The job duties of bailiffs vary according to the location of the courtroom and the environment. Bailiffs are also known as marshals or court officers. Court officers maintain safety and order in courtrooms. In May 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual wage of a bailiff was $37,080, with the lowest earners making $19,260 or less and the highest earners making $67,700 or more.
Provide Security Checks and Maintain Security
Bailiffs often administer security checks and maintain security inside and outside the courtroom. They may conduct X-ray or metal detection before participants and observers enter the courtroom. They may also unlock and check courtrooms before trials or hearings begin. Bailiffs keep a watchful eye over the area, protecting the safety of the observers, participants and other court officials.
Bailiffs may move sentenced defendants or arrested individuals to and from the courtroom. They may also be responsible for transporting individuals to and from a correctional facility, holding cell or other institution.
Maintain Order and Communicate Instructions
Bailiffs are often responsible for providing instructions and moving trials or hearings through a series of steps or processes. Bailiffs can bring courtrooms to order, advise lawyers and other personnel that verdicts are reached and move juries from courtrooms to deliberating rooms. Bailiffs also often open courts and inform judges that the court is ready. They also may need to move or transport evidence in or out of the courtroom.
Stock and Fill Supplies or Maintain Equipment
Bailiffs may be responsible for stocking and filling supplies, including water pitchers, cups, pencils, pens and other needed instruments. As necessary, they set up microphones and adjust and turn on equipment and post or copy daily schedules.
Work with Juries
Bailiffs work with juries in several different capacities. They can distribute jury questionnaires and also assist jury members with finding seats. They may also escort juries to sequestered areas. Bailiffs often provide a link between courtrooms and juries, sending messages from juries to court officials. They also may communicate with jury members' families on their behalf.
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