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An officer of the United States, whose duty it is to execute the process of the courts of the United States. His duties are very similar to those of a sheriff.
It is enacted by the act to establish the judicial courts of the United States as follows:That a marshal shall be appointed, in and for each district, for the term of four years, but shall be removable from office at pleasure whose duty it shall be to attend the district and circuit courts, when sitting therein, and also the supreme court in the district in which that court shall sit; and to execute throughout the district, all lawful precepts directed to him, and issued under the authority of the United States, and he shall have power to command all necessary assistance in the execution of his duty, and to appoint, as there shall be occasion, one or more deputies, who shall be removable from office by the judge of the district court, or the circuit court sitting within the district, at the pleasure of either. And before he enters on the duties of his office, he shall become bound for the faithful performance of the same, by himself and by his deputies, before the judge of the district court, to the United States jointly and severally, with two good and sufficient sureties, inhabitants and freeholders of such district, to be approved by the district judge, in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, and shall take before said judge, as shall also his deputies, before they enter on the duties of their appointment, the following oath of office: "I, A B, do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will faithfully execute all lawful precepts directed to the marshal of the district of________under the authority of the United States, and true returns make; and in all things well and truly, and without malice or partiality, perform the duties of the office of marshal (or marshal's deputy, as the case may be) of the district of _________ during my continuance in said office, and take only my lawful fees. So help me God."That in all causes wherein the marshal, or his deputy, shall be a party, the writs and precepts therein shall be directed to such disinterested person, as the court, or any justice or judge thereof may appoint, and the person so appointed is hereby authorized to execute and return the same. And in case of the death of any marshal, his deputy or deputies, shall continue in office unless otherwise specially removed; and shall execute the same in the name of the deceased, until another marshal shall be appointed and sworn. And the defaults, or misfeasances in office of such deputy or deputies in the mean time, as well as before, shall be adjudged a breach of the condition of the bond given, as before directed, by the marshal who appointed them; and the executor or administrator of the deceased marshal, shall have like remedy for the defaults and misfeasances in office of such deputy or deputies during such interval, as they would be entitled to if the marshal had continued in life, and in the exercise of his said office, until his successor was appointed, and sworn or affirmed. And every marshal, or his deputy, when removed from office, or when the term for which the marshal is appointed shall expire, shall have power, notwithstanding, to execute all such precepts as may be in their hands, respectively, at the time of such removal or expiration of office; and the marshal shall be held answerable for the delivery to his successors of all prisoners which may be in his custody at the time of his removal, or when the term for which he is appointed shall expire, and for that purpose may retain such prisoners in his custody, until his successor shall be appointed, and qualified as the law directs.
By the act making certain alterations in the act for establishing the judicial courts, etc. passed June 9, 1794, it is enacted: That so much of the act to establish the judicial courts of the United States, as is, or may be, construed to require the attendance of the marshals of all the districts at the supreme court, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed: And that the said court shall be attended, during its session, by the marshal of the district only, in which the court shall sit, unless the attendance of the marshals of other districts shall be required by special order of the said court.The act of Feb. 28, 1795, directs: That the marshals of the several districts, and their deputies, shall have the same powers, in executing the laws of the United States, as sheriffs and their deputies, in the several states, have by law in executing the laws of the respective states.