Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A peace officer who serves process in minor cases.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In medieval law. The name given to a very high functionary under the French and English kings, the dignity and importance of whose office was only second to that of the monarch. He was in general the leader of the royal armies, and had cognizance of all matters pertaining to war and arms, exercising both civll and mllitary jurisdiction. He was also charged with the conservation of the peace of the nation. Thus there was a "Constable of France" and a "Lord High Constable of England." In English law. A public civil officer, whose proper and general duty is to keep the peace within his district, though he is frequently charged with additional duties. 1 BL Comm. 356. High constables, in England, are officers appointed in every hundred or franchise, whose proper duty seems to be to keep the king's peace within their respective hundreds. 1 Bl. Comm. 356 ; 3 Steph. Comm. 47. Petty constables are inferior officers in every town and parish, subordinate to the high constable of the hundred, whose principal duty is the preservation of the peace, though they also have other particular duties assigned to them by act of parliament, particularly the service of the summonses and the execution of the warrants of justices of the peace. 1 Bl. Comm. 356; 3 Steph. Comm. 47, 48. Special constables are persons appointed (with or without their consent) by the magistrates to execute warrants on particular occasions, as in the case of note, etc. In American law. An officer of a municipal corporation (usually elected) whose duties are similar to those of the sheriff, though his powers are less and his Jurisdiction smaller. He is to preserve the public peace, execute the process of magistrates' courts, and of some other tribunals, serve writs, attend the sessions of the criminal courts, have the custody of juries, and discharge other functions sometimes assigned, to him by the local law or by statute. Comm, v. Deacon, 8 Serg. & R. (Pat) 47; Leavitt v. Leavitt, 135 Mass. 191; Allor v. Wayne County, 43 Mich. 76, 4 N. W. 492.
    —Constable of a castle. In English law. An officer having charge of a castle; a warden, or keeper; otherwise calied a "castellain."
    — Constable of England. (Called, also, "Marshal.") His office consisted in the care of the common peace of the realm in deeds of arms and matters of war. Lamb. Const. 4.
    —Constable of Scotland. An officer who was formerly entitled to command ali the king's armies in the absence of the king, and to take cognisance of ali crimes committed within four miles of the king's person or of parliament, the privy council, or any general convention of the states of the kingdomThe office was hereditary in the family of Errol, and was abolished by the 20 Geo. III. c. 43. Bell; Ersk. Inst. 1, 3, 37.
    —Constable of the exchequer. An officer mentioned in Fieta, lib. 2, c. 31.
    —High constable of England, lord. His office has been disused (except only upon great and solemn occasions, as the coronation, or the like) since the attainder of Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, in the reign of Henry VII.