MASSACHUSETTS CONSTABLE POWERS AND DUTIES
The Constable in the Commonwealth Massachusetts plays a significant role in the area of Law Enforcement
as the Constable is the Law Enforcement arm of the Judicial System. A well trained Constable is tasked with the
duties of not only serving civil process but also executing Capias Arrest Warrants, Seizures, Repossessions, Evictions
and many other Law Enforcement roles.
The modern day Municipal and State Police derive their Common Law powers and duties from the Office of the
Constable except for serving Civil Process. M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 98:The chief and other police officers of all cities
and towns shall have all the powers and duties of constables except serving and executing civil process.
M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 39: If a person appointed to collect taxes in a town refuses to serve, or if no person is
elected or appointed a collector of taxes, the constables of the town shall be the collectors of taxes.
M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 91: In a city in which the city council accepts this section, or has accepted corresponding
provisions of earlier laws, constables shall be appointed by the mayor for terms not exceeding three years.
M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 94: Constables may serve the writs and processes described in section ninety-two and warrants and processes in criminal cases, although their town, parish, religious society or district is a party or interested. They shall have the powers of sheriffs to require aid in the execution of their duties. They shall take due notice of and prosecute all violations of law respecting the observance of the Lord's Day, profane swearing and illegal gaming. They shall serve all warrants and other processes directed to them by the selectmen of their town for notifying town meetings or for other purposes. They may serve by copy, attested by them, demands, notices and citations, and their returns of service thereof shall be prima facie evidence; but this provision shall not exclude the service thereof by other persons.
M.G.L. Chapter 41 Section 95: A constable, in the execution of a warrant or writ directed to him, may convey prisoners and property in his custody under such process beyond the limits of his town, either to the justice who issued it or to the jail or house of correction of his county. If a warrant is issued against a person for an alleged crime committed within any town, any constable thereof to whom the warrant is directed may apprehend him in any place in the commonwealth.
Violation of Election Laws
M.G.L. Chapter 56 Section 57: Police officers and Constables shall arrest without a warrant any person detected in the act of violating any provision of chapters fifty to fifty-six, inclusive.