The Judicial Services Division is responsible for the service of all civil process directed to the Sheriff of Wake County by the North Carolina General Court of Justice. This service, mandated by state law, is provided by the Sheriff's Office to all citizens of Wake County.
One of the earliest, historical duties of the Sheriff, and still one of the most important duties, is the service of court papers, often referred to as civil process. The service of civil process in North Carolina is carefully regulated by statue, and statutory law makes it clear that the proper person to serve civil process in North Carolina is the Sheriff and Sheriff's Deputies.
The service of civil process gives the court jurisdiction over the parties to an action and allows the court to adjudicate the controversy.
The most common types of civil process served by the Wake County Sheriff's Office include: Civil Summonses; Magistrate Summonses; Special Proceedings Summonses; Subpoenas; Orders of Attachment; Orders of Garnishment; Orders On Claim and Delivery; Writs of Possession for Real and Personal Property; Executions for Money Judgments, which require the Sheriff to seize and sell the property of the judgment debtor at an Execution Sale in satisfaction of a judgment; and Tax Warrants issued by the Wake County and North Carolina Revenue Departments to recover unpaid county and state taxes.
A traditional duty of the Sheriff is to provide for the safety and security of judges, court staff, jurors and those who have business before the courts or who are merely present as spectators of the judicial process.
The Wake County Sheriff's Office provides approximately 59 deputies, traditionally referred to as a "bailiffs," to staff courtrooms and provide overall courthouse security in both the Wake County Justice Center and Courthouse. These deputies maintain order within the courtrooms and screen people entering the courthouse for weapons or other contraband.
The Wake County Justice Center houses all of the criminal courts for the 10th Judicial District as well as the Superior and District Court Judges, District Attorney, Clerk of Court, Public Defender’s Office and many other government offices such as the County Board of Commissioners, County Attorneys, Register of Deeds, and the Finance & Budget Offices.
The Wake County Courthouse is where all matters of District and Superior Court, civil court, small claims and family court are heard. The Courthouse is also home to Probation and Parole and the Wills and Estates division.
These two facilities, the Wake County Justice Center and Courthouse, feature the area's largest concentration of victims, witnesses and alleged perpetrators, and those convicted and on probation in one area. This situation can often become volatile, requiring the intervention of a deputy to prevent violence.
Records and Permits
The Records Section maintains all the official records that the law requires the Sheriff to keep.