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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE HIGH SHERIFF OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND THE OFFICE OF HIGH SHERIFF
1. This Act may be cited as the Sheriff's Act.
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2. In this Act
(a) "minister" means the Minister of Justice;
(b) "office" means the office of the sheriff; and
(c) "sheriff" means the High Sheriff of Newfoundland appointed under section 4.
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Office of the High Sheriff
3. There shall be an office within the province known as the Office of the High Sheriff of Newfoundland under the control and direction of the sheriff to perform the powers, functions and duties conferred upon the office by this Act.
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4. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint a person known as the High Sheriff of Newfoundland who shall hold office at pleasure and who is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the powers, functions and duties of the office are properly carried out in accordance with this Act.
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5. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint on the terms and conditions that he or she may prescribe
(a) a sub-sheriff to assist the sheriff; and
(b) additional sub-sheriffs for the areas of the province that are designated in their appointments to help in carrying out the functions of the office within those areas.
(2) There may be appointed, in the manner provided by law, bailiffs and other clerks and employees that are necessary to help the sheriff in carrying out his or her powers and duties.
(3) Nothing in this Act shall prevent bailiffs appointed under this Act from performing the duties and exercising the powers traditionally carried on by bailiffs before the coming into force of this Act.
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6. (1) The sheriff may, with the approval of the minister, appoint on a part-time basis, as the occasion may require, deputy sheriffs to exercise and discharge under the control of the sheriff those powers and duties of the sheriff that are conferred upon them by the sheriff within locations of the province designated in their appointment.
(2) Deputy sheriffs are not employees of the province, notwithstanding that all or part of their remuneration may be provided from funds voted by the Legislature.
(3) The sheriff shall maintain a list of all deputy sheriffs appointed under this section showing the location in which the deputy sheriff is designated to act and the list is open to public inspection during normal office hours at no charge.
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7. The sheriff and every sub-sheriff, bailiff and deputy sheriff shall, before performing the duties of the office of the sheriff, take and sign before a judge the oath of allegiance and judicial oath referred to in the Oaths of Office Act.
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8. Notwithstanding sections 4, 5 and 6, the sheriff and sub-sheriffs, and every bailiff and deputy sheriff in office before the coming into force of this Act are the sheriff, sub-sheriff and every bailiff and deputy sheriff respectively appointed under this Act.
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9. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may fix and determine the amount of security to be provided on behalf of the sheriff, sub-sheriffs and bailiffs, but the amount shall not
(a) in the case of the sheriff, be less than $10,000; and
(b) in the case of the sub-sheriffs and bailiffs, be less than $5,000 each.
(2) The minister may prescribe the form of security required to be provided under subsection (1) which may be by way of
(a) the guarantee of a surety; or
(b) fidelity insurance with a company authorized to carry on the business of that type of insurance in the province.
(3) The security provided under this section shall be applied for the benefit of the Crown as well as for the benefit of persons who sustain damage because of the fault or negligence of the sheriff, sub-sheriffs and bailiffs for anything done by them in executing the duties of the office of the sheriff.
(4) The sheriff, sub-sheriffs, bailiffs and deputy sheriffs have no liability to a person sustaining damage because of the fault or negligence of any of them beyond the amount for which they are required to provide security under this section, and where on the trial of an action brought against them or against a surety it is found that the plaintiff is entitled to recover an amount greater than the security furnished, the Crown will bear the amount of the excess.
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10. (1) It is the function of the office of the sheriff
(a) to execute attachment, recovery, enforcement, contempt and execution orders and other orders of execution;
(b) to make and issue attachment and seizure orders upon execution and to take, store and sell real and personal property seized upon execution;
(c) to make all returns to the court which are required by law;
(d) to carry out duties required of the sheriff under the Jury Act;
(e) to keep and maintain provincial registers of executions made upon real property and personal property within the province and upon payment of the fee that may be fixed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council
(i) to make searches of the registers and to issue certificates containing the results of those searches, and
(ii) to permit persons having an interest to search the registers within those times during normal business hours that may be fixed by the sheriff; and
(f) to comply with, implement and execute the requirements imposed upon the sheriff by the Judicature Act or another Act of the province.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall remove from the sheriff the duties, powers and functions required to be exercised by the sheriff under the common law.
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Prohibition against sale of goods
11. (1) The sheriff, sub-sheriffs and bailiffs shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the sale of goods.
(2) The sheriff, sub-sheriffs, bailiffs and deputy sheriffs shall not, directly or indirectly, purchase property, real or personal, exposed to sale under legal process.
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Books to be kept
12. (1) The sheriff and every sub-sheriff, other than the sub-sheriff appointed under paragraph 5(1)(a), shall keep and maintain
(a) a record of every process received by the sheriff or sub-sheriff, the court out of which the order issued, the date of the receipt, the nature of the order, the names of the parties, the lawyer who has requested the service of that process, the action taken and the date and nature of the returns made;
(b) a record of every execution order or order received by the sheriff or sub-sheriff, the court out of which the order issued, the date of the receipt, the nature of the order, the names of the parties, the lawyer who has requested that execution order, the action taken and the date and nature of the returns made;
(c) a cash record of all money received and paid by the sheriff and sub-sheriffs in their official capacity, or in connection with the office of the sheriff, for a service, for fees, service of process and papers, attendance at court, money levied or collected upon execution, or under execution orders or otherwise, the date of the receipt or payment and the cause, matter or service in, or on account of which payment was received or paid;
(d) a separate book or record of the daily fees, commissions, allowances and expenses received and the amounts disbursed in carrying on their functions and duties; and
(e) other records that the minister may require.
(2) All books, accounts, records, papers, warrants, money and other things possessed by the office of the sheriff are held by that office in trust for the Crown or the person having right to them.
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Return of fees
13. (1) The sheriff, sub-sheriffs, bailiffs and deputy sheriffs shall upon receiving a written direction from the minister deliver to the minister a return under oath or affirmation of the total amount of the fees, commissions, allowances and expenses received by the office during the immediately preceding calendar year and of the total disbursements made during that year.
(2) The sheriff, a sub-sheriff, bailiff or deputy sheriff who wilfully fails to make the return required by subsection (1) following direction to that effect is liable to a penalty of $4 for every day for which the return is delayed.
(3) Information given on a return under subsection (1) is available only to a person authorized by the minister, and that authorization shall be given solely for the purposes of this Act or another Act of the province which provides for the imposition of a tax.
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Levies on property
14. (1) The sheriff or, in the case of absence of the sheriff, the sub-sheriff appointed under paragraph 5(1)(a) shall
(a) immediately upon executing upon real or personal property; and
(b) immediately upon receiving the intimation from the sub-sheriff under paragraph (2)(a)
enter within the appropriate provincial register of executions a description of the property upon which the execution is made, the date of the execution and the name of the party in whose name or at whose instruction the execution was effected.
(2) A sub-sheriff, other than the sub-sheriff appointed under paragraph 5(1)(a), who executes upon real property within the area of jurisdiction of the sub-sheriff shall
(a) immediately following the execution, intimate to the sheriff by telex, telephone or other mechanical means the information required to be entered into the provincial register under subsection (1);
(b) keep a record of the description of the real property affected by the execution, the date on which the execution was effected and the party on whose behalf or at whose instance it was effected; and
(c) make a return to the sheriff at the end of each calendar month of all executions carried out during that month.
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Executions to be directed to sheriff
15. (1) An instruction upon an execution order directed to anyone but the sheriff or a sub-sheriff is invalid.
(2) Nothing in this section shall prevent the sheriff or sub-sheriff from directing an instruction upon an execution order to
(a) a bailiff; or
(b) a deputy sheriff, where the execution is to be effected within the location of appointment of that deputy sheriff.
(3) An instruction upon an execution order directed to the sheriff or sub-sheriff, as permitted by this section, shall clearly identify by description or definition the property on which an execution is required to be made and the sheriff or sub-sheriff is empowered to require reasonable proof of ownership or interest in the property on which an execution is required to be made.
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Advance payment of fees
16. The sheriff and a sub-sheriff, bailiff or deputy sheriff may, at the time of the delivery of an instruction upon an execution order or a process of the court, demand from the person making the instruction the fees, commissions, allowances and expenses permitted by law to be charged for implementing the instruction and capable of prior calculation, and where the fees, commissions, allowances and expenses are recovered from the person against whom the execution or process is directed, the amount so recovered shall be paid by the sheriff, sub-sheriff, bailiff or deputy sheriff to the person who issued the instruction.
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Returns of writs
17. (1) A party to an action or a proceeding, or the lawyer of the party, may by written instruction require the sheriff, sub-sheriff, bailiff or deputy sheriff to make a return of an execution order
(a) where the execution is effected by the sheriff, sub-sheriff or bailiff, within 20 days from the date of the instruction; or
(b) where the execution is effected by a deputy sheriff following a direction to the effect under subsection 15(2), within 30 days from the date of instruction.
(2) The sheriff, sub-sheriff, bailiff or deputy sheriff shall
(a) return all writs directed to them within the time required by subsection (1) upon written instruction to that effect with the amount of the fees, commissions, allowances and expenses permitted by law endorsed on the return; and
(b) record the action taken upon an execution order returned by them by endorsement upon the execution order which is returned.
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18. The sheriff or a sub-sheriff, bailiff or deputy sheriff entrusted with the execution of an execution order, warrant or process who wilfully commits misconduct in the execution of the warrant or process, or wilfully makes a false return to the warrant or process is
(a) guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 6 months or to both a fine and imprisonment, and notwithstanding subsection 9(4), is liable in full to damages awarded to a person aggrieved by the misconduct or false return; and
(b) liable to forfeiture of office.
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19. The law relating to the rights, privileges, benefits, duties, obligations and liabilities of the sheriff, sub-sheriff or anyone permitted by law to perform the duties of the sheriff or sub-sheriff in force or existing before the enactment of this Act shall continue to exist as if this Act had not been passed.
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20. Section 81 and sections 83 to 87 inclusive of the Judicature Act are repealed.
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21. This Act comes into force on a day to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
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