In 1938, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia delegated to the Commissioner of Investigation the responsibility to supervise New York City Marshals. Sixteen years later, in 1954, the Bureau of City Marshals was formally established at the Department of Investigation to carry out the Mayor's mandate. During Mayor Robert Wagner's third term, the State Court underwent reorganization, and as a result, the Municipal Court and City Court were replaced by the Civil Court of the City of New York.
Pursuant to Article 16 of the New York City Civil Court Act, marshals became officers of the Civil Court of New York City. The authority to appoint city marshals remained with the mayor; however, the power to suspend and remove city marshals became vested in the Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Judicial Departments. In 1968, these courts held that “the Appellate Divisions in the First and Second Judicial Departments are jointly vested with the power to supervise the activities of New York City Marshals and that the routine exercise of that power was lawfully delegated by the Appellate Divisions, through the Mayor, to the Department of Investigation.”
During the period of its supervision of marshals, the Department of Investigation has issued numerous directives from time to time prescribing the standards for marshals' official conduct, as well as the standards for the maintenance of official books and records.
On November 12, 1975 and February 27, 1976, the Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Judicial Departments issued Joint Administrative Orders 453 and 456, concerning the supervision of city marshals. These orders formally set forth the Department of Investigation’s supervisory powers, which include the power to conduct investigations into marshals' activities, examine their books and records, promulgate directives concerning the official records to be kept by them and the procedures for performing their official duties, as well as the power to discipline them.
Joint Administrative Order 453 specifically authorized the Department of Investigation, with the approval of both Appellate Divisions, to promulgate a “handbook of regulations” for city marshals. Thus, this handbook is a direct result of the authority vested in the Department of Investigation by the Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Departments. This handbook, which the Appellate Divisions approved on March 25, 2013, replaces the previous Handbook of Regulations, issued in 1997.
The purpose of updating the Marshals Handbook is to set forth in one reference this Department's directives, issued through the years (as well as certain new directives), for official conduct and record keeping. All current directives have been codified within this handbook. As always, a marshal shall be accountable for the duties, functions, and responsibilities that are delegated to him or her pursuant to judicial order, Department of Investigation directive, and this Handbook of Regulations.