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Sheriff in United Kingdom

Sheriff Meaning

Sheriff in Scottish Law

The name for a judge in the sheriff court.

Sheriff and jury Meaning

Sheriff in Scottish Law

Cases heard in the sheriff court by a sheriff and jury.

Meaning of Sheriff

The following is an old definition of Sheriff [1]: An officer who represents the administrative power of a State within one of its counties; an officer who executes the mandates of the courts of record within a county; the chief ministerial officer in a county. Sheriffalty. The office of sheriff. Shrievalty is about obsolete. An officer of great antiquity. In Latin, the,vice- comes, the deputy earl, to whom the custody of the shire was committed at the first division of the kingdom into counties. But the earls, in time, by reason of their high employments and attendance on the king’s per- son, not being able to transact the business of the county, were delivered of that burden, reserving to themselves the honor, while the labor was laid upon the sheriff. So that now the sheriff does all the king’s business in the county; and, though he is still called the vice-comes, he is entirely independent of the earl; the king by his letters-patent committing the care of the county to the.sheriff alone. He was the iiiimediate officer of the king within the shire; received his commission from the king, and directly represented the sovereign power. In this country his fimction has been similar, his relation to the sovereign power the same. He is the chief executive officer of the State in his county. In Missouri his office exists by’provisions of law and of the constitution. He obeys the mandate of the State in executing writs issued to him by the coiu-ts of his own and other counties. He is the State officer whose jurisdiction is ordinarily bounded by his own county. Originally, the office was held by men of large estate, able to support the retinue of followers which the dignity of the office required, and to answer in damages for neglect of duty. Now, a bond with sureties is given as security for the execution of the duties therein named, all of which are chiefly ministerial. In England, in his judicial capacity, he formerly held the sheriff’s tourn or county court, and performed certain other functions. As king’s bailiff, he seized all escheats, forfeitures, waifs, wrecks, estrays, etc. As conservator of the peace in his bailiwick, he represents the sovereign power: has care of the county; may make arrests upon view; may bind to keep the peace; may command the power of the county. In his ministerial capacity, he executes all processes issued from the courts: summons and returns juries; makes arrests upon warrants; and executes judgments and sentences. The office exists in this countiy substantially as de- rived from England,- the details are matters of con- stitutional or statutory regulation. The sheriit is generally elected by the people of the county, tor a term of two or three years. Presiding at inquests is his chief judicial duty; his other du ties are ministerial, and generally performed by deputies. Obedience to all precepts committed to him is the whole of his duty; and hence, if they issue from competent authority, and with legal regularity, and so appear upon their face, he is justified for every action within the scope of his command. His liability varies with the conditions under which he acts. In some matters he stands as an insurer, warranting the practical perfection of his worlf . Thus, he is answerable for the escape of a prisoner in execution; he assumes to know the law, and must not, therefore, commit a legal mistake, and he cannot safely keep property seized in execution. Deputy sheriff. A person selected by a sheriff to assist him in discharging tlie duties of his office. An officer coeval with the sheriff himself. The ap- pointment of deputies arose from the impossibility of the sheriff’s performing all the duties of his office in person. It was very early decided that the deputy could execute any writ directed to the sheriff by the name of his cffice, and not by a particular name. A “deputy sheriff” is a general deputy, with powers as extensive as the sheriff can delegate. An “under sheriff ” may mean a deputy sheriff. A general deputy attends to all the ordinary duties of the office. A special deputy represents the sheriff in some special relation, as, in executing a particular writ. A general deputy executes all processes without special power from the sheriff; in some cases he may delegate authority, in the name of the sheriff, to a special deputy. See Deputy. High sheriff. Imports no more than the word ” sheriff; ” ” high ” is pleonastic.Sheriff’s inquest, or jury. A jury, in number not more than twelve, summoned by a sheriff, to hold an inquest of office or make other inquiry required by local law. See Inquest. Sheriff’s sale. A sale of property by a sheriff or his deputy, in execution of the mandate of legal process. See Sale, Judicial. See also Arrest; Bailiwick; Capere; Corokeb; County; Escape; Exigency; Marshal, 1 (2); Perishable; Return; Service, 6.


Notes and References

  1. Concept of Sheriff provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Sheriff
  • Author: MacCallum
  • Description: Sheriff Meaning Sheriff in Scottish Law The name for a judge in the sheriff court. Sheriff and jury Meaning Sheriff in [...]

This entry was last updated: April 26, 2017


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