News Release Archive

  Justice Minister Bill Gillis today announced the
  streamlining of services provided by sheriffs' offices
  across the province. The move is designed to increase
  efficiency, while allowing sheriffs to concentrate on
  critical areas of operation such as court security and
  prisoner transportation.
  Effective April 1, 1996, civil document service will be
  reduced, and will become the responsibility of the parties
  in the action. Documents can be served by any adult, so the
  service can be provided by the private sector.
  The restructuring will mean the deletion of 21 positions.
  However, due to reassignment and attrition, the actual
  number of layoffs will total only seven.
  The restructuring means that documents which relate to
  actions between private parties will no longer be served by
  sheriffs. This includes divorce documents, originating
  documents notices, and execution orders. As well, sheriffs
  will no longer serve documents for the Residential Tenancies
  Boards, Workers Compensation Board, and execution orders
  relating to the Department of Finance. In future, those
  initiating the action, or the relevant government
  department, will be responsible for service and costs.
  Sheriffs will continue to serve family court documents,
  provincial fine warrants, and legal aid documents. They will
  also continue with responsibilities relating to the federal
  marshall, will continue to receive and disburse monies
  collected as a result of private service of execution orders
  and will conduct foreclosures sales. Sheriffs will also
  continue to provide court security and prisoner
  In order to ensure a smooth transition of services, staff of
  the Department of Justice will be conducting meetings with
  lawyers and staff around the province to discuss the actual
  implementation of the changes, and will seek input from
  those affected.
  "We believe this approach makes good economic sense, and it
  provides an opportunity for the private sector to further
  expand in this area," said Dr. Gillis. "We have consulted
  widely regarding the role of sheriffs with the legal
  community, the collections community and other government
  departments before deciding on this course of action. We are
  able to realize substantial cost savings, while continuing
  with the critical service areas for sheriffs."
  An annual net gain of approximately $460,000 is expected as
  a result of this initiative.
  EDITORS NOTE: A backgrounder can be obtained by calling
  Contact: Michele McKinnon  902-424-6811
  trp                    Jan. 29, 1996 - 4:25 p.m.