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Monday, October 2, 2023
Home Government Holding Court: The Marshal

Holding Court: The Marshal

(PHOTO: Rye City Court Judge Joe Latwin in his office on Monday, December 5, 2022.)
(PHOTO: Former Rye City Court Judge Joe Latwin in his old office on Monday, December 5, 2022.)

Holding Court is a series by retired Rye City Court Judge Joe Latwin. Latwin retired from the court in December 2022 after thirteen years of service to the City.

What topics do you want addressed by Judge Latwin? Tell us.

By Joe Latwin

Holding Court: The Marshal

Bet you didn’t know that Rye has a City Marshal. No, he doesn’t ride a horse or date the schoolmarm. The City Marshal is appointed by the City Council. He is paid no salary. Instead, he can collect fees for the services he performs. Among those services are the service of legal papers and the enforcement and collection of judgments. The only expense to the City is for payment for a bond for his faithful performance. He does not work for the Court. He is hired by a party or their attorney who must issue directions for him to act. He has no law enforcement powers. You won’t see him on Purchase Street having a shootout with the bad guy at high noon (Grace Kelly optional).

Let’s say you want to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent or you have an order of protection issued in your favor. The Notice of petition and petition need to be served on the tenant and the Order of Protection may need to be served on the party against whom it is issued. They cannot be served by a party to the case. City Marshal can serve those (and other) papers. If the landlord gets a money judgment, upon levy the City Marshal can collect that judgment (plus his fees) from the tenant and remit the amount of the judgment to the landlord. He can also evict the tenants from the premises upon the issuance of a warrant of eviction from the Court.

The City Marshal has extraordinary means of collecting a judgment. Before executing a collection of judgment, the Marshal will talk to the debtor to work out a payment. If there is resistance, he can tell the debtor that he will make life difficult if there is no cooperation. For instance, upon a judgment and levy, he can seize property, including bank accounts. If property is seized, he can sell it at auction to raise cash. He can add locks on real estate denying the debtor access. He can have cars disabled or towed. One effective method of collection from a business is for the Marshal to stand in the store at the cash register. When the customer pays, the Marshal takes the cash. Usually before evicting a tenant, he will tell the tenant to get their stuff out before the scheduled eviction so that their stuff doesn’t get put into storage at an additional cost to the tenant.


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