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Judgment Collection (Writ of Execution)


Writs of Execution are Orders issued by District Court directing the Sheriff’s Office to satisfy (or collect) a judgment.  Writs of Execution must be directed to the Sheriff’s Office of the county in which the assets to satisfy the judgment are located.  These assets may be personal or real property.  Minnesota Statutes Chapter 550 applies to executions.

The Writ of Execution document is valid for one hundred eighty (180) days after the date of issue.  The judgment on which it is based is usually valid for ten years and can be renewed by additional court action.  It is the responsibility of the judgment creditor to locate assets belonging to the judgment debtor which can be levied upon (seized) to satisfy the judgment.  The most common procedures are wage levies and bank/financial institution levies.

Wage/Earnings Levies

The judgment creditor must complete the following before the Sheriff’s Office will process and serve any Writs of Execution for Wage Levies: 

  1. Serve the judgment debtor with the Garnishment Exemption Notice and Notice of Intent to Garnish Earnings at least 10 days prior to the date the Sheriff’s Office will serve the Garnishment Summons or Writ of Execution. (Minnesota State Statutes §571.924). 
  2. Endorse (sign) the original Writ of Execution (bottom line on the first page of the Writ).
  3. Provide cash, a money order, or a check payable to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in the amount of the required service fees
  4. Provide cash, a money order, or a check payable to the employer for $15.00.
  5. Print and complete an Execution Instruction Sheet.  Failure to provide all requested information could delay the collection of funds.

Collection of Funds from Wage/Earnings Levies

The Sheriff’s Office serves the Writ of Execution, earnings disclosure form, earnings disclosure worksheet, Garnishment Summons and the Garnishment Disclosure form the Writ of Execution, Earnings Execution Disclosure form, Earnings disclosure worksheet, and a statement of total amount due, on the employer after receipt of the Writ of Execution and the items listed above.

The employer must send a completed Earnings Disclosure form to the Sheriff’s Office stating whether the employee can have their earnings garnished.  Once the garnishment begins, the employer will generally deduct 25% of the debtor’s disposable income for 70 days after the date of service of the Writ of Execution.  If funds are received from the employer, at the end of the 70 day period the Sheriff’s Office will issue and mail a check to the judgment creditor, after deducting the collection service fees of the Sheriff’s Office.  

If all the money owed is not collected in the first 70 days, the judgment creditor can re-levy for an additional 70 days before the writ is returned by the Sheriff’s Office to District Court.  The creditor will need to send in two checks in order for the Sheriff’s Office to re-levy, one payable to the employer for $15.00 and one payable to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in the amount of the required service fees

In the event no funds are collected, a notice will be mailed to the judgment creditor giving the reason.  The judgment creditor then must try to identify other assets of the judgment debtor to be used to pay the judgment.

Additional Information 

  • In computing the amount to be collected, the Sheriff’s Office will include the amount of the judgment, the interest accruing at the rate indicated on the Writ, and any additional costs that have been added by District Court or Court Administration.  The Sheriff’s Office will also add the approved commission on the total, plus the Sheriff’s Office service fees.
  • If the judgment is totally satisfied, the judgment creditor will receive a total payment that covers the judgment amount, interest, additional costs, $15 employer’s fee, and the Sheriff’s Office service fees.  If the judgment is only partially satisfied, the Sheriff’s Office commission on the amount collected and the service fees will be deducted from the amount collected.

Bank/Financial Institution Levies

The judgment creditor must complete the following before the Sheriff’s Office will process and serve any Writs of Execution for Bank/Financial Institution Levies.  Please note the name on the account must be the same as the name of the judgment debtor on the Writ of Execution or the financial institution will not honor it.  It is possible to levy on a joint account.

  1. Endorse (sign) the original Writ of Execution (bottom line on the first page of the Writ).
  2. Provide cash, a money order, or a check payable to the Sheriff’s Office in the amount of the required service fees.
  3. Provide cash, a money order, or a check payable to the financial institution for $15.00.
  4. Complete an Execution Instruction Sheet.  Failure to provide all requested information could delay the collection of funds.

Collection of Funds from a Bank/Financial Institution Levies

The Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Unit serves a third party levy on a bank account(s) after receipt of the Writ of Execution.  Documents served include the Writ of Execution; the notice, instructions, and exemption notice form; and the Financial Institutions Execution Disclosure form.  Funds on deposit in the account(s) are frozen as of the date of service.  Financial institutions generally respond to the Sheriff’s Office by mail within 35 days after the date of service.  At that time, if a check is received from the bank/financial institution, the Sheriff’s Office will deposit that amount.  A check will then be mailed to the plaintiff (creditor) in the form of a Sheriff’s Office check.  If no funds are collected, the Sheriff’s Office will notify the plaintiff (creditor) by mail.  Refunds for service fees are not provided.

Other Types of Levies

It is possible to levy on other items, including real property, vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, and recreational vehicles.  Deposit amounts required to cover seizure and storage costs vary depending upon the action requested by the judgment creditor.  Please contact the Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Unit for a deposit amount prior to planning this type of levy.

It is also recommended that judgment creditors read Minnesota Statutes Chapter 550 for more information, particularly related to exemptions to levy and the statutorily-required forms to be used in conjunction with a levy.  Please consult an attorney if you have legal questions.

Non-homestead real property may also be levied upon and sold.  This is a complex procedure and judgment creditors may want to discuss this with an attorney.

Foreign Judgment Information

A judgment rendered by a state court outside Minnesota or a federal court is considered a foreign judgment.  The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office is unable to act on a foreign judgment.  A certified copy of the foreign judgment must be filed with the Office of the Court Administrator so that it may have the same effect as a judgment issued by the Ramsey County District Court.  See Minnesota Statutes 548.26 to .28 below:

  • 548.26 Definition
  • 548.27 Filing and status of foreign judgments
  • 548.28 Notice of filing

After the foreign judgment has been filed, the Sheriff’s Office can provide services for satisfaction of the judgment just as if it had been issued as a Minnesota judgment.

More Information

For more information, please contact the Civil Process Unit at 651-266-9330.

 



Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
Minnesota's First Law Enforcement Agency - Established 1849

Sheriff Matt Bostrom