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crestThe Sheriffs Office


What is a Sheriff?

The Sheriff is the oldest secular office in the country, other than Kingship, and can be traced to early Saxon Times. The basic responsibilities being to collect taxes and basically become responsible for the administration of the 'Shires'.

During the many centuries the duties of the Sheriff changed, and they are the Officer who is responsible for most of the Judgements and Orders in the High Court. They are also responsible for the execution of the death penalty, and should hanging return, this power would be reinstated. He may also call for a posse comitatus, (power of the Shire) for assistance in the defence of his county.

There is a High Sheriff who is directly appointed by the monarchy. The Under Sheriff who is generally a Solicitor represents the High Sheriff in most day-to-day activities, and the Sheriff's Officers whose duty is the execution of the warrants. The Under Sheriff for Yorkshire for the past 12 years being Mr J. H.Towers based at 17 Lendal, York.

Who are the Sheriff's Officers based at Albert Chambers?

Wilfred R. Storey has held the appointment of Sheriff's Officer for over 30 years. He is an active Member of the Sheriff's Officers Association of England and Wales, and was a member of the Committee of the Association. In 1994 he became the Honorary President of the Association for a 2 year term of Office. He continues to be an active full member of the Association.

Kathleen Fellows joined the Sheriff's Office at the age of 17, firstly working in the Office, and obtaining her appointment as an Officer in 1989, she is also a full member of the Sheriff's Officers Association.

The Sheriff's Warrant.

Since April 1999 any County Court Judgement above 600.00 (apart from Consumer Credit Act Debts) can be transferred to the High Court for enforcement. The Sheriff's warrant is the High Court equivalent to the County Court Warrant of Execution, and commands the seizure and sale of debtor's goods and chattels to the value of the Judgement debt, costs and interest.

Due to the fact that the Sheriff is a member of the private sector, they are paid on results. Where the Sheriff recovers a debt, the creditor pays them no costs. If the Sheriff cannot recover the debt, there is a fixed fee of £70.00 plus VAT which covers up to 3 visits and one report. Should more than 3 visits be required, then the Sheriff will contact the creditor to seek permission before incurring further expense.

Following the receipt of a warrant, the first visit will generally be made within 72 hours, and a report will be forwarded within 24 hours.

Throughout the whole of England and Wales, statistics show that in 85% of cases the Sheriff will achieve a result for the creditor either in terms of cash recovered or information received.



  Members of the HCEO Association of England and Wales
Officers to the High Sheriffs of Yorkshire, Durham and Cumbria.

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