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Bailiff, a minor court official with police authority to protect the court while in session and with power to serve and execute legal process. In earlier times it was a title of more dignity and power.
In medieval England there were bailiffs who served the lord of the manor, while others served the hundred courts and the sheriff. The bailiffs of manors were, in effect, superintendents they collected fines and rents, served as accountants, and were, in general, in charge of the land and buildings on the estate. Bailiffs who served the hundred courts were appointed by the sheriff they assisted judges at assizes (sessions of the royal court held twice a year in each shire), acted as process servers and executors of writs, assembled juries, and collected fines in court.
In France the bailli had much greater power from the 13th to the 15th century they were the principal agents of the king and his growing central administration for countering feudalism. The bailli was part of this central administration, appointed by the king and required to give account to him, and stood between a prévôt and the central royal court. In the south, sénéchaux, who had originally been feudal officers of the crown, assumed the same functions as the baillis. The position of a grand bailli in a district was equal to that of the English sheriff.
Like the prévôts, the baillis represented the king in many kinds of business. As administrators, they were in charge of lesser officeholders, maintaining public order, publishing the king’s ordinances, and carrying out his orders. In military affairs the bailli called men for service, collected taxes paid in place of service, were in charge of troops assembled by the prévôts, and were responsible for the general defense of the area. As financial agents of the crown they were administrators of the royal domain, paid salaries to local officials, and gave over the funds received from various taxes, fines, and fees to the royal treasury. The baillis’ judicial responsibilities were, perhaps, the most important. They held court at local assizes made up of royal officials and prominent bourgeois (later, judicial officers and lawyers) who gave their opinion of which local customary law should be applied in the cases before the court. The baillis’ court had original jurisdiction over cases concerning the nobility, and appellate jurisdiction over cases originally heard by the prévôts and some seignorial courts. The baillis also had jurisdiction over cases that affected the king’s domain and his rights.
With the consolidation of much feudal land into the domain of the crown, it was obvious that no one man could handle so many jobs. As a result, other officers were created to ease the burden of the bailli, and eventually they stripped him of much of his power. By the early 14th century, receivers were appointed who took over the administration of finances. With the creation of a permanent army and its own officers (15th century), the bailli lost his military powers. His judicial functions disappeared gradually over a period of centuries. As early as the late 13th century, lieutenants were created to serve under the baillis often they served in their place. Eventually, the lieutenants were required to have legal degrees, and by the 16th century they had completely superseded the baillis, who were no longer allowed to participate in judicial decisions. In the 17th century the baillis’ administrative responsibilities were completely taken over by the intendants, thus removing the last of their real powers. Even though their offices were purchasable and hereditary, and they could not be removed, they became mere figureheads.
Henry VIII had over 60 homes, but Hampton Court was his favourite palace. Once he had taken it from Cardinal Wolsey, the King transformed it still further to demonstrate his power and magnificence.
Before the days of regular parliament and constitutional monarchy, the national administration and treasury were functions of court and the royal household.
Henry VIII also knew that the palace design had to work practically to feed, accommodate and entertain his vast court of aristocrats and their servants.
The long chains of rooms in the palace, each with a guard on the door, were designed to prevent all but the most important gaining access to the monarch’s private spaces. A courtier’s clothes played a vital role in the guards’ decision: the smarter you looked the closer you got to the King!
Image: © National Portrait Gallery, London
Court on the move
The royal family and the court moved around the country, visiting Henry’s grand houses and palaces for a few months, sometimes even a few hours.
When the King left Hampton Court he often used the river Thames to get up to London.
He and his queen would travel in the royal barge, surrounded by smaller boats with their closest servants on board carrying clothes and personal possessions.
Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts
The Public Case History is a tool that allows you to look up the status of cases in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals through the case management system of the Appellate Court Clerk’s Office known as C-Track. In addition to providing information about the status and procedural history of an appeal, you will be able to directly access all motions, orders, judgments and opinions filed in the appellate courts after August 26, 2013. Furthermore, many of the orders filed in the appellate courts prior to that date will also be accessible as they have been transferred from the legacy case management system to C-Track. These documents are in PDF format and linked to the particular event in the Public Case History. Before searching the Public Case History, please read the instructions below.
SEARCHING FOR YOUR CASE
You can search the Public Case History database using one of four items: (1) the Case Number of the appeal, (2) the Case Style, (3) the first or last name of a party to an appeal or (4) an organization. For example:
- When searching by case number, you can search using the sequence number listed in the appeal. To find case: M2012-05656-COA-R3-CV, enter 5656 and the system will return all cases where 5656 is listed in the appeal number.
- When searching by case style, you can search using a name or portion of the style of the case listed in the appeal. To find case: State of Tennesse vs. John Doe, enter Doe and the system will return all cases where Doe is listed in the case style.
- When searching the last name of a party to the appeal, you might enter the name Jones. The system will return all cases that contain the name Jones as a party to an appeal.
- When searching the organization as a party to the appeal, you might enter the organization of R&R Railroad. The system will return all cases that contain R&R Railroad as a party to an appeal.
After selecting a case, the system will retrieve and display the case information such as Style of the Case, the trial court number, the trial court judge, the major events in the case, the case history events, and record information.
Election Officials and Experts
New York Times Survey of Election Officials
- “Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race . . . ” – New York Times,November 10, 2020
59 Election Security Experts and Computer Scientists
- “Anyone asserting that a U.S. election was ‘rigged’ is making an extraordinary claim, one that must be supported by persuasive and verifiable evidence . . .” In the absence of such evidence, they added, it is “simply speculation.” – Letter from 59 of the country’s top election security experts and computer scientists, November 16, 2020
- “We are aware of alarming assertions being made that the 2020 election was ‘rigged’ by exploiting technical vulnerabilities. However, in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.” Letter from 59 of the country’s top election security experts and computer scientists, November 16, 2020
Gabriel Sterling (R), Georgia’s Voting Systems Implementation Manager
- [Claims of voter fraud] are “hoaxes and nonsense. Don’t buy into these things. Find trusted sources.” – Los Angeles Times,November 9, 2020
- “It has to stop,” Sterling said, reacting to Trump’s sustained assaults on Georgia’s election process and resulting violent threats to local election officials. – New York Times,December 1, 2020
Scott Schwab (R), Kansas Secretary of State
- “Kansas did not experience any widespread, systematic issues with voter fraud, intimidation, irregularities or voting problems . . . . We are very pleased with how the election has gone up to this point.” – Spokeswoman for Secretary Schwab, New York Times,November 10, 2020
Kim Wyman (R), Washington Secretary of State
- Of attempts by Republican candidates to raise accusations of fraud, Wyman said “it’s just throwing grass at the fence at this point . . . see what sticks.” – New York Times, November 10, 2020
Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R), Kent County Clerk
- “We’ve just got a lot of checks and balances and transparency here in Michigan, and in Kent County we take that very seriously. I am 100% confident in the results in Kent County, and I’m confident that our canvass, once it’s all concluded, will validate that.” – USA Today, November 14, 2020
In Court, Derek Chauvin’s Lawyers Say Officials Have Biased the Case
The Minneapolis police chief recently described George Floyd’s death as murder. Lawyers for the four officers charged in the case say that may have biased potential jurors.
MINNEAPOLIS — The judge overseeing the case against four former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd told lawyers and local officials on Monday to be careful about what they say, warning that too much publicity could make it difficult to choose an impartial jury.
While stopping short of issuing a formal gag order, Judge Peter A. Cahill of Hennepin County District Court warned that he would consider moving the trial if the parties involved leak information or offer opinions to the news media about the guilt or innocence of the defendants.
“From this day forward, everyone has had their warning,” Judge Cahill said.
Lawyers for the officers cited “multiple inappropriate public comments” from local officials that they said had already prejudiced potential jurors, including a statement last week from the Minneapolis police chief that the killing of Mr. Floyd was murder, not a failure of training. They argued that the court proceedings should be broadcast publicly as a countermeasure.
“The state’s conduct made a fair and unbiased trial extremely unlikely, and the defendants seek video and audio coverage to let a cleansing light shine on these proceedings,” Thomas C. Plunkett, a lawyer for one of the officers, wrote in a motion.
The case, which set off worldwide protests after Mr. Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25, has already generated an enormous amount of publicity one defense lawyer said it was probably the most famous case in Minnesota history.
Monday’s hearing, which lasted roughly an hour, was the first time all four defendants appeared in court on the same day, although each did so separately. None of the former officers, who were all fired after Mr. Floyd’s killing, have entered pleas.
Derek Chauvin, the 19-year police veteran who pinned his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, faces the most serious charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He appeared first on Monday, by video conference from prison.
The three other officers, charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, also appeared one by one. Two of them, out on bail, did so in person, while another appeared from a jail holding cell. None of the defendants said anything more than “Yes, your honor” when asked if they agreed to waive their right to a speedy trial, which is scheduled to begin in the spring.
Two of Mr. Floyd’s relatives, an aunt and an uncle, were in the courtroom and at one point were admonished by the judge for reacting to statements made in court.
Speaking to reporters later outside the court, Selwyn Jones, 54, Mr. Floyd’s uncle, said: “I know how the system works. I’ve seen the system my whole life — a black man getting shaded, slighted. When I walk into a courthouse and I see like 15 white people, I’m like, ‘Oh hell, we’re going through this again.’ So, we’ll see how the process ends up.”
He added: “I’m not mad at anyone. We just need to fix the system. Racism must go.”
On Friday, Judge Cahill had banned video and audio coverage of the proceedings, worried it could taint the pool of potential jurors. But at Monday’s hearing, he said the court was studying how to allow cameras to film the upcoming trial.
Lawyers for the officers had filed a motion asking the judge to allow video coverage, arguing that doing so would provide greater public access to the proceedings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Several news organizations, including The New York Times, had also filed motions for video and audio access to the court.
The arguments over allowing cameras in the courtroom, even as the video of Mr. Floyd’s killing is in wide circulation, underscored what is likely to be one of the most vexing and contested issues as the case inches toward trial: how to seat an impartial jury.
But that remains far off. The judge set the next hearing in the case for Sept. 11, and a trial date of March 8. In the coming months, the court will decide whether to hold four separate trials, or if the four former officers will be tried together.
The demonstrations that followed Mr. Floyd’s killing spread to all 50 states and around the world. Outrage and anguish over another black man dying at the hands of the police quickly grew into a broad examination of racism in all its forms, inciting America’s most sustained period of civil unrest in decades.
Officials in Minneapolis and elsewhere have scrambled to meet the demands of protesters, with proposals to shift funds from police departments to other social programs, institute reforms such as banning chokeholds, and hold officers accountable in court for unlawful uses of force. In Minneapolis, a majority of the City Council has vowed to dismantle the Police Department and reimagine public safety.
On Sunday, Mayor Jacob Frey and the police chief, Medaria Arradondo, announced what they described as the first in a series of police reforms: prohibiting officers involved in incidents from reviewing body camera footage before completing an initial report.
“Requiring officers who may become suspects to complete a police report before reviewing body cam footage will help ensure that investigators, attorneys and jurors receive a transparent account of how an officer remembers the incident — one that hasn’t been influenced by other evidence,” the officials said in a statement.
Mr. Chauvin, 44, is being held on at least $1 million bail in Mr. Floyd’s death. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the murder and manslaughter charges. Two other defendants, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, both junior officers, are out on bail. Another former officer, Tou Thao, remains in custody.
Already, lawyers for Mr. Lane and Mr. Kueng have sought to shift the blame to Mr. Chauvin. At an earlier hearing, Mr. Plunkett pointed to Mr. Chauvin’s culpability, saying, “at multiple times, Mr. Kueng and Mr. Lane directed their attention to that 19-year veteran and said, ‘You shouldn’t do this.’” Mr. Thao had met with prosecutors before Mr. Chauvin’s arrest.
Taken together, their actions indicate that the so-called blue wall of silence — officers sticking to the same story, and not speaking out against one another — has already crumbled.
Who can look at electronic court records?
The public is allowed to look at court records for most cases. However, there are some court records the public is not allowed to see. This happens when a law or court order makes a record confidential.
Examples of confidential cases include “juvenile dependency” (when a child is removed from their parents) and “juvenile delinquency” (when a child is accused of committing a crime). Court records for these cases are not available to the public.
In other cases, there are certain documents in the case file that are not available to the public. An example of these is a fee waiver application. The public may be able to see part of the court record but would not be able to see this document.
Even when the public is not allowed to look at a court record, there will still be certain people who are allowed. For example, if you are a party in a case, you can look at the court record even if the public cannot.
Chief Justice Roger Taney
Roger Taney was born into the southern aristocracy and became the fifth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Taney became best known for writing the final majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which said that all people of African descent, free or enslaved, were not United States citizens and therefore had no right to sue in federal court. In addition, he wrote that the Fifth Amendment protected slave owner rights because enslaved workers were their legal property.
The decision also argued that the Missouri Compromise legislation — passed to balance the power between slave and non-slave states — was unconstitutional. In effect, this meant that Congress had no power to prevent the spread of slavery.
Despite Taney’s long tenure as a Supreme Court justice, people vilified him for his role in the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision. In an ironic historical footnote, Taney would later swear in Abraham Lincoln, the "Great Emancipator," as president of the United States in 1861.
History of the Court
Probate Courts existed in the Northwest Territory prior to Ohio's statehood. They had authority in probate, testamentary, and guardianship cases, although the Probate Judge and two Common Pleas Judges issued all final judgments. In 1802, Ohio's first constitution abolished separate Probate Courts and transferred their authority to the Common Pleas Courts. Separate Probate Courts reappeared in 1851, when Ohio drafted a new constitution. This gave Probate Court the powers to grant marriage licenses and control land sales by appointed executors, administrators, and guardians. As a result of a 1912 constitutional amendment, county voters can decide by referendum whether or not to combine the Probate Court with the Court of Common Pleas. In 1969, the Probate Court became a division of the Court of Common Pleas.
The Probate Court has original jurisdiction in the settlement of estates. The Court held limited jurisdiction in minor criminal offenses from 1851 &ndash 1932. The Probate Judge maintained a permanent record of births and deaths from 1867 to 1908. Since the 1850's, the Court has had jurisdiction over the appointment of guardians for minors and the mentally ill the Judge can also commit the mentally ill to institutional care. The Probate Court exercised jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings in the last half of the nineteenth century until 1906, when the federal government assumed this power. The Probate Judge serves a six-year term and must be a licensed attorney who has practiced law for at least six years prior to election.
Infographic: How the Supreme Court Works
Learn how cases reach the Supreme Court and how the justices make their decisions. Use this lesson plan in class.
How the Supreme Court Works
The Supreme Court is:
- The highest court in the country
- Located in Washington, DC
- The head of the judicial branch of the federal government
- Responsible for deciding whether laws violate the Constitution
- In session from early October until late June or early July
How a Case Gets to the Supreme Court
Most cases reach the Court on appeal. An appeal is a request for a higher court to reverse the decision of a lower court. Most appeals come from federal courts. They can come from state courts if a case deals with federal law.
Rarely, the Court hears a new case, such as one between states.
Dissatisfied parties petition the Court for review
Parties may appeal their case to the Supreme Court, petitioning the Court to review the decision of the lower court.
Justices study documents
The Justices examine the petition and supporting materials.
Four Justices must vote in favor for a case to be granted review.
What Happens Once a Case is Selected for Review?
Parties make arguments
The Justices review the briefs (written arguments) and hear oral arguments. In oral arguments, each side usually has 30 minutes to present its case. The Justices typically ask many questions during this time.
Justices write opinions
The Justices vote on the case and write their opinions.
The majority opinion shared by more than half of the Justices becomes the Court&rsquos decision.
Justices who disagree with the majority opinion write dissenting or minority opinions.
The Court issues its decision
Justices may change their vote after reading first drafts of the opinions. Once the opinions are completed and all of the Justices have cast a final vote, the Court &ldquohands down&rdquo its decision.
All cases are heard and decided before summer recess. It can take up to nine months to announce a decision.
The Court receives 7,000-8,000 requests for review and grants 70-80 for oral argument. Other requests are granted and decided without argument.
About the Justices:
- A Chief Justice, who sits in the middle and is the head of the judicial branch.
- Eight Associate Justices
When a new Justice is needed:
- The President nominates a candidate, usually a federal judge.
- The Senate votes to confirm the nominee.
- The Court can continue deciding cases with less than nine Justices, but if there is a tie, the lower court&rsquos decision stands.
Justices are appointed for life, though they may resign or retire.