If a judge issues a writ to a sheriff department to arrest or evict someone and the sheriff department refuses to take action, what happens? Is it criminal for them to intentionally ignore a writ?
One option is contempt proceedings, which may be initiated in this case of the Orange County CA sheriff. This can result in imprisonment, unless it is a federal matter and the President of the US pardons the sheriff. It would depend on the state's laws, but for example Montana's law, MCA 45-7-309 includes "purposely disobeying or refusing any lawful process or other mandate of a court", and Arizona has similar laws. In Nevada, which likewise has an analogous law against criminal contempt, also in NRS 248.130 requires the sheriff to execute the order or writ with due diligence, and if they do not, they are liable for all resulting damages. CA Penal Sec. 142 makes it a felony if
Any peace officer who has the authority to receive or arrest a person charged with a criminal offense and willfully refuses to receive or arrest that person
So the exact results depend on jurisdiction.