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Court papers served by deputies in Mid-Missouri


Court papers in Boone County are served by sheriff's deputies, not civilian employees such as the court worker killed serving an eviction notice Thursday in Independence, Missouri.

ABC 17 News spoke to Captain Brian Leer of the Boone County Sheriff's Office and he says that serving civil and criminal documents is a part of their job under state law.

"When the court issues an order, it has to be served by a peace officer," said Leer. "We have a civil process clerk who processes the papers in. And then we have two uniformed deputies who go out and their primary duty is the service of the process."

The Boone County Sheriff's Office serves a variety of court papers in civil cases and has a list on its website with prices for service. Deputies will serve eviction papers for $30. The sheriff's department expects to serve about $50,000 worth of papers in 2024, according to the county budget.

In Boone County, there are private process servers, but they are not allowed to serve court orders. Court orders such as, garnishments, evictions, custody and divorce papers and many others.

On Friday, charges were filed against Larry Acree for two counts of first-degree murder and assault in Independence for the killing of a police officer and court paper server who were giving an eviction notice. Another officer from the Independence Police Department was also seriously injured but is expected to survive.

According to court documents, the civil process server, Drexel Mack, was serving a "notice to vacate" to the address of Acree to remove him from the property. Mack and another witness to the shooting knocked multiple times and announced their presence and heard no response from Acree, police say. Mack and the witness then entered the home and Acree shot Mack, according to authorities.

The witness to the shooting then called the police. When officers arrived, they entered the home and officer Cody Allen was killed and another officer was shot in the stomach. Officers returned fire before Acree was taken into custody.

According to the 16th Judicial Circuit in Jackson County, the Department of Civil Process is in charge of serving court papers.

An eviction notice is under a civil process unit that serves all civil papers such as subpoenas, landlord-tenant process and child support enforcement along with other civil-related processes.

Last year Boone County Sheriff's deputies serves around 7,700 civil processes and the Cole County Sheriff's Office serves over 30,000 legal documents every year, making it third in the state in the number of documents served.

Both sheriff's offices charge fees to serve civil processes, for evictions, child support notices and other non-criminal citations for $30.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Jazsmin Halliburton


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