Bailiffs provide security services within courtrooms. Bailiffs monitor courts for security threats, weapons, and explosive devices. They frisk people to ensure they do not have guns or other weapons and confiscate them when discovered. Likewise, bailiffs must ensure courtrooms are organized and clean prior to court proceedings.

When judges enter courtrooms, bailiffs are responsible for introducing them. Additionally, they maintain order during court proceedings. When judges speak to juries, bailiffs prevent individuals from entering the room. During court proceedings, bailiffs instruct those in attendance about court procedures and enforce them when needed. For example, bailiffs instruct juries not to speak, smoke, or eat during court proceedings. When necessary, bailiffs remove individuals breaking rules and restrain angry individuals who disagree with judges' rulings. When additional help is required, bailiffs often seek assistance from sheriffs and medical specialists.

Trials occasionally extend beyond one day. If this happens, judges often require jurors to remain sequestered in hotels. Bailiffs are responsible for protecting jurors staying in hotels and accompanying them at restaurants to ensure they do not discuss trial details with others. Additionally, bailiffs are responsible for escorting incarcerated individuals in and out of court, administer oaths to witnesses, handle evidence, and ensure judges have access to case files.

Job Duties
Bailiffs work and associate with various legal professionals, court employees, and government employees. Even though bailiffs are primarily responsible for providing courtroom security, many are assigned administrative duties. The following are typical bailiff job duties:

General Duties:

  • Serve asset seizure and civil lawsuit notices, garnishments, and other court orders
  • Escort prisoners in and out of the courtroom
  • Make sure courtrooms are adequately supplied with supplies
  • Develop and post case schedules
  • Prepare various legal forms, including bond forms

Pre-Trial Duties:

  • Operate metal detectors and x-ray machines to screen individuals entering courtrooms
  • Ensure courtrooms are organized and clean, lock and secure them at the end of the day, and escort the jury into the courtroom
  • Make sure water pitchers are full within the jury room and court
  • Ensure courtrooms are adequately stocked with necessary supplies
  • Sign in people appearing before the judge and make sure each case appears on the docket

Trial/Courtroom Duties:

  • Open the courtroom and notify the judge when it's ready
  • Help jurors find seats and handout questionnaires to them
  • Notify witnesses when to enter the stand
  • Administer oaths
  • Relay messages from jurors to families and court officials
  • Notify court officials and attorneys when juries have reached verdicts
  • Collect evidence from members of the jury
  • Escort prisoners and defendants in and out of the courtroom
  • Operate technology within the courtroom
  • Maintain order and prevent distractions during court proceedings
  • Secure courtrooms following trials
  • Transport prisoners to correctional facilities

Education and Experience
To become a bailiff, you must be a high school graduate or hold a GED. Additional training, such as trade school certification, police training, and college education will enhance your chances of landing a bailiff job.

Completing higher education in civil rights, criminal justice, and law enforcement is excellent training for aspiring bailiffs. Previous law enforcement or courtroom-related experience will enhance your job opportunities. Many courts have age limits, typically 21 years or older, for bailiff positions, and many courts require bailiffs to hold a valid drivers' license. Background checks are conducted on candidates being considered for employment.

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To maintain an orderly courtroom, bailiffs must understand court procedures, have excellent communication skills, and treat others courteously. Additionally, they must have basic writing and reading skills since they're frequently required to write short memos, simple instructions, and other court documents. Effective interpersonal, public relations, and communication skills are needed to relay information to lawyers, courtroom attendees, jurors, and attorneys. Bailiffs must also possess basic math skills, be detail-oriented, and work well with others. Many courts require bailiffs to be CPR certified and learn basic first aid.

Employment Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected good job growth for qualified bailiffs through the near future. Job growth will be spurred by retirement, career transitions, and increased demand for bailiffs.

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