The Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Liberia, Her Honor, Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh, has humiliated Bailiffs for failing to properly construct a “Returns” to Court’s mandate.
The term, “Returns” in the context of Law, denotes the act of delivering back to the Court a writ, notice, or other paper which a sheriff, constable, or other Ministerial Officer was required to serve or execute upon a party to a lawsuit.
While returning the writ, notice, or other paper, a sheriff, a constable, or another Ministerial Officer must endorse a brief account of the steps, including the mode of service or execution that he/she had taken to serve or execute such writ, notice, or other paper.
At a well-attended event marking the opening of the Civil Law Court for the March’s A.D. 2023 Term of Court, the Chief Justice lined up the Bailiffs for such exercise.
After calling their names, the Chief Justice mandated that they be given papers to prepare a ‘Return’ using any issue and defendant as example.
In adherence to her mandate, they were given papers to prepare the ‘Returns’.
Two Bailiffs spent over 30 minutes trying to develop the ‘Return’.
Out of fear and embarrassment, both bailiffs especially the female did not do anything on the paper, while the male misspelled the word “defendant” in his write-up.
The Chief Justice read verbatim what was written by those Bailiffs in opened court in the midst of the crowd and highlighted the mistakes made.
She blasted at them for not being able to construct a Return.
The Chief Justice’s March 20, 2023 action was predicated upon her recent tour of court’s facilities across the country.
She noticed that most of the bailiffs do not know how to prepare a “Returns” to enforce the court’s mandate.
According to her, she noticed that a bailiff could not even spell “Return”.