Bailiff: Everything You Need to Know

A law enforcement officer assigned to a courtroom to keep peace and assist the judge, courtroom clerks, witnesses, and jury.2 min read


A law enforcement officer, usually a sheriff, marshal or constable, assigned to a courtroom to keep peace and assist the judge, courtroom clerks, witnesses, and jury. A court attendant whose actual duties vary according to jurisdiction and judge but often include maintaining order in the courtroom.

A person who has, by delivery, the custody and administration of lands or goods for the benefit of the owner or bailor, and is liable to render an account thereof. The word is derived from the old French word bailler, to bail, that is, to deliver. Originally, the word implied the delivery of real estate, as of land, woods, a house, a part of the fish in a pond; but was afterwards extended to goods and chattels. Every bailiff is a receiver, but every receiver is not a bailiff. Hence it is a good plea that the defendant never was receiver, but as bailiff.

From a bailiff is required administration, care, management, skill. He is, therefore, entitled to allowance for the expense of administration and for all things done in his office, according to his own judgment, without the special direction of his principal, and also for casual things done in the common course of business.

Magistrates who formerly administered justice in the parliaments or courts of France, answering to the English sheriffs. There are still bailiffs of particular towns in England as the bailiff of Dover Castle, etc., otherwise, bailiffs are now only officers or stewards, etc. as Bailiffs of liberties, appointed by every lord within his liberty, to serve writs, etc.

  • Bailiff Errent Or Itenerant, appointed to go about the country for the same purpose.
  • Sheriff 's Bailies, sheriff's officers to execute writs; these are also called bound bailiffs because they are usually bound in a bond to the sheriff for the due execution of their office.
  • Bailiffs Of Court Baron, to summon the court, etc.
  • Bailffs Of Husbandry, appointed by private persons to collect their rents and manage their estates.
  • Water Bailiffs, officers in port towns for searching ships, gathering tolls, etc.
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