The purpose of this pocket handbook is to “fully inform” the American County Sheriffs, Deputies and Bailiffs as to their authority, duty and the Law. This handbook is an endeavor to concisely and completely cover the aforesaid in a topical style to make it easy for reference. We also created a website www.PoweroftheCountySheriff.org to further expound on the topics within this handbook; provide a further education, offer two (2) free online courses1, provide many pertinent documents, provide pertinent information, provide for a national platform for communications among Sheriffs and offer authoritative advice; in short a Proper Education. Constitution for the United States of America Article VI: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution. Sheriffs are judicial officers. Sheriffs Oath: “I hereby do solemnly swear that I will support and defend this Constitution for the united States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help me God”.
Don’t be deceived the Law is not complex; Thomas Jefferson said that "Common sense is the foundation of all authorities, of the laws themselves, and of their construction."
The Law of the Land consists of: (1) the Constitution, written by We the People, under the authority of God, to empower, control and restrict government servants. (2) Common Law which is written by God in the hearts of men; and, (3) Constitutional Statutes which are written by legislators. Any statute or code outside of the aforesaid, and there are many, is null and void and that is why we need a Constitutional Law protector who knows the difference. If a Sheriff must depend upon a lawyer to determine the Law, it’s no different than giving (s)he your badge and the responsibility for your oath. That is not honoring your oath. Lawyers
Sheriff, a senior executive officer in an English county or smaller area who performs a variety of administrative and judicial functions. Officers of this name also exist in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the United States.
In England the office of sheriff existed before the Norman Conquest (1066). The separation of the ecclesiastical from the secular courts under William I the Conqueror left the sheriff supreme in the county and as president of its court. He convened and led military forces of the shire, executed all writs, and, for the first century after the Conquest, judged both criminal and civil cases. From the time of Henry II (reigned 1154–89), however, his jurisdiction was severely restricted as a result of the growing jurisdiction of the curia regis (“king’s court”). His duty thereafter was to investigate allegations of crime from within his shire, to conduct a preliminary examination of the accused, to try lesser offenses, and to detain those accused of major crimes for the itinerant justices.
The new offices of coroner (first mentioned in 1194), of local constable (first mentioned in 1242), and of justices of the peace (first known in the 12th century as custodes pacis, “keepers of the peace”) all took work and duties from the sheriffs. After the Tudor reorganization of local government in the 15th and 16th centuries, the office was largely ceremonial. English law was consolidated in the Sheriffs Act of 1877, however, under which sheriffs in all parts of England were assigned a unified set of duties. Sheriffs now attend at election petitions and are responsible for the execution of writs; they are liable for the safe custody of prisoners, and they act as returning officer at parliamentary elections. Until the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act of 1965, the sheriffs were also responsible for the execution of sentences of death. source
Deputy Sheriff vs. Police Officer
The sheriff’s dept has a higher jurisdiction than a police
Another thing is that the Sheriff’s office has been established by the State Constitution. The duties and responsibilities of Sheriff’s office are outlined in the Constitution. On the other hand, a police dept has been established under municipal regulations. While the sheriff’s are elected officials, the Police chiefs are appointed. reference
A council certified officer is one who holds a position of authority or command. Deputies, city police, county police, state troopers, GBI agents, constables, marshals, etc. are all council certified officers. The difference between a deputy and the other officers mentioned, is that a deputy is one appointed as a substitute for the sheriff with the power to act as an agent of the sheriff. He or she is an employee of the sheriff.
Their arrest powers extend across county lines and are recognized statewide. City police and county police officers are hired by a chief who answers to the city council or county commission. A city police officer’s jurisdiction is only within the city limit boundaries, unless deputized by the sheriff of the county; a county police officer’s jurisdiction is confined within the boundaries of the county he or she is employed by. City and county police officers, troopers, GBI agents, constables, marshals etc. were created or authorized by statutes enacted by the legislature and thusly tatutorily empowered to enforce various laws.
Only the Office of Sheriff was created in the Constitution and ratified by a majority of all of the citizens of the state. Pursuant to Georgia law, sheriffs are the ONLY officials with the DUTY to preserve the peace and protect the lives, persons, property, health, and morals of the people. In addition, sheriffs, deputies and jailers must swear to an oath related to the performance of their duties.
The law authorizes or empowers other police officers to enforce certain laws, but those statutes lack any words mandating any duty, or a sworn oath to such duty. Sheriffs have the authority to hire deputies to assist them in carrying out their official duties. The position of deputy sheriff is recognized by both statutory and case law in Georgia. Deputies are NOT county officers, but may participate in the pension plan for Georgia council certified officers and are considered employees of the county for purposes of worker’s compensation. They have no ‘term of office’, but are employees of the sheriff.
Georgia common law is clear that deputies are personnel and employees of the sheriff, not the county commission, and the sheriff has the authority to set the salaries of deputies. By approving or disapproving the sheriff’s budget required for salaries, the county commission has performed its function. All deputies must take the same oaths as the sheriff before beginning his official duties. A deputy sheriff is an agent of the sheriff and is generally empowered with the same duties and arrest powers as the sheriff. They have the power to make arrests, to maintain the peace, and enforce the law. As a general rule the sheriff is free to use discretion in the removal or dismissal of deputies. The exception to the sheriff’s unrestrained power to remove deputies may be found in those counties with include the sheriff’s office in their civil service system.
If nothing else, read this:
"The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose, since its unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment... In legal contemplation, it is as inoperative as if it had never been passed... Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no right, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection and justifies no acts performed under it... A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing law. Indeed insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, (the Constitution) it is superseded thereby. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it."
Bonnett v. Vallier, 116 N.W.
885, 136 Wis. 193 (1908); NORTON v. SHELBY COUNTY, 118 U.S.