Civil Department

The Civil Division is in charge of processing & serving civil papers. These include small claims, original notices, petitions, evictions, subpoenas, orders, wage garnishments, levies, writ of attachments, sheriff sales, and condemnations, etc.


Advance fees may be needed prior to service of papers. The chart below may be helpful in determining an estimated advance fee, or you can contact our office at 319-753-8212. Mileage is based on $.58.5/mile.

One person
Two people
Burlington area
West Burlington area
Middletown area
Danville area
Mediapolis area
Yarmouth/Augusta area

Any paper received by our office that gets recalled before any attempts are made will be charged $10.00, as a return has to be e-filed to the clerk of court.

Diligent fee is $15.00 plus mileage.

A required notary fee is $5.00.

This chart is based on one trip to a residence. Mileage may vary depending on the number of trips made to a residence and/or employment. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Please advise this office with a current address and employment. We will only serve at an employment once a home address has been attempted and unable to locate that person there.


Papers required to serve a garnishment:

*1 Direction/Dictation to the Sheriff for Service

*1 General Execution

*2 Notice of Garnishments per defendant

You do not need to send the blank return of service form.


Papers required to process a sheriff sale:

*Directions to the Sheriff stating the case name, case number, physical property address and

if there is a redemption period or a delay of sale.

*Special Execution

*Copy of Decree

Sheriff Sale Bid Process:


Your bid must include the address for the tax statement. Please email your bid to both Mary and Judy

at the Des Moines County Sheriff's Office and/or fax to 319-754-6910.

*Private Individual:

You must have a written letter of credit from a local financial institution up to the amount you wish

to bid at the time of the sale. You will not be allowed to bid for more than your letter of credit

states. Payment in full is required no later than 1pm the day of the sale in the form of a cashier's

check. Please make check payable to the Des Moines County Sheriff's Office.


A 3-day or 30-day notice must be served upon the tenant. Our department does not serve this notice. This notice must be personally served and signed for by the tenant. If a signature is not obtainable, alternate service must be completed.

Alternate service consists of:

*Posting notice on the front door.

*Send notice by certify mail through the post office (keep receipt of mailing).

*Send notice by regular mail.

*Must wait 7 days from date of mailing before proceeding to the next step.

An affidavit of service must be EDMS filed with the Des Moines County Clerk of Court.

After the service/alternate service of the 3 or 30 day notice the landlord must EDMS file a "Forcible Entry and Detainer" through the Associate Court at the Des Moines County Courthouse. This will set up a court date for both the landlord and the tenant to appear for a hearing. This paper can be served by our office. It must be personally served 3 full days before the hearing date. If it cannot be personally served within those 3 days, alternate service must be completed by the plaintiff. This MUST be completed a full 7 days before the hearing.

Alternate service consists of:

*Posting notice on the front door.

*Send notice by certify mail through the post office (keep receipt of mailing).

*Send notice by regular mail.

*This must be completed a FULL 7 days before the court date.

An affidavit of service must be EDMS filed with the Des Moines County Clerk of Court.

A writ of possession will be issued by the courts if judgment is awarded to the plaintiff. This must be served by our office within 30 days of the order. See below for writ of removal process.


The landlord will need to physically provide the sheriff’s office 2 copies of a Writ of Removal and Possession that will be available through the EDMS notifications. (This is not the order; it’s an actual attachment in your notifications) As a reminder, a writ is only valid for 30 days from the date of issue from the court. Do not wait until the week it would expire.

The sheriff’s office will coordinate a time to serve the writ of removal with the deputy’s schedule. The deputy is there to keep the peace, not to physically remove the property from the residence. If the landlord begins the process, alters the contents on the property or changes the locks prior to the arrival of the deputy, then we will assume the property has been returned to the landlord and the deputy will no longer be a part of the process. 


  • Providing a minimum of three (3) people to complete the removal within two-hours. You will need to have more people if you can’t get the property out in that two-hour period.
  • Supplying boxes, plastic bags and tarps to cover the property in inclement weather while securing it.
  • Supplying materials to secure the premises.
  • Removing property and vehicles from the premises to the nearest public access (i.e. curb). The property cannot be locked up in an enclosed truck, trailer, etc. It must remain on the public access until the city or county receives a complaint that the property is sitting there.
  • Providing hand tools and appliance dollies for disconnecting and moving large items.
  • Contacting Animal Control and facilitating the rescue of animals on the property at the time of the removal.

If you are unable to provide enough assistance to remove the property within the two (2) hours, the writ of removal will be rescheduled, according to the Deputy’s schedule, until you are able to obtain enough help. This will be at the discretion of the deputy at the time of the removal. Again, the removal is only valid for 30 days.