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Canton was originally Cherokee Indian Territory. A post office first opened here in 1837 and the community at the time was named Pigeon River.
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Departments - Sheriff's Office

OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF
Now Located in west Waynesville at the corner of
Brown Avenue and Hemlock Street
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1620 Brown Avenue
Waynesville, NC 28786

Greg Christopher, SHERIFF
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Jeff Haynes, Chief Deputy

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Jason Smiley, Capt./Patrol/Admin.

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Front Office 828-452-6768 (Hours: M-Th: 8a-6p, F: 9a-5p)
Emergency: 911
Dispatch: 828-452-6666 (Hours: 24 hours daily)
Toll Free: 1-800-545-1541
Haywood County Detention Center: 828-452-6670

Crime Stoppers Tip Line: 1-877-92CRIME (1-877-922-7463)

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Haywood County Office of the Sheriff is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week regardless of holidays or adverse weather conditions. We diligently seek to maintain the highest level of integrity, honor, and professionalism during any and all situations.

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to make our community safe for the citizens of Haywood County, and to enforce the laws of North Carolina without bias. Commitment to service and an awareness of individual rights of citizens are of utmost importance to the employees of the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office.

We will conduct all law enforcement activities in the most professional and efficient manner possible. We will serve our community with the respect and courtesy its people deserve.

JURISDICTION

With the exception of a 9-1-1 emergency, crimes or incidents are reported to the law enforcement agency that covers the area where the crime or incident took place. If your car is vandalized, if someone is harassing you, etc., you need to contact the agency covering that location.

If a crime occurs inside of Waynesville city limits, please contact the Waynesville Police Department at 456-5363.

If a crime occurs inside Canton City limits then the report should be made to the Canton Police Department at 648-2376.

Inside Maggie Valley city limits call 926-0867 or 452-6666 and inside Clyde City limits call 648-2376.

The Haywood County Office of the Sheriff covers anything outside of the town limits. This is for criminal matters. If you have a civil paper to be delivered anywhere in the county, this must be done by the Office of the Sheriff.

COVERAGE AND POPULATION

Haywood County is 555 square miles. The population in 2010 was 59,036. Both figures come from the 2010 U.S. Census posted at the U.S. Census Bureau web site.

For purposes of criminal matters, the Sheriff's Office serves approximately 36,000 citizens. For civil matters, the Office of the Sheriff serves the total population of Haywood County.

CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT

North Carolina offers a concealed weapon permit. You must take a state-standardized course and have a valid certificate of completion before a permit can be authorized. Contact the Haywood County Office of the Sheriff for an appointment to apply and to be fingerprinted. Be sure to bring your certificate with you to the appointment. The cost is $90 for a new permit and $75 for a renewal.  For more information and a list of course instructors call 452-6768.

PERMIT TO PURCHASE HANDGUN

If you have been a resident of Haywood County for at least six months and have no felony convictions you can apply for a permit to purchase a handgun. The cost is $5.00 and you must bring a valid North Carolina driver’s license or a North Carolina ID. *No permit is required if you have a valid NC concealed weapon permit.

CIVIL PAPERS FROM OUT OF STATE

The cost for out of state civil service is $50.00 per person to be served. We can only accept by mail/Federal Express (or similar delivery) or can be delivered in person Monday through Thursday from 8 am until 6 pm, or Fridays 9 am to 5 pm. Service for civil papers within the state of North Carolina is $30.00. There is no charge for service in or out of state to serve Ex Parte Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

CRIME PREVENTION, COMMUNITY WATCH & DARE

Deputy Heidi Warren is our DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer.  She is also our Crime Prevention and Community Watch Deputy. You can contact her at 828-356-2880 Monday through Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. You may also email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

CRIMINAL RECORDS/BACKGROUND CHECK

You can obtain a Criminal Record/Background Check from the Clerk of Superior Court, which is located in the Haywood County Justice Center. The Cost is $25.00. Many jobs require you provide your new employer with a record check.

FINGERPRINTING

Some employers now require that you submit fingerprint cards. This is common for childcare and security related jobs. There is a $5.00 fee per card. Call the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at 452-6768 M-F from 9am - 5pm for an appointment.

MISSING PERSON OR RUNAWAY

There is no waiting period to file a missing person or juvenile runaway report. Call the law enforcement agency where the missing person or juvenile was last seen.

OBTAINING A WARRANT

If you need to obtain a warrant for assault, trespassing, communicating threats, harassing telephone calls, or any other misdemeanor violation, go to the Magistrate's Office at the Law Enforcement Center located at 1620 Brown Avenue.

Any responsible adult can get a misdemeanor warrant provided you can explain to the Magistrate (Judge) the reason for getting the warrant and provide evidence or sworn testimony to support it. The Magistrate may require that you file a report with the corresponding law enforcement agency where the crime took place. Only a Deputy Sheriff or a Police Officer can obtain a felony warrant on your behalf.

REPORTING A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

The Sheriff's Office usually does not investigate traffic accidents. This is handled by the North Carolina Highway Patrol, 1-800-445-1772. If an accident occurs inside the city limits, contact the corresponding Police Department that covers that area.

VICTIM ASSISTANCE

For victim assistance, contact the District Attorney's Office at 454-6510. If the assistance needed stems from domestic violence, you can also contact Suzie Pressley, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate, within the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at 452-6672 ext.2284, M-F from 9am-5pm.

 

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

North Carolina now has a Sex Offender Registration for anyone sentenced or convicted of a sexual offense and released after January 1st, 1996. There is a public list of Sex Offenders registered in Haywood County located in the Sheriffs Office.


If you are a Sex Offender who moves into Haywood County from another county or from out of state, or were convicted and released after January 1st, 1996, you must register at the Haywood County Sheriff's Office within 3 days.

You must also notify the Sheriff's Office of any address changes. Failure to do either will result in you being charged with a criminal offense.

 

Anyone who lies for a sex offender about his or her whereabouts or fails to report someone in violation of the sex offender registry can also be charged with a felony.

Sex offenders are listed by the State of North Carolina on the Internet at :
NC Sex Offenders
and a listing is also kept at the Sheriff's Office for review on request. Offenses of registered sex offenders are public information by legislative mandate. Any changes to employment, academic status, address, etc must be done in person. There are  residential restrictions that apply to persons that establish residences within 1,000 feet of a public or private school or child care center after December 1, 2006. To view these and other applicable changes,

go to: NC House Bills

In 2013 there are a total of 89 registered sex offenders living in Haywood County. 

VIDEO POKER

All video poker machines are now illegal in North Carolina except on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. If you observe one of these machines call the Sheriff’s Office at 828-452-6666.

PROTECTING YOUR VALUABLES

Keep a record of brand, serial number, model number, & description of all your valuable possessions. Make copies of this list and keep them in more than one safe location. You may want to attach photographs of your property to this list. If your property is stolen, this documentation will greatly help in its recovery.

TOUR OF THE HAYWOOD COUNTY OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF

If your scout troop or similar organization would like a tour of the Sheriff's Office please contact the front office, during regular business hours at 452-6768.

CHILD ABUSE TASK FORCE

The Haywood County Office of the Sheriff has two investigators who work full time on child abuse cases. If you know of a child being abused physically or sexually, contact the Task Force at 452-3088.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TASK FORCE

We currently have one full time-officer, Deputy Kevin Smathers  and one full-time victim’s advocate, Suzie Pressley who specialize in domestic violence and sexual assault cases. If you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, or know someone who is, contact the Domestic Violence Task Force at 452-6672 for more information.

If you are being threatened or assaulted by a person you have been married to or with whom you have had a relationship you may be able to obtain a Domestic Violence Protective Order. The Domestic Violence Task Force can help you with this process.

CITIZEN'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Sheriff's Office has created a Citizen's Advisory Committee, which is composed of citizens, community development groups, and local downtown associations. The council meets several times each year and offers citizens and their groups an opportunity for discussion and input.

DETENTION FACILITY

For any jail-related questions or concerns, please contact the Jail office at 828-452-6670. Most commonly-asked jail questions will be answered by selecting the correct number from the menu. For visitation, call 828-452-6665. To find you if someone is in jail and their bond amount, call the Criminal Magistrate at 828-456-8191.

BAILIFFS

The security of the Haywood County justice Center, and all Justice Center staff and Court Staff is provided by nine Haywood County Deputy Sheriffs also called Bailiffs. These Deputies maintain constant monitored video surveillance of the interior and exterior premises including elevators, corridors, and courtrooms. They also provide security and inmate handling while court is in session. A Deputy is stationed at the entrance to the Justice Center manning the metal detector ensuring the safety and security of all citizens entering and using the Justice Center facilities.

Here are a few things to be aware of while visiting the Justice Center:

1. Everyone must enter and exit through the main entrance. All other doors are locked.

2. Everyone must submit to a search using the metal detector or any further search requested by the Deputy.

3. No weapons may be brought in to the Justice Center. This includes pocket Knives and pepper spray. If you arrive at the metal detector with a pocket knife you will be asked to take it to your vehicle. The Deputies will not hold it for you. If you attempt to enter the Justice Center with any of these items you will be arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

4. A certain decorum and respect is expected in the Justice Center. The business of democracy is conducted here. Take off your hat, especially in the courtrooms). Dress in a respectful manner. If you engage in loud, belligerent, or disruptive behavior you will be asked to leave or arrested by the Deputies. Violence will not be tolerated.

If you are coming to the Justice Center, please use the Center’s parking deck. It is requested that you do not park on Main Street for Justice Center business. Many of the businesses on Mains Street have only a few parking spaces fronting their buildings. The Justice Center parking deck is free and can accommodate hundreds of vehicles.

CRIMINIAL INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office has a Criminal Investigation Division manned by nine experienced and well trained Detectives.  Haywood County is fortunate to have some of the most state-of-the-art evidence collection and storage capabilities. The CID has two Detectives dedicated to drug enforcement as well as two Detectives dedicated to child abuse cases. There are also detectives experienced and trained in all areas of violent and property crime investigations. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations has an Agent stationed at the Haywood County Sheriff’s office in the CID unit. To reach the Criminal Investigations Division or the SBI Agent call 828-452-6666.


CIVIL PROCESS

The Sheriff maintains three Deputies dedicated to Civil Process. This unit is headed by Lt. Steve Mann at 828-452-6666. These Deputies are tasked with serving evictions and tax garnishments as well as processing civil executions.

Frequently Asked Questions on Civil Process

What is someone owes me money or has my property and will not return it?

If the amount in question is over $5000 then it would be a good idea to hire a lawyer to pursue a lawsuit in Superior Court. If the amount in question is less than $5000 then you may file a small claims action against the person you believe has wronged you.

If you wish to take out a small claims action then you must go to the Clerk of Court in the Haywood County Justice Center. There you will file a “Magistrate’s Summons” (to recover money owed) or a claim and delivery (to recover property wrongfully withheld from the rightful owner). It is not required to have an attorney for a small claims action but you may hire one if you wish. To file these papers there is a fee as determined by the Court.

Once these papers are filed then they are sent to the Sheriff’s Office and it is the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office to attempt to serve them. Remember that the more detailed the information that you can provide about the defendant(s) the

more likely it is that the Sheriff’s Office will be successful in getting the papers served.

In a small claims action the case will be heard before the Civil Magistrates on the first floor of the Justice Center on the appointed court date. Remember that neither party is required to have an attorney but either party has a right to hire one if they wish. These cases are decided by the Magistrate based on a preponderance of the evidence presented by both sides. There is no jury in Magistrates Court.

Once a Magistrate has rendered a judgment than the defendant is ordered to pay the amount determined by the Magistrate or return the property withheld. If the defendant does not comply with the Magistrate’s order than an additional step is necessary to enforce the judgment. It may be necessary to get a “writ of execution” (to recover money), or a “writ of possession of personal property” (to recover withheld property). There is an additional fee for these filings. They are all filed with the Clerk of Court.

Once these documents have been filed they are sent to the Sheriff’s Office to be acted on. There are various time frames involved in enforcement of

these actions and they cannot always be acted on quickly. A writ of execution can sometimes take up to 90 days to process. Remember that many defendants have no money, property or resources to pay and therefore the money cannot be collected. This is a factor you should weigh before deciding to take out a small claims action. The costs of filing these actions may not be worth the risk. Defendants in most cases cannot be arrested or charged with criminal offenses for failing to comply with a civil judgment.

How do I evict a tenant from a rental property?

Prior to filing any court papers a landlord must give a tenant notice to vacate the premises within ten days. It is best to send this certified mail or hand deliver it face to face or both.

An eviction is also a small claims action and the process is much the same as above. After your ten day notice has expired then you go to the Clerk of Court and file a “summary ejectment.” Remember that there is a fee for this action. Once the ejectment is filed it is sent to the Sheriff’s Office to be served. This kind of paper can be posted without making contact with the defendant and therefore Deputies have more success with this type of service.

Once the summary ejectment (type of Magistrate’s Summons) is served then the case is heard in the Civil Magistrates’ Court. Neither party needs an attorney but either party may hire one if they wish. If the Magistrate finds in the landlord’s favor than he will give the tenant ten days to vacate the premises. During this time the tenant has a right to file an appeal.

If the tenant fails to vacate the property within the ten days ordered by the magistrate and the tenant does not file an appeal than another step may be required on the part of the landlord to remove the tenant. The landlord must file a “writ of possession of real property”.

After the writ of possession is received by the Sheriff’s Office then a deputy will go to the property and post a notice with a time and date (usually about seven days later) that a Deputy will return to the property to remove the tenant. On the appointed time and date a Deputy will meet the landlord and turn the property over to the landlord. If the tenant is still there he or she will be ordered to leave. If the tenant’s belongings are still in the residence that the landlord must either put them in storage or secure them in the property for ten days. If the tenant does not return to get their belongings during those ten days at a time agreed to by the landlord, the landlord can dispose of the belongings however he wishes to.