A bailiff works in a court and maintains order in a courtroom. When the judge enters the courtroom, the bailiff must announce the judge’s arrival. The bailiff should make sure that the courtroom is clean and that the temperature is appropriate.
Usher duties are also performed by the bailiff, as jurors, witnesses, and spectators are instructed where to sit. Prior to, during, and after the trial, the bailiff will escort files, forms, and supplies to the judge. When individuals present in the court cause a disturbance, the bailiff will be responsible for escorting the individuals outside the courtroom. In situations where the jurors are thought to be at risk, the bailiff will be responsible for escorting them to their vehicles. In some cases, the bailiff must arrange food and lodging for the jury. In smaller proceedings, the bailiff may also escort defendants out of the court and direct them to pay fines. Minimum physical requirements are often necessary, as the bailiff will be standing for long periods of time. A confident presence is needed in order to be able to direct individuals and crowds.
There are both part-time and full-time positions available. However, in smaller courts, the bailiff works only on a temporary, as-needed basis. Generally, a minimum of a high school diploma is necessary, along with a clean background. Basic knowledge of court proceedings and terminology is sometimes a requirement. In some courts, the bailiff is also a police officer, and the bailiff duty is only one of the officer's many duties.