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U.S. Marshals Service

Service of Process

Writ of Assistance

A writ of assistance is an order directing that a party convey, deliver, or turn over a deed, document, or right of ownership. This writ, which may also be called a writ of restitution or writ of possession, usually serves as an eviction from real property. In addition, if a judgment directs a party to execute a conveyance of land, to deliver a deed or other document, or to perform any other specific act, and the party fails to comply within the time specified, the court may direct the act to be done by some other person appointed by the court at the cost of the disobedient party. Where so performed, the act has like effect as if done by the party.

Territorial Limits: The writ is normally limited to execution within the state in which the district court is located unless extended by federal statute, rule or court order.

Issued By:  The writ is issued by the Clerk of the U.S. District or Bankruptcy Court, at the discretion of the judge, after judgment is rendered.

Served By: The writ is served by a U.S. Marshal or other person, presumably a law enforcement officer, specially appointed by the court in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(a).

Manner of Service:   The writ is served according to the exact instructions outlined in the writ.

Return: The person who effects service shall make proof of service by recording the action taken pursuant to the instructions contained in the writ.

Note:  The information related to the service of court process that is contained on this web site is general information and not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive explanation or depiction of Federal rules of procedures for the service of process.  Readers are directed to the Federal Rules of Criminal and Civil Procedure; personal legal counsel; the United States Code, Titles 18 and 28; their local U.S. Attorney's Office and District Court for specific, authoritative guidance. is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice