The Registered Process Server's
Guide to Service of Writs of Attachment
and Writs of Execution, 2nd Edition

by Tony Klein

The Registered Process Server's Guide to Service of Writs of Attachment and Writs of Execution, 2nd Edition was expanded in 2003 and updated through 2005. It explains the California attachment and levy procedures for registered process servers, judgment creditors and lawyers and provides a step-by-step "cookbook" for serving writs of attachment and execution.  

Each section describes what documents to deliver to the sheriff, what documents to serve on the garnishee (e.g., the bank in a deposit account levy), what to serve on a third party and debtor, and how to serve them properly. The book provides the requirements on how to close the levy file and a checklist for creating and maintaining a process server's levy file.

This book now includes the procedures for each of the 22 Attachments and Levies that may be performed by a registered process server. We have compiled a list all California code sections that relate to the attachment and levy process and provide the text of the sections that describe the attachment and levy of real property, a deposit (bank) account, and wage garnishments. All current Judicial Council attachment and levy forms relating to these attachments, levies and wage garnishments are included for reference or copying.

The book includes exemplars of Letters of Instruction to the Sheriff and Registered Process Server, service packet exemplars for service on the bank and judgment debtor, and a packet exemplar for service of a wage garnishment on the judgment debtor's employer.  Exemplars and blank proofs of service for the levies are include for reference or copying.

This book DOES NOT cover how to prepare the documents and fill in the information necessary to initiate a levy.  We sell a number of Nolo Press publications that cover some instruction about preparation.  We suggest that if you bundle that into the services you offer that you familiarize yourself with the laws concerning the "unauthorized practice of law" and  "registered legal document assistants".

Note: Registered Process Servers are authorized to serve writs of attachments and writs of executions for only specific assets. An RPS is not authorized to serve all writs.

The following is a list of the types of attachments and levies permitted to be served by a Registered Process Server.  The CCP gives an RPS the authority to perform certain attachments under a writ of attachment under CCP § 488.080 and writs of execution under CCP § 699.080. If the attachment or levy is not on this list, you may not participate in this levy as a Registered Process Server unless specially ordered by the judge.  The CCP code sections cited describe the procedure for serving the attachment and levy.  Since a Registered Process Server may serve these attachments and levies, the sheriff is not mandated to serve them.  Therefore, some county sheriffs will refuse to serve these attachments and levies.  These attachments and levies are described in the Specific Requirements Sections of this book.


General Description
Real Property
Growing Crops
Personal Property in the Custody of a
Levying Officer
Equipment of Going Business
Motor Vehicles Used as
Equipment of a Going Business
Farm Products or Inventory of a Going Business
Personal Property Used as Dwelling
Deposit Accounts
Property in a Safe Deposit Box
Accounts Receivable or General Intangible
Final Money Judgments
Interest of a Defendant in Personal Property In the Estate of a Decedent

Writ of Possession for Real Property

715.020, 715.040
(Only if sheriff fails to execute the writ in 3 days)

Sections 481.205 and 680.330 authorize a Registered Process Server to serve all documents necessary in connection with a writ of attachment or execution.  The California Business and Professions Code § 22350 defines a Registered Process Server as a person who is bonded and who has filed a Certificate of Registration with the county.  By virtue of this definition, persons who are exempt from registration (employees, independent contractors, private investigators and their employees, lawyers and their employees) and other non-registered process servers are not statutorily authorized to serve a writ.  Service of a writ of attachment or execution is invalid if served by a non-registered server or a sheriff.

If  the statute provides for service by the levying officer of any order, notice or other paper, service may be may by that person or his or her agent.  The levying officer may give permission to any person to serve the attachment or levy. The levying officer may not give permission to serve a notice or writ. (CCP § 684.140)

If you serve writs, this book will complement your knowledge.  If you are new to serving writs, this book can keep you out of trouble.

The Registered Process Server's Guide to Service of
Writs of Attachment and Writs of Execution, 2nd Edition
by Tony Klein



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