Local News

Wake County Deputies Busy With Backlog Of Unserved Civil Papers

Posted March 26, 2003 5:17 a.m. EST

— A lot of people don't answer the door when Donnelle Farrar comes knocking.

Farrar is one of 20 Wake County sheriff's deputies assigned to a backlog of unserved civil papers.

When Sheriff Donnie Harrison took office last December, 3,000 cases had piled up. In four months, that number has been cut in half.

"To me, 3,000 was not acceptable," Harrison said. "It was a norm when I came here. They (deputies) would say: 'Sheriff, this is normal.' To me, it's not normal."

Deputies pick up a black box every morning. The boxes are full of papers that need to be served. Deputies take the papers with them and serve them during their shift.

"If you're a landlord, and you're waiting for us to evict somebody, and we don't do our job by serving papers," Harrison said, "then it's going to extend another month and another month and cost that person money."

Harrison said criminal warrants and domestic violence orders are always served right away.

There are 20 deputies serving civil papers -- double the number that it used to be. But they're still playing catch-up. With up to 400 new cases coming in every day, deputies like Donnelle Farrar will always have plenty of doors to knock on.