What does Bailiff mean in American Law?

The definition of Bailiff in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

In any legal system there will be a number of official odd jobs to be preformed in connection with adjudication which cannot be performed by judges, notably serving legal process (including arrest if that is called for), and executing judgments. These functions are constant, but neither the name given to such officials, not their placement in the politicaladministative structure of the state, is foreordained. Persons wielding civil and criminal state power with particular reference to adjudication have been called, in addition to bailiff, reeve (in Saxon times, and in ecclesiastical courts), sheriff, clerk, marshall, deputy, and more. Sometimes they and their deputies have been the representatives of one level of government within the territory of another level, e.g., the feudal sheriff (who employed bailiffs to assist him) was the King”s chief agent in the shire or county of a great feudal lord (the very word “sheriff” coming from “shire reeve”). And at one time any royal officer, but especially the King”s chief officer in a hundred, was called a bailiff.

At other times and places these officials have been technically employees of the judiciary, e.g., the mashalls in modern federal courts, and the bailiffs of modern federal judges.

Bailiff in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of bailiff.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Bailiff

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Bailiff :

1. All officer of a court (usually a county court) concerned with the service of the court’s processes and the enforcement of its orders, especially warrants of *execution authorizing the seizure of the goods of a debtor. The term is often loosely applied to a sheriff’s officer.

2. A judicial official in Guernsey (Royal Court Bailiff).

Meaning of Bailiff in the U.S. Legal System

Definition of Bailiff published by the National Association for Court Management: A court attendant who keeps order in the courtroom and has custody of the jury.

Bailiff (Judicial Personnel)





Hierarchical Display of Bailiff

Law > Organisation of the legal system > Legal profession > Public legal official

Meaning of Bailiff

Overview and more information about Bailiff

For a more comprehensive understanding of Bailiff, see in the general part of the online platform.[rtbs name=”xxx-xxx”]


Translation of Bailiff

Thesaurus of Bailiff

Law > Organisation of the legal system > Legal profession > Public legal official > Bailiff

See also


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