bailiff(redirected from Bailif)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
An individual who is entrusted with some authority, care, guardianship, or jurisdiction over designated persons or property. One who acts in a managerial or ministerial capacity or takes care of land, goods, and chattels of another in order to make the best profit for the owner. A minor officer of a court serving primarily as a messenger or usher. A low-level court official or sheriff's deputy whose duty is to preserve and protect orderly conduct in court proceedings.
n. 1) a court official, usually a deputy sheriff, who keeps order in the courtroom and handles various errands for the judge and clerk. 2) in some jurisdictions, a person appointed by the court to handle the affairs of an incompetent person or to be a "keeper" of goods or money pending further order of the court. "Bailiff" has its origin in Old French and Middle English for custodian, and in the middle ages was a significant position in the English court system. The word "bailiwick" originally meant the jurisdictional territory of a bailiff.
BAILIFF, account render. A bailiff is 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. Co. Lit. 271; 2 Leon.
245; 1 Mall . Ent. 65. 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; Owen,
20; 2 Leon. 194; Keilw. 114 a, b; 37 Ed. III. 7; 10 H. VII. 7, 30; 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. 18 Ed. III. 16. See Cro. Eliz. 82-3; 2
Anders. 62-3, 96-7 F. N. B. 134 F; 8 Co. 48 a, b.
2. 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: 1 Mall. Ent. 65, (4) 11; 1 Rolle, Ab. 125, 1, 7; Co. Lit. 89 a; Com. Dig. E 12 Bro. Ab. Acc. 18 Lucas, Rep. 23 but not for things foreign to his office. Bro. Ab. Acc .26, 88; Plowd. 282b, 14; Com. Dig. Acc. E13; Co. Lit. 172; 1 Mall. Ent. 65, (4) 4. Whereas, a mere receiver, or a receiver who is not also a bailiff, is not entitled to allowance for any expenses. Bro. Ab. Acc. 18; 1 Mall. Ent. 66, (4) 10; 1 Roll. Ab. 118; Com. Dig. E 13; 1 Dall. 340.
3. A bailiff may appear and plead for his principal in an assize; " and his plea com- @mences " thus, " J. S., bailiff of T. N., comes " &c., not " T. N., by his bailiff, J. S., comes," &c. 2 Inst. 415; Keilw. 117 b. As to what matters he may plead, see 2 Inst. 414.
BAILIFF, office. Magistrates who for @merly administered justice in the parliaments or courts of France, answering to the English sheriffs as mentioned by Bracton. There are still bailiffs of particular towns in England as the bailiff of Dover Castle, &c., otherwise bailiffs are now only officers or stewards, &c. as Bailiffs of liberties, appointed by every lord within his liberty, to serve writs, &c. Bailiff errent or itinerant, 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, &c. Bailiffs 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, &c. Bac. Ab. h. t.