About Civil

The Court Services Division of the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of civil process throughout San Juan County. Court Services include many types of paperwork. Subpoenas, summonses, domestic violence restraining orders and Writs of Garnishment, Execution, Restitution, and Replevin are just a few examples of the enforcement action taken by the division. The staff of the Court Services Division collects thousands of dollars annually for the San Juan County Treasurer from those who are delinquent in paying their property taxes.

The majority of the process is generated out of the District and Magistrate Courts.

A sergeant, nine certified deputies, and a records technician serve between 8,000-10,000 documents each year, and collected more than $3 million in 2007, pursuant to court orders.

In addition to enforcing court decisions, this division plays the important and necessary role of providing court security for the District Courts, criminal and civil hearings, trials, Drug Court, domestic violence hearings, and the Juvenile Grade Court.

The Civil Court deputies transport fugitives from across the United States on local charges and to the New Mexico State Penitentiary after sentencing.

  • The person filing is the plaintiff; the person being filed against (the debtor) is the defendant.
  • The plaintiff must provide the defendant’s physical address. Papers cannot be served without a physical address (a post office box is NOT a physical address).
  • A $67 court fee will be collected when you file your complaint in Magistrate Court.
  • The Magistrate Court in Farmington is at 950 W. Apache (505-326-4338).
  • The Magistrate Court in Aztec is at 200 S. Gossett (505-334-9429).
  • Once the complaint has been filed, the Magistrate Court clerk will type a Civil Summons and an Answer Form to accompany the complaint, which the plaintiff may present to the Sheriff’s Office, 211 S. Oliver, for service.
  • If the Sheriff’s Office performs the service, a fee of $42 must be paid to the Sheriff’s Office before the service can be completed. The $42 is required for most types of service. A reasonable attempt is made to locate parties for service, considering the available time and a good physical address. Papers may be brought in or mailed to the Civil Division at the Sheriff’s Office, 211 S. Oliver, Aztec, N.M. 87410.
  • The defendant has 20 days from the date of service to return his/her answer to the court.
  • If the defendant responds, acknowledging the debt, a judgment on the pleading is typed by the Magistrate Court clerk and a copy is sent to both the plaintiff and the defendant.
  • If there’s no acknowledgement of debt, a hearing date will be set and the plaintiff and the defendant will be notified to appear. If the defendant does not respond to the court within the time allowed (20 days from the date of service), a default judgment is entered against the defendant and a copy is sent to both the plaintiff and the defendant.

At the time of the judgment, the plaintiff may ask for a Writ of Execution, which allows the Sheriff’s Office to collect the amount owed or to attempt to levy against property for auction.