Civil Process and Serving

  • Question: How do I get legal papers served?
  • Answer: Please contact the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office Civil Clerk at (406) 758-5590. All civil papers must be accompanied by a signed praecipe (a letter of instruction providing a valid physical address for the person being served). -Directing the Sheriff to serve process or perform an enforcement action is required with all legal documents. Specific addresses of the person or business to be served are required to effect service. The Civil Division does not provide investigative services to determine the whereabouts of the person to be served. A home or work physical address for the person to be served must be provided by the party requesting service in the Sheriff’s Instruction or Praecipe.
  • Effective September 1, 2009, the Civil Service Fees (payable by check or cash) are as follows:
    >  There is no charge for the service of Temporary Orders of Protection and Orders of Protection.>  For the service of a Summons, Complaint or Petition, in all Courts including Small Claims……..$65.00.  Processing fee……..$25.00.  ($90.00 total, per defendant).>  For levying and serving each Writ of Attachment or Execution on real or personal property, service of attachment on the body or order of arrest, service of affidavit, order, and undertaking in claim and delivery, serving a writ of possession or restitution, serving every Notice, Rule, Letter or Court Order, etc. ……..$65.00.  Processing fee……..$25.00.  ($90.00 total, per defendant).>  For posting notices and advertising any property for sale on execution or under any judgment or order of sale, exclusive of cost of publication……..$65.00.  Processing fee……..$25.00.  ($90.00 total).>  For holding any Sheriff’s Sale for personal or real property on execution or under any judgment or order of sale (plus all associated costs)……..$100.00.  Processing Fee……..$25.  (Total: $125.00)   [Please note that the $25.00 Processing Fee is non-refundable for cancellation or postponement of a Sheriff’s Sale.]>  NSF Check Charge……..$50.00.[Please note that there are no refunds for returning papers at the request of a plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney after processing without service.]

    • Question: How do I sue someone in Small Claims Court?
    • Answer: Please contact the Flathead County Justice Court at (406) 758-5643.
      • Question: Can the Sheriff’s Office assist me when I need to exchange children or retrieve property?
      • Answer: The Sheriff’s Office will provide a Civil Stand-by only after the circumstances are reviewed in advance.  Please contact the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch at (406) 758-5610, and select the option for reaching a deputy.


  • Question: How do I get a Temporary Order of Protection?
    • Answer: Contact the Flathead County Justice Court at (406) 758-5643.  If you have any dissolution/divorce action with the respondent, contact the Flathead County District Court at (406) 758-5870.


    • Question: What steps do I need to follow to evict a tenant?
    • Answer: Please refer to the following document. If you need further assistance, please contact the Justice Court Civil Department at (406) 758-5645. To evict, follow these suggestions…
    • Question: How do I find out my rights as a landlord or tenant?
    • Answer: If you live in Flathead County, please contact a local representative, who is a licensed property manager and answers basic questions about the Montana Landlord Tenant Laws:
      Mr. Ron Trippet            (406) 752-9000
      If you live outside Flathead County, please call the Montana Landlord Association referral hotline at (406) 219-1121 to receive contact information for your area. Montana Fair Housing (800) 929-2611 – provides anti-discrimination housing information to owners and renters and information on Montana law and links to other resources.