Civil Process Division


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Greetings From the Suffolk County Sheriff Civil Process Division!

Our office works closely with the courts, attorneys and self-representing individuals requiring service of process. Our Deputies strive to serve all legal documents in a timely and effective manner while maintaining an impartial position between each involved party.

Suffolk County Sheriffs Department
  • Boston
  • Allston
  • Mattapan
  • Roslindale
  • Brighton
  • Charlestown
  • Roxbury
  • South Boston
  • Dorchester
  • East Boston
  • West Roxbury
  • Chelsea
  • Hyde Park
  • Jamaica Plain
  • Revere
  • Winthrop

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to get a return of service after I send the paperwork to the office?

A: From start to finish, the process usually takes about two weeks for an average summons. Depending on the type of service, this estimate may vary.

Q: My invoice said that I would be receiving a refund check in the mail. How long until it arrives?

A: Refunds are generated twice each month, so expect the check in the mail within two weeks of receiving the invoice.

Q: I received my summons with a return sticker on the back, what do I do with it? 

A: You must file the original with the appropriate court.

Q: I know who I need to serve, but I don’t know the address. Can you look this up for me?

A: The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office is not authorized to provide any contact information for persons or businesses. You must provide all of the service information.

Q: Instead of a return of service, I received a paper describing a “Diligent Search.” What does this mean?

A: A Diligent Search means that the sheriff made an honest attempt to complete service on the requested party and, for some reason, was unable to do so. The most common reasons for a Diligent Search usually involve wrong address information, a party who has recently changed residences or place of business, or refusal to accept service. A Diligent Search may be brought to the courthouse instead of a standard return of service to request an alternative method of service. Please note, however, that a Diligent Search does not count as complete service.