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SNL2010 CHAPTER C-37.02

COURT SECURITY ACT, 2010

Amended:

 

CHAPTER C-37.02

AN ACT RESPECTING COURT SECURITY

(Assented to June 24, 2010)

Analysis



Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Court Security Act, 2010 .

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "court " means the Court of Appeal, the Trial Division - General Division, the Trial Division - Family Division and the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador;

             (b)  "court area" means a building, part of a building, land or space used by a court and designated as a court area by regulation;

             (c)  "frisk search" means a search which includes touching the exterior part of a person's personal possessions, clothing or body;

             (d)  "judge" means a judge of the court;

             (e)  "minister" means the minister appointed by the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

              (f)  "prohibited item" means an item which is prohibited in a court area, and includes

                      (i)  alcohol,

                     (ii)  illegal drugs,

                    (iii)  illegal drug paraphernalia, or

                    (iv)  another item the possession of which is prohibited by the Criminal Code or a law of the province;

             (g)  "restricted zone" means a part of a court area designated by regulation as a restricted zone;

             (h)  "screen" and "screening" means to search using methods prescribed by regulation and includes a frisk search;

              (i)  "security officer" means the sheriff, a deputy sheriff or a sub-sheriff appointed under the Sheriff's Act, 1991 and an officer or member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stationed in the province; and

              (j)  "weapon" means

                      (i)  a firearm as defined in the Criminal Code , or

                     (ii)  anything which could be used to

                            (A)  cause death or injury to a person, or

                            (B)  threaten or intimidate a person.

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Powers of security officers

        3. While carrying out his or her duties under this Act, a security officer has all the powers and protections of a peace officer under the Criminal Code .

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Prohibition

        4. (1) A person shall not possess in a court area

             (a)  a prohibited item; or

             (b)  a weapon, unless that person is authorized to possess that weapon by regulation or by a security officer in accordance with the regulations.

             (2)  A person shall not enter a restricted zone except where authorized to do so

             (a)  by a judge or a security officer; or

             (b)  in accordance with the regulations.

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Screening before entry

        5. (1) A security officer may verify a person’s identity before that person enters a court area.

             (2)  A security officer may screen a person for weapons or prohibited items before a person enters a court area.

             (3)  Screening under this section may include a frisk search of a person.

             (4)  A frisk search shall be

             (a)  conducted in a private portion of a court area; and

             (b)  conducted by a security officer of the same sex as the person being searched.

             (5)  Unless otherwise directed by a judge, a security officer may refuse a person's entry into a court area where that person

             (a)  refuses to be screened;

             (b)  is in possession of a prohibited item; or

             (c)  is in possession of a weapon and is not authorized by the regulations, or a security officer in accordance with the regulations, to possess a weapon in a court area.

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Screening after entry

        6. (1) A security officer may require a person inside a court area to move to a place, inside or outside the court area, where screening may be conducted.

             (2)  Screening under this section may include a frisk search of a person.

             (3)  A frisk search shall be

             (a)  conducted in a private portion of a court area; and

             (b)  conducted by a security officer of the same sex as the person being searched.

             (4)  Unless otherwise directed by a judge, a security officer may evict a person from a court area where that person

             (a)  refuses to be screened;

             (b)  is in possession of prohibited items; or

             (c)  is in possession of a weapon and is not authorized by the regulations, or a security officer in accordance with the regulations, to possess a weapon in a court area.

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Reasonable force

        7. A security officer may use reasonable force in refusing a person entry to a court area or a restricted zone or in evicting a person from a court area or restricted zone.

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Eviction for disturbance

        8. (1) A security officer shall evict a person from a court area or restricted zone where directed to do so by a judge and may use reasonable force to do so.

             (2)  Unless otherwise directed by a judge, a security officer may evict a person for causing a disturbance in a court area or restricted zone and may use reasonable force to do so.

             (3)  For the purpose of this section, a person causes a disturbance where that person

             (a)  fights, screams, shouts, swears, sings or uses insulting or obscene language;

             (b)  is impaired by alcohol or drugs;

             (c)  impedes or molests another person; or

             (d)  acts in a manner that a judge, or in the absence of a judge, a security officer, considers to be disruptive.

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Judicial powers unaffected

        9. (1) This Act shall not be considered to derogate from or replace the power of a judge under common law or otherwise to control the proceedings of the court.

             (2)  This Act shall not be considered to affect the right of a judge to have unimpeded access to a court area or a part of a court area.

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Offence

      10. (1) A person who

             (a)  enters a court area after a security officer has refused the person entry;

             (b)  enters a court area after refusing to be screened by a security officer;

             (c)  possesses a prohibited item in a court area or a restricted zone or possesses a weapon in a court area or a restricted zone without authorization by regulation, or by a security officer in accordance with the regulations;

             (d)  without authorization by regulation, a judge or a security officer, enters a restricted zone;

             (e)  refuses to leave a court area or restricted zone when asked to do so by a security officer; or

              (f)  contravenes a regulation made with respect to this Act,

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than 6 months or to both a fine and a term of imprisonment.

             (2)  Nothing in this section derogates from the right or authority of a court to initiate contempt proceedings for conduct that contravenes subsection (1).

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Regulations

      11. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

              (a)  respecting a person or class of persons already authorized to possess a weapon under another Act who may or may not be authorized to possess a weapon in a court area;

             (b)  respecting the weapons that an authorized person or members of a class of authorized persons may possess in a court area;

             (c)  respecting the screening and search methods that may be used by security officers in a court area;

             (d)  respecting other matters necessary to the security of court areas; and

             (e)  generally , to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

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Regulations by minister

      12. The minister, in consultation with the Chief Justices of the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division, the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court and the High Sheriff, may make regulations

             (a)  designating a building, part of a building, land or other space as a court area;

             (b)  designating a part or parts of a court area as a restricted zone and the manner in which a restricted zone is to be identified; and

             (c)  respecting a person or class of persons who may enter a restricted zone of a court area.

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Preservation of powers and duties

      13. Except as otherwise provided for in this Act, the rights, powers, privileges, duties, obligations and liabilities of the sheriff or anyone permitted by law to perform the duties of the sheriff in force or existing before the enactment of this Act shall continue to exist.

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SNL2004 cC-37.01 Rep.

      14. The Court Security Ac t is repealed.

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Commencement

      15. This Act comes into force on October 1, 2010.

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