Court bailiffs maintain order and security in courtrooms. They transport offenders to and from the courtroom, ensure necessary supplies are present in the courtroom, and investigate the premises and examine individuals to ensure there are no threats. They also open and close court, and call witnesses.
Court bailiffs typically do the following duties:
- Serve court orders like statements of claims, warrants, jury summonses, and orders to pay spousal support
- Seize and distribute assets according to court decisions
- Provide security for judges and members of the jury within the courthouse
- Escort prisoners to and from court to correctional institutions
- Escort witnesses
- Attend court and assist the judge in maintaining order in the courtroom during proceedings
- Ensure security for sequestered juries
- Provide support services for sequestered juries
- Issue warrants for arrest or imprisonment
The following job titles also refer to court bailiff:
court administrative officer
court security officer
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Court bailiff is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Court bailiff career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to court bailiff.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of court bailiff. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of court bailiff with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of court bailiff.
- Court procedures: The regulations which are in place during the investigation of a court case and during a court hearing, and of how these events occur.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of court bailiff.
- Restrain individuals: Restrain, or control by force, individuals who violate regulations in terms of acceptable behaviour, who present a threat to others, and who perform acts of violence, to ensure the individual is unable to proceed in this negative behaviour and to protect others.
- Maintain court order: Ensure that order and is kept in court during a hearing.
- Maintain logbooks: Maintain the required logbooks according to practice and in established formats.
- Ensure public safety and security: Implement the relevant procedures, strategies and use the proper equipment to promote local or national security activities for the protection of data, people, institutions, and property.
- Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
- Assist judge: Assist the judge during court hearings to ensure the judge has access to all necessary case files, to help maintain order, see the judge is comfortable, and to ensure the hearing occurs without complications.
- Handle conflicts: Mediate in conflicts and tense situations by acting between parties, such as service users, important others like families, and institutions, striving to effect an agreement, reconciliate, and resolve problems.
- Identify security threats: Identify security threats during investigations, inspections, or patrols, and perform the necessary actions to minimise or neutralise the threat.
- Call witnesses: Call witnesses during court hearings at the appropriate time, when it is time for them to be questioned or present their story, compliant with court procedure regulations.
- Escort defendants: Escort suspects and known offenders from one area to another, such as in a prison or from a cell to a courtoom, to ensure they do not escape, that they are not violent, or otherwise exceed the limits of acceptable behaviour, as well as to be able to respond to any emergencies.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of court bailiff. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Law enforcement: The different organisations involved in law enforcement, as well as the laws and regulations in law enforcement procedures.
- Legal use-of-force: The characteristics of the use-of-force, which is a legal doctrine employed by police and army forces, to regulate acts of violence during interventions. Use-of-force is ought to balance security needs with ethical concerns for the rights and well-being of intruders or suspects.
- Correctional procedures: Tthe legal regulations and policies concerning the operations of correctional facilities, and other correctional procedures.
- Civil process order: The legal procedures and standards that courts follow in civil lawsuits.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of court bailiff. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Conduct frisk: Conduct frisks, or pat downs, with individual to ensure there are no illegal or dangerous items concealed on their person, in a manner appropriate and compliant with regulations.
- Show responsibility: Accept responsibility and be accountable for professional decisions of yourself or others as part of a job or one’s role.
- Compile legal documents: Compile and collect legal documents from a specific case in order to aid an investigation or for a court hearing, in a manner compliant with legal regulations and ensuring records are properly maintained.
- Perform risk analysis: Identify and assess factors that may jeopardise the success of a project or threaten the organisation’s functioning. Implement procedures to avoid or minimise their impact.
- Handle evidence: Handle evidence important for a case in a manner compliant with regulations, in order to not affect the state of the evidence in question and to ensure its pristine condition and usability in the case.
- Undertake inspections: Undertake safety inspections in areas of concern to identify and report potential hazards or security breaches; take measures to maximise safety standards.
- Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
- Comply with the principles of self-defence: Observe the principles according to which a person should only use so much force as is required to repel an attack. The use of deadly force is limited to situations where attackers are using deadly force themselves.
- Ensure compliance with types of weapons: Use different kinds of firearms and other types of weapons and their matching ammunition, in compliance with legal requirements.
- Respond to enquiries: Respond to enquiries and requests for information from other organisations and members of the public.
- Check official documents: Check an individuals’ official documentation, such as driver’s licenses and identification, to ensure compliance with legal regulations, and to identify and assess individuals.
- Instruct public: Give instructions to the public during situations where they behave in a manner which is not compliant with laws and regulations, or to guide them during abnormal situations.
- Maintain operational communications: Maintain communications between different departments of an organisation, between the staff, or during specific operations or missions, to ensure that the operation or mission is successful, or that the organisation functions smoothly.
- Practice vigilance: Practice vigilance during patrol or other surveillance activities in order to ensure safety and security, to look out for suspicious behaviour or other alarming changes in patterns or activities, and to respond quickly to these changes.
- Conduct security screenings: Monitor human flow through the screening checkpoint and facilitate the orderly and efficient processing of people; inspect luggage and handbags following screening procedures.
ISCO group and title
3411 – Legal and related associate professionals