The Law Dictionary

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BAILIFF Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In a general sense, a person to whom some authority, care, guardianship, or jurisdiction is delivered, committed, or intrusted; one who is deputed or appointed to take charge of another’s affairs; an overseer or superintendent; a keeper, protector, or guardian; a steward. Spelman. A sheriff’s officer or deputy. 1 Bl. Comm. 344. A magistrate, who formerly administered Justice in the parliaments or courts of France, answering to the English sheriffs as mentioned by Bracton. In the action of account render. 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. Litt. 271; Story, Eq. Jur. f 446; West v. Weyer, 40 Ohio St. 66, 18 N. E. 537, 15 Am. St. Rep. 552. A bailiff is defined to be “a servant that has the administration and charge of lands, goods, and chattels, to make the best benefit for the owner, against whom an action of account lies, for the profits which he has raised or made, or might by his industry or care have raised or made.” Barnum v. Landon, 25 Conn. 149.


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