Office of the Sheriff – Civil Enforcement
This office regulates Alberta’s civil enforcement industry.
Guided by the Civil Enforcement Act, our office regulates the civil enforcement industry by:
- overseeing its activities
- responding to complaints about it
- overseeing its training
- creating its procedures
- preparing reports about it
Civil enforcement agencies in Alberta
We have a written agreement with every civil enforcement agency in Alberta. This allows us to oversee:
- an agency’s overall operations
- the activities of an agency’s bailiffs
If an agency fails to comply with the applicable laws and regulations, we can terminate their agreement.
Civil enforcement agencies employ bailiffs to collect on people’s outstanding debts. These include child and spousal support, court orders, parking fines, rent and taxes.
To pay for outstanding debts, bailiffs take away and sell people’s property, such as vehicles, homes, cash, luxury items and jointly-owned possessions.
When bailiffs are working, they may be accompanied by sheriffs or police officers as a safety measure.
To become a bailiff
Apply at one of the civil enforcement agencies above.
Suspensions and cancellations
We may suspend or cancel a bailiff’s appointment if they:
- are convicted of an indictable offence (eg, murder or treason)
- are sentenced to serve 2 or more years in prison
- are convicted for an offence under
- the Civil Enforcement Act
- any law that concerns fraud, breach of trust or intentionally injuring someone
- fail, in our opinion, to comply with the Code of Conduct for Civil Enforcement Bailiffs (page 8 in application form)
- don’t pay a court order for damages they caused while performing their work duties
- make an untrue statement in their bailiff application form
- fail to comply with a written notice from our office
- don’t, in our opinion, have the appropriate character
- fail to take ongoing, required training
Responding to complaints
We respond to complaints from the public about civil enforcement agencies and their employees. Our response often includes an investigation, which may result in us:
- sending a compliance notice to an agency employee
- suspending or cancelling the appointment of an agency bailiff
During an investigation, we have the right to:
- enter an agency’s premises and inspect them, including any records and items they contain
- interview any person about the
- records and items in the agency’s premises
- actions taken by an agency and its employees
If an agency doesn’t allow us to enter their premises, we’ll get a court order that authorizes us to do that.
After our investigation, we may send one or more of an agency’s employees a written notice to comply with the applicable laws and regulations. This notice will direct an employee to do any of the following:
- abide by the terms of the agency’s agreement with us
- adopt certain practices or procedures
- stop carrying out certain practices or procedures
If an employee doesn’t comply with the notice, we may apply for a court order to enforce it.
You can find more information about the procedures, legislation and information needed to operate a civil enforcement agency or act as a bailiff, by purchasing the Civil Enforcement Procedure Manual.
Activity and complaint reports
- Civil Enforcement Agencies' Activity
- Civil Enforcement Complaints - Past Years Annual Report
- Summary of Seizure Activities by Service Area
Contact the Office of the Sheriff - Civil Enforcement
Hours: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Office of the Sheriff - Civil Enforcement
2nd Floor, 108th Street Building
9942 - 108 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2J5