Bailiff
Overview
 

A bailiff is a governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 or custodian (cf. bail
Bail
Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail...

); a legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction is committed. Bailiffs are of various kinds and their offices and duties vary greatly.
The term was first applied in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 to the king's officers generally, such as sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

s, mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

s, etc., and more particularly to the chief officer of a hundred. The county
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 within which the sheriff exercises his jurisdiction is still called his bailiwick
Bailiwick
A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and may also apply to a territory in which the sheriff's functions were exercised by a privately appointed bailiff under a royal or imperial writ. The word is now more generally used in a metaphorical sense, to indicate a sphere of...

, while the term bailiff is retained as a title by the chief magistrates of various towns and the keepers of royal castles, such as the High Bailiff of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

, the Bailiff of Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Dover Castle is a medieval castle in the town of the same name in the English county of Kent. It was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history...

, etc.
Encyclopedia

A bailiff is a governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 or custodian (cf. bail
Bail
Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail...

); a legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction is committed. Bailiffs are of various kinds and their offices and duties vary greatly.

Great Britain

The term was first applied in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 to the king's officers generally, such as sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

s, mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

s, etc., and more particularly to the chief officer of a hundred. The county
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 within which the sheriff exercises his jurisdiction is still called his bailiwick
Bailiwick
A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and may also apply to a territory in which the sheriff's functions were exercised by a privately appointed bailiff under a royal or imperial writ. The word is now more generally used in a metaphorical sense, to indicate a sphere of...

, while the term bailiff is retained as a title by the chief magistrates of various towns and the keepers of royal castles, such as the High Bailiff of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

, the Bailiff of Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Dover Castle is a medieval castle in the town of the same name in the English county of Kent. It was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history...

, etc. Under the manorial system
Manorialism
Manorialism, an essential element of feudal society, was the organizing principle of rural economy that originated in the villa system of the Late Roman Empire, was widely practiced in medieval western and parts of central Europe, and was slowly replaced by the advent of a money-based market...

 a bailiff was in charge of superintending the cultivation of the manor
Manor
-Land tenure:*Manor, an estate in land of the mediaeval era in England*Manorialism, a system of land tenure and organization of the rural economy and society in parts of medieval Europe based on the manor*Manor house, the principal house of a manor...

 (see Walter of Henley
Walter of Henley
Walter of Henley was an English agricultural writer of the thirteenth century, writing in French. His known work is called Le Dite de Hosebondrie, written about 1280, and deals with the agricultural management of a manor...

).

The Low Countries and German-speaking countries

The rank of bailiff was used in Flanders, Holland, Hainault, Zealand and in the north of France. The bailiff was a civil servant who represented the ruler in town and country. In Flanders
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

 the count usually appointed the bailiff and in France the king. The position originated in France when Philip II Augustus
Philip II of France
Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

 installed the first bailiff. In the northern parts of continental Europe this position was known as "baljuw" a direct derivative of the French word "bailli" but other words were used such as "amtmann
Amtmann
Amtmann can be :*a feudal, administrative and/or gubernatorial title, such as Bezirksamtmann . Amtmann, ammann and amman were a kind of bailiff in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and in Brussels....

" and "ammann" (Germany, Switzerland, Austria), "amman" (Brussels), "schout
Schout
In Dutch-speaking areas, a schout was a local official appointed to carry out administrative, law enforcement and prosecutorial tasks. The office was abolished with the introduction of administrative reforms during the Napoleonic period.- Functions:...

" (Holland, Antwerp, Mechelen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Turnhout), "meier" (Asse, Leuven), "drost
Drost
Seneschal of the Realm, Riksdrots , Rigsdrost , or Valtakunnandrotsi is a Danish and Swedish name of a supreme state official, with at least a connotation to administration of judiciary, who in medieval Scandinavia was often a leader in the government.The word drots/drost...

" and "drossaard" (other parts of Brabant
Duchy of Brabant
The Duchy of Brabant was a historical region in the Low Countries. Its territory consisted essentially of the three modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant and Antwerp, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch province of North Brabant.The Flag of...

).

France ancien régime

Under the ancien régime in France, the bailli
Bailli
A bailli was the king’s administrative representative during the ancien régime in northern France, where the bailli was responsible for the application of justice and control of the administration and local finances in his baillage...

 was the king's representative in the bailliage (bailiwick
Bailiwick
A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and may also apply to a territory in which the sheriff's functions were exercised by a privately appointed bailiff under a royal or imperial writ. The word is now more generally used in a metaphorical sense, to indicate a sphere of...

), charged with the application of justice and control of the administration. In southern France, the term generally used was sénéchal who held office in the sénéchaussée.

The administrative network of baillages was established in the 13th century over the king's land (the domaine royal
Crown lands of France
The crown lands, crown estate, royal domain or domaine royal of France refers to the lands, fiefs and rights directly possessed by the kings of France...

), notably by Philip Augustus
Philip II of France
Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

. They were based on the earlier medieval fiscal and tax divisions (the "bailli") which had been used by earlier sovereign princes (such as the Duke of Normandy). The creation of the royal bailliages reduced prior existing judicial courts to a subaltern rank; these lower courts were called:
  • prévôtés royales supervised by a prévôt appointed and paid by the bailli
  • or (as was the case in Normandy
    Normandy
    Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

    ) vicomtés supervised by a vicomte (the position could be held by non-nobles)
  • or (in parts of northern France) châtellenies supervised by a châtelain
    Châtelain
    Châtelain was originally merely the French equivalent of the English castellan, i.e. the commander of a castle....

    (the position could be held by non-nobles)
  • or, in the south, vigueries or baylies supervised by a viguier or a bayle.


The court or tribunal of the bailliage was presided by a lieutenant général du bailli. Tribunals in bailliages and sénéchaussées were the first court of appeal for lower courts, but the court of first instance for affairs involving the nobility
French nobility
The French nobility was the privileged order of France in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern periods.In the political system of the Estates General, the nobility made up the Second Estate...

. To appeal their decisions, one turned to the regional parlement
Parlement
Parlements were regional legislative bodies in Ancien Régime France.The political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the previous council of the king, the Conseil du roi or curia regis, and consequently had ancient and customary rights of consultation and...

s. In an effort to reduce the case load in the parlements, certain bailliages were given extended powers by Henry II of France
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

: these were called présidiaux. Bailliages and présidiaux were also the first court for certain crimes (these cases had formerly been under the supervision of the local seigneurs): sacrilege, lèse-majesté, kidnapping, rape, heresy, alteration of money, sedition, insurrections, and the illegal carrying of arms.

By the late 16th century, the role of the "bailli" had become merely honorary, and judicial power was invested solely in the lieutenant général of the bailliage. The administrative and financial role of the bailliages and sénéchaussées declined in the early modern period
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 (superseded by the king's royal tax collectors
Généralité
Recettes générales, commonly known as généralités , were the administrative divisions of France under the Ancien Régime and are often considered to prefigure the current préfectures...

 and regional gouverneurs
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

, and later by the intendant
Intendant
The title of intendant has been used in several countries through history. Traditionally, it refers to the holder of a public administrative office...

s), and by the end of the 18th century, the bailliages, which numbered into the hundreds, served only a judicial function.

In French, a court bailiff is called a "huissier de justice
Huissier de justice
Huissier de justice is the French term, hence used in France, Luxembourg, Quebec, Suisse romande, and the French Community of Belgium, named gerechtsdeurwaarder in Dutch for the Flemish Community and the Netherlands, for a specific legal officer that also occurs in Greece, Italy and the three other...

".

Belgium

Most of the functions associated with the older Dutch-language terms translated as bailiff in English, are no longer found in one officer. The modern terms huissier de justice
Huissier de justice
Huissier de justice is the French term, hence used in France, Luxembourg, Quebec, Suisse romande, and the French Community of Belgium, named gerechtsdeurwaarder in Dutch for the Flemish Community and the Netherlands, for a specific legal officer that also occurs in Greece, Italy and the three other...

(in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

) or gerechtsdeurwaarder (in Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

) however, are usually translated into English as bailiff, though the latter under an Anglo Saxon law system is not identical to the former who is typical for many countries influenced by the Napoleonic Code
Napoleonic code
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon — is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified...

. It is a sworn officer who may legally deliver exploits (process serving
Service of process
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal...

), see to the execution of court orders such as the confiscation
Confiscation
Confiscation, from the Latin confiscatio 'joining to the fiscus, i.e. transfer to the treasury' is a legal seizure without compensation by a government or other public authority...

 of goods, or be an official legal witness. In Belgium, the bailiff can be appointed by a confiscating court to exercise the judicial mandate of schuldbemiddelaar (in Dutch) or médiateur de dettes (in French), a debt negotiator, in a procedure called collectieve schuldenregeling (CSR) or médiation collective de dettes, a collectively negotiated settlement of debts, which is comparable with the regulations by the Wet Schuldsanering Natuurlijke Personen (WSNP) in the Netherlands.

The official judicial tasks are often supplemented by tasks as independent entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

s, for instance for non-judicial debt collecting, specific judicial advice or writing general conditions of sale, judicial assistance at lower courts (canton
Cantons of Belgium
-Judicial:A judicial canton is a group of municipalities in which there is one Justice of the Peace that has jurisdiction over those municipalities. A judicial arrondissement consists of all judicial cantons on its territory. There are 225 judicial cantons in Belgium. Most judicial cantons cover...

level), etc.

Canada

In parts of Canada, bailiffs are responsible for the service of legal process
Legal process
Legal process , are the proceedings in any civil lawsuit or criminal prosecution and, particularly, describes the formal notice or writ used by a court to exercise jurisdiction over a person or property...

. In some jurisdictions, duties of the bailiff include the service of legal documents, repossession and evictions in accordance with court judgments, application of wheel clamp
Wheel clamp
A wheel clamp, also known as wheel boot or Denver boot, is a device that is designed to prevent vehicles from being moved. In its most common form, it consists of a clamp that surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent removal of both itself and the wheel.In the United States, these devices...

s and the execution of arrest warrants. Some jurisdictions also require that applicants receive special training and have a degree in Paralegal Technology to become a bailiff.
Provincial bailiff

In Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, provincial bailiffs provide primary transportation of prisoners
Prisoner transport
Prisoner transport describes the transportation of prisoners by land, air and water. It is performed by law enforcement agencies and their armed agents or officers. Handcuffs are often the minimum restraint, however the additional precaution of leg irons is more often taken, particularly if the...

 between correctional facilities such as jails and prisons. Under the Ministry of Correctional Services Act (Ontario), while transporting prisoners, bailiffs have the powers of police constables. When necessary, Provincial correctional officers will act as bailiffs for short and long term assignments and full-time bailiffs are typically recruited from the correctional officer ranks. Provincial bailiffs are armed with expandable batons and pepper spray
Pepper spray
Pepper spray, also known as OC spray , OC gas, and capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent that is used in riot control, crowd control and personal self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears...

 and operate under the jurisdiction of the provincial Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Ontario)
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is responsible for law enforcement services in the Canadian province of Ontario, including the Ontario Provincial Police, correctional centres, detention centres/jails The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (French:...

. Duties normally associated with bailiffs in other jurisdictions, such as residential evictions, seizures, and other processes order by the court, are performed by sheriffs under the office of the Attorney General of Ontario
Attorney General of Ontario
The Attorney General of Ontario is a senior member of the Executive Council of Ontario and governs the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario - the department responsible for the oversight of the justice system within the province. The Attorney General is an elected Member of Provincial...

 or "private" bailiffs if initiated without a court order.
Private bailiff

Private bailiffs are licensed by the Province of Ontario's Ministry of Consumer Services under the Bailiffs Act. Assistant bailiffs are similarly licensed, but must be supervised by a bailiff. Bailiffs in this capacity assist others who have a right to exercise self-help to repossess or seize something, or to evict under a commercial tenancy. Bailiffs are agents of the person contracting their services, not government employees or peace officers, and are prohibited from using force to seize goods or evict tenants.

The Netherlands

In these days, the rank "Bailiff" is not in used in the Netherlands, but there is one exception.
The term is used for the position of president and some honorary Bailiffs of the Dutch branch of the Knights Hospitaller
Knights Hospitaller
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

. A person who amongst others sees to the execution of court orders such as the confiscation of goods is called a deurwaarder
Huissier de justice
Huissier de justice is the French term, hence used in France, Luxembourg, Quebec, Suisse romande, and the French Community of Belgium, named gerechtsdeurwaarder in Dutch for the Flemish Community and the Netherlands, for a specific legal officer that also occurs in Greece, Italy and the three other...

.

England & Wales

There are seven offices whose holders are commonly referred to as 'bailiffs'.

Civilian enforcement officer
Civilian enforcement officer
Civilian enforcement officers are employees of Her Majesty's Courts Service and are responsible for enforcing magistrates court orders. They can seize and sell goods to recover money owed under a fine and community penalty notice. They also execute, in England & Wales, warrants of arrest,...

s
are employed by Her Majesty's Courts Service
Her Majesty's Courts Service
Her Majesty's Courts Service is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the civil, family and criminal courts in England and Wales....

 and carry out enforcement for magistrates' court
Magistrates' Court
A magistrates' court or court of petty sessions, formerly known as a police court, is the lowest level of court in England and Wales and many other common law jurisdictions...

s - this mainly involves collection of unpaid fines given by the court.

County court bailiffs
County Court Bailiff
County Court Bailiffs are employees of Her Majesty's Courts Service and are responsible for enforcing orders of County Courts by recovering money owed under County Court Judgments. They can seize and sell goods to recover the amount of the debt...

are employed by Her Majesty's Courts Service
Her Majesty's Courts Service
Her Majesty's Courts Service is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the civil, family and criminal courts in England and Wales....

 and carry out enforcement for county court
County Court
A county court is a court based in or with a jurisdiction covering one or more counties, which are administrative divisions within a country, not to be confused with the medieval system of county courts held by the High Sheriff of each county.-England and Wales:County Court matters can be lodged...

s - mainly involving payment of unpaid county court judgments
County court judgment
In England and Wales , County Court Judgments are legal decisions handed down by County Courts. Judgments for monetary sums are entered on the Register of County Court Judgments, which is checked by credit reference agencies to assess the credit-worthiness of individuals.If the debtor continues to...

. They can seize and sell goods to recover a debt. They can also effect and supervise the possession of the property and the return of goods under hire purchase agreements, and serve court documents. They also execute arrest warrants and execute search warrants. Service of personal papers such as oral examinations and divorce papers can also aid the Tipstaff in their duties if necessary.

High Court enforcement officers are employed by private companies and carry out enforcement for the High Court of Justice
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 - they have almost the same function as county court bailiffs except the court for which they work.

Certificated bailiffs are employed by private companies and enforce a variety of debts on behalf of organisations such as local authorities
Local government in the United Kingdom
The pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements. Legislation concerning local government in England is decided by the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom, because England does not have a devolved...

. They can seize and sell goods to cover the amount of the debt owed. They also hold a certificate, which enables them, and them alone, to levy distress for rent
Renting
Renting is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or property owned by another. A gross lease is when the tenant pays a flat rental amount and the landlord pays for all property charges regularly incurred by the ownership from landowners...

, road traffic debts, council tax
Council tax
Council Tax is the system of local taxation used in England, Scotland and Wales to part fund the services provided by local government in each country. It was introduced in 1993 by the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as a successor to the unpopular Community Charge...

 and non-domestic rates. Certificated bailiffs are required to gain peaceable entry into property before a levy of goods inside a property can take place. They cannot enforce the collection of money due under High Court or county court orders.

Non-certificated bailiff are employed by private companies and are entitled to recover the money owed for a variety of debts by seizing and selling goods but cannot levy distress for rent, road traffic debts, council tax or non-domestic rates, or enforce the collection of money due under High Court or county court orders.

All the above bailiffs will be replaced by enforcement agents when the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007
Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007
The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It provides for several diverse matters relating to the law, some of them being significant changes to the structure of the courts and fundamental legal procedures...

, s.63 comes into force.

Water bailiff
Water bailiff
A water bailiff is a law enforcement officer responsible for the policing of bodies of water, such as a river, lake or coast. The position has existed in many jurisdictions throughout history.-Scotland:...

s
also exist in England and Wales to police bodies of water and prevent illegal fishing. They are generally employees of the Environment Agency
Environment Agency
The Environment Agency is a British non-departmental public body of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and an Assembly Government Sponsored Body of the Welsh Assembly Government that serves England and Wales.-Purpose:...

.

Jury bailiffs are court ushers who monitor juries during their deliberations and during overnight stays.
Historical


In England & Wales, the bailiff of a franchise or liberty is the officer who executes writs and process
Service of process
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal...

es, and impanels juries within the franchise. He is appointed by the lord of such franchise (who, in the Sheriffs Act 1887
Sheriffs Act 1887
The Sheriffs Act 1887 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It sets out the appointments and qualifications of Sheriffs in England and Wales.The Act gives sheriffs the right to arrest those resisting a warrant ....

, § 34, is referred to as the bailiff of the franchise).

The bailiff of a sheriff is an under-officer employed by a sheriff within a county for the purpose of executing writs, processes, distraint
Distraint
Distraint or distress is "the seizure of someone’s property in order to obtain payment of rent or other money owed", especially in common law countries...

s and arrest
Arrest
An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the purported investigation and prevention of crime and presenting into the criminal justice system or harm to oneself or others...

s. As a sheriff is liable for the acts of his officers acting under his warrant, his bailiffs are annually bound to him in an obligation with sureties for the faithful discharge of their office, and thence are called bound bailiffs. They are also often called 'bum-bailiffs', or, shortly, 'bums'. The origin of this word is uncertain; the New English Dictionary suggests that it is in allusion to the mode of catching the offender. Special bailiffs are officers appointed by the sheriff at the request of a plaintiff for the purpose of executing a particular process. The appointment of a special bailiff relieves the sheriff from all responsibility until the party is arrested and delivered into the sheriff's actual custody.

By the County Courts Act 1888, it is provided that there shall be one or more High Bailiff
High Bailiff
In the Isle of Man the High Bailiff is the head stipendiary magistrate.In Vermont, a high bailiff is a county officer.-Isle of Man:The current High Bailiff is His Worship John Needham, who took office on 30 January 2010 on the retirement of Mr Michael Moyle. Mr Needham was previously Clerk to the...

s, appointed by the judge and removable by the Lord Chancellor
Lord Chancellor
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

; and every person discharging the duties of high bailiff is empowered to appoint a sufficient number of able and fit persons as bailiffs to assist him, whom he can dismiss at his pleasure. The duty of the high bailiff is to serve all summonses and orders, and execute all the warrants, precepts and writs issued out of the court. The high bailiff is responsible for all the acts and defaults of himself, and of the bailiffs appointed to assist him, in the same way as a sheriff of a county is responsible for the acts and defaults of himself and his officers. By the same act (§49) bailiffs are answerable for any connivance, omission or neglect to levy any such execution. No action can be brought against a bailiff acting under order of the court without six days' notice (§52). Any warrant to a bailiff to give possession of a tenement justifies him in entering upon the premises named in the warrant, and giving possession, provided the entry be made between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. (§ 142). The Law of Distress Amendment Act 1888 enacts that no person may act as a bailiff to levy any distress for rent, unless he is authorized by a County Court
County Court
A county court is a court based in or with a jurisdiction covering one or more counties, which are administrative divisions within a country, not to be confused with the medieval system of county courts held by the High Sheriff of each county.-England and Wales:County Court matters can be lodged...

 judge to act as a bailiff.

Scotland

The Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 form of this post is the bailie. Bailies served as burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 magistrate
Magistrate
A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

s in the system of local government in Scotland before 1975 when the system of burghs and counties
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 was replaced by a two-tier system of regional councils and district councils. The two-tier system was later replaced by a system of unitary authorities
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

.

Under the new arrangements the bailies were abolished and replaced by Justices of the Peace serving in the District Courts of Scotland
District Courts of Scotland
A District Court was the least authoritative type of criminal court in Scotland. The court operated under summary procedure and dealt primarily with minor criminal offences...

, these posts no longer holding any authority within the local authority as an administrative body. However the term bailie is still used as an honorary title by Glasgow City Council for a number of senior councillors who can deputise for the Lord Provost
Lord Provost
A Lord Provost is the figurative and ceremonial head of one of the principal cities of Scotland. Four cities, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, have the right to appoint a Lord Provost instead of a provost...

.

The Scottish equivalent of a sheriff's bailiff or high bailiff is the sheriff officer
Sheriff officer
A sheriff officer is an officer of the Scottish Sheriff Court, responsible for serving documents and enforcing court orders. The jurisdiction of a sheriff officer is limited to the area of their commission , unlike messengers-at-arms...

 (for the Sheriff Court
Sheriff Court
Sheriff courts provide the local court service in Scotland, with each court serving a sheriff court district within a sheriffdom.Sheriff courts deal with a myriad of legal procedures which include:*Solemn and Summary Criminal cases...

) or the messenger-at-arms
Messenger-at-arms
A messenger-at-arms is an officer of the Scottish Court of Session, responsible for serving documents and enforcing court orders throughout Scotland. Messengers-at-arms must have a commission as a sheriff officer although, unlike sheriff officers, the jurisdiction of a messenger-at-arms is not...

 (for the Court of Session
Court of Session
The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland, and constitutes part of the College of Justice. It sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a court of first instance and a court of appeal....

). These positions will be abolished by §60 of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Act 2007, and replaced with the office of Judicial Officer under §57(1) of that enactment.

In Scotland, the office of water bailiff
Water bailiff
A water bailiff is a law enforcement officer responsible for the policing of bodies of water, such as a river, lake or coast. The position has existed in many jurisdictions throughout history.-Scotland:...

 does exist, with power to enforce legislation relating to the illegal collection of salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

 and trout
Trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

.

Channel Islands

See also Bailiff (Channel Islands)
Bailiff (Channel Islands)
The Bailiff is the chief justice in each of the Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, also serving as president of the legislature and having ceremonial and executive functions. Each bailiwick has possessed its own bailiff since the islands were divided into two jurisdictions in the...



In the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

 the bailiff
Bailiff (Channel Islands)
The Bailiff is the chief justice in each of the Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, also serving as president of the legislature and having ceremonial and executive functions. Each bailiwick has possessed its own bailiff since the islands were divided into two jurisdictions in the...

 is the first civil officer in each of the two bailiwicks. He is appointed by the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

, and holds office until retirement. He presides as a judge in the Royal Court, and takes the opinions of the jurat
Jurat
Jurat is the name given to the clause at the foot of an affidavit showing when, where, and before whom the actual oath was sworn or affirmation was made....

s; he also presides over the States, and represents the Crown on civic occasions. The bailiff in each island must, in order to fulfill his judicial role, be a qualified lawyer.

United States

Many in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 use the word bailiff colloquially to refer to a peace officer providing court security. More often, these court officers are sheriff's deputies
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

, marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

s, corrections officers or constable
Constable
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

s. The terminology varies among (and sometimes within) the several states.

From its staff, the Court may appoint by court order bailiffs as peace officers, who shall have, during the stated terms of such appointment, such powers normally incident to police officers, including, but not limited to, the power to make arrests in a criminal case, provided that the exercise of such powers shall be limited to any building or real property maintained or used as a courthouse or in support of judicial functions.

In rural areas, this responsibility is often carried out by the junior lawyer in training under the judge's supervision called a law clerk
Law clerk
A law clerk or a judicial clerk is a person who provides assistance to a judge in researching issues before the court and in writing opinions. Law clerks are not court clerks or courtroom deputies, who are administrative staff for the court. Most law clerks are recent law school graduates who...

 who also has the title of bailiff.

Whatever the name used, the agency providing court security is often charged with serving legal process
Legal process
Legal process , are the proceedings in any civil lawsuit or criminal prosecution and, particularly, describes the formal notice or writ used by a court to exercise jurisdiction over a person or property...

 and seizing and selling property (e.g., replevin
Replevin
In creditors' rights law, replevin, sometimes known as "claim and delivery," is a legal remedy for a person to recover goods unlawfully withheld from his or her possession, by means of a special form of legal process in which a court may require a defendant to return specific goods to the...

 or foreclosure
Foreclosure
Foreclosure is the legal process by which a mortgage lender , or other lien holder, obtains a termination of a mortgage borrower 's equitable right of redemption, either by court order or by operation of law...

). In some cases, the duties are separated between agencies in a given jurisdiction. For instance, a court officer may provide courtroom security in a jurisdiction where a sheriff handles service of process and seizures.
  • Maryland: Within the state of Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

     there are two types of bailiffs, Circuit Court and District Court. Circuit Court bailiffs are employees of the prospective county of which they work and possess no law enforcement authority. They are unarmed and provide services to the courtroom judge, escort and maintain the jurors/jury pool, and maintain courtroom decorum. District Court bailiffs provide similar services as their Circuit Court counterparts but differ in that they are employees of the state of Maryland, are armed, and have limited
    Special police
    Special Police does not have a consistent international meaning. In many cases it will describe a police force or a unit within a police force whose duties and responsibilities are significantly different from other forces in the same country or significantly different from other police in the same...

     law enforcement authority while on duty.
  • New York: In the New York State Unified Court System
    New York State Unified Court System
    The New York State Unified Court System is the official name of the judicial system of New York in the United States. Based in Albany, the New York State Judiciary is a unified state court system that functions under the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals who is its...

    , Court Officers, are responsible for providing security and enforcing the law in and around court houses. Under New York State penal code, they are classified as "peace officer
    Peace officer
    A law enforcement officer , in North America, is any public-sector employee or agent whose duties involve the enforcement of laws. The phrase can include police officers, prison officers, customs officers, immigration officers, bailiffs, probation officers, parole officers, auxiliary officers, and...

    s." New York State Court Officers
    New York State Court Officers
    New York State Court Officers are law enforcement officers who provide police services to the New York State Unified Court System, and enforce state and city laws at all facilities operated by the New York State Unified Court System.- Training :...

     are able to carry firearm
    Firearm
    A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

    s both on and off duty, and have the power to make warrantless arrests
    Arrest warrant
    An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by and on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual.-Canada:Arrest warrants are issued by a judge or justice of the peace under the Criminal Code of Canada....

     both on and off duty anywhere in the State of New York. They also have the authority to make traffic stops.
  • Indiana: In the State of Indiana, Bailiffs are administrative assistants that are employed by judges who reside in a county judicial circuit. For example, a County Court Judge, Superior Court Judge, and Circuit Court Judge may have at least one Bailiff who is in charge of calling a jury, seating a jury, as well as attending to a juror's needs. They are not armed, but they are sworn officers of the court.

Other uses of the word

As most people's contact with bailiffs is when a bailiff comes to take property to enforce debt, in former times in The Fens
The Fens
The Fens, also known as the , are a naturally marshy region in eastern England. Most of the fens were drained several centuries ago, resulting in a flat, damp, low-lying agricultural region....

 of eastern England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, the term "Bailiff of Bedford
Bedford
Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is a large town and the administrative centre for the wider Borough of Bedford. According to the former Bedfordshire County Council's estimates, the town had a population of 79,190 in mid 2005, with 19,720 in the adjacent town...

" was often used as slang
Slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

 for destructive floods of the River Great Ouse
River Great Ouse
The Great Ouse is a river in the east of England. At long, it is the fourth-longest river in the United Kingdom. The river has been important for navigation, and for draining the low-lying region through which it flows. Its course has been modified several times, with the first recorded being in...

.

See also

  • Bailli
    Bailli
    A bailli was the king’s administrative representative during the ancien régime in northern France, where the bailli was responsible for the application of justice and control of the administration and local finances in his baillage...

  • Constable
    Constable
    A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

  • High Bailiff
    High Bailiff
    In the Isle of Man the High Bailiff is the head stipendiary magistrate.In Vermont, a high bailiff is a county officer.-Isle of Man:The current High Bailiff is His Worship John Needham, who took office on 30 January 2010 on the retirement of Mr Michael Moyle. Mr Needham was previously Clerk to the...

  • Marshal
    Marshal
    Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

  • Reeve
    Reeve (England)
    Originally in Anglo-Saxon England the reeve was a senior official with local responsibilities under the Crown e.g. as the chief magistrate of a town or district...

  • Sheriff
    Sheriff
    A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

  • Tipstaff
    Tipstaff
    The Tipstaff is an officer of a court or, in some countries, a law clerk to a judge. The duties of the position vary from country to country.-History:...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK