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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 S-19

AN ACT RESPECTING THE SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Persons who solemnize marriage

4. Registration of clergy

5. Requirements for registration

6. Marriage by the Baha'i Faith

7. Minister may cancel authorization to solemnize marriages

8. Application

9. Registrar general to publish list of persons registered

10. Appointment of marriage commissioners

11. Form of ceremony

12. Licence requirements of solemnization

13. Appointment of issuers of marriage licences

14. Form of marriage licence

15. Application requires affidavit

16. Fee

17. Issuer to state particulars

18. Issue of licence to those underage, etc.

19. Written consent required

20. Evidence

21. Powers of issuer

22. Person divorced in Canada

23. Requirements after solemnization

24. Return of marriage register to issuer

25. Record kept by issuer

26. Issuers to ascertain facts as to marriages

27. Required report by issuer

28. Blank forms to be kept by registrar general

29. Regulations

30. Illiterate may make mark

31. Errors in marriage certificate

32. Penalty: marriage without licence

33. Penalty for altering licence

34. Offence against ss.12(4)

35. Penalty for using another marriage licence

36. Unauthorized solemnization of marriage

37. Penalty for neglect by issuer

38. False return of licences

39. False registering

40. Penalty for false statement

41. Offence

42. Protection where solemnization in good faith

43. Consent of prosecution

44. Marriages solemnized in good faith


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Solemnization of Marriage Act.

1974 No81 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "certificate" means a marriage certificate referred to in paragraph 23(1)(b);

(b) "clergy" means persons, other than marriage commissioners, authorized by this Act to solemnize marriage;

(c) "issuer" means an issuer of marriage licences appointed under section 13;

(d) "judge" means a Provincial Court judge appointed under the Provincial Court Act;

(e) "licence" means a marriage licence issued under this Act;

(f) "marriage commissioner" means a person authorized under section 10 to solemnize marriage;

(g) "minister" means the Minister of Health;

(h) "registrar general" means the registrar general appointed under section 3 of the Vital Statistics Act;

(i) "religious body" means a church or a religious denomination, sect, congregation or society; and

(j) "Salvation Army officer" or "officer" means a commissioned officer, envoy or auxiliary captain of the religious society known as "The Salvation Army" and chosen or commissioned by that society to solemnize marriage and living in the province.

1974 No81 s2; 1975 No5 s2

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Persons who solemnize marriage

3. A person shall not solemnize marriage unless he or she is

(a) a member of the clergy registered under this Act;

(b) a marriage commissioner authorized under section 10 to solemnize marriage.

1974 No81 s4

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Registration of clergy

4. (1) Upon application in the form prescribed by the regulations, the registrar general may register a member of the clergy of a religious body and a Salvation Army officer as a member of the clergy authorized to solemnize marriage.

(2) The application for registration may be made on behalf of the member of the clergy or Salvation Army officer of the religious body or religious society to which he or she belongs having jurisdiction in the province.

(3) The registrar general shall issue a certificate of registration in respect of a person registered under this Act, or he or she may include in 1 certificate the names of a number of those persons who belong to the same religious body.

(4) The registrar general shall keep a register showing the names of members of the clergy registered under this Act, the name of the religious body to which a member belongs and the date of his or her registration.

1974 No81 s5

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Requirements for registration

5. (1) A person shall not be registered under this Act unless the registrar general is satisfied that

(a) the person is a member of the clergy or officer ordained or appointed according to the rites and uses of the religious body to which he or she belongs, or is by the rules of that religious body considered ordained or appointed under some prior ordination or appointment;

(b) the person is recognized by the religious body to which he or she belongs as authorized to solemnize marriage according to its rites and uses;

(c) the religious body to which the person belongs is sufficiently well established both as to continuity of existence and as to recognized rites and uses respecting the solemnization of marriage, to warrant, in the opinion of the registrar general, the registration of its clergy or officers as members of the clergy authorized to solemnize marriage; and

(d) the person is living in the province.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(d), in the case of a member of the clergy or officer who is in the province temporarily, and who, if living in the province, might be registered under subsection (1), the registrar general may, where the minister directs, grant to that member of the clergy or officer temporary registration, and may register him or her as a member of the clergy authorized to solemnize marriage during the period to be fixed by the minister and the certificate of registration issued shall state the period fixed during which the authority to solemnize marriage may be exercised.

1974 No81 s6

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Marriage by the Baha'i Faith

6. (1) Notwithstanding sections 3, 4 and 5, where

(a) an incorporated local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'i Faith has received the approval of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'i of Canada to appoint a marriage registrar; and

(b) a person is designated as a marriage registrar by that Assembly,

the registrar general may register that person under this section to exercise the powers conferred and to carry out the duties imposed by this Act and the Vital Statistics Act on a person authorized by this Act to solemnize marriage.

(2) A marriage is not invalid by reason only of the fact that it was authorized by an incorporated local Spiritual Assembly, conducted in accordance with the rites and uses of the Baha'i Faith and registered by a marriage registrar described in subsection (1).

(3) Nothing in this section requires the marriage to be celebrated or solemnized by the person designated as a marriage registrar and registered under this section.

1983 c57 s1

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Minister may cancel authorization to solemnize marriages

7. (1) Where the minister is satisfied that a member of the clergy registered under this Act has stopped possessing, or does not possess the qualifications entitling him or her to be registered, the minister may, with or without a hearing, direct the registrar general to make an entry in the register kept by the registrar general under this Act cancelling the registration of that person, and the registrar general shall make that entry and shall publish a public notice of the cancellation in 1 issue of the Gazette, and, where he or she thinks appropriate, in 1 or more issues of a newspaper published in the province, and upon publication of the notice in the Gazette, the authority of that member of the clergy to solemnize marriage stops.

(2) The registrar general shall immediately mail by registered mail notice of the cancellation referred to in subsection (1) to the member of the clergy whose registration is cancelled, addressed to his or her last known address in the province.

(3) The governing authority having jurisdiction in this province of a religious body whose members of the clergy or officers are registered under this Act shall notify the registrar general of the name of a person registered who has

(a) died;

(b) stopped living in the province; or

(c) in another way stopped possessing the qualifications entitling him or her to be registered.

1974 No81 s7

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Application

8. Where

(a) the application made by or on behalf of a person for registration under this Act is refused; or

(b) the registration of a registered person is cancelled,

the applicant or person may appeal to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, and the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may decide the appeal, and the minister and the registrar general shall be bound by and comply with that decision, and the decision of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council is, subject to the right of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to rescind or amend such a decision, final and conclusive and is not subject to review by a court of law or otherwise.

1974 No81 s8

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Registrar general to publish list of persons registered

9. (1) The registrar general shall publish a list of the names of members of the clergy registered under this Act at least once a year in the Gazette, and a copy of the list shall be provided to each issuer and the list shall be prepared in alphabetical order of surnames and shall indicate the religious body to which each person whose name appears on the list belongs.

(2) The registrar general shall publish supplementary lists of members of the clergy registered under this Act, prepared in the manner referred to in subsection (1), in the Gazette, and he or she shall provide a copy of that supplementary list to each issuer.

1974 No81 s9

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Appointment of marriage commissioners

10. (1) The minister may appoint persons 19 years of age or older and living in the province as marriage commissioners for the province.

(2) The names of persons appointed under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette, and the appointment of each person has effect from the date of that publication or from a later date that may be specified in the appointment.

(3) The mayor of the City of St. John's, the mayor of the City of Corner Brook and the mayor of the City of Mount Pearl and Provincial Court judges are, by virtue of their office, marriage commissioners for the purposes of the Act.

(4) An issuer shall not be appointed or act as a marriage commissioner.

1974 No81 s10; 1977 c66 s1; 1983 c76 s14;
1986 c33 s13

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Form of ceremony

11. (1) A particular form of ceremony is not required in a marriage that is solemnized by a marriage commissioner, except that in some part of the ceremony, in the presence of the marriage commissioner and witnesses, each of the parties to the marriage shall declare:

"I solemnly declare that I do not know of a lawful impediment why I, A.B., may not be joined in matrimony to C.D.",

and

"I solemnly declare that I intend to enter into this marriage which I acknowledge to be a union of faithful love",

and then each of the parties shall say to the other:

"I call upon persons present to witness that I, A.B., take you C.D., to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)",

after which the marriage commissioner shall say:

"By the authority vested in me by the Solemnization of Marriage Act, I pronounce you, A.B. and C.D., to be husband and wife.".

(2) Where the marriage commissioner adds other words to the ceremony, other than those referred to in subsection (1), an expression shall not be used in the ceremony that means or implies that the marriage is not to the exclusion of other persons while both of the parties are alive.

(3) A marriage commissioner who solemnizes a marriage is entitled to receive the fee prescribed by the regulations.

(4) Section 24 of this Act and sections 4, 7 and 16 of the Vital Statistics Act do not apply to a religious ceremony of marriage of persons that is performed after a marriage has been solemnized by a marriage commissioner under this section.

1974 No81 s11

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Licence requirements of solemnization

12. (1) A member of the clergy or marriage commissioner shall not solemnize a marriage unless he or she has received the licence issued in respect of the marriage not less than 4 days before the day of the intended solemnization, but where there is produced to the member of the clergy or marriage commissioner evidence satisfactory to him or her that there exists exceptional and urgent circumstances sufficient in his or her discretion to justify the early solemnization of the marriage, the member of the clergy or marriage commissioner may solemnize the marriage without waiting for the expiration of that 4 day period.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where the death of 1 of the parties to an intended marriage is imminent in the opinion of a qualified medical practitioner, a member of the clergy or marriage commissioner may solemnize that marriage notwithstanding that a licence has not been issued in respect of the marriage.

(3) A member of the clergy or marriage commissioner shall not solemnize a marriage where either party to the intended marriage is under the age of 16 years.

(4) Where a member of the clergy or marriage commissioner has reason to believe that either party to an intended marriage is so under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a narcotic drug that the party may not be capable of fully understanding the significance of his or her actions, the member of the clergy or marriage commissioner shall not solemnize that marriage.

(5) A marriage shall be solemnized only in the presence of at least 2 witnesses, each of whom shall be 16 years of age or over.

(6) A marriage shall be solemnized only within a period of 30 days immediately following the date of the issue of the licence but for good cause an issuer may extend the licence, without fee, for a further period of not less than 30 nor more than 60 days in which case the marriage may be solemnized within that extended period.

(7) Where the parties to a marriage solemnized by a marriage commissioner wish a religious ceremony in addition, a certificate of the marriage commissioner that he or she has solemnized the marriage is sufficient authorization to a member of the clergy to perform a religious ceremony of marriage in respect of the parties.

(8) Notwithstanding subsection (3), where because of the pregnancy of a female verified by certificate of a qualified medical practitioner it is shown, on an application to a Provincial Court judge or to a judge of the Trial Division that a marriage would be expedient and in the interests of the parties even though either of the parties to the intended marriage is under the age of 16 years, the Provincial Court judge or judge of the Trial Division may issue a licence under this Act for the solemnization of that marriage for a fee, in a form and with the same effect as if the licence had been issued by an issuer appointed under section 13.

1975-76 No48 s1; 1986 c42 Sch B

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Appointment of issuers of marriage licences

13. (1) The minister may appoint persons to be issuers of marriage licences throughout the province, whose offices shall be situated so that no part of the province is at an inconvenient distance from 1 of them.

(2) An order made under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette.

(3) Marriage commissioners shall keep the minister acquainted with the requirements of the electoral district in which they live as to the number and location of issuers in that district and may nominate, for the minister's consideration, suitable persons in that district for appointment as issuers under this section.

(4) A member of the clergy or marriage commissioner shall not be appointed to act as an issuer.

1974 No81 s13; 1983 c76 s14

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Form of marriage licence

14. (1) Marriage licences shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations.

(2) A certificate in blank that the marriage authorized by a licence was solemnized shall be endorsed upon a licence, and another certificate to that effect shall be attached to the licence by way of counterfoil or in another manner so as to be easily detached from the licence, and a certificate shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations.

(3) The signature of the registrar general shall appear on licences, and he or she may sign licences in blank, which shall then be provided to the issuers in numbers which the registrar general considers necessary, and a licence signed in blank shall remain valid, notwithstanding that the registrar general signing the licence has stopped holding office before it is issued by an issuer to a person applying for the licence.

(4) An issuer shall give to the registrar general a receipt for blank licences received by him or her and shall account to the registrar general for those licences.

(5) The signature of the registrar general on licences may be written, engraved, lithographed or reproduced by another mode of reproducing words in visible form.

1974 No81 s14

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Application requires affidavit

15. (1) A person applying for a licence shall make an affidavit containing

(a) a statement setting out the full names of the parties to the intended marriage and their residences and the occupation of the party making the affidavit;

(b) a statement that the person making the affidavit believes there is no affinity, consanguinity, prior marriage, or other lawful cause or legal impediment to bar or hinder the solemnization of the marriage;

(c) a statement of the age of the person making the affidavit and that that person is a party to the intended marriage;

(d) a statement that the other party to the intended marriage is of the full age of 19 years or, where that other party is under the age of 19 years, a statement of the age of that other party; and

(e) other statements that may be prescribed by the regulations.

(2) The affidavit made under subsection (1) shall further state the facts necessary to enable the issuer to determine whether or not the required consent has been given in the case of a party under the age of 19 years, or whether or not that consent is necessary, and where a written consent has been given, it shall be attached to the affidavit.

(3) The affidavit made under this section shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations and may be made before the issuer to whom the application is made or before a notary public, a justice of the peace or a commissioner for oaths appointed under the laws of the province.

1974 No81 s15

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Fee

16. The fee payable upon the issue of a licence shall, unless the fee is waived under the regulations, be that prescribed by the regulations.

1974 No81 s16

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Issuer to state particulars

17. (1) Upon payment of the fee referred to in section 16, and the delivery to the issuer of the affidavit referred to in section 15, the issuer shall fill up 1 of the blank forms of licence with

(a) the names, residences and ages of the parties to the intended marriage;

(b) other information for which provision is made in the form; and

(c) the date on which the licence is issued,

and sign his or her own name, and the licence shall then be considered to be issued.

(2) An issuer shall not issue or deliver a licence unless it is filled up and signed in accordance with subsection (1) and unless 4 days have elapsed from the date of filing with the issuer the affidavit referred to in section 15, except upon the production of evidence satisfactory to him or her that there exist exceptional and urgent circumstances sufficient in his or her discretion to justify the earlier issue of the licence.

(3) A licence shall not be used for a marriage other than for the marriage specified in it.

1974 No81 s17; 1975-76 No48 s2

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Issue of licence to those underage, etc.

18. An issuer shall not issue a licence

(a) to a person under the age of 16 years;

(b) where he or she has reason to believe that either of the parties to the intended marriage is under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a narcotic drug; or

(c) in respect of his or her own intended marriage.

1974 No81 s18

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Written consent required

19. (1) Where either party to an intended marriage is under the age of 19 years, an issuer shall not issue a licence unless there is filed with him or her the written consent of either parent of the party, where the parents are both living together or in another case the written consent of

(a) a parent of the party, unless the custody of the party has been granted to a person other than that parent or unless that parent has been found by a court to be mentally incompetent;

(b) the guardian of the party or the person having custody of the party under an order of a court, where both parents are dead or prevented by paragraph (a) from giving consent or where the surviving parent is so prevented; or

(c) the Director of Child Welfare in the Department of Social Services of the province, where the party is a person committed to the permanent care and custody of that director,

and the issuer has satisfied himself or herself of the genuineness of the consent and the authority to give consent of the person giving it.

(2) Where the issuer is satisfied that both parents of the party are dead, ordinarily living outside the province or prevented under subsection (1) from giving consent and that a guardian of the party has not been appointed, and that the party is not a person committed to the permanent care and custody of the Director of Child Welfare referred to in subsection (1), he or she may issue the licence without a written consent.

(3) Where the issuer is satisfied that the party is at least 18 years of age and has, for not less than 3 months immediately preceding the date of the application for licence, been living apart from the party's parents or guardian without having received financial help or support from those parents or guardian and is not a person committed to the permanent care and custody of the Director of Child Welfare in the Department of Social Services he or she may issue the licence without a written consent.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), the party wanting the issue of a licence without the consent referred to in subsection (1) shall make and deposit with the issuer concerned an affidavit containing a statement of the relevant circumstances under which that party claims to be entitled to the issue of a licence without that consent, and the affidavit may be made before a notary public, a justice of the peace or a commissioner for oaths appointed under the laws of the province.

(5) Where an issuer refuses to issue a licence on the ground that the necessary consent has not been given, either party in respect of whom the licence is sought may, without the intervention of a next friend, apply to a judge of the Trial Division for an order that the licence be issued.

(6) The judge of the Trial Division may hear the application in a summary way and, where he or she is satisfied that

(a) consent to the proposed marriage is not required; or

(b) the person whose consent is required has given his or her written consent to the proposed marriage,

the judge may order that the licence be issued, and upon receipt of a certified copy of the order the issuer shall issue the licence.

(7) Where a person whose consent is required under subsection (1) is unable to give consent because of illness, refuses to give consent, or where it is uncertain whose consent is required, either party in respect of whom the licence is sought may, without the intervention of a next friend, apply to a judge of the Trial Division for an order dispensing with consent.

(8) The judge of the Trial Division may hear the application in a summary manner and, where he or she is of the opinion that the proposed marriage is an appropriate one and, where he or she is satisfied that

(a) the person whose consent is required is unable because of illness to give consent;

(b) the consent is unreasonably or arbitrarily refused;

(c) the person whose consent is required is not interested in the maintenance or well-being of the party in respect of whom the licence is sought; or

(d) it is uncertain whose consent is required, and that the intended marriage is an appropriate one,

the judge may order that the consent be dispensed with and, upon receipt of a certified copy of the order, the issuer shall issue the licence.

(9) A consent referred to in this section shall be signed in the presence of at least 1 person who is a person or 1 of a class of persons authorized to act as those witnesses by the regulations, and that person shall sign the consent as witness to it.

1974 No81 s19; 1975-76 No48 s3; 1977 c46 s14; 1985 c11 s23; 1986 c42 Sch B;
1988 c54 s20

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Evidence

20. (1) Where an issuer has reason to suspect that a statement in an affidavit made under section 15 or 19 is not correct he or she shall require a further affidavit or other evidence of the truth of the statement, and those affidavits and a minute of that evidence shall be forwarded to the registrar general.

(2) An issuer may

(a) require the production of witnesses to identify an applicant for a licence or party to an intended marriage; and

(b) examine under oath or affirmation an applicant or party referred to in paragraph (a) or other witnesses as to a matter concerning the issue of the licence.

1974 No81 s20

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Powers of issuer

21. (1) An issuer has, for the purposes of this Act, the powers that are or may be conferred upon a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act, including the power to administer oaths and affirmations and to take evidence under oath or affirmation.

(2) An issuer is, for the purposes of this Act, considered to be an investigating body referred to in the Public Investigations Evidence Act.

(3) The powers conferred on an issuer by subsections (1) and (2) are in addition to and not in derogation of a power conferred elsewhere in this Act upon an issuer or powers of an issuer arising under another Act or law.

1974 No81 s21

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Person divorced in Canada

22. (1) An issuer shall not issue a licence to a person whose previous marriage has been dissolved or annulled in Canada unless the person deposits with the issuer

(a) the final decree or judgment dissolving or annulling the marriage or a copy of the final decree, judgment or Act dissolving or annulling the marriage, certified by the proper officer;

(b) a certificate from the Registrar of the Supreme Court that an appeal has not been entered from the final decree or judgment dissolving or annulling the marriage and that the time for appeal has expired or, where an appeal has been entered, documentary evidence satisfactory to the issuer that the appeal has been finally disposed of; and

(c) other material which the issuer may require.

(2) An issuer shall not issue a licence to a person whose previous marriage has been dissolved or annulled elsewhere than in Canada unless the written authorization of the registrar general is obtained upon the deposit of the material which he or she may require.

1974 No81 s22

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Requirements after solemnization

23. (1) Immediately after the solemnization of a marriage the member of the clergy or the marriage commissioner solemnizing it shall

(a) fill the blanks in the form of certificate endorsed upon the licence with

(i) the names of the parties to the marriage, and the residences and conditions of the parties respectively,

(ii) the date of the marriage, and place of solemnization,

(iii) the religious body or denomination according to the rites of which the marriage was solemnized, where the marriage was solemnized by a member of the clergy,

(iv) the names and addresses of the witnesses to the marriage, and

(v) other information for which provision is made in the form,

and the member of the clergy or marriage commissioner shall sign the licence with his or her name and, where the marriage was solemnized by a member of the clergy, the religious denomination to which he or she belongs;

(b) fill up the blanks in the form of certificate attached to the licence with the particulars mentioned in paragraph (a) and also with the date and place of issue of the licence under which the marriage was solemnized, and sign the certificate with his or her name and, where the marriage was solemnized by a member of the clergy, the religious denomination to which he or she belongs, and the certificate when filled up and signed shall be detached from the licence and given to 1 of the parties to the marriage; and

(c) fill up a form, to be known as the "marriage register", with

(i) the date and place of the solemnization of the marriage,

(ii) the names, ages, conditions, religious denominations, occupations, places of residence and places of birth of the parties to the marriage,

(iii) the names of the parents of those parties, and

(iv) other information for which provision is made in the form,

and the marriage register when filled up shall be signed by the 2 witnesses to the marriage, with their addresses, by the parties to the marriage, and by the person who solemnized the marriage with, where he or she is a member of the clergy, the name of the religious denomination to which he or she belongs.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with the keeping by a member of the clergy of a marriage register which he or she is otherwise required to keep or thinks appropriate to keep.

(3) The marriage certificate and marriage register referred to in this section shall be in the forms prescribed by the regulations.

1974 No81 s23

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Return of marriage register to issuer

24. A person who solemnizes a marriage

(a) in the City of St. John's shall, within 1 month after that marriage; and

(b) outside the City of St. John's shall, within 3 months after that marriage,

return to the issuer by whom the licence was issued the marriage register in respect of the marriage, filled up and signed under section 23 together with the licence for the marriage with the certificate endorsed on the licence completed in accordance with that section.

1974 No81 s24

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Record kept by issuer

25. An issuer shall keep a record in which he or she shall enter

(a) the date of licences issued by him or her;

(b) the parties to the intended marriage;

(c) the date on which the licence was returned to him or her under section 24; and

(d) the particulars of the marriage as set out in the marriage register returned to him or her.

1974 No81 s25

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Issuers to ascertain facts as to marriages

26. An issuer shall, where it is within his or her power, ascertain the several marriages occurring in his or her vicinity and require the person solemnizing them to fill up marriage registers for those marriages and return those registers to him or her.

1974 No81 s26

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Required report by issuer

27. On every 2nd Monday an issuer shall make a report to the registrar general in respect of the preceding period of 2 weeks by way of a nil report or a return of

(a) the licences issued by him or her and returned to him or her with the certificates of marriage endorsed on the licences during that period;

(b) affidavits considered by him or her on the issue of licences during that period;

(c) consents and orders dispensing with consent filed with him or her during that period;

(d) documents and other material deposited with him or her under section 24 during that period;

(e) marriage registers returned to him or her; and

(f) a list signed by him or her of the documents being returned to the registrar general under this section.

1975-76 No48 s4

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Blank forms to be kept by registrar general

28. The registrar general shall prepare blank forms of the affidavit referred to in section 15 and of the marriage register and marriage certificates prescribed by this Act, and distribute these to the issuers, who shall provide blank forms of marriage register and marriage certificates to members of the clergy and marriage commissioners on application.

1974 No81 s28

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Regulations

29. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing forms and the statements and other information to be set out in the forms, and providing for the use of those forms and requiring the information in a specified form to be verified by affidavit;

(b) prescribing persons and classes of persons authorized to act as witnesses to consents referred to in section 19;

(c) prescribing fees for the purposes of subsection 11(3) and of section 16 and waiving those fees or a prescribed portion of them under circumstances specified by the regulations;

(d) prescribing, for the purposes of section 16, what part of fees collected by an issuer in respect of licences issued by him or her may be retained by the issuer for his or her own fees;

(e) providing for the holding of inquiries into the operation of this Act and into a charge or complaint that a person has contravened this Act or the regulations, or into another matter arising in the administration of this Act, and providing that the person holding that inquiry shall have the powers that are or may be conferred upon a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act, including the power to take evidence under oath or affirmation; and

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

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette and shall have effect from the date of publication or an earlier or later date that may be stated in the regulations.

1974 No81 s29

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Illiterate may make mark

30. Where a person whose signature is required by this Act is unable to write, his or her mark made in the presence of and certified by the issuer or other witness, shall be sufficient.

1974 No81 s30

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Errors in marriage certificate

31. Where an error is found to have been made in the entry of a marriage in a marriage register, the person discovering the error shall immediately give information of the error to the nearest issuer, and that issuer is authorized and required to investigate the circumstances of the case, and where he or she is satisfied that an error has been made in that entry he or she may correct the erroneous entry according to the truth of the case by an entry in the margin of the marriage register, without an alteration of the original entry.

1974 No81 s31

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Penalty: marriage without licence

32. A person who

(a) solemnizes a marriage; or

(b) counsels or requires a person to solemnize a marriage,

under a licence which has not been filled up and signed by an issuer in the manner prescribed by this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.

1974 No81 s32

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Penalty for altering licence

33. A person who alters or helps in altering or counsels an alteration of a licence after the licence has been issued is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.

1974 No81 s33

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Offence against ss.12(4)

34. A member of the clergy or marriage commissioner who solemnizes a marriage in contravention of subsection 12(4) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500.

1975-76 No48 s5

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Penalty for using another marriage licence

35. A person who solemnizes, or helps in solemnizing, a marriage under a licence issued for another marriage is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.

1974 No81 s35

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Unauthorized solemnization of marriage

36. A person who solemnizes a marriage where he or she was not authorized by this Act to solemnize marriage is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500.

1974 No81 s36

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Penalty for neglect by issuer

37. An issuer who

(a) parts with or allows to go out of his or her possession a marriage licence except as provided in this Act;

(b) loses or damages a licence, marriage register or other document in his or her possession under this Act;

(c) does not within the relevant period prescribed by this Act make the returns which by this Act he or she is required to make; or

(d) neglects or refuses to make an entry or perform a duty which he or she is by this Act required to make or do

is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10.

1974 No81 s37

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False return of licences

38. An issuer who knowingly makes a false return of licences sold by him or her is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.

1974 No81 s38

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False registering

39. A person who, knowing the statement to be false, makes, for the purposes of being inserted in a marriage register, a false statement touching the particulars in this Act required to be stated in the register is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500.

1974 No81 s39

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Penalty for false statement

40. A person who, knowing the statement to be false, sends to a newspaper publisher or other person, for publication in a newspaper in the province, a false statement of the marriage of a person is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.

1974 No81 s40

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Offence

41. (1) A person who fails to comply with or otherwise contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and a person who is guilty of an offence is, where no penalty is specifically provided in this Act, liable on summary conviction in the case of a 1st conviction to a fine not exceeding $25 and in the case of a 2nd or subsequent conviction for a similar offence to a fine not exceeding $50 and, in either case, in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.

(2) In subsection (1), a conviction is not considered to be a 2nd or subsequent conviction unless it is in respect of an offence committed within 12 months after the date of a previous offence.

(3) In subsection (1), a conviction is considered to be a 1st conviction where it is in respect of an offence committed more than 12 months after the date of the last previous offence.

1974 No81 s41

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Protection where solemnization in good faith

42. A person who solemnizes or purports to solemnize a marriage is not subject to an action or liability because of there having been a legal impediment to the marriage unless, at the time he or she solemnized the marriage he or she was aware, or should reasonably have been aware, of the impediment.

1974 No81 s42

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Consent of prosecution

43. (1) A prosecution under this Act shall not be taken except with the prior written consent of the Minister of Justice.

(2) A prosecution under this Act shall not be started or process served later than 1 year after the alleged offence was committed.

1974 No81 s43

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Marriages solemnized in good faith

44. Where the parties to a marriage solemnized in good faith and intended to be in compliance with this Act were not under a legal disqualification to contract the marriage and after that solemnization have lived together and cohabited as husband and wife, the marriage shall be considered to have been validly solemnized, notwithstanding that the person who solemnized the marriage was not authorized to solemnize marriage and notwithstanding an irregularity or insufficiency in the issue of the licence.

1974 No81 s44

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