How to Address a Sheriff

Most sheriffs are elected and if they are, they are addressed as the Honorable (Full Name). If a sheriff’s position is an appointed office, then he or she would not be addressed as The Honorable (Full Name). Check for local tradition.

—-Envelope or address block on an email to an elected sheriff:
—-—-The Honorable
—-—-(Full name)
—-—-Sheriff of (county/city)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Sheriff (Surname):

How to Address a Sheriff

Deputy Sheriff

“A deputy sheriff is a law enforcement officer working for the sheriff. A deputy sheriff is hired by the sheriff and is not addressed as the Honorable. Many deputy sheriffs have ranks such as lieutenant, sergeant, and corporal. Address these officers as (Rank) (Name) and identify them as being a member of the office of the sheriff or sheriff’s department.’

“If the officer’s rank is deputy sheriff, he or she is addressed as Deputy Sheriff (Name) in writing and in a formal introduction, and Deputy (Name) in conversation.”

—-– Excerpt from:  “Honor & Respect.” by Robert Hickey

How to Address a Sheriff


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Retired Sheriff

I will be sending a letter to a retired sheriff. In the heading, he will be addressed as The Honorable Joseph Smith. Should the salutation read: Dear Sheriff Smith:?
— Gordon Ring

Dear Mr. Ring:
When there is only one official holding an office at a time … just one Mayor, one Chief of Police, one Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, one Speaker of the House, one President of the United States … former office holders don’t continue the use of their former office’s honorific.

Whereas … Generals, Admiral, Judges, Senators … of which there are many all at the same time … DO continue to use their office’s honorific in retirement.

So … Yes now and forever he will be addressed as The Honorable Joseph Smith …. but only the current sheriff would be addressed as Dear Sheriff (surname). So … in the salutation use Dear Mr. Smith.

That’s not to say friends and acquaintances might not call him Sheriff informally and socially and to flatter him, but at the Court House he is definitely Mr.

— Robert Hickey

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

How to Address an Acting Sheriff?

How do address an envelope to an acting sheriff?
—————–– Mary Brady

Dear Ms. Brady:
An acting official is not addressed with the same forms of address as an elected and inaugurated or an apponted and installed official.  If he/she is the acting sheriff … and was not elected to the office. Therefore he/she is not the Honorable (Full Name) in writing.  Informally he/she could addressed with the honorific Sheriff  in conversation.

—-So, on an official envelope it would be:
—-—-Mr./Ms. (Full Name)
—-—-Acting Sheriff of (Name of Jurisdiction)

—-The salutation would be:
—-—-Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname)

In conversation use:
—-—-Mr./Ms. (Surname)
—-—-—-or informally
—-Sheriff (Surname)

– Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How To Address a Sheriff of the City of London?

A question from a faculty member at our institution. He will be introducing the Sheriff of the City of London and is wondering what is the proper form of address for this title?
——————-– EC

Dear EC,
In the City of London there are two sheriffs elected every year. It’s a ceremonial office unlike a High Sheriff of an English, Welsh, and Northern Irish county which is a functional office.

If the sheriff is simultaneously an alderman of the City of London … which is frequently the case …. both would also be included in an introduction:
—-—-Mr./Ms./Mrs. Alderman and Sheriff (Full Name), member of … and Sheriff of …

In extended conversation it could be shortened to:
—-—-Mr./Ms./Mrs. (Surname)

If the sheriff is not an alderman In an introduction, he/she would be introduced as:
—-—-Mr./Madame Sheriff (Full Name), Sheriff of the City of London

In direct oral address he/she can be addressed as:
—-—-Mr./Madame Sheriff (Surname)
—-—-Mr./Madame Sheriff

If your British visitor holds an honor, in an introduction one would say what the initials mean – not say the letters. In the case your distinguished guest is an OBE, you would say that he or she is an:
—-—-Officer of the Order of the British Empire

– Robert Hickey

Related Posts:
—-Candidate for Office
—-The Honorable, Use of
—-The Late, Use of
—-Pro Tempore

Related Posts:
Couples: Private Citizens
Couples: Christian Clergy
Couples: Rabbis
Couples: Military
Couples: U.S. Officials
Couples: Same Sex


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”