The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office Civil Division has the responsibility of receiving, processing and serving legal documents. In the earlier years of the division, it was operated almost exclusively by civilian personnel with one sworn deputy assigned to execute writs and orders of the court. The Civil Division has four sworn deputies and two civilian clerks.
This division is responsible for the service (personal delivery) of all legal processes presented by the state and district courts, attorneys, and the general public. Examples of legal processes include: original notices, court orders, juvenile orders, and subpoenas.
The Sheriff’s Office conducts all Sheriff’s Sales that involve personal property and real property and conducts condemnation hearings that arise from Woodbury County, Sioux City, the State of Iowa, and from private citizens.
Costs for service are mandated by the Code of Iowa. The Civil Division does not accept advance fees; all fees will be billed upon completion of the service. The type of paper served and the location for service determines the amount of service fees required.
PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHMENT BELOW FOR THE NEW CIVIL SERVICE FEES EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2017.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept paperwork by fax or email. Documents may be submitted for service by mail to the following address:
Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office
PO Box 3715
Sioux City IA 51102
You are required to send enough copies of the paperwork to complete the service. The general rule is one copy for the sheriff and one copy for each person/entity you want to serve. In addition, you must provide instructions for service which will include the address where the party may be found and any additional information you feel would be helpful for service.
General inquiries may be made by calling 712-279-6010 and choose option one (1) of the automated system.
FAQ's: Sheriff’s Foreclosure Sales
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE AN ATTORNEY
Sheriff’s Sales are to be considered a “buyer beware” situation. It is highly recommended you contact an attorney before purchasing property at a Sheriff’s Sale. The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office cannot give legal advice nor can we recommend an attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where can I find a list of properties to be sold?
A: Per Iowa Code Notices of Sheriff’s Levy & Sale are posted in three public places: The Woodbury County Courthouse, the Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center, and the Trosper Hoyt Building. In addition, a listing of sales is available on this website.
Q: Where do the sales take place?
A: On the first floor of the Woodbury County Courthouse at the time specified on the Notice of Sheriff’s Levy & Sale.
Q: How does bidding start?
A: Bidding begins at the time and place designated on the Notice of Sheriff’s Levy & Sale. The judgment holder almost always starts the bidding; generally by submitting a sealed, written bid to the Sheriff. The judgment holder’s bid, if given to the Sheriff prior to the sale, will not be disclosed until the sale is called at the specified day and time.
Q: What is the bid based on?
A: The bidding is usually started by the judgment holder and it may or may not be equal to the full judgment. The bid may also not reflect the condition of the property or its assessed value.
Q: How much do I have to bid?
A: If the judgment holder submits a bid, you will be required to bid at least $1.00 more than that bid. If there are competing bids, the winning bid will be the highest bid offered by all parties.
Q: Can I enter the residence I plan to purchase?
Q: If I purchase property at a Sheriff’s Sale, do I get clear title?
A: Clear title is not guaranteed. You should consult with an attorney to address specific title issues involved in property sales conducted by the Sheriff’s Office.
Q: Do I have to pay the full amount of my bid the day I purchase?
Q: How do I pay for a purchase at a Sheriff’s Sale?
A: Bidders are encouraged to provide a letter of credit from their bank at the time of sale. The successful bidder will have until noon the day of sale to present to the sheriff a cashier’s or certified check in the amount of their bid.
Q: What happens if I am the highest bidder and change my mind about buying the property?
A: Pursuant to the Code of Iowa, 626.85, the judgment holder may proceed against you for the amount of your bid. You should contact an attorney to address specific questions regarding your liability as a bidder.
Q: Does the Sheriff have keys to the residence?
Q: Does the Sheriff have the abstract to the property?
Q: What does redemption period mean?
A: If the sale notice indicates there is a redemption period, it is the amount of time the defendant has the right to redeem the real estate after the sale. If the defendant redeems the property within the specified time period they must do so at the Woodbury County Clerk of Court’s Office. If you are considering purchasing property with a redemption period you should contact an attorney to address specific questions regarding how the redemption period affects you.
Q: If I purchase and there is a redemption period, can I enter the property before the redemption period is up?
A: You should contact an attorney to address this issue.
Q: If I purchase and there is a redemption period, when do I get a Sheriff’s Deed?
A: If you purchase property with a redemption period, you will be issued a Certificate of Purchase at the time of sale. When the redemption period has expired, you may then return the original Certificate of Purchase to the Sheriff, along with $50.00, and you will then receive a Sheriff’s Deed. It is very important you do not lose the original Certificate of Purchase. If you lose it, you will not receive a Sheriff’s Deed until you get a court order directing the Sheriff to issue you a duplicate Certificate of Purchase. (626.96) This duplicate will be issued following the payment of a $50.00 issue fee.
Q: When I get a Sheriff’s Deed, what do I do next?
A: You should contact an attorney for specific questions regarding a Sheriff’s Deed.
Q: If I get a Sheriff’s Deed and there are people living there, how do I get them out? Do I have to go through the eviction process?
A: You should contact an attorney to address specific questions regarding the occupancy of the subject real estate.
This list does not include all questions that may arise regarding property sales. The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office highly recommends if you are considering bidding at a Sheriff’s Sale that you contact an attorney of your choosing to address any questions you may have.
For questions or concerns regarding the Civil Division, please contact: