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The Municipal By-law Enforcement Act
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This version is current as of December 15, 2017.
It has been in effect since February 6, 2017.

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C.C.S.M. c. M245

The Municipal By-law Enforcement Act

(Assented to December 5, 2013)

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

PURPOSE OF THIS ACT

Purpose of this Act

1           The purpose of this Act is to give municipalities the ability to process and resolve parking violations and other contraventions of their by-laws using an administrative penalty scheme that does not involve court proceedings.

DEFINITIONS

Definitions

2           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"adjudicator" means a person appointed under section 15. (« arbitre »)

"by-law enforcement officer" means a person appointed or designated under The Municipal Act or The City of Winnipeg Charter to enforce the by-laws of a municipality, and includes a designated employee or officer under The Planning Act. (« agent d'exécution des règlements »)

"compliance agreement" means a compliance agreement under section 12 that is authorized by a by-law under clause 3(2)(d). (« accord d'observation »)

"designated by-law contravention" means a contravention of a by-law designated under clause 3(2)(a). (« contravention désignée »)

"licence plate" of a vehicle means a number plate as defined in The Drivers and Vehicles Act. (« plaque d'immatriculation »)

"municipality" includes a local government district and a planning district under The Planning Act. (« municipalité »)

"owner", in relation to a vehicle, has the same meaning as in The Drivers and Vehicles Act. (« propriétaire »)

"parking", in relation to a vehicle, includes the standing or stopping of a vehicle. (« stationnement »)

"penalty notice" means a notice under section 6 issued in respect of a designated by-law contravention. (« avis de pénalité »)

"Registrar of Motor Vehicles" means the Registrar of Motor Vehicles appointed under The Drivers and Vehicles Act. (« registraire des véhicules automobiles »)

"screening officer" means a person appointed as a screening officer by a municipality. (« agent de contrôle »)

"vehicle" means a motor vehicle or vehicle as defined in The Highway Traffic Act. (« véhicule »)

AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES

Authority to impose administrative penalties

3(1)        A municipality may, in accordance with this Act, require administrative penalties to be paid in respect of the contravention of its by-laws.

By-law must be passed

3(2)        A municipality may only require administrative penalties to be paid if it first passes a by-law that does the following:

(a) designates the by-law contraventions that may be dealt with by a penalty notice;

(b) sets the amount of the administrative penalty for each contravention, which must not exceed the amount prescribed by regulation;

(c) sets the period within which a person may pay the administrative penalty or request a review by a screening officer, subject to subsection 10(2);

(d) provides for the appointment of one or more screening officers and specifies their powers and duties, which may include

(i) the power to reduce the amount of an administrative penalty set out in a penalty notice, and

(ii) the power to enter into a compliance agreement, on behalf of the municipality, with a person to whom a penalty notice has been issued;

(e) sets the period within which a person must deal with a screening officer's decision under subsection 11(2);

(f) establishes an adjudication scheme described in section 14 to resolve matters relating to administrative penalties and compliance agreements.

Additional by-law powers

3(3)        A municipality that passes a by-law under subsection (2) may also, by by-law,

(a) provide for an early payment discount of administrative penalties;

(b) if the powers of a screening officer specified under clause (2)(d) include the power to reduce the amount of an administrative penalty, set out the grounds on which that may be done;

(c) if the powers of a screening officer specified under clause (2)(d) include the power to enter into compliance agreements on behalf of the municipality,

(i) specify the by-law contraventions in relation to which a screening officer may enter into a compliance agreement,

(ii) set the terms that may be included in a compliance agreement to encourage compliance with the by-law,

(iii) set the maximum duration of a compliance agreement, and

(iv) extend the time for requesting an adjudication about a compliance agreement under subsection 13(1);

(d) set out any additional grounds on which a screening officer or adjudicator is authorized to cancel a penalty notice under subclause 11(1)(d)(iii) or 19(2)(c)(iii);

(e) establish a fee payable to file a request for adjudication, which must not exceed $25;

(f) do any other thing authorized by the regulations.

Authority of planning districts

3(4)        In addition to requiring administrative penalties to be paid in respect of the contravention of its own by-laws, a planning district may require penalties to be paid under this Act in respect of the contravention of the by-laws of its member municipalities referred to in section 14 of The Planning Act.

By-laws subject to the regulations

3(5)        A by-law under this section is subject to the regulations.

Summary Convictions Act does not apply

4(1)        If a by-law contravention has been designated under clause 3(2)(a), The Summary Convictions Act does not apply to the contravention.

Parking only enforceable by administrative penalty

4(2)        A by-law concerning the parking of vehicles may only be enforced by issuing a penalty notice under this Act, and may not be enforced by a proceeding under The Summary Convictions Act.

Municipalities may join together

5(1)        Anything that a municipality is authorized to do under this Act may be done jointly by two or more municipalities by agreement approved by each municipality that is a party to it.

Agreement

5(2)        An agreement may provide for any matter necessary for the enforcement of by-laws by penalty notice under this Act, including but not limited to the following:

(a) cost sharing and joint administration of the administrative penalty scheme under this Act;

(b) joint designation of by-law enforcement officers and screening officers.

PENALTY NOTICES

Penalty notice

6(1)        A by-law enforcement officer may complete and issue a penalty notice to a person against whom a designated by-law contravention is alleged.

Content of penalty notice

6(2)        A penalty notice must set out the following:

(a) the alleged by-law contravention in sufficient detail that the person who receives the notice would be able to identify the by-law and the contravention alleged;

(b) the amount of the administrative penalty, the amount of any early payment discount and the consequences of failing to respond to the penalty notice;

(c) how to pay the administrative penalty or request a review by a screening officer;

(d) any information required by the regulations.

Notice issued to named person, except for parking

6(3)        A penalty notice must be issued to a named person unless it is issued for a by-law contravention respecting the parking of a vehicle, in which case the notice must set out the vehicle's licence plate if it has one or, if not, the vehicle identification number.

Electronic notice

6(4)        A penalty notice may be completed, issued and stored by any means that allows it to be reproduced in an understandable form, including electronically.

No signature required

6(5)        A penalty notice is not invalid by reason only that it is not signed by the by-law enforcement officer who issues it.

Vehicle owner liable

7           When a penalty notice respecting the parking of a vehicle is delivered in accordance with section 9, the owner of the vehicle indicated in the records of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles is liable to pay the administrative penalty set out in the notice.

Limitation period — one year

8           A penalty notice may not be issued more than one year after the designated by-law contravention for which it is issued is alleged to have occurred.

DELIVERING THE PENALTY NOTICE

Delivery of penalty notice

9(1)        A penalty notice may be delivered in the following ways:

(a) by personal delivery;

(b) if the penalty notice is in respect of the parking of a vehicle, by leaving the penalty notice on the vehicle;

(c) by mailing a copy of the penalty notice by regular mail,

(i) if the penalty notice is for a contravention involving a vehicle, to the address of the vehicle owner indicated in the records of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles,

(ii) to the last known address of the person named in the penalty notice, which may be an address indicated in the records of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, or

(iii) if the person named in the penalty notice is a corporation, to the corporation's registered office;

(d) in a manner prescribed by regulation.

If notice left on vehicle

9(2)        A penalty notice that is left on a vehicle under clause (1)(b) is deemed to have been delivered to the vehicle owner on the day it is left.

If notice is mailed

9(3)        A penalty notice that is mailed under clause (1)(c) is deemed to have been delivered to the person to whom it is addressed seven days after the day it was mailed.

If notice delivered in prescribed manner

9(4)        A penalty notice that is delivered under clause (1)(d) is deemed to have been delivered at the time prescribed by regulation.

HOW TO RESPOND TO A PENALTY NOTICE

How to respond to a penalty notice

10(1)       A person to whom a penalty notice is delivered may, within the period set by by-law and in accordance with the instructions on the notice,

(a) pay the administrative penalty; or

(b) request a review by a screening officer.

Minimum period to respond

10(2)       The period to respond under subsection (1) must not be less than 30 days after the date on which the penalty notice is delivered under section 9.

REVIEW BY SCREENING OFFICER

Powers of screening officer

11(1)       On a review, a screening officer may make one of the following decisions:

(a) confirm the administrative penalty;

(b) if authorized by by-law, reduce the amount of the administrative penalty on any grounds permitted by by-law;

(c) if authorized by by-law, enter into a compliance agreement with the person on behalf of the municipality;

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

(i) the contravention did not occur as alleged,

(ii) the penalty notice does not comply with subsection 6(2), or

(iii) a ground for cancellation authorized under the by-law exists.

Option to pay or ask for review

11(2)       When a decision is made under clause (1)(a) or (b), the screening officer must give the person notice of the decision and inform them that they must, within the period set by by-law,

(a) pay the administrative penalty, or pay the reduced amount if the screening officer reduced it; or

(b) in accordance with the by-law, request an adjudicator to review the screening officer's decision.

If adjudication not required

11(3)       If a person does not request an adjudication under clause (2)(b) within the period set by by-law, the amount of any administrative penalty set by the screening officer under subsection (1) is immediately due and payable to the municipality.

COMPLIANCE AGREEMENTS

Purpose of compliance agreement

12(1)       The purpose of a compliance agreement is to give a person who has contravened a designated by-law an opportunity to bring themselves into compliance with the by-law without having to pay the administrative penalty set out in a penalty notice.

Compliance agreement — admission of responsibility

12(2)       A person who agrees to enter into a compliance agreement with a screening officer is deemed to have admitted responsibility for the contravention alleged in the penalty notice.

Written agreement

12(3)       A compliance agreement must be in writing and the screening officer must give a copy to the person who has entered into it.

No penalty if person complies with agreement

12(4)       A person who has entered into a compliance agreement is not required to pay the administrative penalty set out in the penalty notice if the person complies with the terms of the agreement.

Agreement ended if not complied with

12(5)       If the screening officer believes that a person who has entered into a compliance agreement has failed to comply with its terms, the screening officer may end the agreement and give the person notice of that fact by regular mail. The notice is deemed to have been received seven days after the day it was mailed.

Options after agreement ends

13(1)       When a screening officer ends a compliance agreement, the person who entered into it may, within 14 days after receiving notice under subsection 12(5) or within any longer period permitted by by-law,

(a) pay the administrative penalty set out in the penalty notice; or

(b) request the screening officer to submit for adjudication the issue of whether the person complied with the terms of the agreement.

Penalty due if no request for adjudication

13(2)       If the person does not request adjudication within the period provided for in subsection (1), the administrative penalty set out in the penalty notice is immediately due and payable to the municipality.

ADJUDICATION

Adjudication

14          An adjudication scheme established by a municipality in accordance with this Act must allow a person to whom a penalty notice has been issued to do the following:

(a) request a review of a screening officer's decision to confirm or reduce the administrative penalty set out in the penalty notice;

(b) request a determination of a dispute as to whether the terms of a compliance agreement were complied with.

Adjudicators

15(1)       The Deputy Attorney General must appoint one or more adjudicators for the purpose of section 14.

Qualifications

15(2)       An adjudicator must

(a) have the qualifications prescribed by regulation;

(b) not be an employee or elected official of a municipality; and

(c) take an oath of office in the form prescribed by regulation.

Rosters

15(3)       A roster or rosters of adjudicators appointed under subsection (1) must be established for the purpose of selecting adjudicators to hear matters referred to in section 14. Rosters may be established for the province generally, or for one or more municipalities.

Selection from roster

15(4)       An adjudicator for a matter must be selected from a roster in accordance with procedures established by regulation.

Conflict of interest

16          An adjudicator may not hear a matter if he or she is reasonably apprehended to have a bias or an interest in relation to the outcome of the matter.

Opportunity to be heard

17(1)       When an adjudication is held under this Act, the adjudicator must give the parties an opportunity to be heard and to examine and make copies of any information that has been submitted to the adjudicator for the purpose of the adjudication.

Manner of hearing

17(2)       The adjudicator may allow a party to be heard

(a) by telephone or in writing, including by fax or e-mail; or

(b) through the use of a video or audio link or other available electronic means.

In person or by agent

17(3)       A person may be heard in person or by an agent.

Failure to appear — amount due

17(4)       If a person who has requested adjudication fails to appear or otherwise participate, the adjudicator must order that the amount of the administrative penalty set by the screening officer is immediately due and payable to the municipality.

Procedures

17(5)       An adjudicator may

(a) adjourn a hearing; and

(b) subject to the regulations, adopt procedures that are conducive to determining the matter in a fair and timely way.

Evidence

18(1)       In a matter being considered by an adjudicator, the adjudicator may admit as evidence anything that he or she considers relevant to an issue, whether or not it would be admissible under the laws of evidence.

Exception

18(2)       An adjudicator may not admit anything under subsection (1) that is subject to solicitor-client privilege or privileged under the laws of evidence.

Manner of accepting evidence

18(3)       An adjudicator may accept evidence in any manner he or she considers appropriate including, but not limited to, orally, in writing and electronically.

ADJUDICATOR'S DECISION

Adjudicator's decision — standard of proof

19(1)       The standard of proof for making a decision on an adjudication under this Act is proof on a balance of probabilities.

Decision re penalty

19(2)       After a hearing — other than one in relation to a compliance agreement — the adjudicator must

(a) order that the administrative penalty set out in the penalty notice is immediately due and payable to the municipality;

(b) order that a reduced penalty is immediately due and payable to the municipality, if there are grounds for doing so permitted under clause 11(1)(b) or the adjudicator is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist; or

(c) cancel the penalty notice if, in the adjudicator's opinion,

(i) the contravention did not occur as alleged,

(ii) the penalty notice does not comply with subsection 6(2), or

(iii) a ground for cancellation authorized under the by-law exists.

Decision re dispute on a compliance agreement

19(3)       After hearing a dispute about a compliance agreement, the adjudicator must,

(a) if satisfied that the person failed to comply with the terms of the compliance agreement, order that the administrative penalty set out in the penalty notice is immediately due and payable to the municipality; or

(b) if satisfied that the person complied with the terms of the compliance agreement, order that the person is not required to pay the administrative penalty set out in the penalty notice.

Notice of the decision

19(4)       The adjudicator's decision is to be reduced to writing and a copy given to the person who requested the adjudication and to the municipality.

Decision available to public

19(5)       The adjudicator's decision must be made available to the public.

Adjudicator's decision is final

20(1)       The decision of an adjudicator under section 19 is final and conclusive and is not open to appeal.

Judicial review within 30 days

20(2)       An application for judicial review of an adjudicator's decision must be brought within 30 days after the decision is made.

COSTS AND ADMINISTRATION OF ADJUDICATION SCHEME

Costs and administration of adjudication scheme

21(1)       A municipality is responsible for

(a) the administration of and the administrative costs relating to adjudication under this Act;

(b) the remuneration and expenses of adjudicators at rates established by regulation; and

(c) subject to the regulations, the cost of administering a roster of adjudicators.

Fee if person unsuccessful

21(2)       If a by-law under clause 3(3)(e) requires a person requesting adjudication to pay a fee, the adjudicator must order the fee to be refunded if the person is successful in the adjudication, and it is up to the adjudicator to decide if the person was successful in any particular case.

FINAL NOTICE

Final notice required if no response to penalty notice

22(1)       If, at the end of the period for responding to a penalty notice under section 10, a person to whom a penalty notice was delivered has not responded, the municipality must deliver a final notice to the person indicating the amount of the administrative penalty owing and how and when it must be paid.

Delivery of final notice

22(2)       A final notice may be delivered in a manner authorized under section 9 other than by leaving it on a vehicle, and is deemed to be delivered as set out in that section.

Responding to a final notice

22(3)       A person to whom a final notice is delivered under subsection (1) may, within 30 days after delivery,

(a) pay the administrative penalty set out in the final notice; or

(b) request a review by a screening officer.

When review requested

22(4)       When a review is requested under clause (3)(b), sections 11 to 21 apply with necessary changes.

If no action taken on final notice

22(5)       If the person to whom a final notice is delivered does not take any action under subsection (3) within the 30-day period, the administrative penalty set out in the final notice is immediately due and payable to the municipality.

Limit on collection

22(6)       The municipality must not take collection proceedings under section 23 or 24 until 30 days after the date a final notice is delivered under subsection (1) and, if a review is requested under clause (3)(b), collection proceedings may not be taken until the review and any adjudication are concluded.

COLLECTION OF PENALTIES

Amount owing enforced as court judgment

23(1)       A municipality may issue a certificate showing the name of a person required to pay an administrative penalty or penalties and the total amount of administrative penalties due and payable by the person, and may file the certificate in the Court of Queen's Bench. Once filed, the certificate becomes a judgment of the Court and may be enforced as a judgment.

No certificate for amount owing for more than six years

23(2)       A certificate may not be filed for an amount that has been owed to the municipality for more than six years before the date of the certificate.

Lien remedy

24          For the purpose of enforcing payment of amounts due and payable to a municipality in relation to designated by-law contraventions, a municipality has the powers and duties of an authority under sections 23.1 to 23.3 of The Summary Convictions Act. Those sections apply not only to amounts due and payable in relation to contraventions involving the parking of a vehicle, but to amounts due and payable in relation to all designated by-law contraventions for which a penalty notice is issued under this Act.

GENERAL

Limit on authority of screening officers and adjudicators

25          Neither a screening officer nor an adjudicator has the authority to inquire into or make a decision concerning

(a) the constitutional validity of a provision of a statute, regulation or by-law; or

(b) the legislative authority for a regulation or by-law made under an Act.

Regulations

26(1)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing that contraventions of by-laws in relation to specified matters may not be designated by a municipal by-law under clause 3(2)(a);

(b) for the purpose of clause 3(2)(b), prescribing the maximum amount of an administrative penalty under this Act;

(c) authorizing a municipality to do additional things by by-law for the purpose of clause 3(3)(f);

(d) prescribing information that must be included in a penalty notice;

(e) for the purpose of clause 9(1)(d), prescribing another manner of delivering penalty notices and prescribing when notices delivered in that manner are deemed to be delivered;

(f) respecting adjudicators, including

(i) prescribing the qualifications that a person must have to be eligible to be appointed,

(ii) prescribing an oath of office,

(iii) establishing the rate of remuneration and expenses to be paid, and

(iv) specifying procedures that an adjudicator must follow;

(g) establishing procedures for maintaining a roster or rosters of adjudicators and selecting adjudicators from a roster;

(h) respecting the payment by municipalities of the cost of administering a roster of adjudicators;

(i) authorizing a municipality, by by-law, to require the payment of an additional fee to cover the costs of collection of unpaid penalties, and respecting how such a fee may be collected;

(j) imposing conditions and limitations on a municipality's powers with respect to administrative penalties;

(k) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for the purpose of this Act.

Types of regulation

26(2)       A regulation under this section

(a) may be general or particular in its application and may apply to one or more municipalities; and

(b) may delegate a matter to a person or organization, including the maintenance of rosters of adjudicators.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

27 to 29    

NOTE: These sections contained consequential amendments to other Acts that are now included in those Acts.

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. reference

30          This Act may be referred to as chapter M245 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

31          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

NOTE:  S.M. 2013, c. 47, Sch. B came into force by proclamation on August 8, 2016.

NOTE:  Subsection 4(2) of S.M. 2013, c. 47, Sch. B came into force by proclamation on February 6, 2017.