|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Victorian Sheriff's Office was created in 1852 following separation from the Port Phillip District. James Simpson was appointed Acting Sheriff until Claud Farie was appointed in 1852, serving as sheriff until 1870.
Kevin Morgan's 'History of the Sheriff's Office of Victoria', due to be published in early 2005 reports that, by the end of June 1854, Claud Farie had appointed 13 Deputy Sheriffs to oversee seven 'stations': Geelong, Sandhurst (Bendigo), Castlemaine, Beechworth, Heathcote, Bunninyong and Kyneton. Deputy Sheriff salaries were based on the size of their jurisdiction.
According to Kevin Morgan's research, the Administration of Justice Act 1856 allowed for the title of "Deputy Sheriff' to be replaced by that of 'Sheriff'. However it was not until the 1860s that the title of 'Sheriff' finally superceded that of 'Deputy Sheriff' in the jurisdiction of regional bailiwicks. Morgan also states that the Sheriff of Victoria continued to give the title 'Deputy Sheriff' to his most senior assistant in the Melbourne office and the title has continued to the present day.
The Sheriff of the Supreme Court is responsible for the enforcement and execution of Supreme Court Writs and Orders and the control and direction of civil warrants.
Due to an increasing number of criminal warrants managed by the Sheriff's Office from 1989 to 1994 the Enforcement Management Unit was created in 1994 to manage administrative and operational arrangements of the Sheriff's Office. By the time Victoria's seventeenth sheriff, Peter Duncan retired in 1995 reports Morgan, 'the Victorian Sheriff's Office had acquired responsibility for all court orders, fines, enforcement warrants and civil warrants in Victoria. It had become the first Sheriff's Office in Australia to be developed in this way and its management approach represented a significant innovation in modern law under the Westminister System.'
From 1993 the administration of juries, previously the Sheriff's responsibiity, became a separate branch of operations managed by the Deputy Sheriff Juries.