Civil and Writs


The Constable’s Office is the only law enforcement agency responsible for civil processes within Harris County.  
This is not to say that all civil processes go through the Constable’s Office, some of them are handled by private process agents and complainants themselves.

The Civil Division of Precinct 5 consists of commissioned Peace Officers and civilian clerks whose responsibilities include receiving, recording, serving, and returning legal documents to the courts from which they originated. The officer’s written return on each document notifies the court that the order or notice has been served.

Currently there are 17 Deputies in the Civil Division who handle approximately 4,700 court papers each month.  These include civil processes ranging from divorce papers to law suits, and protective orders.  Typically a Deputy will make a minimum of three attempts to serve a paper, unless it is determined that the address is bad.

Additionally, the Civil Division is responsible for providing bailiffs for the Justice of the Peace courts within Precinct 5.

Complainants filing court instruments can expedite service if they remember to leave a daytime and nighttime phone where they may be reached.  Always retain your case number and use it for every inquiry after filing with the courts.  Deputies do not investigate your case, however they need accurate, recent and reliable information about each case, in order to give the best service possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I file a lawsuit at Precinct 5?

No. Lawsuits are filed with the court of proper jurisdiction.

My landlord has locked me out. How can I get back in?

If the landlord will not provide you with entry, you can go to
the Justice Court of your precinct and apply for a writ of re-entry.

My spouse had visitation and is refusing to return our
child back into my custody. How can I get custody back?

You can apply for a writ of attachment in the court of proper
jurisdiction. (See below for more information on attachments.)

For questions concerning Civil please contact Sgt. Jimmy Cassel at or 832-927-6711.


If the Civil Division processes court orders, the Writ Division enforces the court’s decisions regarding
those orders.  The most common of these decisions is in the form of a “writ of execution”.  This
commands the Constable to collect the court’s judgment through money and/or seizures of property,
and the subsequent sale of this property to satisfy a judgment.

We know that your interest in this case far outweighs that of anyone else, and we welcome your inquiries regarding its status.  In most instances this will require speaking directly with the deputy assigned to your case.  As they are often in the field, be prepared to provide the clerk assisting you with your case number and a reliable daytime contact number so that the deputy can call you back as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I legally gain possession of my child?

A person can gain possession of their child through a writ of attachment. A court with jurisdiction will issue the order of attachment commanding the Constable to pick up the child and place them in possession of the person or persons designated by the court.

Note: If out of state, the order must be domesticated through a Texas court.

How do I collect a debt owed to me?

Debts can be collected by filing a lawsuit with the court having proper jurisdiction. Once a judgment is made in a party’s favor, that party can collect through a writ of execution.

What is a writ of execution?

A writ of execution is an order commanding the Constable to collect a debt owed. This can be done through payment of the judgment or “Levy” (seizure of non-exempt assets) to be sold at public auction to satisfy the judgment.

For questions concerning Writs please contact Lt. John Maranto at or 832-927-6732.

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