Sep 04

August 2017

Posted on September 4, 2017 at 2:08 AM by Craig Johnson

Lately at the sheriff’s office we have been dealing with normal end of summer events and adjusting to the kids going back to school.  Please obey all traffic control signs and watch for kids on the roadways.  Also be alert of school buses in the area. 

The duties of the Sheriff in the Iowa Code are extensive. One area that is often overlooked is the section relating to service of civil procedure. Currently my Chief Deputy, Steve Holst, does most of the civil proceedings with the assistance of other deputies serving papers and help from my Administrative Assistants.  The demands on Sheriffs’ Offices have increased over the years, but the fees allowed in the Code of Iowa have not kept pace with the demand for service by civil deputies, resulting in unfunded mandates that, eventually get passed on to local property taxpayers. 

This year the Iowa State Sheriff’s and Deputies Association requested legislation to get the fees increased which hasn’t been done in several years.  This was passed by the Iowa Senate 48-1 and Iowa House of Representatives 96-0, Signed by Governor 5-11-2017

The following civil fees were increased.  (Information from ISSDA)

331.655 (1)…… a. b. c., e. f. g. h. k. l. n. p.

 Increases current fees set in Iowa Code

--notices ($15 increase from $15 to $30);
--notices–second person same residence ($10 increase from $10 to $20);
--for warrants ($15 increase from $20 to $35);
--for subpoenas ($15 increase from $20 to $35);
--for summoning a jury for condemnation ($100 increase from $100 to $200); No longer required to attend them;
--for other court orders, execution, attachment ($15 increase from $15 to $30);
--for activities related to executing a certificate or deed for lands sold on execution or sold ($20 increase from $30 to $50); No increase on bill of sale for personal property;
--for doing inventory of personal property attached or levied upon ($10 increase from $10 to $20 per hour);
--for setting a sale of real property ($25 increase from $50 to $75)
--for conveying a person to an institution by court order ($10 increase from $15 to $25 per hour);
--for posting notices ($5 increase from $5 to $10).

-Condemnations create the greatest time demand of any civil process, most of which is in preparation of the meeting.  There is currently no mechanism for collecting a fee for the lost time if a cancellation happens prior to the meeting.  The Sheriff’s Office will receive a payment of $200 for summoning a jury to assess the damages to the owner’s lands taken.

-Attending the service of a writ.  Sheriff’s deputies are required to stand by during the service of writs, especially evictions.  Currently, the only compensation that the Sheriff gets for overseeing writs is the mileage and a $15 service fee.  The Sheriff’s Office will receive an additional $25 per hour attendance fee and the new writ service fee of $30.

Hopefully this should increase revenue and reduce the burden on local property taxpayers to some degree.  The increases went into effect July 1st, 2017.

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at, or stop by to see me

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi


Jun 27

June 2017

Posted on June 27, 2017 at 7:03 PM by Craig Johnson

This month in my article I would like to talk about some new changes in the laws effective July 1st, 2017.  The first one is Senate File 234 which is about distracted driving or texting and driving.  Senator Mike Breitbach was the floor manager for this bill which was long overdue.  Every year in the United States, 421,000 people are injured in some way that involves the driver being distracted.  1 out of 4 car accidents in the U.S. are caused by texting while driving.  (Information from

Starting July 1st, 2017, texting while driving in Iowa becomes a primary offense for law enforcement.  This means Law enforcement can pull you over if you are texting and driving.  This might not seem like a big deal, but the way the law reads it also spells out not only texting, but writing, sending, or even viewing an electronic device.  If you are driving down the road and just look at your phone, I pad, computer, or any type of electronic device, you are in violation.  The way I read the law if you are even taking a photo with your phone and driving you would be in violation.  If law enforcement see you looking at your phone we will pull you over just for that and you could be issued a citation under Iowa Code section 321.276 and be charged $100.50!  This includes court costs and surcharge fee. 

I’ve heard of a new phone coming out that automatically shuts your signal off when you get into your vehicle.  That may be the new technology wave coming and it is certainly safer.  Please put down your phone and don’t touch it while you are driving.   

The second item I would like to bring up is the new county ordinance on the UTV usage.  For the most part people have been obeying the law and acting appropriately.  However there have been a few incidents where I’ve been told that the UTVs are speeding, which is over 35 mph, driving down state highways (which is illegal), and kids with no helmets.  I support the new ordinance and don’t want to see a handful of violators ruin it for all of us.  Please make sure you have your updated registration, copy of insurance, tail lights and turn signals (not arm signals), and absolutely no ATVs.  RESPECT private property.  Come July 1st my officers and I will be making sure that people are obeying the new texting law and also enforcing the UTV ordinance stronger.

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi

Jun 05

May 2017

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 6:50 PM by Craig Johnson

This month in my article I would like to touch base a little bit about the Mannequin Challenge.  I believe most of the local papers are doing their own article on this but the 5C Coalition (Clayton County Community Collaboration Council) spent the last three months putting together a Mannequin Challenge for Clayton County.  The 5C is a group of community members located in Clayton County working together to encourage awareness surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs that prevent community members from living their lives to the fullest.  Participants are from every community and town in our county. 

A mannequin challenge is viral Internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them, usually with a song playing in the background.  The challenge also depicts a story and in the 5C video a story of underage kids drinking alcohol followed by a car wreck and fatality.  I encourage you all to please take a look at it.  It already has 852,000 hits on the 5C Facebook page and 32,000 hits on You Tube.  You can view this video at You Tube by searching;   “Party your life away mannequin challenge”  If you have questions or may be interested in the 5C program please look at their website at;

This week my department is participating in their annual spring firearms qualification.  We have a use of force policy in place at the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office.  All such training will include, but not be limited to, a review of our department policy on the use of deadly force, legal requirements, moral responsibilities of carrying a firearms and firearm safety.  In addition each member must demonstrate proficiency with any firearms to be used by that member before certification.  According to state code deputies must shoot 80% efficiency once a year.  This office offers a spring and fall qualification and training course to keep our officers efficient.  Firearms include their sidearm pistols, some shotguns, and rifles.  We do offer other yearly trainings for Taser, defensive tactics, chemical munitions, ASP etc.

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi