Civil Process / Judgments / Warrants


CIVIL PROCESS SECTION 

The Civil Process Unit is tasked with serving court orders such as subpoenas, judgments and evictions. These officers also transport emotionally disturbed persons who are committed by Probate Court to various in-house treatment centers around the state. Tasked with providing assistance to the Enforcement Division as emergency circumstances may dictate, Civil Process officers routinely direct traffic at major accident scenes, stand post on perimeters during manhunts for wanted felons, and provide exterior security during barricaded subject situations in support of the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team.

CIVIL PROCESS CONTACTS:

Lieutenant Tom Vido:  (843)255-3266
Sergeant Joel Calandra: (843)255-3226
Hope Bishop, Civil Process Clerk:  (843)255-3188; hopec@bcgov.net
Lori Tuten, Judgments Clerk:  (843)255-3189; ltuten@bcgov.net 
FAX NUMBER :  (843)255-9405

CIVIL PROCESSING FEES:

  • Summons, Complaints, Mechanic Liens, Citations, Decrees & Subpoenas - $15.00
  • Out-of-State Papers, Claim & Delivery, Writs of Assistance, Distress Warrants, Orders of Seizures, Executions & Repossession - $25.00

Payments can be made in the form of cash, attorney checks or money orders. Make checks and money orders payable to: Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

REGULAR POSTAL MAIL ADDRESS:

Beaufort County Sheriff's Office
Post Office Box 1758
Beaufort , South Carolina 29901

OVERNIGHT/EXPRESS MAIL ADDRESS:

Beaufort County Sheriff's Office
2001 Duke Street
Beaufort , South Carolina 29902

Civil Process Papers: Send to the attention of Hope Bishop.
Execution Papers: Send to the attention of Lori Tuten.

Judgments/Executions Against Property: What to Expect

When the Sheriff's Office receives an execution, we notify the defendant by mail. This letter requests them to contact this office within ten (10) days and make arrangements to pay the judgment. If the defendant refuses to pay, we proceed to research property owned by the defendant. The Sheriff's Office is only able to research and proceed against titled property. Titled property can be either real or personal as follows:

Real Property:  Real estate (homes, land, etc.)
Personal Property: Vehicles, mobile homes, motorcycles, etc. (LIEN FREE)

Be advised that the Homestead Exemption for the defendant may entail:

Houses $50,000 - $100,000
Personal Property up to $5,000

If any real property is found, the Sheriff's Office will post a levy (a collection notice) on that property. This is the first step in the selling of that property. If the defendant does not satisfy the judgment after the levy is posted, a sale of the property will be necessary.

The initial costs of the sale are the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PLAINTIFF, and are as follows:

  • Advertising Bond: $500.00 or more (Depending on length of ad)
  • Personal Property Bond: $350.00 minimum (Covers towing, storage, and advertising prior to being seized.)

When a title search is requested, the plaintiff will receive a copy of the levy notice containing the legal description of the property.

The next step is the advertising of levied property, using either the Beaufort Gazette or the Island Packet. The advertising notice is also posted at the U.S. Post Office and the Beaufort County Courthouse. There are requirements by law as to how long the advertisement is run, which affects cost:

Real Property:  Minimum of 3 weeks prior to date of sale
Personal Property: Minimum of 2 weeks prior to date of sale 

If there are no bidders on the property, there is nothing else the Sheriff's Office can do, and the execution of judgment will be returned to the plaintiff.

If the Sheriff's Office is unable to collect money for the plaintiff, the paperwork will be returned along with a Nulla Bona letter. A Nulla Bona return indicates either 1) that the defendant has no property on which to place a levy, or 2) that the defendant's property is not feasible to sell or the defendant cannot/will not pay monetarily. After receiving the Nulla Bona return, the plaintiff may choose to hold onto the judgment until a more opportune time arises to seize property.

**NOTE: A judgment is valid/collectible for ten (10) years from the date the judge signed the order, and it accrues simple yearly interest at the statutory rate.

For further questions or assistance, contact one of the below listed personnel:

Lieutenant Tom Vido: (843) 255-3266
Sergeant Joel Calandra: (843) 255-3226
Lori Tuten- Judgments Clerk: (843) 255-3189  

WARRANTS SECTION 

The Warrants Unit officers are primarily responsible for the service of arrest warrants issued by various courts. The civilian employees who assist them are responsible for documenting all incoming warrants as well as documenting the disposition of warrants served.

WARRANTS CONTACTS

Lieutenant Tom Vido:  (843)255-3266
Allison Moreira, Warrants Clerk:  (843)255-3228