should be issued. This is generally for one or two years.
If an OFP is granted, either temporary or long-term, it will be brought to the Rice County Sheriff's Office to be served. The Sheriff's Office will arrange for service within Rice County. If the respondent lives in another county, the Rice County Sheriff's Office will fax the Order to the local Sheriff's Office.
In most cases, these Orders can be served at any time and anywhere. The domestic abuse advocate will gather as much information as possible to assist the Deputies in locating the respondent.
The Court Administrator does not charge a filing fee for this OFP, nor does the Sheriff's Office charge a fee for this service.
Victims of harassment may seek a restraining order from the court. The definition of harassment includes a single incident of physical or sexual assault. Further, gestures must either have a substantial adverse effect or be intended to have a substantial adverse effect of the safety, security, or privacy of another to be considered harassment.
If a single physical or sexual assault incident, repeated intrusive/unwanted incidents or gestures having adverse effect on safety are the basis for a harassment order, the petitioner must also allege an immediate and present danger of harassment before the court issues a temporary restraining order.
In any harassment case, reports of the incidents of harassment should be made to a local law enforcement agency. If you live in Rice County contact the Rice County dispatch center 334-4305 and a Deputy or local Officer will take a report.
To obtain a Harassment Restraining Order, it is necessary to file a Petition and Affidavit with the Court Administrator.
The petitioner must be a resident of Rice County.
Mortgage Foreclosures are legal actions taken to foreclose upon real estate, as opposed to personal property. These are covered by Minnesota Statutes Chapters 580 – 582.
Mortgage Foreclosure by Advertisement
This is the most common type of foreclosure action. It is usually based upon some default in the terms of the mortgage.
The attorney hired to conduct the foreclosure will prepare the appropriate Notice of Mortgage Foreclosure Sale, arrange for service and publication of the notice and have the Sheriff's Office conduct the sale.
Some attorneys utilize the Sheriff's Office to serve the notices while others only notify the Sheriff's Office of the sale. Since attorneys often do not involve the Sheriff's Office until the day of the sale, information may not be available if you call.
Any questions regarding a sale or arrangements to reinstate a mortgage should be directed to the attorney preparing the sale. Their telephone number is usually published with the Notice of Sale.
Mortgage Foreclosure by Action
These sales are conducted pursuant to a direct Order from a District Court Judge for the Sheriff to sell a specific parcel of real property.
The notices are prepared by the plaintiff's attorney, similar to the Mortgage Foreclosure by Advertisement, or may be prepared by the Sheriff. However, the Sheriff or a Deputy will sign the Notice of Sale. Service of the Notice of Sale is usually done by the Sheriff's Office. A posting in three public places, as well as publication in the county's legal newspapers is required by law.
In both types of Mortgage Foreclosure Sales, the sale is conducted by the Sheriff, or his designee, in an open bidding process. Sales are conducted weekdays at 10 a.m., at the Rice County Sheriff's Office Main Lobby – 118 NW 3 Street Faribault, Minnesota 55021. The mortgage company's or plaintiff's attorney will open the bid with the exact amount due at the time of the sale.
Following this bid, other bidders are given an opportunity to bid. A successful bidder must have cash or certified funds (payable to the Rice County Sheriff) available to pay the Sheriff's Office at the time of the sale.
The successful bidder will receive a Sheriff's Certificate of Sale that lists the name of the purchaser and the amount of the purchase. The Certificate of Sale is prepared by the attorney and includes documentation proving that all statutory requirements have been completed.
All mortgage foreclosure sales are subject to a redemption period, usually 6 or 12 months. The length of the redemption period is noted in the sale notice.
The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency offers information about mortgage foreclosures.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, most properties sold in a Mortgage Foreclosure action can be redeemed by the mortgagor. The published Notice of Mortgage Foreclosure Sale usually contains a paragraph indicating the length of the redemption period. In most cases, this is six months. Minnesota Statutes Chapters 580 – 582 regulate these redemptions. However, some Mortgage Foreclosures are subject to federal regulations, in which case there is no redemption period.
A Certificate of Redemption can be obtained from the Sheriff's Office of the county in which the foreclosure occurred or from the Mortgagee (lending institution).
Redemption by Mortgagor (Recorded Fee Owner)
If a mortgagor wishes to obtain a Certificate of Redemption from the Sheriff's Office, they should call 507-332-6009 or 507-332-6010 and request a Redemption Payoff. It is imperative that you contact our Office at least 7-business days prior to the anticipated redemption to confirm your intent to redeem and to obtain updated payoff information. This additional time is required for research of the recorded documents and preparation of the certificate. It will also allow time to contact the redeeming party if additional data or documents are required.
The amount of the redemption is determined by the following:
Amount bid at the foreclosure sale.
Interest accruing from the date of sale to the date of redemption. (This is computed at the rate of interest on the mortgage.)
Additional amounts paid by the purchaser at the foreclosure sale. (These amounts may include insurance, taxes, assessments, etc.) The purchaser must present an Affidavit of additional amount of redemption to the Sheriff and record it with the County Recorder/Register of Titles within the listed redemption period in order to collect those amounts as part of the redemption.
Payment of the redemption amount must be tendered to the Sheriff's Office in cash or certified funds made payable to the Rice County Sheriff's Office. No other type of funds will be accepted.
Redemption by Other Parties
After the normal redemption period has expired, redemptions may be made by other than the mortgagor. These may include persons who have obtained any of the following:
Mechanic's Lien filed against the property.
Judgment against the mortgagor.
Mortgage against the property other the foreclosed mortgage.
Any other valid lien existing against the property.
A redemption by other parties has some specific legal requirements. It is recommended that person interested in this type of redemption consult an attorney.
Fees for redemption are established by the Rice County Board following a public hearing.
Redemption Preparation Fee for Owner/Mortgagors: $250.00
Redemption Preparation Fee for Junior Lien Holders: $250.00
Filing fee for Junior Liens (Intent to redeem ,Affidavits): $100.00
The fee for redemption must be paid and made payable to the Rice County Sheriff, before a Certificate of Redemption is issued.
Minnesota State Statutes 514.18 to 514.22
Subdivision 1. Mechanics' lien on personal property. Whoever, at the request of the owner or legal possessor of any personal property, shall store or care for or contribute in any of the modes mentioned in section 514.19 (see below) to its preservation, care, or to the enhancement of its value, shall have a lien upon such property for the price or value of such storage, care, or contribution, and for any legal charges against the same paid by such person to any other person, and the right to retain possession of the property until such lien is lawfully discharged.
Subd. 1a. Towed motor vehicles. A person who tows and stores a motor vehicle at the request of a law enforcement officer shall have a lien on the motor vehicle for the value of the storage and towing and the right to retain possession of the motor vehicle until the lien is lawfully discharged. This section does not apply to tows authorized in section 169.041, subdivision 4, clause (1).
Subd. 2. Nonpossessory lien; notice. Notwithstanding the voluntary surrender or other loss of possession of the property on which the lien is claimed, the person entitled thereto may preserve the lien upon giving notice of the lien at any time within 60 days after the surrender or loss of possession, by filing in the appropriate filing office under the Uniform Commercial Code, Minnesota Statutes, section 336.9-501 a verified statement and notice of intention to claim a lien. The statement shall contain a description of the property upon which the lien is claimed, the work performed or materials furnished and the amount due.
Subd. 3. Priority; security; interest; foreclosure. The lien shall be valid against everyone except a purchaser or encumbrancer in good faith without notice and for value whose rights were acquired prior to the filing of the lien statement and who has filed a statement of interest in the appropriate filing office. The lien shall be considered a security interest under the Uniform Commercial Code and foreclosure thereon shall be in the manner prescribed for security interests under article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
Subd. 4. Motor vehicles excluded. Subdivisions 2 and 3 shall apply to machinery, implements and tools of all kinds but shall not apply to motor vehicles.
514.19 Right of detainer.
A lien and right of detainer exists for:
- transporting property, other than harvested crops or livestock, from one place to another but not as a carrier under article 7 of the Uniform Commercial Code;
- keeping or storing property, other than harvested crops or livestock, as a bailee but not as a warehouse operator under article 7 of the Uniform Commercial Code;
- the use and storage of molds and patterns in the possession of the fabricator belonging to the customer for the balance due from the customer for fabrication work;
- making, altering or repairing any article, other than livestock, or expending any labor, skill or material on it;
- reasonable charges for a vehicle rented as a replacement for a vehicle serviced or repaired and being retained as provided by this section.
The liens embrace all lawful charges against the property paid to any other person by the person claiming the lien, and the price or value of the care, storage or contribution and all reasonable disbursements occasioned by the detention or sale of the property.
If any sum secured by such lien be not paid within 90 days after it becomes due, the lienholder may sell the property and out of the proceeds of such sale there shall be paid, first, the disbursements aforesaid; second, all charges against the property paid by such person to any other person; and, third, the total indebtedness then secured by the lien. The remainder, if any, shall be paid on demand to the owner or other person entitled thereto. If the property subject to the lien is a motor vehicle registered in this state and subject to a certificate of title, then the lienholder must provide written notice, by registered mail, to all secured creditors listed on the certificate of title 45 days before the lienholder's right to sell the motor vehicle is considered effective. The notice must state the name, address, and telephone number of the lienholder, the amount of money owed, and the rate at which storage charges, if any, are accruing. Costs for registered mail and other reasonable costs related to complying with this notice provision constitute "lawful charges" pursuant to section 514.19 (see above). Failure to comply with the notice provision in this section renders any lien created by this chapter ineffective against any secured party listed on the certificate of title of the motor vehicle involved.
514.21 Sale, when and where made; notice.
The sale herein provided for shall be made at public auction between nine o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the afternoon in the county where the property or some part thereof is situated. A notice stating the time and place of sale, the amount which will be due on the date of sale exclusive of the expenses of advertising and sale, and the grounds of the lien, giving a general description of the property to be sold, shall be served personally upon the owner of the property if the owner can be found within the county in which the property is stored, and if not, then it shall be mailed to the owner thereof at least three weeks before the time fixed for such sale if the place of residence or post office address of such owner is known by, or with due diligence can be learned by, the person claiming such lien, and shall be published once in each week for three successive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in the county where the property, or some part thereof, is situated, the last publication of such notice to be at least one week prior to the date of sale; or, if there is no newspaper printed and published in the county, then the notice of sale shall be posted in three of the most public places in the county at least three weeks before the time of sale. In case neither the place of residence nor the post office address of such owner is known to the person claiming such lien and cannot with reasonable diligence be learned, the publication or posting of notice, as herein provided, shall be sufficient to authorize such sale.
514.22 Conduct of sale. The property sold, as herein provided, shall be in view at the time of the sale. Under the power of sale hereby given enough of the property may be sold to satisfy the amount due at the time of sale, including expenses, and the property, if under cover, may be offered for sale and sold in the original packages in the form and condition that the same was received by the lienholder; but, after sufficient property has been so sold to satisfy the amount so due, no more shall be sold. The lienholder, the lienholder's representatives or assigns, may fairly and in good faith purchase any property sold under the provisions of sections 514.18 to 514.22, provided the sale is conducted by the sheriff, the sheriff's deputy, or any constable of the county where such sale is made.
Copyright 2003 by the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota.
General Guidelines (Following are important requirements that must be met in order to have a successful sale).
Individual or business bringing forth the action. In order for you to act as lienholder over property, you must have met the statutory requirements set forth in the subdivisions of Minnesota State Statutes 514.18 or 514.19. (see above)
90 days must have lapsed after bill becomes due to the lienholder.
Notice to secured creditors. If the property is a motor vehicle, and there are secured creditors on the certificate of title, the lienholder must provided written notice to the secured creditors by registered mail, at least 45 days prior to the sale date. The notice must state the name, address, and telephone number of the lienholder, the amount of money owed, and the rate of storage charges, if they are accruing? Costs for registered mail and other reasonable costs related to complying with this notice provision constitutes “lawful charges”. Failure to comply with the notice provision in this section renders any lien created by this chapter ineffective against any secured party listed on the certificate of title of the motor vehicle involved. (The "notice to secured creditors" may or may not be the same as the "notice of sale". Each notice requires specific statutory language be included, so draft your notices accordingly.)
The sale herein provided for shall be made at public auction between nine o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the afternoon in the county where the property or some part thereof is situated. (Lienholders should contact the Sheriff's Office where the property is situated for days and dates that works best. sufficiently in advance of the date of the sale in order to complete all the required notifications. Sales scheduled for a Sunday or a legal holiday will not be accepted.) The hour of sale should be on the hour and not on the half-hour since the sale must take place within the stated hour.
The notice of sale must state the date, time and place (location) of the sale, the amount which will be due on the date of the sale exclusive of the expenses of advertising and sale, the grounds of the lien (for what reason), giving a general description of the property to be sold and the notice shall be served upon the owner of the property if the owner can be found within the county in which the property is stored, and if not, then it shall be mailed to the owner thereof at least three weeks before the time fixed for such sale if the place of residence or post office address of such owner is known by, or with due diligence can be learned by, the person claiming such lien, and shall be published once in each week for three successive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in the county where the property, or some part thereof, is situated, the last publication of such notice to be at least one week prior to the date of sale; or, if there is not newspaper printed and published in the county, then the notice of sale shall be posted in three of the most public places in the county at least three weeks before the time of sale. In case neither the place of residence nor the post office address of such owner is known to the person claiming such lien and cannot with reasonable diligence be learned, the publication or posting of notice, as herein provided, shall be sufficient to authorize such sale.
The notice of sale to be served should read the same as the notice that is published in the newspaper. The same statutory information is required.
General description. If the property is a motor vehicle, the notice of sale should include the make, model, year and vehicle identification number (VIN). Verification should be made by getting a copy of a vehicle printout from the State of Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) and confirm it with the VIN on the vehicle. While this is not a statutory requirement you need to check to see if there are secured creditors listed on the certificate of title. The DVS will release information on the vehicle to businesses bringing forth the sale upon request and accompanying fee but will not release information to private individuals who are lienholders who bring forth the sale.
(Following are Rice County Sheriff's Office Civil Department requirements for conducting a sale).
Letter of instruction. The letter should be specific as to what you want the Sheriff's Office Civil Department to do and include the date of the sale. If you want the Sheriff's Office Civil Department to accomplish service of the notice of sale on the owner(s) of the property indicate so in the letter of instruction. Provide name and address of individual(s) you want served and additional copies of the notice of sale for each service. Include your name, business name, and address and phone number on the letter of instruction in case of questions and for return of service.
Copy of the notice of sale.
Proof of mailing notice to secured creditors at least 45 days prior to sale date if the property has secured creditors.
Proof (affidavit) of service of notice of sale upon the owner of the property if located within the county. If the owner is living in the county where the vehicle is stored and sold, they must be personally served the notice of sale. An affidavit is a voluntary declaration of facts written down and sworn to by the declarant before an officer authorized to administer oaths. In short the affidavit is a notarized statement from a person not less than 18 years of age and not a party to the action or a certificate of service by the sheriff that the notice of sale was personally served. OR if the owner is not in the county that the vehicle is being sold; a notice must be mailed to the last known address. Examples of an affidavit of mailing are: Signed certified letter receipt, a returned envelop from the post office, a statement from the person that mailed the notice or an affidavit from the possessor that the owners address can not be found.
Copies of notice of sale as published in the newspaper with dates listed or affidavit from the publisher stating that the notice was published and on what dates.(Reminder - the publication of the notice of sale is once a week for three successive weeks and that the last date of publication cannot be less than seven days from the date of the sale.)
Deliver service in person or mail to the Rice County Sheriff's Office Civil Department.
The Rice County Sheriff's Office does not provide a list of sales.
Mortgage Foreclosure sales are advertised in legal newspapers. To qualify as a legal newspaper, the publication must have a paid subscription of over 500 subscribers. Sales are listed in the legal notices. Foreclosure Sales are not Posted
If the Sheriff's Office is conducting a sale pursuant to Judgment & Decree or as part of an Execution action, the sale notice will be posted in three public display cases located:
In the City or Township where the property is located.
Rice County Sheriff's Office.
Rice County Government Center – Main Level Display Cases
Mechanic's Lien sales, which the Sheriff's Office may conduct as an auctioneer, generally are published in the same mentioned papers. Notices of these sales are also displayed in the three public display cases mentioned.
The Rice County Sheriff's Office conducts various types of sales under the appropriate statutes. In most cases the Sheriff's Office is simply an auctioneer for the person who needs the sale performed.
These sales include, but are not limited to the following:
Mortgage Foreclosure Sales (see "Mortgage Foreclosure").
Execution Sales (see "Writs of Execution").
Sales pursuant to Court Orders, Tax Warrants, etc.
Miscellaneous sales pursuant to various statutes (applying to specific circumstances; see "Minnesota Statutes, Session Laws, and Rules").
Mechanic Lien Sales (see "Mechanic Lien Sales General Guidelines").
Subpoenas can be obtained from the Court Administrator's Office in the county where the court action is filed. Someone who is not part of the court action can make Service of the Subpoena. County Sheriff's civil department does serve subpoena's.
An original and a copy for service must be given to the Sheriff's Office. Following service, the original Subpoena will be returned to the party along with an Affidavit of Service. It is the responsibility of the party to return these to the Court Administrator.
A Subpoena can be served upon the named person or left with someone of "suitable age and discretion" who resides at the same address.
In most civil cases, a witness who has received a Subpoena is entitled to witness fees and mileage in advance. If so, a check to cover the witness fees and mileage usually is provided to the witness at the time the Subpoena is served. It is the responsibility of the person requesting service to pay those fees. To determine if a witness is entitled to fees, please check the statutes and rules applicable to the particular type of court action. The type of action in court determines the type of fees.
The Sheriff's Office does charge for service of a subpoena.
If a plaintiff desires the Sheriff's Office to serve a Summons and Complaint in a Civil Court action, the plaintiff should provide the Sheriff's Office with the original Summons and a copy of the Summons and Complaint for each defendant in the action.
A Sheriff's Deputy will serve the copy and return the original Summons, along with an Affidavit of Service, to the plaintiff. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to file the original and Affidavit with the Court Administrator.
The Sheriff's Office charges fees for this type of service.
Writs of Execution are Orders issued by District Court directing the Sheriff to satisfy a judgment. They must be directed to the Sheriff of the county in which the assets to satisfy the judgment are located and they may be for personal or real property. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 550 applies to executions.
The Writ of Execution document is valid for one hundred eighty (180) days after the date of issue. The judgment on which it is based is usually good for 10 years, and can be renewed by additional court action.
It is the responsibility of the judgment creditor to locate assets belonging to the judgment debtor which can be levied upon (seized) to satisfy the judgment. The most common procedures are wage levies and financial institution levies.
If a creditor wants the Sheriff's Office to conduct a wage levy, it is the creditor's responsibility to provide a Writ of Execution directed to the Sheriff of the county in which the debtor works. The judgment creditor or the creditor's attorney must endorse this Writ. The creditor must provide the Sheriff's Office with a deposit of $70, which will be applied to the cost of executing the Writ. By law, the creditor must also provide the Sheriff's Office with a check for $15 made payable to the debtor's employer. This check will be given to the employer when the wage levy is served.
In computing the amount to be collected, the Sheriff's Office will include the amount of the judgment, the interest accruing at the rate indicated on the Writ and any additional costs that have been added by the Court Administrator. The Sheriff's Office will also add the approved 5% commission on the above total, plus Sheriff's Office service fees.
If the judgment is totally satisfied, the creditor will receive the judgment amount, interest, additional costs, $15 employer's fee and the deposit. If the judgment is only partially satisfied, the Sheriff's commission on the amount collected, and the service fees, will be deducted from the amount collected.
If for some reason no money is collected, the Sheriff's service fees will be deducted from the deposit.
The creditor is also required to send an exemption notice to the debtor at least ten (10) days prior to commencing the levy, if service is by mail. The deputy receiving the Writ of Execution from the creditor will ask the creditor to provide proof the date notice was given to the debtor.
Wage levies are conducted for a seventy (70) day period, after which the employer will send a check to the Sheriff's Office. If the check is insufficient to satisfy the judgment the Sheriff's Office will process the money collected, and a check will be issued to the creditor. If it is not enough to satisfy the judgment, the creditor must obtain a new Writ of Execution and request the Sheriff to continue the levy.
Financial Institution Levies
A levy at a financial institution requires a $70 deposit. The creditor must also provide the Sheriff with a $15 check made payable to the financial institution. The name on the account must be the same as the name of the judgment debtor on the Writ of Execution or the financial institution will not honor it. It is possible to levy on a joint account.
If the debtor is not a corporation or business, the creditor must provide the Sheriff with two copies of a completed levy exemption notice to be given to the financial institution when the levy is served.
Other Types of Levies It is possible to levy on other items, including vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles, etc. Deposit amounts required to cover seizure and storage costs very depending upon the action requested by the judgment creditor, so please contact our Office for a deposit amount prior to planning this type of levy. It is also recommended that you read Minnesota Statutes Chapter 550 for more information, particularly related to exemptions to levy. Sheriff's Office Civil Department can discuss a particular fact situation with you, but you are advised to consult an attorney if you have legal questions.
Non-homestead real property may also be levied upon and sold. This is a complex procedure and should be discussed with an attorney.
Upon your receipt of the judgment from the Rice County District Court, forward it along with the properly-endorsed writ of execution to the Rice County Sheriff' Office Civil Department.
Include one (fee deposit $70) check made payable to the Rice County Sheriff's Office. If the writ of execution is for wages or third party levy on a bank account, also include one or more $15.00 check(s) made payable to the judgment debtor's employer and/or financial institution, whichever is applicable.
If you have questions, please contact Rice County District Court at 507-332-6107, or the Sheriff's Office, Civil Division at 507-332-6009.