Becoming a Baliff

Do you want to become a Private Bailiff?

Bailiffs are persons authorized by law to enforce specific legal remedies or serve court documents against other persons. There are (2) classes of Bailiffs: Private and Public. Each class performs separate functions

What are the functions of a Private Bailiff?

 

Generally, under the Bailiff’s Act, he levies for arrears of rent in arrears and re-posses for a hire purchase debt.

 

Specifically, under the Income Tax Act, he may act as an authorized person to specifically carry out a distress for arrears of taxes due, on behalf of the Board of Inland Revenue.

How do I become a Private Bailiff?

You must satisfy the basic requirements set out in the Bailiff Act

 

Eighteen years or older;

 

Literate (must speak and write English);

 

Must pass an interview

 

Successfully complete a bailiff training course.

 

Sit and pass an examination.

 

Produce a certificate of good character from the police service.

The process has FOUR (4) STAGES

STAGE 1-APPLICATION

 

Send a written application for training to be a Private Bailiff to the Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Attorney General. Don’t forget to specify your name, address, date of birth and contact information. You are also required to provide two (2) forms of identification and two (2) Reference Letters.

View Bailiff's Act

STAGE 2- INTERVIEWS, TRAINING SESSION AND EXAMS

 

Once you meet the requirements in STAGE 1, you will be notified by the Ministry of the Attorney General of the interview dates and times via the daily newspaper. Should you succeed at the interview, you will be informed that you need to participate in a Training Programme. At the end of the Training Programme, you will be required to sit an examination.

 

You will be rewarded with an interview and training certificate as well an examination certificate.

STAGE 3-APPLYING TO THE REGISTRAR

 

The Registrar of the Supreme Court will invite successful applicants to be licensed as private bailiffs. At this time, you will be required to provide the certificates you earned at STAGE 2 as well as a certificate of good character, a Bond ($5000.00 TT) and a license fee of $500.00.
The Registrar alone has the authority to issue a license.

STAGE 4-REGISTRAR INVITES PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

The Registrar of the Supreme Court will then provide the names of successful applicants to the daily newspapers for printing, inviting members of the public to comment on each applicant’s suitability for the post of Private Bailiff. This will be for a period of (14) days.

Are there any other opportunities available to a Private Bailiff?

You are permitted to operate as an auctioneer. You may become an auctioneer once you have obtained a license from the Board of Inland Revenue as required by the Auctioneers Act.

What are my duties to the public?

Generally, Bailiffs should act within the confines of the law. For more information please refer to the Bailiff's Code of Conduct.

View Bailiff Regulations (on page 14 of Bailiff's Act)

What rights do I have as a Bailiff

 

Protection of the law, particularly assistance from the Police to preserve the peace as is required by law as under the Income Tax Act and the Landlord and Tenants Ordinance where you reasonably believe that your personal safety is in danger.

 

Challenge of a decision taken by the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

How I exercise my rights as a Private Bailiff?

 

For protection, you should request assistance at a police station. Note that such assistance is currently not free.

To review, seek legal advice.

Private Baliff Licences

Display

Private Bailiffs must display their Original Licenses to persons when performing their duties. The License must bear a clear image of the Private Bailiff. No other person can use the license of a Private Bailiff.

Renewals

Licenses are valid for two (2) years. After two (2) years, licenses are renewed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The Registrar will advertise the time for renewal, which is every quarter of the calendar year.

Persons whose licenses are about to expire or have expired must submit:

A License Fee

A Bond

Annual Training Certificates

Certificate of Good Character

Suspensions and Cancellations

Licenses are suspended and cancelled by the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The Registrar may suspend or cancel a license on the grounds of:

Incompetence

Irresponsibility

Receipt of a complaint from a member of the public

A Private Bailiff who fails to surrender his license commits an offence with the following:

Using a license which has been suspended or cancelled

Operating without a license

These offences are punishable by a fine of $5000.00 TT and three years imprisonment.

Do you have a complaint against a Private Bailiff?

File a written complaint to the Magistrate’s Court of the District in which the act complained of occurred;

Report any unlawful activity to the police

For more information on applying to become a Private Bailiff, you can contact:

The Ministry of the Attorney General
Cabildo Chambers
23-27 St. Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

Telephone: 868-623-7010

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