Bailiff Career Information

Bailiffs are court officers, (also known as court marshals) and in some cases work for the Sheriff's office. They work in all courts, at all levels.

The Work Environment

Bailiffs are primarily concerned with court procedures and proper conduct of court business. Please note: All procedures in which the bailiff is involved are covered by law. Bailiffs must know and understand the legalities of their role thoroughly.

The basic roles of a bailiff are:

  • Operation of court requirements regarding juries: No outside contact, provision of facilities, etc.

  • Service of court documents: This is a formal legal process, requiring court notices to be served on individuals.

  • Escorting prisoners to and from court to custody facilities: This process is governed by legal requirements for transport, holding and attendance of prisoners at court.

  • Additional duties as required by the court: The court clerk or judge may direct the bailiff to perform tasks in relation to court business.

A bailiff is present at all court hearings, and is also involved in related court administration procedures. There may be multiple hearings or court processes in the course of a day, and the bailiff plays a part in all hearings as court officer.

The range of normal court processes is a good indicator of the range of the bailiff's role:

  • Adversarial court hearings
  • Arraignments
  • Bail applications
  • Civil cases
  • Applications to the court for alterations to hearing dates
  • Applications for court orders
  • Statutory applications by law enforcement agencies
  • Jury processes
  • Arrangements for presence of prisoners (requirements may be court determined)

This large range of possible procedures and issues is all part of a bailiff's work environment. It must be mentioned here that courts, like all parties in the legal process, are responsible for proper conduct of their business. Failure to conduct "due process" can lead to serious legal issues including mistrials, and appeals on the ground of misconduct of legal procedures. The bailiff is one of the court personnel personally responsible for ensuring that proper conduct of proceedings is carried out. 

Wages

A Bailiff can expect $30,000 to $60,000 depending on qualifications, experience, and nature of duties

Hours

Court hours, may involve some external work serving documents.

The Career Environment

Bailiffs achieve career progression through qualification, experience, and have a reasonably good level of job mobility through the various court systems. The bailiff may achieve promotional progression to senior bailiff in major courts, or through the court administration hierarchy to management positions. The administrative career track involves training in law, as well as administration, but is a good career stream which includes better promotional and career prospects.

The usual course of career progression also involves formal training in law enforcement procedures, criminal justice, and other areas related to the work of the bailiff's court.

Working within a Sheriff's office requires strict adherence to correct legal procedures. This role is directly involved in the operation of the Sheriff's jurisdiction. The Sheriff's office may undertake legal procedures in relation to court orders requiring the bailiff to take part in the administration of official actions including actual arrests on the basis of civil bench warrants. Experienced bailiffs are able to achieve career progression in this career environment through additional qualifications and training.