The Office of Her Majesty's Sheriff and Sergeant is required to execute Orders of the Court. It serves legal process by serving summonses and by enforcing fines, judgment debts and compensation orders.
Historically, it was the States of Deliberation that was responsible for electing Her Majesty's Sheriff, or Prévôt, as the position was known. In 1955, responsibility for the appointment of the Sheriff was transferred to the States Appointment Board. The authority was later entrusted to the Civil Service Board and presently rests with the Policy Council. However, HM Sheriff can only be dismissed by the Sovereign's command.
Her Majesty's Sergeant is appointed by warrant of the Lieutenant-Governor. The office of Her Majesty's Sheriff is not mentioned in ancient sources. However, records do indicate that by the later sixteenth century, the Sergeant's duties were well established.
There is no bar on the position on HM Sheriff and HM Sergeant being held at the same time by the same person, as is presently the case.
The Office of HM Sheriff and HM Sergeant
Today, the Office of HM Sheriff and HM Sergeant is an executive arm of the Royal Court and of the States.
The department undertakes enforcement action to:
In seeking to recover compensation or sums of money owed by debtors, the enforcement action may involve arranging acceptable payment plans between the parties and/or the arrest and sale of personalty.
The department is also responsible for serving summonses and other legal notices.
HM Sheriff is responsible for keeping order in meetings of the States of Deliberation and States of Election. He announces the Lieutenant-Governor when he attends meetings of the States and declares Royal Proclamations. HM Sergeant is responsible for maintaining order in sittings of the Court.
HM Sheriff and HM Sergeant carry out civic ceremonial duties as required by the Royal Court by leading Royal Court processions on Liberation Day, at Chief Pleas and on Remembrance Day. He also takes part in ceremonies for the installation of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Bailiff and the Deputy Bailiff.