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1. (in the US) the chief law-enforcement officer in a county: popularly elected, except in Rhode Island
2. (in England and Wales) the chief executive officer of the Crown in a county, having chiefly ceremonial duties
3. (in Scotland) a judge in any of the sheriff courts
4. (in Australia) an administrative officer of the Supreme Court, who enforces judgments and the execution of writs, empanels juries, etc.
5. (in New Zealand) an officer of the High Court



(Russian, sudebnyi ispolnitel’), the official responsible for the compulsory execution of court decisions, rulings, and decrees in civil cases and also for the execution of court settlements, sentences, rulings, and decrees in criminal cases to the extent that they involve property exactions.

In the USSR, sheriffs also execute the decisions of arbiters, comrades’ courts, commissions on labor disputes, and other such bodies. They are appointed by the ministers of justice of autonomous republics and the heads of judicial departments of executive committees of krai, oblast, and city soviets of people’s deputies. The requirements imposed by sheriffs for the execution of court decisions are binding on all state institutions, enterprises, kolkhozes, other cooperative and public organizations, officials, and citizens throughout the USSR.



an executive officer in a county (or sometimes another administrative-territorial unit) in Great Britain, Ireland, and the USA.

The legal status of sheriffs in Great Britain is defined by the norms of common law, by parliamentary statutes (since the 14th century), and, in particular, by the Sheriffs Act of 1877. A sheriff is appointed by a special commission that acts under royal authority and is headed by the lord lieutenant of the county. Sheriffs are chosen from among the landowners of the counties. Poor people, lords, priests, officers in active service, and practicing barristers and solicitors are among those who are not eligible for the office. Sheriffs are invested with administrative and judicial powers, such as the execution of sentences, the holding of elections, the selection of juries, and the supervision of jails.

In the USA, in all states except Rhode Island, a sheriff is elected by the residents of the county. His jurisdiction extends only to rural areas, and he fulfills mainly administrative and police functions. He maintains law and order, supervises jails, makes arrests, and checks the observance of state laws regulating such activities as traffic and the sale of alcohol.

References in periodicals archive ?
Steven Remige, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, said ``drafting,'' or holding deputies in to work extra hours to maintain adequate staffing, remains a common practice.
West Hollywood's special relationship with the Sheriff made new and innovative ideals possible between constituents and law enforcement.
People might say the sheriff says one thing and it doesn't trickle down,'' Whitmore said.
Sheriff-Elect Snyder served the citizens of Florida in that capacity for three terms before winning his bid to replace retiring Sheriff Robert Crowder as Martin County's 8th Sheriff.
The sheriff, even though he's an elected official, does not create his own budget.
Just the day before, March 23rd, I had provided a sheriff with a copy of the Military Incursion Card, which tells Border Patrol agents how to react to incursions by the Mexican military.
He shows photographs of white sheriffs to Meredith, who remarks, what ever happened to them?
Jeffrey Magee, 49, was dismissed in disgrace after he appeared in the dock of Dingwall Sheriff Court only 10 months after being sworn in as an honorary sheriff.
Focusing on the Erie Canal itself, rather than studying a community in depth, Sheriff regards it both as a system with social and economic implications and as an emblem for broader changes in American society.
In 1988, through a letter of agreement, the chief and sheriff established a mutual aid arrangement.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is excited about the joint venture with Fox Reality in featuring our training academy," said Assistant Sheriff Doyle Campbell.