Step 3: Take the forms to the sheriff's department
If the clerk does not do this for you, you may have to take the appropriate forms to the sheriff's department so they can serve the defendant with the summons, complaint, and notice of hearing (and the ex parte order if one was granted). Counties do this differently. In some counties the clerk of courts sends the forms to the sheriff; in other counties, the plaintiff has to take the forms to the sheriff. Please contact your local domestic violence program or the clerk of court to find out the way it is handled in your county.
You will have to provide some contact information for the defendant so the sheriff can find him/her. You may want to give the sheriff a picture of the defendant and any information you have that will help them locate him/her. The defendant must receive notice of the hearing from the sheriff. If the defendant does not receive notice, the hearing will be rescheduled. In addition, if an ex parte order was granted, the defendant must be served with the order for it to be in effect and be enforced.