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Misconduct by a sheriff

Information about the penalties that can be imposed on the Sheriff if they act beyond their powers.

There are limits on the powers of the sheriff and they can be taken to court and fined if they:

  • unlawfully set a person free who has been detained
  • imprison a person when they do not have a warrant or other power to do
  • fail to release a prisoner who is entitled to be released
  • take action under a warrant without first getting the details of a particular warrant process

The sheriff may be required to forfeit $400 to a person wrongly treated in this manner and may also have to pay and damages if that person takes the matter to court.

More Information


Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic)

  • Part 7, Div 3 Functions of the sheriff
  • s. 120—liability for wrongful imprisonment
  • s. 123—punishment for sheriff misconduct

See Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic).