The mission of the Howard County Sheriff's Office is to provide judicial enforcement and physical security for the Circuit Court, to provide a variety of quality services for citizens, and to assist other law enforcement agencies in maintaining law and order in Howard County.
Professionalism - We are committed to providing professional law enforcement services by highly trained personnel.
Integrity - We are committed to demonstrating and maintaining the highest ethical standards both personally and organizationally.
Service - Our goal is to ensure the preservation of a positive and professional working relationship between law enforcement and the community which we serve.
Sheriff Marcus Harris
The Howard County Sheriff's Office has been in existence and serving the citizens of Howard County since 1851. The Sheriff's Office offers a broad range of law enforcement services, such as Judicial Security, Summons Service, Warrant Service & Fugitive Retrieval, Domestic Violence Service & Assistance, Prisoner Transportation, and Landlord/Tenant Services.
The Howard County Sheriff's Office is available Monday thru Friday, from 8:30am until 4:00pm. The Domestic Violence Unit is also available during the weekend. After-hours phone inquiries should be made to 410-313-4150. For all other inquiries, please contact 410-313-2150.
Howard County Sheriff's Office
8360 Court Avenue
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043
Contact Information for Individual HCSO Sections & Units
Domestic Violence Advocate: 410-313-4012
Domestic Violence Unit: 410-313-7554
Duty Officer: 410-313-4150
Education & Training Section: 410-313-4210
Landlord / Tenant Section: 410-313-4222
Research & Planning Section: 410-313-4201
Service of Process: 410-313-4168
Warrant / Fugitive Section: 410-313-4174
EMAIL: [email protected]
The Howard County Sheriff's Office encourages citizens to comment about the quality of service they have received. Commendations of deputy and civilian service or questions/complaints regarding inappropriate service or actions are welcome.
Complimentary letters can be addressed directly to the Office of the Sheriff at any of the three locations listed above.
Complaints may be filed several ways:
- by letter, addressed to the Office of the Sheriff
- by telephone, called into any of the three locations listed above
- in person
- by submitting a Complaint Against Personnel Form to the Office of the Sheriff
Complaints of a serious nature will be handled by the Office of the Chief Deputy, which is responsible for the acceptance, oversight, and adjudication of allegations of deputy misconduct.
Citizen comments play a fundamental role in the professional integrity of the Sheriff's Office and each one is taken seriously and investigated objectively. All complaints received about members of the Office are investigated following a strict policy and in accordance with the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights (LEOBR).
If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the Office of the Sheriff at 410-313-4202.
Non-English speaking citizens should contact the Sheriff's Office at 410-313-4510 or 410-313-2153 to make arrangements for filing a complaint.
The Howard County Sheriff's Office publishes a list of our official policies (General Orders) for public view as a way to show our commitment to transparency and open communication with the public. These policies are both the administrative and operational work for the members of our office and help to guide our members in the daily performance of their duties.
By law, there are a few policies that have not been included on this list due to the release compromising deputy and the public's safety.
HCSO Administrative Orders
HCSO Operational Orders
The Howard County Sheriff’s Office accepts Circuit Court documents for civil process service in Howard County, MD, as well as documents from out of state Courts. The fee for all Maryland Court documents served is $40 per paper, and $60 for out of state documents served per paper. All District Court documents must be processed by the Civil Clerks in the original jurisdiction and will be sent to the Howard County Sheriff’s Office for service.
The Howard County Sheriff’s Office will only accept documents for service if the defendant is believed to reside or work in Howard County, MD. Documents for service outside of Howard County must be sent to the appropriate County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office will only accept civil process if the expiration date on the document is two (2) weeks away or more. Usually, the Court gives the Sheriff’s Office sixty (60) days to attempt service. If the Sheriff’s Office is unable to serve a document on a defendant, the Office will refund half of the service fee by mailing a check to the address provided by the customer requesting service. The Sheriff’s Office only accepts payment for service by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order. Cash, credit cards, and starter checks are not accepted. All forms of payment are to be payable to: Howard County Sheriff’s Office. If payment is made in person at the Sheriff’s Office, a receipt will be provided. Valid ID is required when dropping off documents for service and we ask for a phone number in case we have a question about the service.
Once the Sheriff’s Office accepts documents for service, it usually takes three (3) business days to assign them to a uniformed Deputy for service in Howard County. When the Deputy attempts service at a residence or employer, they make every reasonable effort to personally serve the defendant named on the document.
After the document is served, the assigned Deputy will complete a RETURN and that document will be mailed by the Sheriff’s Office to the appropriate Court named in the civil action. If, after numerous attempts for service, the documents cannot be served, the assigned Deputy will complete a NON-EST RETURN to the appropriate Court, and a refund check will be mailed to the requesting party for service. If the assigned Deputy believes the defendant is purposefully evading service of the document, the Deputy will complete an EVASION of SERVICE RETURN to the appropriate Court.
A customer may call the Howard County Sheriff’s Office to check on the status of their requested document service by calling: 410-313-4168 and speaking to the Clerk assigned to data entry of all papers. If a customer leaves a detailed message and return phone number, the Clerk will return all telephone inquiries in a timely manner. An additional phone number to call is the Duty Officer at: 410-313-4150.