Role of the sheriff in jury administration

Members of the BC Sheriff Service (BCSS) are located in all courthouses in the province to ensure the safety of court users while on court property.

Sheriffs are present in courthouse common areas, courtrooms, grounds and are responsible for ensuring everyone’s safety, including members of the public, witnesses, victims, the Judiciary, legal counsel and accused. If you have any questions about courthouse safety or security, or see anything that causes you concern, you can speak with a sheriff at any time.

Sheriffs carry out their responsibilities with integrity, dignity and impartiality. As officers of the court, sheriffs are neutral and do not discuss court proceedings with parties, witnesses, counsel or jury members.

Sheriffs are responsible for jury administration in our province, including the preparation and mailing of the jury summons. At the jury selection, sheriffs are available to provide information to or answer questions of prospective jurors.

During the trial and throughout deliberation, a sheriff is assigned to ensure the security and well-being of the jury. A sheriff will sit with the jury in the courtroom. When the jury is excused to the jury room (e.g., breaks, lunches, if counsel need to speak to the judge alone) and during deliberation, a sheriff will always be nearby.

During deliberation, sheriffs can assist jury members by answering procedural questions, obtaining exhibits or other supplies, such as water, food or tissue paper. Following the trial, sheriffs are available to assist with inquires about expenses, the Juror Support Program or anything that comes up in the time following the trial.