The Sheriff's Office was created as a result of the Sheriff Act of 1874 which divided the responsibilities of the former Sheriff by creating two new offices - the Inspector General of Prisons and the Office of Sheriff. (1)
The duties and responsibilities of the Sheriff were set out in the An Act for regulating the appointment and duties of the Sheriff in New South Wales. These included
* attendance at court
* enforcement of Court orders
* responsibility for the security of imprisoned debtors
* reporting monthly on fines collected as a result of Court orders. custody of debtors.
Responsibility for summoning juries and maintaining rolls was continued. (2) Functions currently include compiling jury rolls and summoning jurors, ensuring the security of judges, juries and public in the superior courts, serving court processes, and enforcing court judgments, orders and decrees. (3)
Between 1991-1995 the Sheriff's Office became a business unit within the Department of Courts Administration. (4) In 1995 the Office was placed in the Court Support Services Program of the Attorney General's Department (5) which was known as Support Services in 1996/97,(6) Justice Support in 1998/99 (7) and Court and Tribunal Services in 2001/02.(8)
The Office of the NSW Sheriff merged with Local Courts in 2004. (9)
From 1 July 2009 when the Attorney General's Department was abolished the Sheriff's Office became a branch of the new Principal Department, the Department of Justice and Attorney General. (10)
From 4 April 2011 when the name of the Deparmtent of Justice and Attorney General was changed the Sheriff's Office became a branch of the Department of Attorney General and Justice. (11)
(1) Prisons Act, 1874 s.7,8
(2) An Act to amend the Laws regulating trial by Jury in New South Wales in so far as they relate to the trial of Civil Causes 8 Victoria Act No 4, s. 9 (1844)
(3) NSW Government Directory, 1992, p. 261 and , 1st edition1994, p. 238
(4) Report of the Department of Courts Administration for the year ended 30 June 1992 pp.12, 55
(5) Report of the Attorney General's Department for the year ended 30 June 1995 pp. 7, 66
(6) Report of the Attorney General's Department for the year ended 30 June 1997 p. 48
(7) Report of the Attorney General's Department for the year ended 30 June 1999 pp. 50-51
(8) Report of the Attorney General's Department for the year ended 30 June 2002 pp. 53, 65
(9) NSW Government Gazette, 29 December 2006, p.39.
(10) Public Sector Employment and Management (Departmental Amalgamations) Order 2009 (2009 No 352) cls. 20; notified on NSW Legislation website, 27 July 2009.
(11) Public Sector Employment and Management (Departments) Order 2011 (2011 No 184) cls. 36; notified on NSW Legislation website, 3 April 2011.
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