Civil Processes Information


Civil Processes in Iowa are served and returned according to Iowa General Statute. The service package should include a copy of the process for the deputy to send back with the return and a service copy of the process for each respondent.

The Sheriff is responsible for receiving, processing and serving civil and criminal court orders and legal documents. To expedite the process of filing time-sensitive documents such as protective orders, the Sheriff's Office has a Civil Process Satellite Office on the first floor of the Court Staging Building. Sheriff's Sales and garnishment processing are held at the Civil Process Office at the Polk County River Place facility.

Important Notice:

On May 11, 2017, Governor Branstad signed Senate File 501 into law. It will be effective July 1, 2017. The new law is a modification of IA Code Section 331.655 and increases certain fees collected by county sheriff’s statewide. All fees are the new standard for all Sheriff’s Offices. Click on the button below for the full details.

Click here for the full details

Civil Processes Information

Civil Process Application Requirements: must meet ALL requirements


In a civil action or special proceeding, except for actions brought under Chapter 50B of the General Statutes, the following fees and commissions shall be assessed, collected, and remitted to the county.

Deposits are established based on the type of service requested and the actions required to serve the paper. The additional actions can include mileage and/or postage.

When an item of civil process is served on two or more persons or organizations, a separate desposit shall be made for each person or organization. The deposit shall be remitted to the county. This subsection shall not apply to service of summons to jurors.

For any out of state civil process submitted for service, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PSO) will supply a PSO affidavit of service in lieu of completing an out of state affidavit. All out of state process will be attempted/served pursuant to the rules of civil procedure as provided in the Iowa General Statutes. Therefore, PSO gathers, reports and completes civil process returns with the information required by Iowa law and not by the laws of any other state. The may be an additional deposit for process issued outside of Iowa. The service package should include a service copy of the process for each respondent/defendant.

For More Information, Contact:

Polk County Sheriff's Office
Civil Division
Justice Center - 222 5th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone:515-286-3800 Option 1
Fax:(515) 286-3801
Email: Civil Division


For Technical Support, Contact:

Permitium Software
Phone: 855-642-2453

Paper delivery is offered at the Polk County Sheriff's Office Civil Division location: Justice Center - 222 5th Avenue in Des Moines, Office Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm