311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225
Telephone: (360) 676-6650
Time of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed weekends and all government holidays.
|Sheriff's Office Role in Evictions
- Intake Requirements
- 3 sealed copies & 1 sealed original of the Writ of Restitution
- Mandatory Eviction Intake Data Form
- Landlord Storage Form – Effective June 12, 2008 the landlord is required by law (RCW 59.18.312) to provide law enforcement with a form that we are required to serve on the defendant(s) requesting the landlord store their personal property. (IF THIS FORM IS NOT PROVIDED, YOUR PAPERWORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED)
- $150 deposit
- Posting / Serving
- Once a Writ of Restitution has been delivered to the Sheriff’s Office Civil Division, the Civil Deputy serves the tenants or posts the premises with the Writ of Restitution, a letter, which states the date & time the tenants are to be vacated, and a copy of the landlord storage form per RCW 59.18.312. The Writ will usually be served or posted on the next business day following its receipt by the Sheriff’s Office.
- Move out Time Frame
- The tenants are given 3 judicial days in which to move out voluntarily. This 3-day period does not include the date of service/posting, weekends, or legal holidays (if the writ is served/posted Monday, the tenants have until midnight on Thursday; if it’s served/posted Thursday, the tenants have until midnight on Tuesday).
- After the Time Frame has Expired
- When the Civil Deputy serves/posts the Writ, he will advise the contact person listed on the intake form of the date & time the tenants are to be out. It is the responsibility of the landlord or his/her designated representative, to notify the Civil Deputy or the Civil Division of the Sheriff’s Office the morning following the expiration of the 3-day count to advise if the tenants have vacated or if further assistance is needed. If the Writ expires at midnight on a Friday, no law enforcement action will be taken until the following Monday.
- The Tenants Vacated
- If the tenants have moved, and at the request of the landlord/attorney, the writ will be returned to Whatcom County Superior Court stating the matter has been completed.
- Tenants Did Not Vacate
- If the tenants have not moved, an appointment will be made by the Civil Deputy to meet the landlord or their designated representative at the property to complete the eviction process. It is imperative this timetable be followed due to the time constraints of the expiration date of the Writ.
- At the time of the eviction, the landlord is required to provide all necessary manpower & materials to complete the eviction as expeditiously as possible.
- The landlord must store the property if the tenant has served the landlord a written request to store the property not later than three (3) days after services of the writ.
- If the landlord knows that the tenant is a person with a disability and that disability prevents or impairs the tenant from making a request for storage, it will be presumed that the tenant has requested storage unless there is a written objection to storage from the tenant (disabled person).
- The landlord may store the property in any reasonably secure place (including the premises) and may sell and dispose of the property as allowed in RCW 59.18.312.
- The landlord may remove the tenant’s property to the nearest public property if the tenant has not served the landlord with a written request to store the property within three days of service of the writ.
- If there is a dispute as to whether the storage request was properly received and the landlord will not store the property, the Sheriff’s Department will require a further court order regarding storage before executing on the writ.
- The Civil Deputy is present at an eviction to keep the peace and will not assist in or participate in any way with the removal of property.
- Other Pertinent Information Regarding Eviction Process
- If you have a tenant with disabilities or health issues that require constant care, your physical eviction may not proceed unless the Sheriff’s Office is assured that
satisfactory arrangements are in place for adequate care for that tenant.
- Vehicles left by the tenant must be removed as a private impound (towing and storage arrangements made by the landlord).
- Animals will be impounded by the Whatcom County Humane Society and heldpending later release to the tenant or adoption.
- Service Fees for Evictions
- A $150.00 deposit is required when the Writ of Restitution paperwork issubmitted to the Sheriff’s Office. The payment may be made in the form of cash,check or money order made payable to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.
- Breakdown of fees:
- Service or posting of Writ of Restitution and the eviction is concluded without further aid of the Sheriff’s Office: $50.00.
- Service of Writ of Restitution with aid of County: $70.00. If the Sheriff’s Office responds a second time at the request of the landlord to oust and eject the tenant(s), the applicable $70.00 “with aid” fee will be charged regardless of whether the eviction proceeds, the eviction is concealed on-scene or the eviction must be rescheduled due to an inability to proceed.
- If it is necessary for the Sheriff’s Office to stand by and keep the peace during a physical eviction, an additional fee of $60.00 per hour will be charged after the first hour.
- Mileage is charged in the amount of $.58 per mile with a $12.00 minimum.
- A $15.00 Return of Service fee is charged for the court document prepared at the conclusion of the eviction advising the court of the action taken in completing the eviction.
- Evictions Not Covered Under the Residential Landlord Tenant Act (RCW 59.18)
- A Sheriff’s Indemnity Bond will be required. The bond indemnifies the Sheriff from any liability in the action and must be delivered to the civil office prior to the actual eviction.
- The bond must be in an amount twice the value of the property to be removed from the premises with a $5,000.00 minimum. The Sheriff’s Office will determine minimum acceptable bond amounts.
- The bond must be issued to William J. Elfo, Sheriff of Whatcom County.