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What sheriff officers can do

Sheriff officers can:

  • evict you
  • make you pay a debt (such as a 'summary warrant' for council tax arrears)
  • make you pay a fine
  • remove people from a home (such as a child at risk or violent partner)
  • deliver a 'witness citation' or other legal documents to you (if the court needs proof they were delivered)

They can also carry out court orders about:

  • property arguments
  • family issues (such as adoption or divorce)

Sheriff officers can come to your home or workplace.

Who sheriff officers work for

Sheriff officers carry out work on behalf of the court but they’re employed by private companies.

Sheriff officers can carry out orders for the:

  • Sheriff Court
  • Court of Session (they’re called ‘Messengers-at-arms’)

The court decides what powers sheriff officers have in different situations.

A sheriff officer is different to:

  • the police
  • a bailiff (do not apply in Scotland)
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