Civil Process

The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is responsible for serving all civil process as directed by the court system. Deputies deliver a timely notice to a person or legal entity (business or organization) of pending legal action in which they somehow may be involved. The notice may be in the form of a variety of legal documents and must be served in accordance with the law as it pertains to that particular document. These papers include, but are not limited to, subpoenas, notices, orders, complaints, and summonses for both Civil and Criminal cases.

The Civil Process Division is also responsible for executing evictions, levies, seizures and public auctions.

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday (7am to 4pm)

Phone number: (757) 823-4897 (after hours voice mail messages will be answered the following business day)

Fax number (757) 441-1344

Federal Express/United Parcel Address/Office:

Sheriff/High Constable of Norfolk
Civil Process
811 E. City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510

Post Office mailing address:

Sheriff/High Constable of Norfolk
Civil Process
P.O. Box 2811
Norfolk, VA 23501



STEP 1. 5-Day Notice or 30-Day Notice  

When a tenant's rent is in arrears, the landlord may give the tenant a 5-day notice (the most frequently utilized option) to pay the amount due or eviction action will be taken. This notice is not prepared by a court, but rather by the landlord or his attorney. It may be served upon the tenant by the Sheriff, or presented to the tenant by the landlord, or mailed to the tenant by the landlord (by registered or certified mail) to make it legally binding upon the tenant. The service of the 5-day notice by the Sheriff shall be in accordance with the rules for service of process on a natural person. A copy of the notice should be served upon all defendants involved, and the Sheriff's return placed on the original copy and given to the landlord or his attorney. 

STEP 2. Summons in Unlawful Detainer

After the 5-day period of notice, or 30-day notice for breach of the lease has expired and the landlord has not received satisfaction, the landlord may obtain a Summons in Unlawful Detainer by giving a statement under oath to the judge (or a magistrate or clerk) that the tenant retains possession of the premises unlawfully. The judge (or magistrate or clerk) will issue a summons against all persons named in the landlord's affidavit, which shall be served on those persons at least 10 days before the return date. The Summons in Unlawful Detainer is an action taken before judgment by the court, and the above summons directs the defendants (tenants) to appear for a hearing. The Summons in Unlawful Detainer is the legal process to cover any situation in which the possession of any house, land, or tenement is unlawfully detained by the person(s) in possession thereof.

STEP 3. Writ of Eviction 

When a judgment has been awarded in favor of the landlord under a Summons in Unlawful Detainer procedure, the landlord may then obtain a Writ of Eviction from the court. The writ is the authority of the Sheriff to remove the tenant from the premises (and the tenant's belongings) and restore possession of the premises to the landlord. The execution of the writ of possession by the sheriff should occur within 15 calendar days from the date the writ of possession is received by the sheriff, or as soon as practicable thereafter, but in no event later than 30 days from the date the writ of possession is issued. The execution of the writ shall be effective against the tenants named in the writ and their authorized occupants, guests or invitees, and any trespassers in the premises. At the same time the landlord obtains the Writ of Possession, he may also obtain a Writ of Fieri Facias to cover any damages or costs. Simultaneous execution of the eviction and a Writ of Fieri Facias is ineffective unless seizure is done which requires the landlord to post a bond. This is because the tenant would be permitted to take his personal property with him when evicted when eviction is a move out to the curb. All exemptions would have to be considered.

Appeal from Unlawful Detainer Judgment 

The tenant shall have the right to appeal the judgment of the district court. The appeal must be taken within 10 days and security given by the tenant (for rent due, etc.) as required by the court. Unless otherwise specifically provided in the court's order (judgment), no writ of execution (Writ of Possession) shall issue until the expiration of the 10-day appeal period. A landlord can win immediate possession of the property with a court order, but the sheriff's Office must post a 72-hour notice.

In any unlawful detainer case is filed and a judge grants the plaintiff a judgment for possession of the premises, upon request of the plaintiff, the judge shall further order that the writ of eviction issue immediately upon entry of judgment for possession. In such case, the clerk shall deliver the writ of eviction to the sheriff, who shall then, at least 72 hours prior to execution of such writ, serve notice of intent to execute the writ, including the date and time of eviction.

In no case, however, shall the sheriff evict the defendant from the dwelling unit prior to the expiration of the defendant's 10-day appeal period. If the defendant perfects an appeal, the sheriff shall return the writ to the clerk who issued it.

  • In the event of inclement or extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances at the time set for eviction which would work undue hardship upon the tenant, the Sheriff may re-set the eviction date at no additional charge.
  • All confiscated items will be inventoried using a Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Property-Evidence Voucher Form and turned over to the Property and Evidence Manager.


  • For any out of state service: $80.00
  • Interrogatory summons: $12.00
  • Garnishments: $12.00
  • Writ of FieriFacias/Levy: $25.00
  • Writ of Eviction: $12.00
  • Repossession: $25.00 for the first person, $12.00 for each additional person 
  • Most all other service fees: $12.00

Make check payable to: High Constable

Sheriff/High Constable of Norfolk
Civil Process
811 E. City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510

OR Post Office mailing address

Sheriff/High Constable of Norfolk
Civil Process
P.O. Box 2811
Norfolk, VA 23501


In Touch

811 E. City Hall Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 664-4700

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

© 2022 Norfolk Sheriff's Office. All rights reserved.

Local Weather

feels like