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The Courts Administration Improvement Act

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S.M. 2005, c. 33

Bill 36, 3rd Session, 38th Legislature

The Courts Administration Improvement Act

(Assented to June 16, 2005)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

PART 1

THE PROVINCIAL COURT ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C275 amended

1           The Provincial Court Act is amended by this Part.

2           The centred heading "RESIGNATION" is added before section 5.

3           Section 6 is replaced with the following:

CONTINUING OR REHEARING MATTERS IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES

Continuation before resigning or retiring judge

6(1)        A judge who resigns or retires after commencing to hear a matter remains seized of the matter for a period of 12 weeks after resigning or retiring.

Further evidence or argument may be heard

6(2)        During the 12-week period referred to in subsection (1), the judge may

(a) continue to hear evidence and argument;

(b) give judgment in the matter; and

(c) make an order or impose sentence to complete the matter;

as if the judge has not resigned or retired.

Death, suspension, etc. of judge — judgment not given

6(3)        Subject to the Criminal Code (Canada), if, before giving judgment in a matter,

(a) the judge hearing the matter dies or is suspended or removed from office, or a recommendation is made to remove him or her from office; or

(b) the judge hearing the matter resigns or retires and does not give judgment within the time allowed under subsection (2);

any party to the matter or the Chief Judge may set the matter down for a rehearing by another judge.

Rehearing is a new hearing

6(4)        The judge rehearing the matter shall deal with it as a new hearing, and shall give judgment and complete the matter as is appropriate.

Death, suspension, etc. of judge — judgment given

6(5)        Subject to the Criminal Code (Canada), if after giving judgment in a matter

(a) the judge hearing the matter dies or is suspended or removed from office, or a recommendation is made to remove the judge from office, before the matter is completed; or

(b) the judge hearing the matter resigns or retires and does not complete the matter within the time allowed under subsection (2);

any party to the matter or the Chief Judge may set the matter down to be continued by another judge.

Continuing judge to complete matter

6(6)        The judge before whom the matter is continued may make any order or impose sentence as is appropriate to complete the matter.

Chief Judge sets matter down — judge unable to complete matter

6(7)        Subject to the Criminal Code (Canada), if the Chief Judge is satisfied on reasonable grounds that a judge before whom a matter has been commenced is not able to complete the matter, the Chief Judge may, after consulting with the parties,

(a) if judgment in the matter has not been given, set the matter down for a rehearing by another judge, and in this case subsection (4) applies; or

(b) if judgment in the matter has been given but the matter has not been completed, set the matter down to be continued by another judge, and in this case subsection (6) applies.

TEMPORARY JUDGES

Definition

6.1(1)      In this section and in sections 6.2 to 6.4, "temporary judge" means a judge appointed under subsection (2).

Who may be appointed as temporary judge

6.1(2)      If the Chief Judge, in his or her discretion, determines that it is in the interests of justice to appoint a temporary judge, the Chief Judge may appoint a person who is

(a) a provincial court judge, as defined in the Criminal Code (Canada), in a province other than Manitoba; and

(b) designated by the Chief Judge of the provincial court in the other province, or the person who holds the equivalent office of the Chief Judge;

as a temporary judge of the court.

Appointment of temporary judge

6.1(3)      The appointment may be for

(a) a period of time set out in the appointment; or

(b) a specific case or class of cases set out in the appointment;

or both.

Powers, duties and protection of temporary judge

6.2         A temporary judge is subject to the authority of the Chief Judge and has the jurisdiction and protection of a judge under this Act, but other than this section and sections 6, 6.1, 6.3, 6.4 and 7, this Act does not apply to the temporary judge.

Meaning of "incapacity" and "misconduct"

6.3(1)      In this section, "incapacity" and "misconduct" have the same meaning as in section 27.

Complaints about temporary judges

6.3(2)      Any person may make a complaint in writing to the Chief Judge alleging misconduct or incapacity of a temporary judge.

Role of the Chief Judge

6.3(3)      On receiving a complaint, the Chief Judge shall give a copy of the complaint to the temporary judge who is the subject of the complaint.  The Chief Judge may investigate the matter and, with the agreement of both the complainant and the temporary judge, resolve the complaint.

If complaint not resolved

6.3(4)      If the complaint about the temporary judge cannot be resolved, the Chief Judge shall refer the complaint to the Chief Judge of the provincial court in the other province, or the person who holds the equivalent office in that province, to be dealt with as a complaint about the judge in that other province.

Chief Judge to include complaints in annual report

6.3(5)      Subject to any limitations imposed by legislation in the other province, after receiving notice from the other province of a decision on the complaint about the temporary judge, the Chief Judge shall report on the complaint, in accordance with section 39.9, in his or her annual report to the minister.

Agreements with other provinces

6.4         The minister, on behalf of the government, may enter into an agreement with the government of another province

(a) providing that the Government of Manitoba reimburse the government of the other province for the salary and expenses of temporary judges; and

(b) providing for reciprocal or other arrangements between the Government of Manitoba and the government of the other province with respect to

(i) temporary judges, and

(ii) judges of the Provincial Court appointed on a temporary basis in that other province.

4           The centred heading "JURISDICTION" is added before section 7.

PART 2

THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C280 amended

5           The Court of Queen's Bench Act is amended by this Part.

6           Clause 5(1)(d) is amended

(a) in subclause (i), by striking out "21" and substituting "19"; and

(b) in subclause (ii), by striking out "10" and substituting "12".

7(1)        Subsection 11.3(2) is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a), by striking out "five" and substituting "seven";

(b) by replacing clause (a) with the following:

(a) the Chief Justice, or a judge designated by the Chief Justice, who shall be the chairperson of the committee;

(c) in clause (d), by striking out "two" and substituting "three"; and

(d) by adding the following after clause (d):

(e) the senior master, or when a senior master is to be appointed under subsection 11.6(1), a master designated by the masters of the court.

7(2)        Subsection 11.3(3) is replaced with the following:

Convening nominating committee

11.3(3)     The Minister of Justice shall advise the Chief Justice when a master is to be appointed under section 11.1 or a senior master is to be appointed under subsection 11.6(1).  The Chief Justice, or the judge designated by the Chief Justice under clause 11.3(2)(a), shall convene the nominating committee.

7(3)        Clause 11.3(4)(e) is amended by striking out "list of six" and substituting "list of not fewer than three and not more than six".

8           Subsection 11.5(1) is amended by striking out "six" and substituting "three" in the section heading and in the subsection.

9(1)        The following is added after subsection 11.23(3):

Notice

11.23(3.1)  The board shall give to the master who is the subject of the complaint, the complainant and the Chief Justice

(a) a copy of its decision and reasons, if the board makes a decision under clause (3)(a) or (b); or

(b) a copy of the charge laid before the council, if the board makes a decision under clause (3)(c).

Board's decision final

11.23(3.2)  The decision of the board under subsection (3) is final and no appeal lies from it.

9(2)        Clauses 11.23(5)(b) and (c) are repealed.

10           The following is added after section 72 as part of Part XI:

Foreign money obligations

72.1(1)     When a person obtains an order to enforce an obligation in a foreign currency, the order must require payment of an amount in Canadian currency sufficient to purchase the amount of the obligation in the foreign currency at the close of business on

(a) the last day, before the day on which a payment under the order is made by the debtor to the creditor, that a bank in Manitoba quotes a Canadian dollar equivalent to the foreign currency; or

(b) any other day the court orders, if the court, on request, is satisfied that the day determined under clause (a) would be inequitable to any party.

If manner of conversion provided in obligation

72.1(2)     Despite subsection (1), if the obligation being enforced by an order referred to in that subsection provides for a manner of conversion to Canadian currency of an amount in a foreign currency, the court must give effect to the manner of conversion in the obligation.

Statement of obligation in Canadian currency

72.1(3)     A person who files a document in the court to enforce an order referred to in subsection (1) must also file a statement showing the amount in Canadian currency sufficient to purchase the amount of the obligation in the foreign currency

(a) from a bank in Manitoba at the close of business on the day ordered by the court, in the circumstances described in clause (1)(b);

(b) determined in accordance with the manner of conversion in the obligation, in the circumstances described in subsection (2); or

(c) in all other circumstances, at the close of business on the last day before the day of filing that a bank in Manitoba quotes a Canadian dollar equivalent to the foreign currency.

Amount of Canadian currency amount

72.1(4)     The amount shown in the statement filed under subsection (3) is deemed to be the amount payable under the order.

Orders and proceedings that are exempt

72.1(5)     This section does not apply to

(a) an order in a family proceeding, as defined in section 41, that determines or varies the obligation to provide support as between

(i) spouses, former spouses or persons who are cohabiting, or have cohabited, in a conjugal relationship, or

(ii) a parent and a child of the parent;

(b) an extra-provincial garnishing order under section 12.1 of The Garnishment Act;

(c) a judgment sought to be registered under The Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act; or

(d) a foreign order sought to be registered under The Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Act.

PART 3

THE SUMMARY CONVICTIONS ACT

C.C.S.M. c. S230 amended

11          The Summary Convictions Act is amended by this Part.

12          Section 1 is amended by adding the following definitions:

"designated municipality" means a municipality designated by regulation under this Act for the purpose of section 16.1; (« municipalité désignée »)

"designated offence" means an offence that has a set fine and is designated by regulation under this Act for the purpose of section 16.1; (« infraction désignée »)

"screening officer" means a person appointed, under subsection 16.1(1) or (2), as a screening officer to review offence notices issued in respect of designated offences; (« agent de contrôle »)

"set fine" means,

(a) in relation to an offence under

(i) a municipal by-law, or

(ii) a provision of an Act that makes it an offence to contravene a municipal by-law,

the amount prescribed by a municipal by-law as the set fine for that offence,

(b) in relation to an offence under The Public Works Act, the amount prescribed by regulation under that Act as the set fine for that offence, and

(c) in relation to any other offence, the amount prescribed by regulation under this Act as the set fine for that offence; (« amende déterminée »)

13          Section 4 is amended by striking out "$500." and substituting "$5,000.".

14          The following is added after subsection 12.1(2):

Certificate of default: designated offence

12.1(3)     If a person fails to pay the fine and costs payable in respect of a designated offence, a screening officer for that offence may complete a certificate as to the amount remaining unpaid and file the certificate in the Court of Queen's Bench.  Once filed, the certificate is deemed to be a judgment of that court for the purpose of enforcement.

15(1)       Subsection 13(3) is replaced with the following:

Offence notice: non-designated offence with set fine

13(3)       For an offence that is not a designated offence but has a set fine, the offence notice must state

(a) the total of the set fine and costs payable in respect of the offence;

(b) that the offence notice or the summons part of it, together with payment of the fine and costs, may be forwarded to the appropriate court office in the manner and within the time stated in the notice; and

(c) the address of the appropriate court office.

Offence notice: designated offence

13(3.1)     An offence notice for a designated offence must state

(a) the total of the set fine and costs payable in respect of the offence;

(b) that the offence notice or the summons part of it, together with payment of the fine and costs, may be forwarded to the appropriate government or municipal office in the manner and within the time stated in the notice; and

(c) the name and address of the appropriate government or municipal office.

15(2)       Subsection 13(4) is amended

(a) by striking out "court office" and substituting "court, government or municipal office"; and

(b) by adding "and a conviction shall be entered against the person without the intervention of a justice" at the end.

16          The following is added after section 16:

Appointment of screening officer: municipality

16.1(1)     A designated municipality may appoint a person as screening officer to review offence notices issued for designated offences under its by-laws and deal with them in accordance with this section and the regulations under this Act.

Appointment of screening officer: minister

16.1(2)     The minister responsible for the administration of The Public Works Act may appoint a person as screening officer to review offence notices issued for designated offences under that Act and deal with them in accordance with this section and the regulations under this Act.

Response to offence notice for designated offence

16.1(3)     Despite any other provision of this Act or the regulations under this Act, a person on whom an offence notice for a designated offence, or the summons part of it, has been served must

(a) pay the set fine and costs as stated in the notice or summons; or

(b) make a request to the government or municipal office as stated in the notice or summons, for a screening officer to review the notice or summons;

within the time set out in the notice.

Review by screening officer

16.1(4)     After reviewing an offence notice for a designated offence and hearing from the person on whom it, or the summons part of it, was served, a screening officer must

(a) cancel the notice if, in the screening officer's opinion,

(i) the alleged designated offence did not occur,

(ii) the notice does not comply with subsection 16(1),

(iii) the notice or the summons part of it was not delivered as required by subsection 16(1) or (2),

(iv) the information part of the notice is not complete and regular on its face,

(v) the offence is one for which a vehicle owner is liable and the person named in the information part of the notice is not the vehicle owner, or

(vi) a ground for cancellation that applies to the designated offence and is prescribed by a regulation under this Act or by a municipal by-law has been satisfied;

(b) confirm the notice and, if the person wishes to dispute the charge,

(i) serve the person with a trial notice, and

(ii) file the offence notice with a justice in the court office specified in the trial notice; or

(c) if authorized by a regulation under this Act or by a municipal by-law, enter into a compliance agreement with the person that meets the requirements prescribed by regulation under this Act.

Effect of compliance agreement — guilty plea

16.1(5)     A person who enters into a compliance agreement with a screening officer in respect of a designated offence is deemed to have entered a plea of guilty to the offence.

Effect of complying with agreement

16.1(6)     When the person has complied with the agreement to the screening officer's satisfaction,

(a) the person's liability for the fine and costs otherwise payable in respect of the offence is extinguished; and

(b) the screening officer must issue a notice of compliance to the person and keep a copy of that notice, together with a copy of the offence notice or the summons part of it.

Effect of failure to comply with agreement

16.1(7)     If a person who has entered into a compliance agreement with a screening officer has failed, in the screening officer's opinion, to comply with the agreement, the screening officer may

(a) enter into a revised compliance agreement with the person; or

(b) cancel the agreement and enter a default conviction against the person.

Entering default conviction

16.1(8)     If the person who has been served with an offence notice for a designated offence, or the summons part of it, fails to comply with subsection (3), a screening officer for that offence may enter a default conviction against the person.  However, the default conviction must be set aside if the person appears before a screening officer for that offence within 30 days after being served with notice of the default conviction.

Notice of default conviction

16.1(9)     When a default conviction is entered against a person under subsection (7) or (8), the municipality indicated on the offence notice or the government, as the case may be, must mail to the person by regular prepaid mail, a written notice stating

(a) that a default conviction has been entered against the person; and

(b) the total of the set fine and costs payable by the person, and any additional penalty payable under section 17.1, and the time within which they must be paid.

Deemed service

16.1(10)     A default conviction notice that is sent to a person under this section by regular prepaid mail to the address set out in the offence notice shall be conclusively deemed to have been personally served on the person seven days after it was mailed.

Debt to municipality or government

16.1(11)    The total amount payable by a person as stated in the notice under subsection (9) is a debt owing by the person to

(a) the municipality, in the case of a designated offence under one of its by-laws; or

(b) the government, in the case of a designated offence under The Public Works Act.

The debt is payable within the time specified in the notice, unless the municipality or the government, as the case may be, extends the time for payment.

17(1)       The following is added after subsection 17(1):

Method of appearance

17(1.1)     An appearance under subsection (1) may be made in person or by closed-circuit television or any other means that allow the justice and the person to engage in simultaneous visual and oral communication.

17(2)        Subsection 17(2) is amended

(a) in the section heading, by adding ": with set fine" at the end; and

(b) by replacing the part after clause (c) with the following:

the person shall be deemed to have committed the offence and is liable to pay the fine and costs as set out in the offence notice, and a default conviction shall be entered against the person automatically and without the intervention of a justice.

17(3)       Subsection 17(2.2) is replaced with the following:

Notice of default conviction

17(2.2)     When a default conviction is entered against a person under subsection (2) or (2.1), the court must send to the person, by regular prepaid mail at the address set out in the offence notice, a notice stating

(a) that a default conviction has been entered against the person; and

(b) the fine and costs, and any additional penalty under section 17.1, that are payable by the person.

17(4)       The section heading for subsection 17(3) is replaced with "Default conviction: no set fine".

17(5)       Subsection 17(8) is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "(2) or".

17(6)       The following is added after subsection 17(11):

No application to designated offences

17(12)      Subsections (1) to (10) do not apply to a designated offence.

18          Subsection 17.1(1) is amended by striking out "subsection 17(2), (2.1), (3) or (10)" and substituting "section 16.1 or 17".

19          Section 18 is amended by striking out "subsections 17(4), 19(1)" and substituting "subsections 17(2.2) and (4)".

20(1)       Subsection 19.1(1) is replaced with the following:

Powers of registrar re unpaid fines

19.1(1)     If a person convicted of an offence under an Act or regulation fails to pay the fine and costs imposed in respect of the offence and any additional penalty payable under section 17.1, the registrar may, subject to subsections (2) and (3), do one or more of the following:

(a) refuse to issue or renew the person's driver's licence;

(b) refuse to issue a vehicle registration or permit to the person;

(c) refuse to renew the person's registration of any vehicle.

20(2)       Subsection 19.1(1.1) is repealed.

20(3)       Subsection 19.1(2) is amended by striking out "in subsection (1) or (1.1)" and substituting "under subsection (1)".

20(4)       Subsection 19.1(4) and the part of subsection 19.1(6) before clause (a) are amended by striking out "or (1.1)".

21          Sections 19.3 and 19.4 are amended by striking out "or (1.1)".

22          The following is added after subsection 20(5):

No application to designated offences

20(6)       This section does not apply to a designated offence.

23          Subsection 20.1(1) is amended

(a) by striking out "subsections 17(7), 19(2) and 20(3)" and substituting "subsection 17(7) or 20(3)"; and

(b) by adding "under that subsection" at the end.

24          Section 30 is amended

(a) in clause (c), by adding "set" before "fines"; and

(b) by adding the following after clause(c.1):

(c.2) respecting the filing of an offence notice or the information part of an offence notice with a justice in a court office;

(c.3) for the purpose of section 16.1,

(i) designating municipalities,

(ii) designating offences in relation to designated municipalities,

(iii) designating offences under The Public Works Act,

(iv) respecting the appointment of screening officers,

(v) respecting the authority of screening officers,

(vi) authorizing the use of compliance agreements, and prescribing requirements for such agreements;

Transitional

25          For greater certainty, subsection 19.1(1) of The Summary Convictions Act, as enacted by subsection 20(1) of this Act, applies in respect of any fine, costs, or other penalty, any part of which is unpaid on the day this Act comes into force, despite the fact that the conviction for which it was imposed occurred before that day.

PART 4

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force

26(1)       Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Coming into force:  Part 3

26(2)       Part 3 comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.