Service of Process
Writ of Execution
A writ of execution is a process issued by
the court directing the U.S. Marshal to enforce and satisfy a judgment
for payment of money. (Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 69).
The writ is normally limited to execution within the state in which the
district court is held unless extended by federal statute, rule, or
The writ is issued by the Clerk of the U.S.
District or Bankruptcy Court under seal of the court.
The writ is served by the U.S. Marshal or
other person, presumably a law enforcement officer, specially appointed
by the court pursuant to
Rule of Civil Procedure 4.1(a).
Manner of Service
The writ is served according to the
instructions contained within the writ and pursuant to state law, which
generally governs procedures for levy.
The judgment creditor may be required
to provide an indemnity bond and an advance deposit to cover the U.S.
Marshal's estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
The judgment creditor should accompany the
U.S. Marshal in executing the writ so that he or she may answer any
questions that may arise during execution.
Custody of Seized Property: Generally, the U.S. Marshal will
maintain custody of the attached property, under court supervision.
Alternatively, the judgment creditor may be named substitute custodian
for the U.S. Marshal and maintain direct responsibility for custody of
the attached property, either by court order or by written agreement
with the U.S. Marshal. If the requesting party has arranged for moving
or storage of the property, he or she must provide the U.S. Marshal with
written proof that storage fees have been paid and that adequate
insurance against loss or damage has been obtained, as evidenced by an
insurance certificate. In addition, if the requesting party is named
substitute custodian, he or she must provide the U.S. Marshal with a
signed statement holding the U.S. Marshal harmless for any damages
incurred as a result of the seizure while the property is in his or her
custody. The U.S. Marshal is responsible for advertising and selling the
Till Tap: A till tap consists of the direct seizure of
money from the cash register of a particular business by the U.S.
Marshal pursuant to a writ of execution. The propriety of executing a
till tap depends on applicable state law.
The person effecting service will make proof
of service by recording the action taken pursuant to the instructions
contained within the writ and by including any answer of attachment
and/or inventory. If money is collected, the return must specify how the
funds were applied.
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;
U.S. Attorney's Office and District Court for
specific, authoritative guidance.