Year End Stats on LCSO Civil Division

LIBERTY, January 9, 2015 - Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader has released the year-end statistics for the Civil Division. For the two deputies and two clerks assigned to the Civil Division, 2014 was a busy year.

While the criminal law enforcement aspect of the Sheriff’s Office gets almost all of the media attention, the Civil Division quietly goes about carrying out one of the most important duties given to a Texas sheriff. The deputies are responsible for serving all civil process that comes to their hands not only from Liberty County Courts, but from courts across Texas and the United States. The deputies execute all proper writs as issued from courts, be they Justice of the Peace, all the way up to federal courts. Also, the deputies serve the majority of subpoenas from Liberty County’s two District Courts, County Court at Law, and Grand Jury, as well as subpoenas for courts from other jurisdictions. The Civil Division charges fees for its various services and those fees are provided by Texas Legislature, and set by Liberty County’s Commissioners Court.

The Civil Division is responsible for real and tangible property that it seizes by order of writ. Before actually executing a writ, there is considerable research that is performed before the deputy even makes a first attempt. Multiple owners (in different locations), lien holders, outdated surveys and even previous court orders that were long forgotten can make identifying properties and owners a tricky process. Once property is seized, the court that ordered the seizure is notified. Then the Civil Division disposes of the property as guided by the court. That may mean turning the property over to someone the court feels has a greater right to the property, or it could be that the property is to be auctioned at a Sheriff’s Sale. The proceeds from the sale are then distributed in the manner that the court orders.

The reason the Civil Division generally does its work without much fanfare is because their work is not criminally related. The citizens they deal with are not accused of any crime and there are no criminal charges involved. The only thing the deputies do is what they are ordered to do by a civil court or civil proceeding. Even when the deputies are serving subpoenas that come from a criminal court, the subpoenas are for people that the court feels have information valuable to a case. Those subpoenas are for witnesses, not people suspected of wrongdoing.

Sheriff Rader says, “Our Civil deputies and clerks do a tough job, yet they rarely get the credit that the Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Division receive. There is a lot of potential liability involved with civil process and procedures. LCSO is fortunate to have deputies and clerks that do civil process on a full-time basis, always staying abreast of the most current rules and procedures provided by case law and legislatures. 

Year-End Statistics For 2014

Total of all documents received:  1,405
   Citations:           539
   Subpoenas:       685
   All Writs:            55
   Orders of Sale:  126

Total of all documents returned:  1,417 (The total returned is slightly more that those received because it counts documents received in late 2013, but weren’t returned to the issuing courts until early 2014)

   Citations:           557
   Subpoenas:       668
   All Writs:            55
   Orders of Sale: 137

Total of actual money brought into Liberty County:  $515,454.83

Tax Properties sold at Sheriff’s Sale:                                        $474,360.93
Sheriff’s Service Fees collected at LCSO:                                $22,969.20
Attorney General Partial Fees Paid:                                          $7,949.70
Service Fees collected at the County/District Clerk’s Offices:  $4,350.00
Service Fees collected on Removed Property:                         $6,825.00

Service of documents that are exempt from Service Fees:
(If a fee were to have been charged, the total would have been):  $58,500.00

Total value of Tax Properties BID-OFF at Sheriff’s Sales:  $725,014.37
NO monies were received or exchanged. This is the value of Real Property bid-off to Liberty County because no bids were received on those properties at Sheriff’s Sales.

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