The Civil Division

The Civil Division consists of commissioned Peace Officers and civilian clerks whose responsibilities include receiving, recording, serving, and returning legal documents to the courts from which they originated. These include civil processes ranging from divorce papers to law suits and protective orders. The court papers may come from Justice, County, or District Courts and may consist of any of the following:

Citations - The official process by which a plaintiff gives a defendant notice of suit. The purpose is to give the court jurisdiction over the parties, to satisfy due process requirements, and to provide the defendant the opportunity to appear and defend himself.

Eviction Citations - After a landlord files an eviction suit, the court clerk sends the eviction citation to the constable’s office for service to the tenant. The constable will attempt to hand-deliver the citation to the tenant at the tenant’s home. After two unsuccessful attempts, the constable may slip the citation under the front door or attach it to the front doors and mail a copy by first class mail.

Protective Orders - An order issued by a family court (district or county court) to order the protection of a family member or member of a household against further family violence. It is criminally enforceable under Section 25.074 of the Texas Penal Code.

Subpoenas - An order that requires a defendant to appear personally. A subpoena is a command to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony upon a certain matter.

Criminal Subpoenas - Same as above, but usually directed towards a victim or witness to a crime.

Temporary Restraining Orders – An order issued by a court to a defendant restraining them from doing or prohibiting certain acts. It is date sensitive and has a hearing date commanding appearance no more than 14 days from date of issuance. It is enforceable by the court only by a contempt proceeding.

Writs of Re-entry - Allows a commercial or residential tenant to resume possession of a leased premise after an unlawful lockout.

Writs of Sequestration - A prejudgment process which orders the seizure or attachment of property to be maintained in the custody of the U.S. Marshal or other designated official, under court order and supervision, until the court determines otherwise. The purpose of the writ is to preserve the named property pending outcome of the litigation. The order binds the property of the defendant from the time it is issued.

Writs of Habeas Corpus - A court order that commands anyone having a person in custody or their control to produce the person at the time and place named in the writ and to show why that person is being held or under restraint.

Writs of Garnishment - An order granted to a third party (garnishee), to hold or attach the property of a defendant or judgment creditor. A garnishee can be a person or a corporation who is in possession of the property of a judgment creditor or a defendant.

Writs of Certiorari - An order a higher court issues in order to review the decision and proceedings in a lower court and determine whether there were any irregularities.

Writs of Commitment - An order from a court to take a person into custody and transport them to jail or a designated mental health facility.

Writs of Mandamus - An order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.

Writs of Scire Facias - An order that commands the person against whom it is brought to appear before the court and show why the record should not be resolved in favor of the party who brought the writ.

Writs of Execution - A formal, written command of a court directing a sheriff or other official to enforce a judgment through process of execution.

Writs of Possession (Eviction) – Allows a landlord who prevails in an eviction suit to regain possession of the premises that were in dispute.

Writs of Possession (Property) - When the judgment is for personal property, and it is shown by the pleadings and evidence and the verdict, if any, that such property has an especial value to the plaintiff, the court may award a special writ for the seizure and delivery of such property to the plaintiff.

Writs of Attachment (on a Person and/or Property) - An order from a court commanding any Sheriff or Constable to seize an asset, person, or child.