Published on 03/8/2009
Writ of Restitution
When a Writ of Restitution is delivered to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office a Deputy or Chief Civil Deputy will serve the tenant (defendant) or post the premises with the Writ of Restitution and an accompanying letter to the tenant stating the date and time of eviction.
Service is usually completed the day after the Writ of Restitution is received. After the Writ of Restitution has been served or posted the Sheriff must wait a minimum of three business days (exclusive of the date of service) before the eviction will occur.
On the morning of the eviction date the Sheriff requires the landlord or his attorney to determine if the tenant is still occupying the premises. THE LANDLORD OR HIS ATTORNEY MUST THEN CALL THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND ADVISE AS TO WHETHER THE TENANT IS STILL OCCUPYING THE PREMISES.
IN THOSE CASES NOT BASED ON THE "LANDLORD-TENANT ACT" (RCW 59.18):
The Sheriff's Bond of Indemnity must be brought to the Sheriff's Civil Office (3rd floor, Courthouse), along with the Writ of Restitution and must be double the estimated value of the property to be removed from the premises. The minimum bond accepted is $5,000.00. The bond must be signed by the landlord/attorney and the bonding agent and must be made out to the Honorable Michael D. Brasfield, Sheriff of Jefferson County. The following language must be included on the bond:
"The principal shall pay all costs, charges, and damages and save harmless and indemnify the Sheriff against any and all claims by the defendants or by any third party against him on account of any and all lawful steps the Sheriff is to make or take under said Writ, whether or not such Writ is lawful or unlawful."
At the time of the eviction the landlord will be required to provide all necessary manpower and materials to complete the eviction as expeditiously as possible. The personal property of the tenant must be moved to a place where the tenant can recover it without unreasonable difficulty. This can be completed by storage and/or removal to a public right-of-way. This requires the landlord/attorney to provide a minimum of four people to do the moving, black visqueen (4 M 20 x 100), heavy duty twine, several boxes of 30 gallon heavy duty garbage bags and boxes. All expenses will be incurred by the landlord. The landlord assumes any responsibility for damage to the property during the moving/storage of the property.
It is not the duty of the sheriff to see that the property is reasonably secured. The duty of the sheriff in executing a writ of restitution is to "restore possession of the real property to the plaintiff". It is sufficient that the sheriff remove the tenant and ensure that the landlord have the opportunity to peaceably remove the goods.
If the tenant's property includes a mobile home owned by the tenant it will be necessary for the mobile home and its contents to be moved from the landlord's real property. Before a mobile home can be moved the landlord or his attorney must first obtain a move permit from the Jefferson County Treasurer’s Office. The Sheriff's Office will not make the arrangements for the removal of the mobile home. It will be the responsibility of the landlord/owner of the mobile home to have the mobile home removed from the premises.
The Sheriff's Office requires a deposit in advance in the amount of $100.00. If it appears that a physical eviction will be unusually lengthy the Sheriff may require an additional deposit prior to the eviction. Sheriff fees are regulated by state law. The law states the Sheriff must charge for mileage, court returns, service, and for the eviction. If the Sheriff must do a physical eviction a fee of $40.00 (including service) is charged for the first hour and $30.00 for each additional hour.
The eviction process is, by nature, unpleasant and expensive. With your cooperation, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will attempt to complete the necessary action as quickly and efficiently as possible for all involved.
Should you have any questions please call the Civil Office at 360-385-3831, ext. 4 (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.).