The Sheriff is required to act as an Officer of the Court for service of civil matters in Kern County. The laws governing civil process are set forth primarily in the California Code of Civil Procedure, Civil Code, and Government Code. Federal and State laws make clear distinctions between civil matters and criminal cases.
Civil procedure is a system of laws the courts follow when adjudicating civil matters. These legal requirements govern the types of process, orders, remedies, judgments and all other procedures allowed in civil matters.
In civil enforcement matters, the Sheriff’s Office maintains a neutral, impartial standing between involved parties acting only on lawful court orders. The Sheriff's Civil Section is responsible for the service and execution of civil process as prescribed by law.
The Sheriff’s Civil Section is comprised of the Civil Processing Unit and the Field Enforcement Unit and works in conjunction with government agencies, courts, and private entities.
The Civil Processing Unit is responsible for reviewing civil documents in order to ensure accuracy and compliance with all legal requirements. The Section cannot conduct investigative services to verify names and/or addresses; therefore, successful service of documents is dependent upon the information received. The Unit is also responsible for handling fees for services and disbursement of monies collected in accordance with court orders.
The Field Enforcement Unit is responsible for the actual service of all civil processes including, but not limited to: summons, subpoenas, restraining orders, evictions, small claims documents, and wage garnishments. The Field Enforcement Unit is responsible to diligently ensure specific legal requirements are met for the service to be valid. Service of process may occasionally involve volatile situations. These responsibilities require the Field Enforcement Unit operate with an extraordinary degree of professionalism.
The Sheriff’s Civil Section is committed to working in partnership and providing equitable services for all individuals served by the Sheriff’s Office.
5251 Office Park Dr, Bldg 300,
Bakersfield, CA 93309
Secured drop box accessible to the public 24 hrs a day.
KCSO Civil Section
Bakersfield, CA 93380
Public Hours of Operation
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday, excluding holidays
Attention: The Sheriff's Civil Section requires a completed threat assessment form with ALL evictions.
(See "Eviction Instructions" below for the two-page instruction packets.)
The Sheriff's Civil Section serves civil process as prescribed by law. Civil process includes summons and complaints, small claims documents, restraining orders, and evictions. Please note that the Civil Section does not serve non-writ governmental child support processes; however, does execute all writs and judgments for enforcement of child support. Other services include levies on wages, bank accounts, personal property, real property, or any asset of the judgment debtor.
The Civil Section is not permitted to give legal advice nor can we conduct investigative services including computer inquiries (DMV, arrest records, etc.) to verify names and/or addresses; therefore, successful service of documents is not guaranteed.
All general requests for service must include the following:
- An original letter of instructions directed to the Sheriff and signed by the attorney of record or the plaintiff if there is no attorney. (Common instruction forms are provided below) NOTE: All documents being served must be listed on the instruction sheet by name and/or form number.
- A complete set of documents for each person you want served and an additional copy for the Sheriff's file.
- The proper fee for service or a court-ordered fee waiver. There is no fee for service of Temporary Restraining Orders including Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse, Workplace Violence and some Civil Harassment cases.
All documents must be received in our office at least 10 days prior to the last day for service. We will mail your proof of service to the address provided on your instructions.
General Fee Information: The debtor assessment fee on disbursements is currently $12.00 as of January 1, 2011. Please see the following for current year service fees.
Certified Mail: If your documents require service by certified mail, you must include the actual cost of the mailing per the United States Postal Service's current fee schedule or your documents will be returned for proper fees. (Gov Code 26748)
Please note: Third-party payments on evictions or other miscellaneous services are not accepted.
Effective March 7th 2022, we now accept credit cards.
2023 Civil Fee Schedule
2023 County Holidays
Methods of Payment
Civil Warrant Instruction Letter
Writ Declaration Form (New! Fill-In Enabled)
Application for Earnings Withholding Order
Confidential Statement of Judgment Debtor's Social Security Number (Wage Garnishment)
Bank-Third Party Levy Instructions
Eviction Instructions (New! Fill-In Enabled)
General Instructions (New! Fill-In Enabled)
Levy on Business Keeper-Till Tap
Temporary Restraining Order Instructions
Claim of Exemption/Enforcement of Judgment
Claim of Exemption/Wage Garnishment
Out of State Documents
Real Property Instructions
Registered Process Server Requirements
Summons & Complaint - Unlawful Detainer Instructions
Third Party Claim Requirements
Private Process Server Checklist
Temporary Restraining Order - Reissue/Renew/Order After Hearing (Domestic Violence)
Temporary Restraining Order - Reissue/Renew/Order After Hearing
Personal Property Instructions
Document Requirements - Writ Processes
(Please note that this is general information only as we cannot anticipate the specifics of your particular case.)
Plaintiff / Creditor Questions
Real Property Requirements
Superior Court, Kern County
California Courts, Self-Help Center
California Court, Online Forms