Sheriff and Process Servers

In many jurisdictions, the sheriff is a constitutional officer and charged with a variety of duties, which may include law enforcement, court-related security, and supervision and escort of prisoners. The sheriff also may be responsible for serving court process, such as subpoenas and warrants, and executing certain court orders, such as evictions, confiscation, and sale of property. The division of these functions and operational preference of the sheriff will influence the need to incorporate the sheriff's department within the courthouse.

In larger facilities, a central office to house the sheriff and process servers may be provided. These are private work offices where officers will report in the morning, receive their assignments, and then leave on their assignments.

The office may be empty for a large portion of the day. The office should accommodate workstations and desks and might be combined with the central bailiff's workroom/assembly room, or the central security control station if the Sheriff is responsible for court security.

Contained in the Sheriff's area should be the Sheriff's private office, offices or workstations for deputy sheriffs, clerical workstations, file storage area, equipment and supply closet(s), and a large room shared by process servers.

The size of the office/workroom will vary depending upon the size of the court facility and number of process servers. Process servers will spend most of their day outside of the building and do not need a full-sized workstation; 15-20 square feet should be sufficient in most cases.

The atmosphere should be that of a private office, with normal office lighting and finishes.

All areas of the sheriff's office should be accessible to persons with disabilities.

The sheriff's office should be well removed from the main entrance of the courthouse to provide a quiet and secure working environment.The office may be located near the central holding or central security area and have access to the secure and private circulation areas of the building.

Officers should have access to the clerk's office, judges' chambers, and secure parking.

Special accommodation should be made for weapons and ammunition storage. Specials weapons lockers should be provided at the entrance to any prisoner holding areas accessed by the Sheriff or Sheriff deputies.

The workroom should be furnished with desks and comfortable workstations that can be used by officers.

The Sheriff's private office should be furnished with standard office equipment; this includes a desk, credenza, small conference table with chairs, book shelves, and file storage. The furnishings should reflect the status of the Sheriff generally as an elected official.

Workstations require a computer with video display monitor, a printer, and document scanner. Other devices that may need to be accommodated include phone chargers, battery chargers, and computer tablets. Each workstation will require at least two data and one voice line (3 CAT 6 lines), and a minimum of two quadriplex electrical outlets. Specialized workstations may require additional electrical outlets.