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The Court Practice and Administration Act (Various Acts Amended)

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S.M. 2021, c. 40

Bill 46, 3rd Session, 42nd Legislature

The Court Practice and Administration Act (Various Acts Amended)

Explanatory Note

This note was written as a reader's aid to the Bill and is not part of the law.

This Bill amends several Acts that govern the administration and practice of Manitoba's courts.

The Court of Appeal Act and The Court of Queen's Bench Act are amended to allow judges to attend conferences dealing with the administration of justice. This will enable the costs of attending these conferences to be paid by the federal government. Both Acts are amended to address when decisions may be appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Provincial Court Act is amended to clarify the eligibility requirements for justices of the peace. The limit on the number of retired judges who are authorized to perform judicial functions is eliminated.

The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act is amended to require a hearing transcript to be obtained by all persons seeking leave to appeal a decision of a court officer. The Act is also amended to address appeals of default decisions.

The Court Services Fees Act is updated to reflect the fact that some services in relation to court proceedings are not provided by government employees.

The eligibility requirements for jurors set out in The Jury Act are updated. A person charged or convicted of a criminal offence is now eligible to serve as a juror, unless the person is convicted of an indictable offence. A provision that prevented jurors from being paid for the first 10 days of jury duty is repealed.

The Department of Justice Act is amended so that the fees payable for witnesses and interpreters are no longer set by regulation. A consequential amendment is made to The Fatality Inquiries Act.

(Assented to May 20, 2021)

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

PART 1

THE COURT OF APPEAL ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C240 amended

1

The Court of Appeal Act is amended by this Part.

2

The following is added after section 12.1:

Conferences re administration of justice

12.2

For the purpose of section 41 of the Judges Act (Canada), a judge is authorized to attend, with the approval of the Chief Justice of Manitoba, a meeting, conference or seminar that is held for a purpose relating to the administration of justice.

3

The following is added after section 25:

Appeals to court

25.1(1)

Subject to subsection (2) and section 25.2, an appeal may be made to the court in respect of the following:

(a) the verdict of a jury in a trial in the Court of Queen's Bench;

(b) an order or judgment of a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench;

(c) a decision of any other court or a tribunal, if a right of appeal to the court is provided by an enactment.

Exception

25.1(2)

If an enactment

(a) provides that there is no appeal from a decision set out in subsection (1); or

(b) confers a limited right of appeal or imposes conditions on the ability to appeal;

the enactment prevails over subsection (1).

Definition of "enactment"

25.1(3)

In this section, "enactment" means

(a) an Act or a regulation made under an Act; or

(b) an Act of the Parliament of Canada or a regulation made under such an Act.

Leave required for interlocutory appeals

25.2(1)

Subject to subsection (2), an appeal must not be made to the court with respect to an interlocutory order of a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench unless leave to appeal is granted by a judge or the court.

Exceptions

25.2(2)

Leave to appeal an interlocutory order is not required

(a) in a proceeding involving the liberty of a person or the custody of a minor;

(b) if the order grants or declines to grant a stay or an interlocutory injunction; or

(c) in other cases specified in the rules.

4

The following is added after clause 33(a):

(a.1) specifying cases in which leave to appeal an interlocutory order is not required for the purpose of clause 25.2(2)(c);

PART 2

THE PROVINCIAL COURT ACT

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

5

The Provincial Court Act is amended by this Part.

6

Subsection 6.5(4) is repealed.

7(1)

Subsection 41(1) is replaced with the following:

Eligibility — staff and community justices of the peace

41(1)

A person must be a Manitoba resident who is at least 18 years old to be eligible to be appointed as a staff justice of the peace or a community justice of the peace.

7(2)

Subsection 41(2) is amended, in the part before clause (a), by striking out "justice of the peace" and substituting "staff justice of the peace or a community justice of the peace".

8

Subsection 42.2(4) is amended, in the part before clause (a), by striking out "In addition to the requirements of section 41, the committee" and substituting "The committee".

9

Clause 75(b.1) is repealed.

PART 3

THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH ACT

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

10

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

11

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

Conferences re administration of justice

10.1

For the purpose of section 41 of the Judges Act (Canada), a judge is authorized to attend, with the approval of the chief justice, a meeting, conference or seminar that is held for a purpose relating to the administration of justice.

12

Section 89 is replaced with the following:

Appeals to Court of Appeal

89

Unless an Act provides otherwise, an order made by the court and the verdict of a jury may be appealed, in whole or in part, if permitted under sections 25.1 and 25.2 of The Court of Appeal Act.

PART 4

THE COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH SMALL CLAIMS PRACTICES ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C285 amended

13

The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act is amended by this Part.

14

The following is added after section 8.0.3:

Appeal by claimant

8.0.4

A claimant may appeal a decision made under section 8.0.3. The appeal is subject to the applicable restrictions and requirements set out in section 12 or 15.

15(1)

Subsections 12(2) to (5) are replaced with the following:

Application for leave to appeal

12(2)

Within 30 days after the certificate of decision is filed, a party applying for leave to appeal a decision made by a court officer must file the following documents in the administrative centre of the court where the claim was filed:

(a) an application for leave to appeal;

(b) a notice of appeal;

(c) a copy of the transcript of the proceedings before the court officer or proof that a transcript of the proceedings has been ordered.

Extending time for application for leave

12(3)

On motion, a judge may extend the time for a party to file the documents required under subsection (2) to apply for leave to appeal.

Appointment for hearing

12(4)

When the documents required under subsection (2) have been filed, a court officer must

(a) set the date and time for the hearing on the application for leave to appeal; and

(b) provide the party applying for leave to appeal with an appointment form that sets out the date, time and location of the hearing on the application for leave to appeal.

Service

12(5)

Within 20 days after the application for leave to appeal has been filed, the party seeking leave must serve the following documents on every other party:

(a) the application for leave to appeal;

(b) the notice of appeal;

(c) the transcript of the proceedings before the court officer;

(d) the hearing appointment form.

On motion, a judge may extend the time for the party to serve these documents.

15(2)

Subsection 12(6) is amended by striking out "Upon the filing of an application for leave to appeal and notice of appeal," and substituting "When an application for leave to appeal has been filed,".

15(3)

Subsection 12(8) is replaced with the following:

Judge to direct conduct of appeal

12(8)

If a judge grants leave to appeal, that judge must

(a) set the date and time for the hearing of the appeal; and

(b) inform the parties

(i) whether the appeal will be heard by oral argument or by a new hearing of the evidence, and

(ii) what written materials must be filed and served and the time periods for this to occur.

15(4)

Subsection 12(9) is repealed.

PART 5

THE COURT SERVICES FEES ACT

C.C.S.M. c. C297 amended

16

The Court Services Fees Act is amended by this Part.

17

Section 1 is amended

(a) by repealing the definition "fee"; and

(b) by adding the following definitions:

"court official" means a government employee who provides services in relation to a proceeding; (« fonctionnaire de justice »)

"third party" means a person who is not a government employee. (« tiers »)

18

Sections 2 and 3 are replaced with the following:

Fees

2

A party to a proceeding must pay the prescribed fee for any filing, process or service taken or required in the proceeding.

Payment to proper officer

3(1)

The fee payable for a filing, process or service related to a proceeding that is provided by a court official must be paid to the proper officer of the court.

Payment to third party

3(2)

The fee payable for a service related to a proceeding that is provided by a third party must be paid to the third party.

19

Section 4 and subsection 7(1) are repealed.

20

Section 10 is amended

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

(c) respecting the manner in which fees payable to a proper officer may be paid;

(b) by repealing clause (d); and

(c) by adding the following as clauses (e) to (g):

(e) prescribing the fees payable to obtain copies of court documents, access court files and obtain information respecting court proceedings;

(f) defining any word used but not defined in this Act;

(g) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.

PART 6

THE JURY ACT

C.C.S.M. c. J30 amended

21

The Jury Act is amended by this Part.

22

Sections 2 and 3 are replaced with the following:

Who may serve as a juror

2

Subject to sections 3 to 4, every Manitoba resident who is 18 years of age or older may serve as a juror.

Disqualified persons

3

The following persons are disqualified from serving as a juror:

(a) the Lieutenant Governor and a member or officer of the Legislative Assembly, the House of Commons or the Senate of Canada;

(b) a judge, master or justice of the peace;

(c) a member of The Law Society of Manitoba;

(d) an officer or employee of the Department of Justice in the Government of Manitoba;

(e) an officer or employee of the Department of Justice, the Public Prosecution Service or the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in the Government of Canada;

(f) a member of a police service;

(g) a medical examiner under The Fatality Inquiries Act;

(h) a person convicted of an indictable offence, unless the person has been granted a record suspension under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) or a pardon;

(i) a member of a class of persons prescribed by regulation.

23

The following is added after section 3:

Ineligibility if disability cannot be accommodated

3.1

A person is not eligible to serve as a juror if the person has a disability that cannot reasonably be accommodated in a manner that allows them to properly discharge the duties of a juror.

24(1)

Subsection 26(1) is amended

(a) by replacing the section heading with "Disqualification, ineligibility or exemption";

(b) by adding "or who is ineligible" after "who is not qualified"; and

(c) by adding "or ineligibility" after "grounds of the disqualification".

24(2)

Subsection 26(2) is replaced with the following:

Proof from medical practitioner

26(2)

If a person claims that they are ineligible to serve as a juror due to a disability or that they should be exempted from jury service because of a physical or mental condition, the sheriff may require the person to provide a certificate or letter from a medical practitioner that sets out the nature of the person's disability or condition and how the disability or condition affects the person's ability to serve as a juror.

25

Section 34 is repealed.

26

Section 42 is replaced with the following:

Fees and expenses

42

A juror is to be paid the fees and expenses prescribed by regulation for their services.

27

Sections 43 and 45 are repealed.

28

Section 53 is amended

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

(b) prescribing the fees and expenses payable to jurors and the manner in which fees and expenses are to be paid to jurors;

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

(b.1) prescribing additional classes of persons who are disqualified from serving as a juror;

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

(d) respecting any matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.

PART 7

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ACT

C.C.S.M. c. J35 amended

29

The Department of Justice Act is amended by this Part.

30

Section 11 is amended by striking out "sections 12, 13, 14, 15 and 15.1" and substituting "sections 12, 13 and 15.1".

31

Sections 12 and 13 are replaced with the following:

Crown may retain expert witnesses

12

The Crown may retain the services of persons with specialized knowledge, training or experience to provide opinion evidence at a trial.

Interpreters

13

When necessary for the purposes of a trial, the Crown may retain the services of a qualified interpreter.

32

Sections 14 and 15 are repealed.

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. F52

33

Subsection 30(4) of The Fatality Inquiries Act is repealed.

PART 8

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force

34

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