Is it legal for a sheriff to refuse to provide his name and/or his badge number after being asked for it?

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2011

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Is it legal for a sheriff to refuse to provide his name and/or his badge number after being asked for it?

A friend of mine (a tenant) recently obtained a lockout petition from the court. He was seeking to recover his belongings from a landlord who changed the locks without proper notice (a misdemeanor). Upon the tenant’s arrival to the property, a sheriff who arrived on scene, refused to comply with the order stating that it was the landlord’s discretion as to whether or not to allow him to recover his property. When asked for his name and badge number, the sheriff became belligerently angry and refused to provide it. Is there any course of legal action available against the sheriff?

Asked on August 20, 2011 Minnesota


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In order to be able to sue anyone - police or not - there have to be damages that you have incurred.  Did the failure to be able to get in to the apartment result in any damages like did the landlord sell his stuff? Now, you can file a complaint against the Sheriff via the state but you need to find out who he is (hence the original problem).  I am sure that it i against some rule for him not to identify himself to you.  What I would do is to call the Sheriff's office and state that the other day you were assigned a really helpful and courteous Sheriff to help with gaining entry in to your apartment and you write down his name but lost the paper.  Can they tell you who was assigned to the call. Once you have the info then you can make the complaint.  Good luck. 

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