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Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador 2004


Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador 2004 Chapter C-37.01

CHAPTER C-37.01

AN ACT RESPECTING COURT SECURITY

(Assented to December 16, 2004)

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Powers of security officers

4. Weapon prohibition

5. Screening before entry

6. Screening after entry

7. Reasonable force

8. Eviction for disturbance

9. Judicial powers unaffected

10. Offence

11. Regulations

12. Rules committee rules

13. Commencement

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.

Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "court" means the Court of Appeal, Trial Division, Unified Family Court 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) "judge" means a judge of a court;

(d) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

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

(f) "Rules of Court" means the Rules of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1986 made under the Judicature Act;

(g) "screen" and "screening" means to search using methods prescribed by regulation;

(h) "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

(i) "weapon" means a firearm as defined in the Criminal Code and a thing used, designed to be used or intended for use

(i) in causing death or injury to a person, or

(ii) for the purpose of threatening or intimidating a person.

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.

Weapon prohibition

4. A person shall not possess a weapon in a court area unless authorized to possess that weapon by regulation or by a security officer acting in accordance with the regulations and the Rules of Court.

Screening before entry

5. (1) A security officer may require a person to satisfy the security officer as to the person’s identity.

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

(3) Unless otherwise directed by a judge, a security officer may refuse a person’s entry to a court area if that person

(a) refuses to be screened for weapons; or

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

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 for weapons may be conducted.

(2) A security officer may evict a person from a court area if that person

(a) refuses to be screened for weapons; and

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

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 a restricted zone.

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.

(2) Where a judge is not present in a court area or restricted zone, a security officer may require a person who is causing a disturbance in that area or zone to leave and may use the force that is reasonably necessary to evict that person.

(3) A person causes a disturbance within the meaning of subsection (2) where he or she

(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; and

(d) acts in a manner that a judge considers to be disruptive.

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.

(3) This Act shall not, subject to the direction of a judge, be considered to affect the right of an officer of the court who is a member of the court staff to have unimpeded access to a court area.

(4) This Act shall not, subject to the direction of a judge, be considered to affect the right of an officer of the court to have unimpeded access to a court area that is not a restricted zone.

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 for weapons by a security officer;

(c) without authorization by regulation or a security officer, possesses a weapon in a court area or a restricted zone;

(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; and

(f) contravenes a regulation or the Rules of Court 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 both.

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

Regulations

11. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council 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, land or other space as a restricted zone and the manner in which a restricted zone is to be identified;

(c) where it is necessary for security purposes, designating an area adjacent or near a court area, including a part of a street or road, to be reserved at specified times to provide secure vehicle parking and secure access to and egress from vehicle parking by a judge or juror;

(d) as recommended under subsection (2); and

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

(2) The minister shall recommend to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, upon the advice of the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, with respect to court areas of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

(a) that a person or class of persons already authorized to possess a weapon under another Act may or may not be authorized to possess weapons in those court areas;

(b) weapons that an authorized person or members of a class of authorized persons may possess in those court areas;

(c) criteria to be used to authorize persons to possess weapons in those court areas;

(d) screening and search methods that may be used by security officers in those court areas;

(e) a person or class of persons who may enter a restricted zone of those court areas; and

(f) other matters necessary to the security of those court areas.

Rules committee rules

12. The rules committee of the Trial Division and of the Court of Appeal established under section 54 of the Judicature Act may make rules with respect to security in a court area of the Trial Division, Court of Appeal and Unified Family Court in the same manner and with the same effect as rules made under section 55 of the Judicature Act, with respect to

(a) a person or class of persons already authorized to possess a weapon under another Act, who may or may not be authorized to possess weapons in those court areas;

(b) weapons that an authorized person or members of a class of authorized persons may possess in those court areas;

(c) criteria to be used to authorize persons to possess weapons in those court areas;

(d) screening methods that may be used by security officers in those court areas;

(e) a person or class of persons who may enter a restricted zone of those court areas; and

(f) other matters necessary to the security of those court areas.

Commencement

13. This Act shall come into force on a date to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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