February 21, 1995
Subject: Minimum age for appointment of person as a special bailiff pursuant to KRS 454.145.
Written by: Gerard Gerhard
Requested by: Hon. Thomas J. Knopf, Chief Judge Jefferson Circuit Court
Syllabus: One appointed as a "special bailiff" pursuant to KRS 454.145 has the status of a nonelective peace officer within the meaning of KRS 61.300 and thus must have attained the age of at least twenty-one years at the time of the appointment.
OAGs cited: 72-538, 74-657, 91-212
Statutes construed: KRS 61.300; 61.300(1); 70.180; 446.010(24); 454.145
OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
The following question has been presented:
What is the minimum age required of a Special Bailiff pursuant to KRS 454.145?
KRS 454.145 provides:
The court, for good cause, may appoint a person to serve a particular process or order, and he shall have the same power to execute it which a sheriff has. His return must be verified by his affidavit. He shall beentitled to the fees allowed to sheriffs for similar services.
Obviously the statute cited above does not specify the minimum age one must have attained in order to be appointed pursuant to the statute. The statute does, however, invest one appointed under it with the same power to execute a particular process that a sheriff has. See KRS 70.180 regarding the authority of a sheriff in connection with service of writs and processes. A sheriff is, of course, a "peace officer" (KRS 446.010(24).
We believe it follows that one who has the same power to execute a particular process as a sheriff, would, in connection with the execution of such process, be deemed a peace officer.
KRS 61.300 provides in part:
No person shall serve as a deputy sheriff, deputy constable, patrol or other nonelective peace officer unless:
(1) He is a citizen of the United States and is twenty-one (21) years of age or over[.]
* * *
We believe that a person appointed pursuant to KRS 454.145, having the same power as a sheriff in connection with the execution of a given process, is in the status of an "other nonelective peace officer" within the meaning KRS 61.300(1).
Given our observations above, we believe the law requires that one must have attained at least the age of twenty-one years in order to be appointed under KRS 454.145 as a "special bailiff."
Of perhaps related interest, while not addressing the specific question here involved, see previous opinions of this office, OAG 72-538, 75-657, and 91-212, copies of which accompany this opinion.
Gerard R. Gerhard
Assistant Attorney General