A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England, where the office originated. There is an analogous although independently developed office in Iceland that is commonly translated to English as sheriff, and this is discussed below.
Historically, a sheriff was a legal official with responsibility for a shire, the term being a contraction of "shire reeve" (Old English scīrgerefa).
In British English, the political or legal office of a sheriff, term of office of a sheriff, or jurisdiction of a sheriff, is called a shrievaltyin England and Wales, and a sheriffdom in Scotland.
In modern times, the specific combination of legal, political and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country.
The Old English term designated a royal official (a reeve) responsible for keeping the peace throughout a shire or county on behalf of the king.The term was preserved in England notwithstanding the Norman Conquest.
Today, sheriff or high sheriff is a ceremonial county or city official. Some commercial organisations use the term to refer to High Court enforcement officers.
In Scotland the sheriff is a judicial office holder in the sheriff courts, and they are members of the judiciary of Scotland.
The most senior sheriffs are the sheriffs principal, who have administrative as well as judicial authority in the six sheriffdoms, and are responsible for the effective running and administration of all the sheriff courts in their jurisdiction. Sheriffs principal also sit as appeal sheriffs in the Sheriff Appeal Court; hearing appeals against sentencing and conviction from summary trials in the sheriff courts and justice of the peace courts.The additional duties of a sheriff principal include being Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouse Board (which is the general lighthouse authority for Scotland), and chairing local criminal justice boards which bring together local representatives of procurator fiscal, Police Scotland and Community Justice Scotland, and Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.
Sheriffs deal with the majority of civil and criminal court cases in Scotland, with the power to preside in solemn proceedings with a jury of 15 for indictable offences and sitting alone in summary proceedings for summary offences. A sheriff must be legally qualified, and have been qualified as an advocate or solicitor for at least 10 years. The maximum sentencing power of sheriff in summary proceedings is 12 months imprisonment, or a fine of up to £10,000. In solemn proceedings the maximum sentence is 5 years imprisonment, or an unlimited fine.
Sheriffs also preside over fatal accident inquiries which are convened to examine the circumstances around sudden or suspicious deaths, including those who die in the course of employment, in custody, or in secure accommodation.
Summary sheriffs hear civil cases brought under Simple Procedure and criminal cases brought under summary proceedings. Their sentencing powers are identical to a sheriff sitting in summary proceedings.
In the Republic of Ireland, a sheriff (Irish : sirriam ) is appointed under section 12(3) of the Court Officers Act 1945, to perform some of the functions that would otherwise be performed by the county registrar. In practice, two types of sheriff have been appointed:
Prior to the 1922 creation of the Irish Free State, Irish law regarding sheriffs mirrored that of England,latterly with each administrative county and county borough having a ceremonial High Sheriff and functional under-sheriffs responsible for enforcing court orders of the county court or quarter sessions. The Courts of Justice Act 1924 replaced these courts with a new Circuit Court. The Court Officers Act 1926 formally abolished High Sheriffs and phased out under-sheriffs by providing that, as each retired, his functions would be transferred to the county registrar, established by the 1926 act as an officer of the Circuit Court. When the Dublin city under-sheriff retired in 1945, the city registrar was too overworked with other responsibilities to take over his duties, so the Court Officers Act 1945 was passed to allow a new office of sheriff to take over some or all of the under-sheriff's functions. The four Dublin and Cork sheriffs were soon appointed, with much of the under-sheriff's responsibilities. Revenue sheriffs were introduced for the rest of the state in the late 1980s as part of a crackdown on tax evasion. In 1993 the Comptroller and Auditor General expressed concern that funds collected and held in trust by sheriffs on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners were at risk of commingling. This was reformed in 1998 by prohibiting sheriffs from retaining the interest earned on such monies and, to compensate, increasing their retainer. Through to the 1990s the sheriff's post was in the gift of the minister for Justice, but in the 2010s it is advertised by the Public Appointments Service.
A sheriff's office exists in most Australian states and territories, with various duties.
Most provinces and territories in Canada operate a sheriffs service. Sheriffs are primarily concerned with services such as courtroom security, post-arrest prisoner transfer, serving legal processes and executing civil judgements. Sheriffs are defined under section 2 of the Criminal Code as "peace officers". Sheriffs' duties in Ontario deal only with serving legal processes and executing civil judgments. They do not perform court security-related duties, which are handled by the police in which the courthouse is located (municipal police or the Ontario Provincial Police). In other parts of Canada, where sheriff's services do not exist, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police perform these duties. Quebec has a two-tiered court security system where armed provincial special constables perform court security and the provincial correctional officers perform prisoner escort/transport duties.
In 2006, the Province of Alberta expanded the dutiesof the Alberta Sheriffs Branch (the successor to the former Courts and Prisoner Security agency) to include traffic enforcement, protective security and some investigation functions (Sheriffs Investigative Support Unit and Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Unit). As of June 2008, the Alberta Sheriffs Branch traffic division includes 105 traffic sheriffs who are assigned to one of seven regions in the province. Sheriffs also assist various police services in Alberta with prisoner management.
In the Province of Nova Scotia, the sheriffs service focuses on the safety and security of the judiciary, court staff, the public, and persons in custody. There are local sheriffs for every county in Nova Scotia, numbering over 200 in total. They work with up to 20,000 inmates and travel over 2 million kilometers in a year. Sheriffs are responsible for: court security; the transportation of prisoners to and from institutions and all levels of court; the service of some civil and criminal documents; and the execution of court orders.
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The office of sheriff as county official in colonial North America is recorded from the 1660s. In the modern United States, the scope of a sheriff varies across states and counties (which in Louisiana are called "parishes" and in Alaska "boroughs"). The sheriff is most often an elected county official who serves as the chief civil-law enforcement officer of their jurisdiction. The sheriff enforces court orders and mandates and may perform duties such as evictions, seizing property and assets pursuant to court orders, and serving warrants and legal papers. In some counties where urban areas have their own police departments, a sheriff may be restricted to civil procedure enforcement duties, while in other counties, the sheriff may serve as the principal police force and have jurisdiction over all of the county's municipalities, regardless if they have their own city or town/township police department. A sheriff often administers the county jails and is responsible for court security functions within their jurisdiction.
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Among cities in India, only Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai (Madras), the three former British Presidencies, have had a Sheriff. First established in the 1700s based on the English High Sheriffs, they were the executive arm of the Judiciary, responsible for assembling jurors, bringing people to trial, supervising the gaoling (imprisonment) of prisoners and seizing and selling property. After the mid-1800s the responsibilities and powers of the role were reduced and the positions became ceremonial. The Sheriffs of Mumbai and Kolkata still exist, although the post in Chennai was abolished in 1998.
In present times the sheriff has an apolitical, non-executive role, presides over various city-related functions and conferences and welcomes foreign guests. The post is second to the mayor in the protocol list.
In South Africa, the sheriffs are officers of the court and function as the executive arm of the court. They are responsible for serving court processes like summonses and subpoenas. They play an important role in the execution of court orders like the attachments of immovable and movable property; evictions, demolitions etc.
The Sheriffs Act 90 of 1986, which came into operation on 1 March 1990, governs the profession. A sheriff is appointed by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development in terms of Section 2 of the Act.
In Iceland, sýslumenn (singular sýslumaður, translated "sheriff")are administrators of the state, holders of the executive power in their jurisdiction and heads of their Sheriff's Office. Sheriffs are in charge of certain legal matters that typically involve registration of some sort and executing the orders of the court. The duties of the sheriffs differ slightly depending on their jurisdiction but they can be broadly categorised as:
There are 24 sheriffs and sheriff jurisdictions in Iceland. The jurisdictions are not defined by the administrative divisions of Iceland but are mainly a mixture of counties and municipalities.
The post of sheriff was mandated by the Old Covenant, an agreement between the Icelandic Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Norway. The agreement which was ratified between 1262 and 1264 makes the post of sheriff the oldest secular position of government still operating in Iceland.
A coroner is a government official who is empowered to conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death, and to investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead within the coroner's jurisdiction.
A bailiff is a manager, overseer or custodian; a legal officer to whom some degree of authority or jurisdiction is given. Bailiffs are of various kinds and their offices and duties vary greatly.
A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or puisne court, elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. In past centuries the term commissioner of the peace was often used with the same meaning. Depending on the jurisdiction, such justices dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions. Justices of the peace are appointed or elected from the citizens of the jurisdiction in which they serve, and are usually not required to have any formal legal education in order to qualify for the office. Some jurisdictions have varying forms of training for JPs.
The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both judicial and executive powers. In other parts of the world, such as China, a magistrate was responsible for administration over a particular geographic area. Today, in some jurisdictions, a magistrate is a judicial officer who hears cases in a lower court, and typically deals with more minor or preliminary matters. In other jurisdictions, magistrates may be volunteers without formal legal training who perform a judicial role with regard to minor matters.
The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland and constitutes part of the College of Justice; the supreme criminal court of Scotland is the High Court of Justiciary. The Court of Session sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a trial court and a court of appeal. Decisions of the court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, with the permission of either the Inner House or the Supreme Court. The Court of Session and the local sheriff courts of Scotland have concurrent jurisdiction for all cases with a monetary value in excess of £100,000; the pursuer is given first choice of court. However, the majority of complex, important, or high value cases are brought in the Court of Session. Cases can be remitted to the Court of Session from the sheriff courts, including the Sheriff Personal Injury Court, at the request of the presiding sheriff. Legal aid, administered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board, is available to persons with little disposable income for cases in the Court of Session.
The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court in Scotland. The High Court is both a trial court and a court of appeal. As a trial court, the High Court sits on circuit at Parliament House or the former Sheriff Court building in Edinburgh, or in dedicated buildings in Glasgow and Aberdeen. The High Court sometimes sits in various smaller towns in Scotland, where it uses the local sheriff court building. As an appeal court the High Court sits only in Edinburgh.
A sheriff court is the principal local civil and criminal court in Scotland, with exclusive jurisdiction over all civil cases with a monetary value up to £100,000, and with the jurisdiction to hear any criminal case except treason, murder, and rape which are in the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Court of Justiciary. Though the sheriff courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the High Court over armed robbery, drug trafficking, and sexual offences involving children, the vast majority of these cases are heard by the High Court. Each court serves a sheriff court district within one of the six sheriffdoms of Scotland. Each sheriff court is presided over by a sheriff, who is a legally qualified judge, and part of the judiciary of Scotland.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is an independent public body which is responsible for the administration of the courts and tribunals of Scotland. The Service is led by a board which is chaired by the Lord President of the Court of Session, and employs over 1000 staff members in the country's 39 sheriff courts, 34 justice of the peace courts, the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary, and at the service's headquarters in Edinburgh. The day-to-day administration of the service is the responsibility of its Chief Executive and Executive Directors. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is also responsible for providing administrative services for the Judicial Office for Scotland, the Office of the Public Guardian, the Accountant of Court, the Criminal Courts Rules Council, and the Scottish Civil Justice Council.
A high sheriff is a ceremonial officer for each shrieval county of England and Wales and Northern Ireland or the chief sheriff of a number of paid sheriffs in U.S. states who outranks and commands the others in their court-related functions. In Canada, the High Sheriff provides administrative services to the supreme and provincial courts.
The courts of Scotland are responsible for administration of justice in Scotland, under statutory, common law and equitable provisions within Scots law. The courts are presided over by the judiciary of Scotland, who are the various judicial office holders responsible for issuing judgments, ensuring fair trials, and deciding on sentencing. The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland, subject to appeals to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and the High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court, which is only subject to the authority of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on devolution issues and human rights compatibility issues.
In Scotland a sheriff principal is a judge in charge of a sheriffdom with judicial, quasi-judicial, and administrative responsibilities. Sheriffs principal have been part of the judiciary of Scotland since the 11th century. Sheriffs principal were originally appointed by the Monarch of Scotland, and evolved into a heritable jurisdiction before appointment was again vested in the Crown and the Monarch of the United Kingdom following the passage of the Heritable Jurisdictions (Scotland) Act 1746.
A procurator fiscal, sometimes called PF or fiscal, is a public prosecutor in Scotland who, has the ability to impose fiscal fines. They investigate all sudden and suspicious deaths in Scotland, conduct fatal accident inquiries and handle criminal complaints against the police. They also receive reports from specialist reporting agencies such as Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
The government of the U.S. State of Oklahoma, established by the Oklahoma Constitution, is a republican democracy modeled after the federal government of the United States. The state government has three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers or "checks and balances," each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other branches.
The British Columbia Sheriff Service (BCSS) is a provincial law enforcement agency overseen by the Ministry of the Attorney General in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is the oldest law enforcement agency in the Province of British Columbia, tracing its roots back to 1857. Sheriffs are Provincial Peace Officers appointed under the BC Sheriff Act and BC Police Act with authority to enforce all relevant federal and provincial acts including the criminal code throughout British Columbia while in the lawful execution of their duties.
In the United States, a sheriff is an official in a county or independent city responsible for keeping the peace and enforcing the law. Unlike most officials in law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected, although some states have laws requiring certain law enforcement qualifications of candidates. Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the citizens of their county, the constitution of their state, and ultimately the United States Constitution.
The judicial police, judiciary police, or justice police are either a branch, separate police agency or type of duty performed by law enforcement structures in a country. In civil law systems, it is common for judiciary police to be a separate police structure from internal affairs police structure, but they can overlap in duties and competences.
The Baltimore City Sheriff's Office is the law enforcement arm of the court, serving the citizens of Baltimore City, Maryland. The office is headquartered in the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses which serves as the sites for the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.
Scots law is the legal system of Scotland. It is a hybrid or mixed legal system containing civil law and common law elements, that traces its roots to a number of different historical sources. Together with English law and Northern Irish law, it is one of the three legal systems of the United Kingdom.
The judiciary of Scotland are the judicial office holders who sit in the courts of Scotland and make decisions in both civil and criminal cases. Judges make sure that cases and verdicts are within the parameters set by Scots law, and they must hand down appropriate judgments and sentences. Judicial independence is guaranteed in law, with a legal duty on Scottish Ministers, the Lord Advocate and the Members of the Scottish Parliament to uphold judicial independence, and barring them from influencing the judges through any form of special access.
In the United States, there is no consistent use of the office of constable throughout the states; use may vary within a state. A constable may be an official responsible for service of process: such as summonses and subpoenas for people to appear in court in criminal and/or civil matters. They can also be fully empowered law enforcement officers. Constables may have additional specialized duties unique to the office. In some states, a constable may be appointed by the governor or a judge or magistrate of the court which he or she serves; in others, the constable is an elected or appointed position at the state or local level of local government. Their jurisdiction can vary from statewide to county/parish and local township boundaries based on the state's laws.
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34) The sheriff is required to make certain findings and is empowered to make recommendations to avoid a recurrence of the incident.
Sýslumanna er fyrst getið hérlendis í einu handriti að sáttmála þeim sem Íslendingar gerðu við Noregskonung og öðlaðist staðfestingu á árunum 1262 til 1264 og síðar var nefndur Gamli sáttmáli, en með sáttmála þessum má segja að Íslendingar hafi gerst þegnar Noregskonungs. Eru sýslumenn elstu veraldlegu embættismenn sem enn starfa hérlendis og hafa alla tíð verið mikilvægur hluti stjórnsýslunnar.
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