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C.C.S.M. c. P8
The Parental Responsibility Act
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(Assented to November 19, 1996)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act,
"agency" means an agency as defined in The Child and Family Services Act; (« office »)
"child" means a person who is under the age of 18 years; (« enfant »)
"director" means the director as defined in The Child and Family Services Act; (« directeur »)
"owner" includes a person who has the legal right of possession of the property; (« propriétaire »)
(a) in a case where a biological parent, or a person declared to be the parent of a child under Part II of The Family Maintenance Act, is responsible for the care and control of a child, the biological parent of the child or the person declared to be the parent of the child under Part II of The Family Maintenance Act, as the case may be,
(b) in a case where an adoptive parent is responsible for the care and control of a child, the adoptive parent of the child, or
(c) in a case where a court of competent jurisdiction has appointed a person as guardian of the person of a child, the guardian of the child,
but does not include the director or an agency who or which is responsible pursuant to any Act or arrangement for the care or supervision of a child; (« père ou mère » ou « père et mère »)
"property loss" means the loss experienced by an owner of property as a result of an act of a child as described in section 3. (« perte matérielle »)
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that parents are held reasonably accountable for the activities of their children in relation to the property of other people.
The parent of a child who deliberately takes, damages or destroys the property of another person is liable for the loss suffered by the owner of the property as a result of the activity of the child, and the owner of the property may commence a civil action under this Act against the parent of the child to recover damages, in an amount not exceeding $10,000., in respect of the owner's loss.
In an action under this Act, a certificate of decision regarding a conviction made under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) purporting to be signed by an officer of the court of record and showing that the child has been found guilty of an offence in respect of the activity that caused the property loss is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the child was found guilty of an offence under that Act and that the child caused the property loss of the owner.
An action under this Act shall be commenced in accordance with The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act.
For greater certainty, not more than one award of damages may be made under this Act arising out of the same act of the same child.
It is a defence to an action under this Act if the parent establishes to the satisfaction of the court that he or she
(a) was exercising reasonable supervision over the child at the time the child engaged in the activity that caused the property loss; and
(b) made reasonable efforts in good faith to prevent or discourage the child from engaging in the kind of activity that resulted in the property loss.
The onus of establishing a defence under subsection (1) rests with the parent.
In determining whether a parent exercised reasonable supervision over a child or made reasonable efforts to prevent or discourage the child from engaging in the kind of activity that resulted in the property loss, the court may consider
(a) the age of the child;
(b) the prior conduct of the child;
(c) the potential danger of the activity;
(d) the physical or mental capacity of the child;
(e) any psychological or other medical disorders of the child;
(f) whether the danger arising from the child's conduct was reasonably foreseeable by the parent;
(g) whether the parent was responsible for the care and control of the child at the time when the child engaged in the activity that resulted in the property loss;
(h) if the child was temporarily out of the care and control of the parent when the child engaged in the activity that resulted in the property loss, whether the parent made reasonable arrangements for the supervision of the child in the temporary location;
(i) whether the parent has sought to improve his or her parenting skills by attending parenting courses or otherwise;
(j) whether the parent has sought professional assistance for the child designed to discourage activity of the kind that resulted in the property loss; and
(k) any other matter that the court considers relevant to the determination.
In awarding damages under this Act, the court may order payment of the damages
(a) to be made in full before a fixed date; or
(b) to be made in installments by fixed dates, if the court considers that a lump sum payment is beyond the financial resources of the parent or will otherwise impose an unreasonable financial burden on the parent.
If in the opinion of the court security is necessary, the court may order security to be provided by the parent in any form that the court considers appropriate.
An insurer who has paid an amount as compensation to a person in connection with property loss is subrogated to the rights of that person under this Act to the extent of that amount.
Subject to subsection (2), the right of action and remedies under this Act are in addition to any other right of action or remedy that may be available, but this section is not to be construed as requiring any damages awarded under this Act to be disregarded in assessing damages in any other proceedings arising out of the same activity of the child.
In determining the amount of damages under this Act, the court may consider any amount ordered as restitution under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada).
This Act may be referred to as chapter P8 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.
NOTE: S.M. 1996, c. 61, was proclaimed in force September 22, 1997.