The Bristol County Sheriff’s Civil Process Division is responsible for serving Civil Process documents and making civil arrests in Bristol County. Papers are delivered by trained Deputy Sheriffs who understand the requirements of serving Civil Process. We have two offices to handle the high volume of civil papers, which are listed on the bottom of this page.


Who May Contact the Civil Division?

Anyone may contact the office if they need to have papers served (including legal documents, letters, notice of court dates, and eviction notices). If you have questions regarding court papers or documents you received from our office, please feel free to contact us and we will assist you. The Civil Process Division is not permitted to offer legal advice, although we can explain procedures, including the process of evicting a tenant from an apartment or dwelling.


The Process of Serving Papers:

Deputy Sheriffs will deliver the documents to an individual being served in person or by leaving “Last and Usual.” This service consists of the last known address of the person being served, and if the individual is not present, they will leave the documents at that address. A copy of the document is also mailed to the individual by First Class mail.

Once the Deputy Sheriffs have delivered the documents they will complete and type out a “return of service,” which is an affidavit stating that the service has been completed. The return of service will be attached to the original document and will be sent to court for filing, and will be sent to the Plaintiff and/or Attorney.



Fees for Civil Process Services:

A Civil Process fee will depend on the following:
• Type of Service
• Type of Document
• Number of individuals
• Location of city or town being served

You may contact our office to request the exact cost of a particular service.

Plaintiffs and Attorneys who have gone to court may have been issued a Capias against a Defendant for funds owed. They can send or drop off the Capias at our office with the fee for service. Deputy Sheriffs will make all possible attempts to contact the Defendant by telephone, mail, and by visits to the individual’s home and workplace. If we arrange a court date with the Defendant, we will also contact the other parties involved to make arrangements for the court date as well. If the amount owed is collected in full, we will contact you and provide you with a check for the amount.

If all attempts to collect money and to get the Defendant into court have failed, you can choose to have the individual arrested (for an additional fee). Note: A Physical Arrest will only guarantee that we will get the Defendant into court. The Civil Process Division does not have control over any judicial decisions or payments once he or she is in court. If a Capias is against a business or organization, you will need to go to court and have an individual’s name added to the Capias in order to make a Physical Arrest.



How long does it take to deliver a document?

Documents are served the same day or the next day from when they are received. Our department will ensure that services are in accordance with Massachusetts Law. The Civil Process division will provide the best service possible and deliver documents promptly. Keep in mind however that documents delivered by hand may take longer than expected if the person being served is unresponsive. Also, a Capias may take longer than other services, due to the nature of the process.



Which towns and cities are served by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office?

Acushnet, Assonet, Attleboro, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Easton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Mansfield, New Bedford, North Attleboro, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, Westport.



Papers Served:

Capias Probate
Capias Forthwith
Contempt Summons
Contempt Summons & Complaint
Demand on Execution
Discharge of Levy
Judgement Debtor Summons
Levy-Personal Property
Notice to Quit
Notice to Show Cause
Order of Notice
Preliminary Injunction
Real Estate Attachment-Fall River District
Real Estate Attachment-Northern District
Real Estate Attachment-Southern District
Real Estate Levy – Northern District
Real Estate Levy – Southern District
Real Estate Levy – Fall River District
Restraining Order
Sheriff’s Sale (Previously Levied)
Summons & Complaint – Modification
Summons & Complaint – Paternity
Summons & Complaint – Separate Support
Summons & Complaint – Summary Process
Summons & Complaint – Supplementary Process
Summons & Complaint – Statement of Damages
Summons & Complaint – Divorce
Summons & Complaint – Divorce-ARO
Summons And Complaint
Summons to Trustee
Trustee Execution
Witness Subpoena
& Other Documents



CIVIL DIVISION (Two Locations)

108 Court Street
P.O. Box 8928
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: 508.992.6631
Fax: 508.991.6016

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Map & Directions To This Location:


4 Court Street
Suite 106
Taunton, MA 02780
Phone: 508.828.1832
Phone: 508.828.1858
Fax: 508.828.1589

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Map & Directions To This Location:



Peter Berthiaume

Chief, Assistant Superintendent
108 Court St
New Bedford, MA 02740



Bristol County Sheriff's Office Address: 400 Faunce Corner Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747 Phone: 508.995.6400 Web: