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Sources of Bailiff Law

Sources of Bailiff Law

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John Kruse is the leading expert on bailiffs and enforcement. There are several reasons for his writing this book:

  • The physical inaccessibility of the law: many of the reports are only to be found in the medieval Year Books, in the 'English Reports' and in unreported cases
  • The linguistic inaccessibility of the older reports
  • The obscurity of older English court procedures;
  • The complexity of English enforcement law. Until reformed bailiffs' law will remain multifarious governed by dozens of statutes and regulations and thousands of cases.

Were that not enough, the law is further complicated by its division into execution, common law distress and statutory distraint. This tripartite classification has practical consequences:

  • There are differences in the personnel involved: civil court bailiffs, landowners and public bodies;
  • Differences in specific powers; and,
  • Differences in remedies for creditors and debtors.

As important as the differences listed are, they can work as much to conceal similarities of procedure as to alert us to unique features. This book contains a chapter of statutes and then chapters dealing successively with the key stages of the enforcement process. Each source (statute or case report) is supplemented with a commentary discussing its significance and linking it with other sources quoted here or to other applications of the principles brought out.

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