Lake County has raised the fees for some services performed by its Sheriff’s Office.
State law allows county commissioners to set sheriff’s fees. The last time Lake County had done this was in 1999, when they set the fees at $50 per person to serve civil papers, $50 for the first parcel or piece of property sold at a sheriff’s sale and $10 for each additional one, and $50 to cancel or postpone a sheriff’s sale.
According to a letter sent last month by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the fees for serving a civil papers had since reached $65; staff there said that this was now the rate for most civil processes. Lake County Commissioner Bill Barron said that a previous sheriff had raised the rates without going through the commissioners, but he was unsure exactly when it had happened.
The Sheriff’s Office requested an increase in the fee for serving a writ of assistance or execution from $65 to $90, and the sheriff’s sale fee from $65 to $130. It stated that these tasks “are extremely time consuming for this office, and, particularly on sheriff’s sales, we are not covering our costs for the processing.” The three commissioners unanimously approved these increases, and formally set the fee for civil service and process at $65. They also raised the sheriff’s sale postponement and cancellation fee from $50 to $130, and maintained the $10 rate for each additional parcel or piece of property sold.
The change puts Lake County on par with Flathead County, which charges $90 to serve papers and $100, plus a $25 processing fee, for sheriff’s sales. Missoula County charges $100 per person to serve papers, but $300 for sheriff’s sales, plus $150 for each additional item.
The changes take effect Tuesday.