Mission: The Civil Division will provide the highest level of customer service and lawfully and timely execute civil process and public disclosure.
The Sheriff’s Office Civil Division is the backbone of the Sheriff’s Office and consists of a dedicated group of specially trained people to assist the Sheriff’s Office and citizens of Mason County. The greatest achievements in the past five years are the implementation of paperless processes in addition to the robust number of electronic services now available to the public, allowing them to conveniently conduct their business with our offices remotely online through the Sheriff’s Office website. This division currently has a total of seven support specialist positions and is under the direct supervision of the Chief Civil Deputy. Specialties within the Civil Division are as follows:
This team consists of three specialists who process all investigative reports and other documents generated by the deputies, detectives, and jail staff. This includes dissemination, retention and purging of those records in addition the entire Sheriff’s Office as a whole. One aspect of their job which holds the most liability is public disclosure. This task includes researching, redaction and disseminating requests for documents to the public pursuant to the Public Records Act (PRA). In recent years, the complexity of the requests has added time and resources requirements necessary to complete each process. This area holds a great liability due to the strict guidelines involved in responding to and fulfilling the requests. The agency may be subject to severe penalties and assessments if a mistake is made, or a document is missed. In looking at the numbers, 2013 had 1478 requests whereas 2020 had 1826 however, in 2019 you will see a spike of 2138 requests. To give an idea of the time spent in processing those requests, the analysis shows a steady increase of approximately 12% per year. In the 2020 budget season the Sheriff’s Office began negotiating for an additional two specialist positions to accommodate the increasing demand.
The Civil Process section consists of one specialist who processes domestic violence orders, small claim motions, child custody, summons, and subpoenas for service throughout the county. In addition, this position enforces orders of the court such as evictions, attachments, and executions of real and personal property. Currently, there is one commissioned deputy assigned to assist in the service of the majority of the civil papers and standbys on court orders and evictions. While the number of processes received has decreased steadily since 2017, there is no doubt that this specialized position holds the most liability within the Civil Division and also demands a clear understanding of the civil Revised Code of Washington (RCWs) and Washington Administrative Code (WACs) to perform these duties. You will notice that the number for 2020 is quite low at 51% less than 2019. This is attributed to the pandemic court closures and inception of E-Serve in the prosecutor’s office.
Civil Process Statistics
|Sheriff Sales||Service||Standby||Eviction w/
|* Pandemic Closure|
General Services added 2017 – 5001; 2018 – 6773; 2019 – 6732; and 2020 – 3272 to the totals.
This team of three specialists serve as the first point of contact for citizens making non-emergency calls or contacting the Sheriff’s Office for assistance. They have been trained in a variety of clerical and reception duties including greeting and assisting the public at the counter or on the phone, issuing concealed pistol licenses (CPLs), dangerous dog licenses, harvest permits, processing firearm transfer applications (FTAs), and sex offender paperwork in addition to a variety of other duties. The processing of CPLs and FTAs continues to steadily increase and genuinely spikes during heightened political or legislative times or anticipated changes to laws or federal administration. As an example, the combined increase from 2019 to 2020 is 31%, from 4199 in 2019 to 5496 in 2020. This is a causal effect of the change in legislation requiring local law enforcement to add Semi-Automatic Rifles (SAR) to the list of FTAs to background. This County alone processed 2899 Pistol Transfer Applications (PTA) and 422 SAR applications in 2020. The Sheriff’s main business office in Shelton is currently open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 with a limit of one customer in the lobby at a time and face coverings are required. Many services are by appointment only, so it is recommended that you visit our website or call before you come in.