Ada County Sheriff
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Civil Process Services & Documents

Eviction Process

The eviction process can be quite complex and often requires legal advice. The Sheriff’s Civil Division deputies are not qualified nor are they authorized to answer legal questions. For further information you may consult an attorney or check out the Idaho Attorney General’s Landlord and Tenant manual.

Here is some basic information on general eviction procedures.

Notice to Vacate/Quit

A written Notice to Vacate must first be served on the tenant prior to proceeding to a summons/complaint for unlawful detainer. This notice can be served by the Sheriff’s Office, but can also be served by an adult not a party to the action. If the tenant refuses to vacate after proper service of the notice, the landlord must proceed to the next step in the eviction process, which is to file a complaint in court for unlawful detainer.


Defendants/tenants must be served with this summons to begin the process leading to a court hearing. This document can be served by the Sheriff’s Office, but again can be served by a private individual or process service company.

Writ of Restitution

This court order gives the Sheriff’s Office the power to remove defendants/tenants from the property. If the defendants refuse to remove themselves and their property, then the Sheriff is authorized to remove and seize that property. The Sheriff is allowed under Idaho law to sell that property to pay for any costs incurred by the Sheriff’s Office. Plaintiffs must pay in advance all costs of enforcement. More on Writ of Restitution.

Collection Process on Writs of Execution

A Writ of Execution is a court order that commands the Sheriff to levy on the property of a debtor for the satisfaction of a debt. You must give the Sheriff’s Office a letter of instruction describing the property to be seized or the action to be taken. You must provide the service information. We cannot do your research for you. Some common options that may be available to you to collect your debt are: Wage garnishment, financial institution garnishment, cash demand or till tap, or a property levy. Please see the list of required documents and associated fees.

Exemption Process

All property levied on by the Sheriff is required to be held for fourteen days before it can be sold. During the exemption period, the debtor or a third party can claim that the levied property was either exempt from execution under Idaho law (Idaho Code 11-603), or the third party may file an ownership claim.

The Sheriff’s Office will notify you if a claim of exemption is made, and you will have five business days to set a court hearing to contest the claim. If you do not want to contest the claim, you must advise the Sheriff, and the property will be returned to the defendant. If no claims are made during the exemption period, a Sheriff’s sale will be conducted and the money from the sale will pay all contract and Sheriff’s fees. Any additional funds will be applied towards the satisfaction of the judgment.

Downloadable Documents

Below are some additional documents available for download. Each document is in the PDF format and will require the Adobe Reader.

  1. Letter of Instructions– This form has to be filled out in order for the Sheriffs Office to do any type of service. One (1) page.
  2. State Income Tax Levy Information–  If you choose the Serve Levy on State Income Tax Refund you must fill out the garnishment form for the State Controller Tax Refund Levy – Notice of Garnishment (the TO: should already be indicating the Idaho State Controller- Tax Refund Levy). One (1) page.
  3. Notice Of Garnishment and Interrogatories– If you choose to serve a garnishment, this form needs to be included in the documents you provide to us. Fill out ONLY the first page. The “To: and Address:” portion will be the employer, financial institution, etc that you are requesting us to serve. This should match the same entity and address you are requesting us to serve on your Letter of Instruction.
  4. Claim and Notice of Exemption with Instructions– This form is used by the judgment debtor or third party if they feel that funds or property that have been levied on should be exempt. Please read the Instructions carefully before turning in the completed forms to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division.