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Sheriff

county, reign, peace, door, justice, force, officer and building

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SHERIFF (Sax. scyrc, shire, reve, keeper). A county officer representing the executive or administrative power of the state within his county.

As to the history of the office, It Is said by Holds worth (1 Hist. E. L. 39) : "The immediate result of the large jurisdiction assumed by the Curia Regis was an increase in the power of the sheriff. He grew to be the ruler of the county, responsible for its revenues, military force, police, gaols, and courts, and the execution of the writs of the Curia Regis. By the 13th century it is clear that he was not an hereditary official. By Edward III's reign, he came to be appointed by the crown and was not elective. He was appointed annually and must own land in the county. In the reign of Richard 111, he could not be reappointed till three years had elapsed from the expiration of his year of office. In Henry II'a reign, he must appear twice a year to settle for the revenues of bis county. His control over the military force ceased with the appointment of lord lieutenants in Mary's reign, though he could atilt summon the posse comitatus; and in the same reign he was prevented from acting as a justice of the peace. By the 14th and 15th centuries, he ceased to have control over prisoners, except those condemned to death. He came to be ao attendant of the courts of law, the itinerant justices and the justices of the peace in quarter sessions—to summon juries, give notice to prosecutors and others, prepare the judge's lodgings and attend upon him during the assizes. Royal writs were addressed to him and still are, and their execution is his chief duty. This gives him control over parliamentary elections." Maitland says (Justice and Police 69) that "the whole history of English justice and police might be brought under this rubric—the Decline and Fall of the Sheriff." It Is the sheriff's duty to preserve the peace within his bailiwick or county. To this end he is the first man within-the coun ty., and may apyrehend and commit to prison all persons who break or attempt to break the peace, or may bind them over in a recog nizance to keep the peace. He Is bound, cap officio, to pursue and take all traitors, mur derers, felons, and rioters ; has the safekeep ing of the county jail, and must defend it against all rioters ; and for this, as well as for any other purpose, in the execution of his duties he may command the inhabitants of the county to assist him, which is called the posse convitatus. And this summons every

person over fifteen years of age is bound to obey, under pain of fine and imprisonment; Dalt. Sheriff 355; 2d Inst. 454.

In his ministerial capacity he is bound to execute, within his county, all processes that issue from the courts of justice, except where he is a party to the proceeding, in which case the coroner acts in his stead. On mesne pro cess he is to execute the writ, to arrest and take ball; when the cause conies to trial he summons and returns the jury, and when it is determined he carries Into effect the judg ment of the court. In criminal cases he also arrests and imprisons, returns the jury (now usually provided by statute), has the cus tody of the prisoner, and executes the sen tence of the court upon him, whatever it may be.

It is a settled principle of the common law that every man's house is his castle ; accordingly, in the service of civil process, an officer may not break open the outer door of a dwelling-house. He must await his opportunity to enter peaceably without force or violence; 5 Co. 91 ; Hooker v. Smith, 19 Vt. 151, 47 Am. Dec. 679; People v. Hubbard, 24 Wend. (N. Y.) 369, 35 Am. Dec. 628; but having, without force, obtained admission to the house, he may go from one room to an other and forcibly open any inner doors, chests, trunks, or other places where proper ty is kept in order to make a levy ; Cowp. 1; Prettyman v. Dean, 2 Herring. (Del.) 494; Williams v. Spencer, 5 Johns. (N. Y.) 352; State v. Thackam, 1 Bay (S. C.) 358. Where a building was kept by several ten ants and had an outer door through which they all passed to gain their several apart ments, it was held that an officer who en tered this door might enter any other ; Can trell v. Conner, 6 Daly (N. Y.) 39. A building occupied for business as a work-shop, any other building not being a dwelling-house, but connected therewith, may be entered by breaking through the outer door ; [1895] 2 Q. B. 663. Where a building is occupied partly as a dwelling and partly for bUsiness, a common outer door through which both parties are approached may be broken to make a levy in the store; Stearns v. Vincent, 50 Mich. 209, 15 N. W. 86, 45 Am. Rep. 37 ; but where a milliner carried on her business and resided in one room, it was held to be a trespass, when an officer made an entry by breaking; Welsh v. Wilson, 34 Minn. 92, 24 N. W. 327.

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