WHAT IS CIVIL PROCESS?
The Civil Divisions of Kansas District Courts handle all non-criminal proceedings and litigation, including basic tort and contract law, small claims, limited, and civil; cases concerning tax matters, estates, trusts, guardianships and conservatorships, adoptions, divorces, protection from abuse and stalking, care and treatment, paternity and child custody, juvenile, and other miscellaneous issues. Papers that may be served in these proceedings include the summons, notice to appear, order to appear, contempt citation, subpoena, garnishment, foreclosure, restraining order, executions, attachment, injunction, forcible detainer, ex parte order, writ of replevin, and more. Civil Papers are NOT warrants and do not require an arrest. They are official Court documents notifying persons of civil action being taken by one party against another. The document usually requires the person being served to take some type of action or answer to the courts regarding a specific matter within a given time frame.
Civil Process is the procedure used to give legal notice to someone of a court proceeding concerning that person so as to enable him to respond in his best interest. Usually, notice is furnished by serving a set of documents (called "process", or papers) to the person to be notified, and the sooner that person get the papers, the more time he has to prepare.
"Serving" generally means "delivery to" and service may take many forms, including personal, residential, agent, first class or certified mail, publication, and tacking. Serving does not mean arresting; only delivering. Under Kansas law, a person does not have to be touched with the paper to be served, nor does a person have to sign for the paper. Also, when a person refuses service, the offer to serve, coupled with the refusal, constitutes service, and the person served risks a judgment against him if he fails to respond to the paper. Please remember that only an attorney can give legal advice, not the Sheriff. The Sheriff can only carry out the orders of the Court.
WHAT ARE TAX WARRANTS?
The Sheriff's Office is given the statutory duty to collect the previous year's delinquent taxes that are not paid on personal property. The Sheriff receives the delinquent tax notices from the Treasurer's office the middle of March for collection during the six months of April 1st through October 1st of each calendar year. The Sheriff's Office makes a demand for money to satisfy the delinquent tax. All monies received will be given to the Treasurer for the satisfaction of the account.
WHAT IS A SHERIFF'S SALE ALL ABOUT?
A Sheriff's Sale is the legal sale of property to satisfy a debt under court order. Mortgage Foreclosure Sales are advertised three weeks in advance of the date of the sale in the Hodgeman County publication of record, the Jetmore Republican. Delinquent Tax Sales are advertised 30 days in advance of the date of the sale. Sales are conducted at 10:00 AM in the Lobby of the Hodgeman County Courthouse, unless stated otherwise in the published notice.
The Hodgeman County Sheriff's Office has no right of access to any property pending sale, nor can we grant access to others. If the street address is not listed on the published order, the Sheriff's Office will not have it. Information on the amount of judgment, court costs, taxes owed, etc. are available and can be viewed in the open court file which is available through the Clerk of the District Court, Hodgeman County Courthouse, 500 Main Street, 3rd Floor in Jetmore.
At the sale, the full bid amount for a sale item must be paid in cash, certified check or money order at the time of sale. The Sheriff's Office will accept personal checks only with the prior approval of the plaintiff's attorney or the District Court Clerk. The Sheriff's Office will not give "change" from any transaction conducted at a sheriff's sale. Should the amount of the check or cash be over the amount bid, the Sheriff will issue a receipt for the actual amount received and any overage will be paid from the Clerk's office at a later date.
After the sale the following events occur prior to the issuance of a Sheriff's Deed:
1) After the sale a Return of Service on the Order of Sale is filed by the Sheriff's Office with the Clerk of the District Court.
2) The Clerk of the District Court will send a receipt to the winning bidder.
3) An order confirming the sale will be generated, usually by the plaintiff's attorney and signed by a judge. The orders may contain a redemption period which is generally ninety days in length; although longer and shorter periods of time may be specified by the court. Redemption rights can also be extinguished altogether upon order of the court.
4) Following the receipt of the order confirming the sale the Sheriff's Office will issue a Certificate of Purchase which states the name, the length of the redemption period, if any and the amount bid by the winning bidder. These documents will be sent to the plaintiff's attorney unless the winning bidder is a third party, in which case the Certificate of Purchase will be sent directly to them.
5) At the end of the redemption period the buyer will surrender the original copy of the Certificate of Purchase to the Sheriff's Office.
6) Following the receipt of the original copy of the Certificate of Purchase by the Sheriff's Office, a Sheriff's Deed will be issued to the winning bidder.
CAN THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE RESOLVE LANDLORD/TENANT DISPUTES?
The relationship between a landlord and his/her tenant is one of a personal & civil nature. As such, the Sheriff's Office cannot intervene or decide these disputes. If the parties involved cannot reach an agreement, they will have to take their case to court. They may do this by contacting an attorney, or in some cases, they may file a case with the Clerk of the District Court. For additional information concerning the landlord/tenant relationships, please visit www. HCCI-KS.org.
WHAT ARE WRITS OF RESTITUTION?
The Sheriff's Office serves court orders for the removal of persons from a residence or other place so that the property may be restored to another. These orders are called Writs of Restitution and they are usually issued as the last step in a legal action by a landlord to take possession of property such as an apartment, duplex or house.
HOW ARE EVICTIONS HANDLED?
The eviction process normally begins when the landlord provides tenants with a letter called a "Notice To Vacate". If the tenants do not comply with the landlord's demands after three (3) days, legal action may be initiated by the landlord in District Court. The Clerk of the District Court will issue a Summons and Petition that will require the tenants to appear in court on designated dates so that a judge may decide whether to order an eviction of the tenants. For more information on the eviction process, contact the Clerk of the District Court at 620-357-6522.
WILL THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE DO A CIVIL STANDBY/KEEP THE PEACE?
The Sheriff's Office occasionally gets requests for a deputy to accompany someone to a residence to retrieve or recover personal property. We will generally try to assist people at the time they call or come in; if the property exchange or retrieval can be handled in 30 minutes or less. The sole purpose of a deputy's presence is to KEEP THE PEACE. Any property over which ownership is in dispute should be handled in the courts.
WILL THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE RESOLVE CIVIL DISPUTES?
The Sheriff's Office will not intervene in, or attempt to decide civil disputes, to include: those involving any interest in property, vehicle repossessions, contractual agreements between individuals or businesses, or leases of any nature. The relationship between the involved parties is one of a personal & civil nature. If the parties involved cannot reach a suitable agreement, they will have to take their case to court for resolution. They may do this by contacting an attorney, or in some cases, they may file a case with the Clerk of the District Court themselves. Should the Sheriff's Office be called to the scene of a civil dispute or be asked to intervene in a dispute, the role of the Sheriff is to perserve the peace, enforce criminal statute violations and orders of the court.
HOW DO PROTECTION ORDERS WORK?
Kansas law sets out certain requirements to obtain a PFA/Stalking Order that must be satisfied before a Judge will issue such a Court Order. This type of Court Order is usually issued in cases of domestic violence where one partner desires protection from another person. A Protection From Abuse Order or Protection From Stalking Order issued by the court may direct a specific person to be restrained from contacting another, to not engage in certain acts, and to be removed from a residence or a place of employment. These court orders are usually served by Deputy Sheriffs who have the legal authority to enforce the provisions of the order. PFA/Stalking Orders are issued with a court date that provides the parties with an opportunity to present testimony in a courtroom setting.
CAN THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE DO BACKGROUND CHECKS?
The Hodgeman County Sheriff's Office can provide information deemed public by the Kansas Open Records Act. These records typically include Offense, Arrest and Booking Information for Hodgeman County only. However, the Sheriff's Office is prohibited by law from running a criminal history background for you by utilizing the National Crime Information Center. Residents can obtain a more thorough, statewide background check by visiting the Kansas Bureau of Investigation website (www.accesskansas.org/kbi).
CAN I GET FINGERPRINTED FOR EMPLOYMENT?
The Sheriff's Office will fingerprint persons upon request as part of pre-employment criminal history background checks. Residents should call the Sheriff's Office to make an appointment to be fingerprinted. There is a $10.00 (cash only) fee for this service.
HOW CAN I FILE A MISSING PERSONS REPORT?
Missing/Runaway Juveniles: The parent or guardian of any juvenile (under 18 years of age) may file a missing person-runaway juvenile report at any time. These reports will be immediately entered into the NCIC law enforcement database, which would serve to alert any officer from any jurisdiction having contact with the juvenile that he or she is listed as missing or a runaway. Deputies will also follow-up on any leads provided by the parent or guardian to determine a possible location of the juvenile or a potential destination.
Missing Adults: Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older is considered to be an adult with full liberty to move about as they choose, with the exception of persons 18 years of age or older who remain under the legal guardianship of another adult or protective services. Deputies will take reports of missing adults at any time. The extent of any follow-up will depend upon the circumstances of the disappearance. For example, if evidence indicates that the missing person was endangered or may have been forcibly abducted, deputies would immediately begin following up on leads. If the missing person simply has not been seen recently, but no evidence of foul play was found to exist, then our options and responsibilities in those cases may be limited under the law. See the link for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for additional information. www.missingkids.com.
WILL THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE DO WELFARE CHECKS?
The Sheriff's Office frequently receives requests to perform welfare checks. These generally occur when people are unable to reach a family member or close friend and are concerned about the health & welfare of that person. A deputy will be dispatched to the address to see if contact can be made. If contact is made the deputy will conduct a brief informal investigation to determine the physical and/or mental health and well being of the person, without violating his or her privacy rights. Another type of request is from a parent to check on minor children in the permanent or temporary custody of the other parent. The Sheriff's Office will do a welfare check provided the parent making the request can provide specific reasons based on facts that the welfare of the minor children is in jeopardy.
IS THERE A QUOTA FOR DEPUTIES?
There is no quota for the number of citations a deputy will issue.Deputies conduct traffic enforcement because so many lives are lost in speed-related or alcohol-related crashes. Aggressive traffic enforcement brings about compliance, helps educate the public, and reduces the death toll in Kansas. Every fatality crash in Hodgeman County over the last several years has had a speed, alcohol, or inattention component (or a combination of these) as a contributing factor.
Speed kills...after 50mph, your chance of death or serious injury doubles with every 10mph increase in speed.
Impaired driving will affect one in three Americans in their lifetime. Nearly 42,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year and of those approximately 16,000 are alcohol related. On average alcohol-related crashes account for one death every 33 minutes and one injury every 2 minutes in the United States.
DO TRAFFIC FINES HELP FUND THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE? WHERE DO FINE MONIES GO?
No, the Sheriff's Office sees no direct financial benefit from traffic citations. Traffic fines paid through the District Court are remitted to the state treasury and are distributed through a formula set by the Legislature.
- 11.99% to the crime victim compensation fund
- 2.45% to the crime victims assistance fund
- 3.01% to community alcoholism & intoxication programs fund
- 2.01% to the Department of Corrections alcohol & drug abuse treatment fund
- 0.17% to the boating fee fund
- 0.12% to the children's advocacy center fund
- 2.50% to the EMS revolving fund
- 2.50% to the trauma fund
- 2.50% to the traffic records enhancement fund
- The remainder goes to the State General Fund.
In addition to fines, the driver is responsible for paying state-mandated court costs, which are also set by the Legislature.
Fines & court costs assessed by municipal courts are distributed to both state and city coffers.
WHERE DO I PAY TRAFFIC CITATIONS?
Sheriff's Deputies can issue citations through the District Court, Jetmore Municipal Court, or Hanston Municipal Court. The applicable jurisdiction is noted on your citation. If a court appearance is not required, payment arrangements can be made with the appropriate court. District Court citations are payable on-line at www.citepayusa.com/ks and you may contact the Clerk of the District Court at 357-6522 for additional information on this method of payment.
I'M INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT DOES THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAVE A RIDE ALONG PROGRAM?
Yes, the Sheriff believes that having the opportunity to learn more about the operation of the office and the many duties of a Deputy Sheriff is an important aspect of the mission of the Sheriff. A well educated public is better informed about important law enforcement functions and ride along programs clear up a multitude of misconceptions about what a Deputy Sheriff does. Ride alongs also allow individuals who might have an interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement the opportunity to see first-hand what challenges that career choice will hold. Citizens can contact the Sheriff to make arrangements to do a ride along and will be required to follow a very specific set of rules during the ride along. Citizens are also required to sign a liability waiver indicating they voluntarily assume the inherent risks associated with this law enforcement experience and will hold the Sheriff's Office harmless if they are injured. Opportunities to participate in this program are limited and are offered at the sole discretion of the Sheriff.
I WAS DISSATISFIED WITH A LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTACT, HOW DO I FILE A COMPLAINT?
If you have questions or concerns about a deputy's conduct during a law enforcement contact you should contact the Sheriff to make your concerns known. While complaints made by telephone or e-mail will be reviewed, a written complaint is preferred. Written complaints provide concrete information to the Sheriff so he can best determine how to address the situation through mediation, counseling, or formal discipline. Often times complaints can be resolved quickly and informally, as the reason for the conflict is a simple misunderstanding. Complaints that may involve violations of policy or procedures and will require formal disciplinary action require a thorough investigation and may take some time to resolve. The Sheriff encourages both positive and negative feedback so that citizens receive the highest level of service possible. Written complaint forms are available in the Sheriff's Office during normal business hours.