Process, how


11. In all cases of civil processes at law or in equity, or of any 1861, c. 69. civil writ whatsoever, hereafter to be issued out of any court, or by served when any judge of this State, and directed to or against, or lawfully to be served upon any person whatsoever, wherein the service of such writ or process upon such person then being within the local jurisdiction of such court or judge, shall be prevented or resisted by threats, violence, intimidation, or superior force on the part or behalf of such person; or the said person so liable to be served with such writ or process shall be within any fortress, or fortified place or building, or at any military post within said jurisdiction, and entrance thereto, or access therein to such person, shall be by order or on the behalf of such person refused, obstructed, or prevented, so that the officer charged with the service of such writ or process shall be unable to serve the same, or cannot do so without force, or personal risk, the said officer shall leave a copy of such writ or process, if practicable or permitted, with such person or persons as shall present themselves, where such writ or process is sought to be served, and where or whereabout the person on whom the same is sought to be served shall be; or shall set up such copy upon the fortress, bailding, or premises aforesaid, or as near thereto as may be practicable; and shall make return of the facts accordingly; which return shall to all Return. legal intents, purposes, and effect, be equivalent to a return of actual personal service of such writ or process, upon the party named therein.


Art. 88, s. 19.
Service and

1817, c. 139, s. 6.

return of pro

cess from other


12. The sheriff shall serve and return all writs and process which may be sent from another county or city and delivered to him, to the court to which the same is returnable, on or before the second day of the session of such court; and, if he neglect or fail to do so, it shall be considered a contempt of the court; and such sheriff, for Penalty for such contempt, shall forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding fifty dol- neglect. lars.

1817, c. 139, s. 6.

Payment of enforced.

fines, how

13. The court imposing the fine for the contempt mentioned in Id. s. 20. the last preceding section shall certify the same to the Circuit Court of the county where the sheriff resides; or if he resides in the city of Baltimore, to the Superior Court of Baltimore City; and, upon the receipt of such certificate by the court to which it may be sent, the said court shall forthwith compel the payment of the same in the same manner as if the fine had been imposed by such court.

1817, c. 139, s. 7.

process from

14. The sheriff may return any writ or other process sent from Id. s. 21. another county or city to the clerk of the court to which the same How to return may be returnable by mail, in a cover sealed up and duly addressed; other counties. but the non-return of such process, by the time herein before limited, shall not be excused by any evidence which such sheriff may offer, to prove that such writ or process was deposited in the post- What deemed office to be so transmitted, except the positive affidavit in writing

Id. s. 22.

1817, c. 139, s. 7. Remission of fines.

Id. s. 23.

1815, c. 149, s. 1.

sheriffs for

process for use of party injured.

of the said sheriff himself, setting forth substantially the process so transmitted, the return indorsed thereon, the manner in which the same was covered and addressed, and the actual time when the same was deposited in the post-office.

15. If the court, before which said sheriff shall be brought for contempt, shall be satisfied of the facts contained in such affidavit, and that such process was deposited in the proper post-office in due time, to be transmitted to the court to which the same was returnable, the said court may remit the fine aforesaid and discharge the sheriff from the attachment, on payment of the costs arising from the proceedings had in consequence of the non-return of the writ or process; and the court shall direct the affidavit to be filed, and their judgment in relation thereto to be entered on the record of their proceedings; but nothing herein contained shall, in any manner, affect the remedy given the party grieved by the next succeeding section, for the neglect or delay of the sheriff in not making a due return of said process.

16. When any process shall be issued from any Circuit Court of Amercement of a county, or the Court of Common Pleas, or the Superior Court of failure to return Baltimore City, or the Baltimore City Court, or the Circuit Court of Baltimore City, directed to the sheriff of another county or the said city, and the sheriff to whom the same shall be directed shall neglect to make due return thereof to the court to which such process may be made returnable, such court may, on motion and on proof of the delivery of such process to said sheriff, amerce said sheriff in a sum not exceeding two hundred dollars, and enter judgment against him for the amercement so imposed, in the name of the State, but for the use of the party aggrieved by the neglect of said sheriff, which judgment shall be as valid as if rendered upon verdict, and the party for whose use the same shall have been entered may sue out execution thereon.

Id. s. 15.

1794. c. 54, s. 2.

failure to return


17. If any sheriff shall fail to return an original writ within the Amercement on time limited by rule of the court for that purpose, the court, on original writ., motion, shall amerce the sheriff to the amount of the debt or damages and costs due from the defendant, to be ascertained by the oath of the plaintiff, his agent, or attorney, and such other proof as the court may require, and shall enter judgment nisi the second day of the next term thereafter, for the amount of the amercement aforesaid, in the name of the plaintiff against such sheriff, which judgment shall have the same effect as if rendered upon verdict.

Judgment thereon.

Id. s. 16.

1794, c. 54, s. 1. Judgment against sheriff for failure to return execution.

10 G. & J. 358.

18. If any sheriff shall fail to make return of a writ of execution within the time limited by rule of court for that purpose, the court may cause judgment to be entered in the name of the plaintiff against such sheriff for the amount of the judgment recited in such

execution, which judgment shall have the same effect as a judgment rendered on verdict.

1794, c. 54, s. 4.

order return of

1 H. & J. 453; 4 H. & J. 564.

Id. s. 18.

1794, c. 54, s. 3.

On payment of judgment to be entitled to original judgment.

19. The court, on motion, shall order a sheriff to make return Id. s. 17. of any original writ, or writ of execution, unless such sheriff shall when court to satisfy the court, by his oath or otherwise, that the said writ was process. not received by him, or to his knowledge by any of his deputies. 20. If a sheriff shall pay to the plaintiff any judgment rendered against him as aforesaid, he shall thereupon be entitled to the original cause of action, or the judgment, as fully as the plaintiff was; and may issue any execution in his own name, or in the name of the plaintiff, on such judgment for his own use, or prosecute such action to judgment and execution for his own use; and shall be entitled to every other benefit and advantage from such judgment or cause of action, and suit thereon depending, that the original plaintiff might as plaintiff. have had thereon.

Same remedies



Md. 19; 2 H.

& Mc. H. 401.

21. If any sheriff shall make a return to the court of any fieri 1868, c. 203. facias, attachments, venditioni exponas, that he has seized the property of the defendant which remains unsold, or that the property heretofore levied upon remains in his hands unsold, for want of buyers, or that the defendant has satisfied the plaintiff or his attorney, the debt or claim, or any part thereof, mentioned in the said process, the said plaintiff, or his attorney, may apply to the said court for a rule on the said sheriff, or late sheriff, as the case may Rule on sheriff. be, to bring the said money into court, or before a judge thereof, on a day to be named in the said rule, or show good cause to the contrary, and upon the failure of the said sheriff, or late sheriff, to bring said money into court, or before the said judge, at time mentioned in the said rule, or any other day, to be named by the said judge, the amount of the debt, damages, interest, and costs, to be ascertained by the plaintiff or attorney, or such other proof as the judge may require, the said court, or judge in the recess, may cause judgment to be entered by the clerk against the said sheriff for the Judgment plaintiff's claim, interest, and costs, in favor of the plaintiff, without against sheriff. stay of execution, and without the right of the defendant to supersede or appeal from the same; provided, that the said court, or judge thereof, shall be satisfied that the said sheriff has received the said debt, interest, and costs, or any part thereof, from the defendant in the said process, and that his said return of process is false and untrue; and the remedy under this section shall not prejudice the suit on sheriff's plaintiff's right to proceed against the bond of the sheriff by suit. 22. In all cases where there is no coroner in a county, the plain- Art. 75, s. 110. tiff may file his declaration against the sheriff and his securities, Where there is or against the person who is for the time the sheriff, when the suit how sheriff' is against him on his individual account, and have a copy thereof set up at the court-house door at least ten days before the sitting of the court in which the suit is brought, and if no appearance by the defendant before the first three days of the term, judgment shall be entered up against them; provided, that the plaintiff shall make affi



1841, c. 109.

no coroner,


Art. 75, s. 111. 1794, c. 54, s. 5; 1843, c. 271. Elisor, when appointed.

Id. s. 112.

1843, c. 271.

davit of the truth of the demand, and if the State shall be plaintiff in its own right, then a statement of the comptroller, in his own handwriting, shall be evidence of the amount due the State; but no execution shall issue on such judgment until twelve months after said third day of the term.


23. When the sheriff is a party to or interested in any suit or proceeding in any court, so as to be disqualified from serving process, and there is no coroner duly qualified to serve such process, the judge of the court in which such suit or proceeding is to be instituted, or is pending, shall, on application of any party interested, supported by affidavit, or other proof of such disqualification, appoint an elisor to serve any process in such suit or proceeding, which appointment shall be in writing, signed by the judge, and filed with the clerk issuing the process, and may be made either in court or during the recess.

24. Every elisor appointed as aforesaid, shall have the same Power of elisor. power to serve any writ or process directed to him as the sheriff has to serve similar process, and shall be entitled to the same fees therefor.

Id. s. 113.

1794, c. 54, s. 6.

Vacancy, how filled.

Art. 88, s. 24.

1842, c. 272, s. 2.

cess unex

25. If any elisor dies, or refuses to act, the judge may appoint another in his place.

PROCEEDINGS ON DEATH, RESIGNATION, OR REMOVAL OF Sheriff. 26. If any sheriff shall die either before or after the expiration Dying with pro- of his term of service, having in his hands any writ or process, executed, executor ecuted or unexecuted, or in part executed, his executor shall forthwith return the same to the clerk or register of the court out of which it issued, together with all papers (if any) showing the proceedings of such sheriff in virtue thereof.

to return.

Id. s. 25.

1840, c. 216;

to issue process

27. On application by the person for whose use such process may 1842, C. 272, s. 2. have issued, the clerk or register shall issue such process as he might Clerk or register have issued if the return had been made by the deceased sheriff; on such return. and the same may be issued before or after the return-day named in the process in the hands of such deceased sheriff; or, if the executor shall neglect or refuse to make the return, as aforesaid, the plainDuplicate writ. tiff may issue a duplicate or new writ, as provided in the following section.

Id. s. 26.

1813, c. 102, s. 6;

1823, c. 180;

1840, c. 216, s. 3;

1845, c. 123, s. 1. Removal of

sheriff without

28. If any sheriff hath taken into possession any goods or chattels, lands or tenements, by virtue of any writ of execution, and shall remove out of the county or city wherein he acted as sheriff, before the return-day of such execution, or without having made any making return. return thereof, the plaintiff, or his representative, before the returnDuplicate writ. day, may obtain a duplicate of such writ of execution, or after the return-day, a new writ of execution, directed to the sheriff or some coroner of the county or city, for the time being, as the case may require, under which duplicate, or new writ of execution, such

sheriff or coroner may seize and take into his possession the goods or chattels, lands or tenements, seized and taken by the removed sheriff, and sell the same as in other executions, and shall be entitled to the whole poundage fees, to the exclusion of the sheriff so removing.

1829, c. 39.

and return

29. If any sheriff has taken any goods, chattels, lands, or tene- Id. s. 27. ments, in virtue of any execution, and shall die, resign, or remove When schedule from the county before the same are sold, and the goods, chattels, amended. lands, or tenements, shall be insufficiently or informally described in the schedule returned by such sheriff, the court from which such execution issued, or the judge thereof during the recess, shall order the schedule and return of any such sheriff to be amended so as to describe with sufficient certainty the property purporting to be taken in virtue of such writ.

Id. s. 28.

1813, c. 102, s. 4.

Sheriff dying

after sales of

land, conveyance, how made.

30. If any sheriff shall make sale of any lands or tenements, and shall die without executing a deed of conveyance to the purchaser, the court out of which the execution issued, under which the lands were sold, may, on the application of the purchaser, or his legal representative, order and direct the sheriff for the time being, or some one of the coroners (as the case may be) of the county or city in which the lands or tenements lie, to execute a deed of conveyance to the purchaser, or his legal representative; this to apply Other officers. to all officers making sales under executions.


1810, c. 160;

31. Any deed made by a sheriff for any lands, or any estate, or Id. s. 29. interest therein, sold by him under an execution, issued by a justice 1831, c. 290, s. 4. of the peace, shall have the same effect as a deed made by a consta- by sheriff of ble under similar circumstances.

Effect of deeds

lands sold under execution from



1829, c. 158, s. 1.


32. If any sheriff shall have taken property in execution and Id. s. 30. shall fail to make sale thereof for five years, or shall be in insolvent Venditioni circumstances, the person for whose use such execution was issued 47 Md. 174. may, in either case, have a venditioni exponas issued to the sheriff for the time being.


May take bail

bond, when.

33. He or his deputy, when he arrests a person on a writ for any 1872, c. 433. criminal offence, not punishable by confinement in the penitentiary, may take a bail-bond from the person so arrested, with security to be by him approved, and in a penalty not exceeding three hundred dollars, except in those cases where a specific fine or penalty is prescribed for the commission of the offence, in which cases the penalty Penalty of of the bond shall be the highest penalty or fine fixed by the law, with condition that the person so arrested shall appear in court on the day the said writ is returnable, and attend the court from day


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