|This is an unofficial archived version of The Jury Act|
as enacted by SM 1987-88, c. 9 on July 17, 1987.
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R.S.M. 1987, c. J30
The Jury Act
|Table of Contents|
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act
"appropriate list" means any list of names and addresses made or maintained by a department or agency of the government that is designated in the regulations as an appropriate list for the purposes of this act including any voters' list or electors' list, as finally revised, prepared for the election of members of the Assembly, or of a council of a municipality within the province or of a board of trustees of a school division or school district within the province, and designated in the regulations as an appropriate list for the purposes of this Act; ("liste appropriée")
"Chief Sheriff" means the Chief Sheriff for the province appointed under The Sheriffs Act; ("shérif en chef)
"clerk" means the Registrar of the court or a deputy registrar; ("greffier")
"court" means Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Manitoba; ("tribunal")
"jurors' list" means the list of names of the persons summoned by a sheriff to serve as jurors at a sitting of the court; ("liste de jurés")
"jurors' roll" means a jurors roll prepared for a jury district by the Chief Sheriff by a random selection from appropriate lists; ("registre des jurés")
"jury district" means an area of the province described under section 8 as a jury district in respect of a judicial centre; ("district de jury")
"jury panel" means the persons who attend at court and from whom a jury may be selected for the trial of an action or issue by jury; ("tableau des jurés")
"jury trial" means the trial of an action or issue which is to be tried with a jury and the trial of a criminal matter and proceeding with a jury; ("procès par jury")
"sheriff" where used to refer to a sheriff responsible for a jury district means a sheriff appointed under The Sheriffs Act who has been designated by the Chief Sheriff as the sheriff responsible for the administration of this Act within the jury district. ("shérif)
Every person has the right and duty to serve as a juror unless disqualified or exempted under this Act.
Every person is disqualified from serving as a juror who is
(a) not a Canadian citizen; or
(b) not resident in the province; or
(c) under the age of majority; or
(d) a member or officer of the Parliament of Canada or the Privy Council of Canada; or
(e) a member or officer of the Legislature or the Executive Council; or
(f) a judge, magistrate or justice of the peace; or
(g) an officer or employee of the Department of Justice or of the Department of the Solicitor-General in the Government of Canada; or
(h) an officer or employee of the Department of the Attorney-General in the Government of Manitoba; or
(i) a member of the Law Society of Manitoba; or
(j) a court official; or
(k) a sheriff or sheriff's officer ; or
(l) a peace-officer or a member of a police force; or
(m) a warden, correctional officer or person employed in a penitentiary, prison or correctional institution or a probation officer; or
(n) a medical examiner under The Fatality Inquiries Act; or
(o) a person afflicted with blindness or deafness or a mental or physical infirmity incompatible with the discharge of the duties of a juror; or
(p) a person convicted of an indictable offence, unless he has been pardoned; or
(q) a person convicted within the previous five years of an offence for which the punishment could be a fine of $5,000. or more or imprisonment for one year or more, unless he has been pardoned; or
(r) a person charged within the previous two years with an offence for which the punishment could be a fine of $5,000. or more or imprisonment for one year or more where the person has not been acquitted, the charge has not been dismissed or withdrawn and a stay of proceedings has not been entered in respect of the trial for the offence.
Where the language in which a trial is primarily to be conducted is one that a person is unable to understand, speak or read, that person is disqualified from serving as a juror in the trial.
The Chief Sheriff shall, in each numerical year before November 1 in that numerical year, prepare for each jury district for use in the ensuing 12 months a jurors' roll comprised of names of persons residing in that jury district.
The jurors' roll shall be prepared by random selection from appropriate lists.
In using appropriate lists for preparing jurors' rolls, the Chief Sheriff or any person assisting the Chief Sheriff in preparing the jurors' rolls, shall not extract, retain or divulge any information disclosed in the appropriate lists except the names and addresses of the persons whose names appear on the appropriate lists, but if the citizenship or age of persons whose names appear on the appropriate lists is disclosed, the Chief Sheriff or the person assisting in preparing the jurors' rolls may use that information to strike from the jurors' rolls the names and addresses of persons who are not Canadian citizens or who are under the age or majority.
Any department or agency of the government that has control or custody of an appropriate list designated under the regulations shall make the appropriate list, or a copy thereof, available to the Chief Sheriff at all reasonable times for the purpose of the preparation of jurors' rolls.
Where a department or agency has control or custody of an appropriate list designated under the regulations in the form of a computer data base, the department or agency shall permit the Chief Sheriff to have access to the list in a manner which would allow him to make a random selection of names and addresses from the list by the use of the computer data base and shall, at his request, allow him reasonable use of any computer equipment in the control or custody of the department or agency to permit him to make a random selection subject to the payment of reasonable charges for the use of the computer equipment.
The Chief Sheriff shall for each judicial centre in the province at which jury trials may be held describe a jury district in such a manner that every part of the province is within a jury district, and may from time to time as circumstances require vary the descriptions of jury districts.
The Chief Sheriff shall at all times keep available for examination in the office of the Chief Sheriff by members of the public on request, the description of jury districts in force and effect.
Descriptions of jury districts by the Chief Sheriff are not regulations within the meaning of The Regulations Act and that Act does not apply to descriptions of jury districts.
The Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench shall determine the number of names to be selected for the jurors' roll for each jury district and shall notify the Chief Sheriff of his determination.
The determination of the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench under subsection (1) shall continue to apply to the selection of names to be selected for the jurors' roll for a jury district until the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench notifies the Chief Sheriff of a variation in the determination and any variation in the determination may be made to apply indefinitely or in respect of a specific period as the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench may specify.
The Chief Sheriff shall designate for each jury district a sheriff appointed under The Sheriff's Act as the sheriff responsible for the administration of this Act within the jury district and a sheriff may be responsible for the administration of this Act within more than one jury district.
Upon completing a jurors' roll for a jury district, the Chief Sheriff shall endorse thereon or attach thereto a certificate certifying that it is the jurors' roll for the jury district for the 12 months following November 1 in the numerical year in which the jurors' roll was prepared and shall send a copy of the jurors' roll with the certificate to the sheriff responsible for that jury district.
Where a person whose name appears on the jurors' roll for a jury district
(a) is exempt; or
(b) is not qualified and the person's name was erroneously inserted therein; or
(c) dies; or
(d) ceases to be a resident of the jury district; or
(e) becomes disqualified;
and that fact is established to the satisfaction of the sheriff responsible for the jury district, the sheriff shall make a notation thereof in his records.
Where it appears to the sheriff responsible for a jury district that the jurors' roll for the jury district for use during a period does not have sufficient names on it to serve the need or anticipated need for jurors in that jury district in that period, the sheriff shall notify the Chief Sheriff and the Chief Sheriff shall prepare a further jurors' roll for the jury district for use during that period in the same manner and shall follow the same procedures as required in respect of the preparation of a jurors' roll under section 5.
Where, from any cause, the Chief Sheriff has not carried out the duties prescribed by this Act, the Attorney-General may appoint another person to perform those duties on behalf of the Chief Sheriff and where a person is so appointed that person shall perform the duties prescribed to be performed by the Chief Sheriff.
Any jurors' roll made under subsection (1) is of the same effect, and shall remain in force during the same period, as if it had been duly made by the Chief Sheriff.
Notwithstanding section 14, where a new jurors' roll for a jury district is not made in accordance with this Act, a judge of the court may order that the latest jurors' roll for the jury district in the hands of the sheriff responsible for the jury district shall be used to obtain therefrom the names of such a number of persons as, in the opinion of the judge, expressed in his order, appear sufficient to carry on the business of the court.
Except upon an order of a judge of the court, no person other than persons employed in the office of the sheriff shall inspect, or be given any information respecting a jurors' roll until after the jurors' roll has been replaced by a later jurors' roll.
The judge who is to preside at the sittings of the court in a jury district for which a jury will be required for a trial or any other judge of the court, shall not less than 30 days before the sitting, in writing direct the sheriff responsible for the jury district to summon a number of persons specified in the direction to serve as jurors at the sitting.
Where it appears to a judge presiding at any sitting of the court in a jury district that it is necessary for the trial of any action or issue or criminal matter or proceeding coming before him that persons be summoned to serve as jurors, he may in writing direct the sheriff responsible for the jury district to summon a number of persons specified in the direction to serve as jurors in the court at the sitting or on any day to which adjournment is made or which may be appointed.
The sheriff shall take in turn the names of the persons to serve as jurors as they appear on the jurors' roll until he has summoned the number required.
On the first direction to summon jurors after a new jurors' roll has been prepared for a jury district, the sheriff responsible for the jury district shall commence at the first name on the roll and on any subsequent direction while that jurors' roll is in use shall commence from the name of the last person summoned at the preceding sitting and where necessary the sheriff shall go over the roll again, beginning at the first person named thereon.
Where, either before or during any sitting of the court in a jury district, it appears necessary or advisable for any reason to have a larger panel of jurors for the sitting, the judge assigned to preside over the sitting or any other judge of the court may, in writing, direct the sheriff responsible for the jury district to summon a further number of jurors specified in the direction.
Where it appears to a judge presiding over a sitting of the court for jury trials in a jury district that the business before the court will not be completed within a month, he shall direct the sheriff responsible for the jury district to summon a number of persons specified in the direction to serve as jurors at the sitting as the judge thinks necessary to complete the sitting.
No civil action or issue shall be tried by a jury in the court unless it has been entered for trial by jury at least five weeks before the date fixed for the trial of the action or issue.
Where a civil action or issue has been entered for trial by jury the clerk shall immediately issue a certificate to the sheriff that the action or issue has been entered for trial by jury and that the jury fee has been paid, and shall state therein the date and place appointed for the trial.
Upon receiving the certificate of the clerk that an action or issue has been entered for trial by jury in a jury district, the sheriff responsible for the jury district shall summon from the roll the required number of jurors.
The sheriff shall summon or cause to be summoned every person bound to serve as a juror
(a) by causing to be delivered to the juror at the juror's usual residence or place of employment, or if the juror is absent from that usual residence or place of employment by leaving with some person residing there or employed there, as the case may be, who appears to be at least 16 years of age; or
(b) by sending to the juror by registered mail;
a summons in writing issued by the sheriff and containing particulars of the time, date and place of the sitting for which the juror is required to attend.
The sheriff shall serve or cause to be served the summons at least 12 days before the day upon which appearance must be made, unless the judge in special circumstances orders otherwise.
There shall be attached to or accompanying each jury summons served on a person a notice in a form prescribed in the regulations.
A person may apply to the sheriff to be exempted from serving as a juror on the grounds that
(a) the person belongs to a religion or religious order that makes service as a juror incompatible with the beliefs or practices of the religion or order; or
(b) serving as a juror may cause serious hardship or loss to the person or others; or
(c) the person is a member of the regular force of the Canadian Forces or a member of a reserve force of the Canadian forces who is on active service under the National Defence Act (Canada).
A person over the age of 75 years shall, on application, be exempted from serving as a juror.
A person who has served as a juror and who within two years after the date he last served as a juror is summoned again to serve as a juror shall, on application, be exempted from serving as a juror.
Every person summoned as a juror who is not qualified to serve as a juror or who wishes to apply to be exempted from serving as a juror shall, within one week after being served with the summons to attend to serve as a juror furnish to the sheriff a declaration establishing the grounds of his disqualification or for being exempted from serving as a juror.
Where the grounds for disqualification as a juror are affliction with blindness or deafness or mental or physical infirmity, or where the grounds of being exempted from serving as a juror are based on some physical disability or condition of health, the sheriff may require the person summoned to provide a certificate of or a letter from a duly qualified medical practitioner setting out the material facts relating to the disqualification or disability or condition of health and, in the discretion of a judge, the medical practitioner providing the certificate or letter may be examined under oath concerning the certificate or letter.
Where the grounds for being exempted from serving as a juror are age, the sheriff may require the person summoned to provide some proof of age satisfactory to the sheriff.
Where a sheriff is satisfied on the basis of a declaration or other proof furnished to him under this section or of any other inquiry that he has made, that a person summoned as a juror is disqualified from serving as a juror or is entitled to be exempted from serving as a juror, the sheriff shall notify the person that the person is disqualified or exempted, as the case may be, and is not required to answer the summons.
Where a person who has been served with a summons to serve as a juror, who has provided a declaration or other proof under section 26 and who believes that he is disqualified or is entitled to be exempted from serving as a juror, is not notified by the sheriff that he is disqualified or exempted from serving as a juror, he may appeal the determination of the sheriff to a judge of the court in chambers who may deal with the matter summarily and decide whether the person is or is not disqualified or entitled to be exempted from serving as a juror.
The sheriff shall insert in the jurors' list before he returns it to the court, opposite the name of any person exempted or disqualified under this Act, a notation of the grounds of exemption or disqualification.
The names on the jurors list shall not be disclosed until five days before the sitting of the court for which the jurors list has been prepared.
The sheriff shall return to the court the jurors' list and a list containing the names and addresses of the persons comprising the jury panel, together with any direction or order requiring the summoning of the jurors.
Where, in consequence of the disallowance of claims for exemption or for any other reason there are at any time more than a sufficient number of persons liable to serve in attendance at the court, the court may discharge the surplus number of jurors.
Except in the case of a juror sitting upon the trial of an action or issue or a criminal matter or proceeding that has not been concluded, no juror shall be required to remain in attendance at the court for jury trials for more than one month.
Every jury for the trial of a civil action or issue shall consist of six persons, five of whom may return a verdict.
A verdict returned by five jurors has the same effect as a verdict returned by six jurors.
The parties to an action or issue or their counsel may agree to a trial by five jurors instead of six, in which case the verdict must be unanimous.
An action or issue that has been duly entered for jury trial shall be tried on the day appointed for that purpose or on any other day to which the trial is postponed.
The trial of a civil action may proceed if at least 10 jurors attend as the jury panel, but if, by reason of successful challenges for cause or other sufficient reason, six jurors cannot be sworn from the jury panel to try the action or issue, the court may order the sheriff forthwith to summon such number of persons, whether qualified or not, as the court deems necessary in order to make a full jury; and those jurors may, if necessary, be summoned by word of mouth.
The names of the persons summoned under subsection (2), shall be added to the list containing the names and addresses of the persons comprising the jury panel for the purposes of the trial of the matter; and the same proceedings shall be taken as to calling and challenging those persons as are herein provided with respect to persons on the original jury panel.
Where a postponement of the trial of a civil action is asked for by any party, the judge shall, as a condition of granting the postponement and in addition to any other terms, order that the party pay the fee prescribed under The Law Fees Act for the further attendance of the jury for the trial.
The sheriff shall write the name and address of each person on the jury panel, with the juror's number on the panel, on uniform cards or papers.
The sheriff shall place the cards or papers prepared in subsection (1) in a container provided by him for the purpose, and deliver it to an officer of the court for the purpose of balloting.
Where an action or issue for which a jury is required is brought on to be tried, an officer of the court shall in open court mix the cards or papers in the container and then draw out the cards or papers and call forward the persons whose names appear thereon, one after another, until a complete jury is drawn and sworn to try the matter.
After a complete jury is sworn, the clerk shall then return the cards or papers containing the names of the jurors drawn, but not sworn, to the container.
The cards or papers bearing the names of the jurors drawn and sworn shall be kept apart until the jury has given its verdict and it has been recorded, or until the jury has been discharged and shall then be returned to the container there to be kept with the other cards or papers remaining at the time undrawn, and the process shall be repeated as often as circumstances require, as long as any matter at the sitting for which the panel was summoned remains to be tried by jury.
Where an action or issue is brought on to be tried at a sitting prior to a jury in any other action or issue being tried at that sitting bringing in its verdict or being discharged, the court may order the jury for the trial thereof to be drawn from the cards or papers remaining in the container.
Notwithstanding sections 36, 37 and 38 , where no objection is made on the part of any party, the court may direct the trial of any civil action or issue to be tried at a sitting be tried with a jury previously drawn to try any other civil action or issue at the sitting, without the names being returned to the container and redrawn, or may order any juror whom both parties consent to withdraw or who may be justly challenged or excused by the court, to retire, and may cause another name to be drawn from the container, and shall try the matter with the residue of the original jury and the new jurors who are added and sworn and the process may be repeated as often as necessary as long as any civil action or issue remains to be tried at the sitting.
A party to a civil action or issue may challenge three jurors without cause.
Every challenge or exception to the jury panel or to any particular person on the panel shall be taken, made and decided in open court on the grounds of real or apprehended prejudice or bias.
Every juror who is summoned and attends the court shall be paid
(a) fees for each day which his attendance at the court requires him to be absent from his residence; and
as may be prescribed in the regulations.
Where a trial is of unusual length, or where, in the opinion of the presiding judge, a juror has suffered undue hardship by reason of his attendance at court, the presiding judge may recommend to the sheriff that additional fees be paid to a juror and upon receiving the recommendation the sheriff shall authorize the payment to the juror, in addition to the fees to which he is entitled under subsection (1), the additional fees recommended by the judge for each day on which the juror is required to attend court and to be absent from the juror's residence in amounts not exceeding the amounts prescribed in the regulations for such additional fees.
Any juror who makes a false declaration in respect of any expenses incurred by him in acting as a juror for the purpose of obtaining payment thereof forfeits all rights to receive any payment for expenses or fees for attending court as a juror.
Upon the requisition of the sheriff responsible for a jury district, the Minister of Finance shall pay to each juror on the jury panel for a jury district, from and out of the Consolidated Fund with moneys authorized by the Legislature to be so paid and applied, the amount of fees and expenses set out in the requisition for that juror.
The sheriff shall make a pay list for jurors attending at any court, and shall attend or cause a deputy to attend at the opening of the court on every day on which the court sits for jury trials; and upon the jury panel being called, shall check and mark the jurors present or absent, as the case may be, in the proper column of the list opposite the name of each juror.
A juror not appearing on any day when called is not entitled to any pay for the day of non-appearance unless the judge otherwise orders.
When the jurors or any number of them are discharged, the sheriff shall certify the pay list, or so much of it as the case may require and requisition the juror's pay.
An officer of the court shall, at the opening of the court each day, and before any other business is proceeded with, call over the names of the jurors, or the jury panel, so that the sheriff or his deputy may check those who are present or absent.
The pay list for jurors, checked and certified as correct by the sheriff, is sufficient authority for the Minister of Finance, on the requisition of the sheriff, to pay each juror the sum to which he appears entitled by the pay list.
Every person duly summoned as a juror under this Act, and not exempted or excused as provided herein,
(a) who refuses or neglects to attend in pursuance of the summons; or
(b) who, being in court and called, does not answer his name; or
(c) who, being in court and called, does not appear; or
(d) who, after his appearance, withdraws himself from the presence of the court;
without good cause being shown to the court for the default, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $500., or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
Except where permission is granted under subsection (2) for the members of a jury to be allowed to leave the supervision of the officers of the court, the members of a jury shall be kept under the charge of an officer of the court who shall prevent them from communicating with anyone other than other members of the jury and the officers of the court until they have given their verdict or been discharged, and until that time they shall be provided with sufficient food, refreshment, accommodation and other requirements at the expense of the government.
The judge presiding at a trial by jury may grant permission for all or any of the members of the jury to leave the supervision of the officers of the court during any period of the trial which, to the judge, seems appropriate in the circumstances.
Where the judge presiding at a trial by jury has granted permission for all or any members of the jury to leave the supervision of the officers of the court under subsection 47(2) no person shall, before the jury retires to consider its verdict, publish in any newspaper or broadcast any information regarding any portion of the trial at which the jury is not present and every person who contravenes this subsection is in contempt of court.
Every person who, having been a member of a jury that has rendered its verdict or been discharged, discloses or discusses in any way the nature or content of any discussions held by the jury on which he served is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $1,000. or to imprisonment for not more than one month or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
A member of a jury for a trial who, before the jury delivers its verdict, discusses with any person other than another juror on the jury or the judge at the trial
(a) any issue or matter raised at the trial; or
(b) any evidence adduced at the trial; or
(c) a party to or witness at the trial;
is in contempt of court.
Every person who is interested in any action or issue that has been entered for trial by jury and every barrister, solicitor, counsel or agent for any person interested in the action or issue, who, before or during the trial, knowingly, directly or indirectly, speaks to or discusses with any person who has been summoned to attend the court to act as a juror at the sitting of the court at which the trial is to be held concerning
(a) any matter or issue raised or that may be raised at the trial; or
(b) any evidence adduced or that may be adduced at the trial; or
(c) any party to or witness at the trial or any person who may be a witness at the trial;
is in contempt of court.
Subsection (2) does not apply
(a) if the person summoned to serve as a juror has been disqualified or exempted from serving; or
(b) after the jury for the trial has been selected and the person summoned has not been selected as a member of the jury.
No omission by the Chief Sheriff or a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, a clerk, or an officer of the court or any of them to perform any duty or function under this Act is a ground for impeaching the verdict of a jury or setting aside the judgment rendered in any action or issue.
Where one or more of the jurors serving on a jury in a trial of an action or issue is or are not qualified under this Act to serve as a juror for any reason, the verdict of the jury in the action or issue and any judgment of the court made on the basis of the verdict of the jury, is not for that reason invalid or subject to impeachment.
Section 51 does not deprive,
(a) any party of the right to challenge a juror as not qualified under this Act or for any other lawful cause of challenge; or
(b) the court of authority to determine and allow the challenge.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) designating as an appropriate list for the purposes of this Act any list of names and addresses made and maintained for any purpose by a department or agency of the government or any voters' lists or electors lists as finally revised, prepared for the election of members of the Assembly or of a council of a municipality within the province or of a board of trustees of a school division or school district within the province;
(b) prescribing fees, additional fees and expenses payable to jurors summoned and attending court as jurors;
(c) prescribing forms for use in the administration of this Act.