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Copyright 2000: Queen’s Printer,
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER J-5

AN ACT RESPECTING JURIES AND COMPENSATION OF JURORS IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PROVINCE AND COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN WITNESSES IN THE COURTS OF THE PROVINCE

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Jury duty

4. Disqualifications

5. Language difficulty

6. Grounds for exemption

7. Religious exemption

8. Exemption for age

9. Making of list

10. Enumerators

11. Arrangement of list

12. Open to public

13. Special list

14. Revision

15. Return

16. Limitation of service

17. Drawing of panel

18. Jurors summoned

19. Application for exemption

20. Selection of jury

21. Where insufficient number

22. Change in time limits

23. Irregularity in compilation

24. Irregularity in drawing

25. Irregularity in selection

26. Peremptory challenge

27. Challenge for cause

28. Juries in certain actions

29. General and special verdict

30. Direction to jury

31. Verdict

32. Where inconvenient

33. Reference to jury

34. Failure to appear

35. Offence if false statement

36. Definition re compensation

37. Wages continue

38. No compensation

39. Regulations


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Jury Act.

1980 c41 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "court" means the Trial Division;

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

(c) "justice" means a person appointed as a justice of the peace under the Justices Act;

(d) "minister" means the Minister of Justice;

(e) "rules" means the Rules of the Supreme Court;

(f) "sheriff" means the High Sheriff of Newfoundland; and

(g) "supervising enumerator" means the person appointed under section 9 to supervise the enumeration of the jury list.

1980 c41 s2

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Jury duty

3. Every person who is a Canadian citizen resident in the province and is of the age of majority has the right and duty to serve as a juror unless he or she is disqualified or exempted under this Act.

1980 c41 s4

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Disqualifications

4. A person is disqualified from serving as a juror who is

(a) a member, an officer or employee of the Parliament of Canada or of the Privy Council of Canada;

(b) a member, an officer or employee of the House of Assembly or of the Executive Council of the province;

(c) a judge of the Court of Appeal, the Trial Division or Provincial Court of Newfoundland;

(d) an officer or employee of the Department of Justice or of the Solicitor General of the Government of Canada;

(e) an officer or employee of the Department of Justice of the government of the province;

(f) a barrister or solicitor;

(g) a court official;

(h) a sheriff or sheriff's officer;

(i) a member of a police force;

(j) a justice;

(k) a warden, correctional officer or person employed in a penitentiary, prison or correctional institution;

(l) a spouse of a person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (k);

(m) a person who is blind, deaf, or has an infirmity incompatible with the discharge of the duties of a juror;

(n) a person convicted within 5 years of the taking of the jury list of an offence for which the punishment could be a fine of $1,000 or more or imprisonment for 1 year or more; or

(o) a person charged with an offence for which the punishment could be a fine of $1,000 or more or imprisonment for 1 year or more.

1980 c41 s5; 1984 c39 s6; 1986 c42 Sch B

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Language difficulty

5. Where the language in which a trial is to be conducted is one that a person is unable to understand or speak, he or she is disqualified from serving as a juror in the trial.

1980 c41 s6

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Grounds for exemption

6. (1) A person may apply to be exempted from serving as a juror on the grounds that serving as a juror may cause serious hardship or loss to the person or others.

(2) Service as a juror may be considered to cause serious hardship to a person, for purposes of subsection (1), where a person has the sole care during all or a part of a day on which the court is in session of

(a) a person who is under the age of 7 years and not in full time attendance at a school as defined by the Schools Act;

(b) a person who is infirm or aged; or

(c) a person who is suffering from an incapacity.

1980 c41 s7; 1982 c29 s1

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Religious exemption

7. Where a person's pastoral or religious duties or beliefs would conflict with service as a juror, that person shall, on application, be exempted from serving as a juror.

1982 c29 s2

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Exemption for age

8. A person over the age of 65 years shall, on application, be exempted from serving as a juror.

1980 c41 s8

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Making of list

9. (1) A Provincial Court judge designated by the Chief Provincial Court judge and living at or near the places where the court may sit or another person designated by the minister shall supervise the preparation of a list of all persons living at or within 25 kilometres of the place where the court may sit who are qualified to serve as jurors.

(2) The minister may vary the boundaries of an area for which a jury list is prepared under subsection (1).

(3) The jury list shall be prepared at least once every 3 years during the period May 15 to June 15.

(4) With respect to Happy Valley - Goose Bay, the area enumerated extends to and includes the communities of North West River, Sheshatshit and Mud Lake.

1980 c41 s9; 1982 c29 s3; 1987 c41 s10

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Enumerators

10. The supervising enumerator may employ enumerators to prepare the jury list.

1980 c41 s10

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Arrangement of list

11. (1) The supervising enumerator shall supervise the arrangement of the jury list in alphabetical order and the typing of separate cards for each person on the jury list.

(2) The jury list and cards shall state the occupation and residence of the persons on the jury list.

(3) The supervising enumerator may use electronic data processing equipment to prepare the jury list and the cards.

1980 c41 s11

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Open to public

12. The jury list shall be available for public inspection in the office of the supervising enumerator.

1980 c41 s12

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Special list

13. Where a jury list is not or may not be available at a place for a sitting of the court on circuit, the minister may direct that a special jury list be taken by a Provincial Court judge designated by the Chief Provincial Court judge or another person designated by the minister, during a period fixed by the minister.

1980 c41 s13

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Revision

14. (1) The supervising enumerator shall sit daily, except on Saturday and Sunday, to revise the jury list for a period of 10 days starting on the day following the last day of the taking of the jury list.

(2) The supervising enumerator shall give notice of the place where the revision of the jury list will take place and the days and hours in each day when he or she will sit.

(3) A notice given under subsection (2) shall be published by the supervising enumerator in 1 or more newspapers of general circulation in the area where the jury list has been taken, or where no newspaper is circulated in that area, by posting the notice on the doors of the court house or other public building in the area.

(4) The supervising enumerator at the revision

(a) shall include on the jury list the names of persons qualified to serve as jurors whose names do not appear on the jury list, upon the application of those persons; and

(b) shall take the names of persons not qualified to serve as jurors off the jury list upon the application of those persons.

1980 c41 s14

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Return

15. The supervising enumerator shall, before September 1 in the year in which the jury list is prepared, return the revised jury list and the cards derived from it to the sheriff.

1980 c41 s15

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Limitation of service

16. (1) Jurors are not liable to serve on a jury more than once every 3 years.

(2) Once a person has served in the period set out in subsection (1) his or her card shall be set aside by the sheriff.

(3) Where more jurors are required at a time than there are cards remaining in the box, the cards of those who have served as jurors shall be returned to the box after all the other cards have been drawn from the box.

1980 c41 s16

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Drawing of panel

17. (1) A party who has obtained an order for a jury in a civil cause or has requested a jury under subsection 28(1) shall arrange for an appointment with the sheriff or sub-sheriff to draw the jury.

(2) The party shall serve a copy of the appointment and the order on the opposite party at least 1 day before the day appointed for the drawing of the jury.

(3) At the time appointed for the drawing of the jury the sheriff or sub-sheriff shall, in the presence of those of the parties that may attend, draw 30 names from the box who shall form the jury panel.

(4) Where a party arranges an appointment to draw a jury, that party may, in addition to the names drawn under subsection (3), request an additional 15 names be drawn to form the jury panel.

1980 c41 s17; 1986 c33 s8

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Jurors summoned

18. (1) The persons selected for the jury panel shall be summoned to appear by the sheriff or sub-sheriff in the form set out in the rules, at least 7 days before the trial of the cause.

(2) The summons shall be served upon each prospective juror personally or left for the juror at his or her usual place of business or residence, or by registered mail and shall include a notice, in a form prescribed by regulation, as to how a prospective juror may apply for an exemption.

1980 c41 s18

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Application for exemption

19. (1) A person summoned as a juror who is not qualified to serve or wishes to apply to be exempted under section 6, 7 or 8 may apply to be disqualified or exempted from service and a Provincial Court judge serving in the area where that person lives may make the determination.

(2) A person who claims that he or she is disqualified under paragraph 4(m) shall provide a medical certificate from a medical practitioner setting out the nature of the disability.

(3) A person who claims an exemption under section 8 shall provide proof of age satisfactory to the Provincial Court judge.

(4) A person who applies under subsection (1) and is refused an exemption or disqualification by the Provincial Court judge may appeal that determination to a judge in chambers who may make a decision summarily as to whether that person is exempt or disqualified from jury duty.

(5) Where a person summoned as a juror appears before the court for jury duty at that time but wishes to be exempted or disqualified from service, the presiding judge may make a decision summarily as to whether that person is exempt or disqualified from jury duty.

1980 c41 s19; 1982 c29 s4

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Selection of jury

20. (1) The cards for the persons selected for the jury panel shall be put into a box in open court by the sheriff or sub-sheriff.

(2) Except for those persons who have been challenged or exempted, in a civil cause or issue the 9 persons whose names have been 1st drawn and are present in court are the jury to try the cause.

1980 c41 s20

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Where insufficient number

21. (1) Where an insufficient number of jurors are available, the judge may instruct the sheriff to return sufficient persons from those persons present in the court who are not disqualified to be jurors.

(2) Where there are not sufficient persons from those present in the court for the purposes of subsection (1), the judge may instruct the sheriff to return sufficient persons who are not disqualified to be jurors from the area as may be necessary.

1980 c41 s21

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Change in time limits

22. A judge may extend or shorten the time appointed for the drawing, summoning or attendance of a jury summoned to attend the court.

1980 c41 s22

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Irregularity in compilation

23. An irregularity in the compilation, revision or returning of a jury list is not a cause for a challenge of the jury.

1980 c41 s23

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Irregularity in drawing

24. An irregularity in the drawing, summoning and returning of a jury panel is subject to exception on challenge only.

1980 c41 s24

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Irregularity in selection

25. An omission to observe the directions of this Act with respect to the qualifications or selection of jurors is not a ground for a new trial in a civil cause.

1980 c41 s25

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Peremptory challenge

26. Each party to a civil cause may peremptorily challenge 3 jurors.

1980 c41 s26

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Challenge for cause

27. The presiding judge in a civil cause may try and determine the sufficiency of a challenge for cause.

1980 c41 s27

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Juries in certain actions

28. (1) In actions of defamation, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, seduction, or breach of promise of marriage,

(a) the plaintiff, in the notice of trial; and

(b) the defendant,

(i) within 2 days from the time of service of the notice of trial,

(ii) within the extended time that the court or judge may allow, or

(iii) in the notice of trial to be given by the defendant,

may indicate that he or she wishes the issues of fact tried by a judge with a jury.

(2) Upon a request made under subsection (1) the issues of fact shall be tried by a judge with a jury.

(3) A judge may make an order for a trial with a jury in another cause or matter upon the application of either party made within 4 days after notice of trial has been given.

1980 c41 s28; 1983 c63 s21

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General and special verdict

29. (1) In the absence of a direction from the presiding judge, a jury may give either a general or special verdict.

(2) Where the presiding judge so directs, the jury shall give a special verdict.

1980 c41 s29; 1983 c63 s21

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Direction to jury

30. (1) A presiding judge may direct a jury to answer questions of fact stated to them by the judge instead of giving a general or special verdict, except in cases of an action for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment or breach of promise of marriage.

(2) The presiding judge may enter the verdict when a jury has been given a direction under subsection (1) and the verdict is considered to be of the same effect as if it had been given by the jury.

(3) Where the presiding judge has given a direction under subsection (1) counsel may require the presiding judge to submit to the jury questions raised during the trial that are necessary to be answered by the jury in order to have a complete determination of all matters involved in the case.

(4) Where the presiding judge refuses to put to the jury questions raised under subsection (1) or (3) the refusal may be used as a ground for a new trial.

1980 c41 s30; 1983 c63 s21

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Verdict

31. Seven jurors in a civil cause may return a verdict where the jury cannot agree upon an unanimous verdict after 3 hours deliberation.

1980 c41 s31

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Where inconvenient

32. A judge may direct a trial without a jury of a cause, matter or issue requiring a prolonged examination of documents or accounts, or a scientific or local investigation, that cannot, in the opinion of the judge, be conveniently tried with a jury.

1980 c41 s32

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Reference to jury

33. Where a matter is being heard by a judge without a jury, the judge may order a cause, matter or issue to be tried by judge with a jury.

1980 c41 s33

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Failure to appear

34. Where a person who has been summoned to serve as a juror fails to appear and serve, that person may be brought before the court and where, in the opinion of the judge, that person was not prevented by sickness or other reasonable cause from appearing and serving as a juror as required in the summons, that person is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to $1,000 or to a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months or to both a fine and imprisonment.

1980 c41 s34

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Offence if false statement

35. A person who makes a false statement in order to gain an exemption or disqualification from serving as a juror is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to $1,000 or to a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months or to both a fine and imprisonment.

1980 c41 s35

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Definition re compensation

36. For the purposes of sections 37 and 38 the word "court" means the Trial Division and the Provincial Court.

1980 c41 s36; 1986 c42 Sch B

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Wages continue

37. (1) An employer of a person

(a) who is summoned for jury service, or serves as a juror; or

(b) who is required to attend upon a court as a witness in a criminal or quasi criminal case, or upon an inquiry held under the Summary Proceedings Act,

shall pay that person the same wages and give the person the same benefits in that person's absence for the purposes set out in this subsection as that person would have received if he or she had not been so summoned or required to attend upon a court or inquiry.

(2) A person who fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000, or in default of payment, to a term of imprisonment of not more than 3 months.

(3) In addition to a fine the court shall order the repayment of wages and the giving of those benefits that the court decides are owed to the employee under subsection (1).

(4) In the case of a civil jury where an employer incurs a cost because of compliance with subsection (1) the presiding judge may make an appropriate order as to those costs.

1980 c41 s37

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No compensation

38. (1) Subject to the rules, a person may not be compensated for jury duty or for appearing as a witness.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person who is not in receipt of income from wages, self-employment, unemployment insurance or social assistance may be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund compensation for jury duty as prescribed by the regulation including compensation for child care expenses.

(3) A juror shall be paid reasonable travel and other expenses on the same basis as if he or she were a person employed as a civil servant by the province travelling on government business.

(4) In the case of a civil jury where a person receives compensation under subsection (2) the presiding judge may make an appropriate order as to those costs.

1980 c41 s38

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Regulations

39. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations for

(a) forms for the enumeration of jurors;

(b) the employment and rate of pay of enumerators;

(c) notices to prospective jurors; and

(d) compensation for jurors.

1980 c41 s39

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