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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Deputy sheriff Ed was joined by Ramona Merritt, from Clearwater, who is a prison programme administrator' Chris Mastridge, a mental health counsellor' and Larry Burns, an antique dealer.
When questioned on this later, Chief Deputy Sheriff Randy Duvendack said he was unaware of any such prohibition.
"You've got to find a way to move on," says Brown, now a deputy sheriff. The anger is something you're going to have with you as long as you live ...
She goes to her phonebook, finds the number for the deputy sheriff, and dials.
A detainee brought a [section] 1983 action against a sheriff and deputy sheriff in their individual capacities, raising excessive force, deliberate indifference and conditions of confinement claims.
Proving once and for all that there is no definition of a "typical fraudster," a future deputy sheriff waiting to be sworn in was recently convicted of automobile fraud.
There's Deputy Sheriff Coogan, serious as a stepped-on snake, strolling across the heliport--the summit of Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi's corporate colossus--in his cowboy boots and country-western suit.
I'm a Deputy Sheriff in West Texas and my XD has ridden in my holster for a year now, and has fired about 2,000 rounds.
I am a deputy sheriff in West Texas and my XD has ridden in my holster for a year now and I've fired about 2,000 rounds through it.
on February 7, a master deputy sheriff with the Marion County Sheriff's Office was shot and killed during an unprovoked attack in Ocala.
Hendrickson writes with in a deft, precise style about some of the most notorious sons of the state: Sheriff John Henry Spencer of Pittsboro, Sheriff James Ira Grimsley of Pascagoula, Sheriff Bob Waller of Hattiesburg, Sheriff Billy Ferrell of Natchez, Sheriff Jimmy Middleton of Port Gibson, Deputy Sheriff James Wesley Garrison of Oxford, and Sheriff John Ed Cothan of Greenwood.
During his career, the good doctor served as professor of surgery, as well as surgeon and deputy sheriff for the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriffs Department, not to mention numerous other health-related positions.

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