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St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER S-30

ACT RESPECTING PROVINCIAL OFFENCES AND PROVINCIAL COURT INQUIRIES

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

PART I
SUMMARY
PROCEEDINGS

3. Application of Part I

4. Penal proceedings

5. Statute without penalty

6. Warrant remains valid

7. Criminal Code adopted

8. Time limitation

9. Parties to offence

10. Service

11. Proof of service

12. New trial

13. Description of ownership

14. Fiat of A.G.

PART II
TRAFFIC OFFENCES

15. Traffic ticket

16. Service of ticket

17. Parking ticket

18. Payment out of court

19. Non-appearance

20. Service out of jurisdiction

PART III
INQUIRIES

21. Definitions

22. Fire inquiry

23. Death inquiry

24. Autopsy

25. Powers of judge

26. Commission evidence

27. Public inquiry

28. Attendance at inquiry

29. Witnesses

30. Report of judge

31. Incriminating answers

32. Records

33. Regulations


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Summary Proceedings Act.

1979 c35 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "court" means the Provincial Court of Newfoundland established by the Provincial Court Act;

(b) "judge" means Provincial Court judge; and

(c) "peace officer" means a peace officer as defined in the Criminal Code.

1979 c35 s2

PART I
SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS

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Application of Part I

3. Subject to special provisions otherwise enacted, this Part applies to and a judge may try in a summary manner without a jury

(a) a case in which a person commits or is suspected of having committed an offence or act over which the Legislature has legislative authority and for which that person is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment, fine, penalty or other punishment;

(b) a case in which a complaint is made to a justice in relation to a matter over which the Legislature has legislative authority and with respect to which a judge has authority by law to make an order for the payment of money or otherwise; and

(c) a proceeding in which an application is made to the court in relation to a matter over which the Legislature has legislative authority and with respect to which a judge is given authority to make an order for relief.

1979 c35 s3; 1988 c61 s88

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Penal proceedings

4. (1) Except where it is otherwise provided, a penalty or imprisonment prescribed under a provincial statute, subordinate legislation as defined in the Statutes and Subordinate Legislation Act or municipal regulation or by-law shall be recovered or enforced on summary conviction before a judge.

(2) A court remedy for an act or omission is not suspended or affected for the reason that the act or omission is an offence.

1979 c35 s4

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Statute without penalty

5. A person who, without lawful excuse, contravenes a provision of a provincial statute, subordinate legislation as defined in the Statutes and Subordinate Legislation Act or municipal regulation or by-law, by wilfully doing anything that the provision forbids or by wilfully omitting to do anything that the provision requires to be done is, unless some penalty or punishment is expressly provided by law, guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $100 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days or to both a fine and imprisonment.

1979 c35 s5

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Warrant remains valid

6. A warrant or summons issued by a judge or justice shall not be avoided by reason of the judge or justice who signed it dying or ceasing to hold office.

1979 c35 s6

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Criminal Code adopted

7. (1) Except where and to the extent that it is otherwise specially enacted, the provisions of the Criminal Code respecting summary convictions and the proceedings relating to them apply, with the necessary changes, in respect of offences and orders and proceedings relating to the offences and orders made or to be made under this Act.

(2) Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), the provisions of Parts XVI, XVIII, XXII, XXIII and XXVII and sections 463 to 465, 484 to 490, 770 to 773, 776 to 778 and 783 of the Criminal Code apply, with the necessary changes, to matters to which this Act applies.

1979 c35 s7

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Time limitation

8. An information or complaint under this Act may be laid or made on or before a day 12 months from the day when the matter of the information or complaint arose unless another time limit is provided for.

1979 c35 s8

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Parties to offence

9. (1) A person is a party to an offence who

(a) actually commits it;

(b) does or omits to do anything for the purpose of helping a person to commit it; or

(c) helps a person in committing it.

(2) Where 2 or more persons form an intention in common to carry out an unlawful purpose and to help each other and 1 of them, in carrying out the common purpose, commits an offence, each of them who knew or ought to have known that the commission of the offence would be a probable consequence of carrying out the common purpose is a party to that offence.

(3) Where a person counsels or procures another person to be a party to an offence and that other person is afterwards a party to that offence, the person who counselled or procured is a party to that offence, notwithstanding that the offence was committed in a way different from that which was counselled or procured.

(4) A person who counsels or procures another person to be a party to an offence is a party to an offence that the other commits in consequence of the counselling or procuring that the person who counselled or procured knew or ought to have known was likely to be committed in consequence of the counselling or procuring.

1979 c35 s9

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Service

10. (1) A summons issued under this Part shall be served

(a) by delivery personally by a peace officer, or other person who may be authorized by the Attorney General, to the person to whom the summons is directed or where that person cannot conveniently be found, by leaving it for him or her at his or her last known or usual place of residence with a resident of that place who appears to be at least 16 years of age; or

(b) by mailing the summons to the person to whom it is directed by registered mail.

(2) Where a summons or application is directed to a person who lives outside of the province the summons or application is considered to have been served when it has been sent by registered mail to the last known or most usual place of residence of that person and a summons or application shall be in the prescribed form.

(3) A warrant, summons or other document issued, given or entered into under this Act may be issued, executed, given or entered into on a holiday.

(4) Service of a summons on a corporation may be effected by delivering the summons personally to the manager, secretary or other executive officer of the corporation or person apparently in charge of a branch office of the corporation, or by mailing the summons by registered mail to the corporation.

1979 c35 s10; 1988 c61 s88

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Proof of service

11. (1) Personal service of a summons or application may be proved by a statement under oath or affirmation, written or oral, of the person who made the service.

(2) Service of a summons or application by mail may be proved by the production of the acknowledgement of receipt card or proof of delivery card purporting to be signed by the person who accepted the document.

1979 c35 s11; 1988 c61 s88

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New trial

12. (1) Where a person served by registered mail has been convicted in default of appearance and it is made to appear to a judge, by affidavit upon the unilateral application of that person made before the expiration of 30 days from the date he or she received notice of the conviction, that

(a) he or she did not have notice of the summons in time to appear in answer to it; and

(b) he or she has a good defence to the charge,

the judge shall order a new trial.

(2) Where an order is made under subsection (1), proceedings shall be taken and follow as if the person had not been convicted in default of appearance.

1981 c82 s2

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Description of ownership

13. (1) Where, in an information, complaint, application or proceeding on the information, complaint, application or proceeding, it is necessary

(a) to state the ownership of property belonging to or in possession of partners, joint tenants or tenants in common; or

(b) to mention partners, joint tenants or tenants in common,

it is sufficient to name 1 of those persons and refer to only the fact of others.

(2) Where, in an information, complaint, application or proceeding, it is necessary to describe

(a) the ownership of a work or building made, maintained or repaired at the expense of the government of the province, or a public authority or body; or

(b) materials used in relation to the making, altering or repairing of that work or building,

it may be described as the property of the Crown, the public authority or body.

1979 c35 s12; 1988 c61 s88

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Fiat of A.G.

14. A document purporting to be the fiat, order or consent of the Attorney General for or to the institution of criminal proceedings in a particular form, and purporting to be signed by the Attorney General shall be admissible as, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence without further proof.

1979 c35 s13

PART II
TRAFFIC OFFENCES

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Traffic ticket

15. (1) For a contravention

(a) of the Highway Traffic Act or regulations made under that Act;

(b) of a provision relating to the regulation of traffic by the City of St. John's Act, the City of Corner Brook Act, the City of Mount Pearl Act, the Municipalities Act or another Act of a general or special nature constituting or incorporating a city, town, municipality or community;

(c) of a regulation or by-law regulating traffic of a city, town, municipality or community constituted or incorporated under an Act referred to in paragraph (b);

(d) of section 35 of the Memorial University Act or regulations made in relation to that section;

(e) of the Dangerous Goods Transportation Act; or

(f) of section 21 of the Department of Works, Services and Transportation Act, or regulations made in relation to that section,

a complaint may be laid and a summons issued by means of a traffic ticket under this section and section 16 instead of the procedure set out in the Criminal Code for laying an information and for issuing a summons.

(2) A traffic ticket shall be in 4 parts, as follows:

(a) complaint;

(b) report of conviction;

(c) police record; and

(d) summons.

(3) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) prescribing the form of the traffic ticket;

(b) defining a word, figure or expression used in the regulations;

(c) authorizing the use on a traffic ticket of a word or expression to designate an offence under this Act; and

(d) respecting a matter that it considers necessary for the use of the traffic ticket.

(4) The use on a traffic ticket of a word, figure or expression authorized by the regulations to designate an offence under this Act shall be sufficient to describe the offence designated by that word or expression.

(5) A peace officer or other complainant shall indicate the offence charged on the traffic ticket by placing a mark in the box to the left of the offence charged or where the offence charged does not appear on the traffic ticket he or she shall write the offence in the space provided for it on the traffic ticket.

1979 c35 s14; 1980 c34 s2; 1985 c15 s445(3);
1990 c49 s5

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Service of ticket

16. (1) Upon filling out and signing a traffic ticket, the peace officer or other person that may be authorized by the Attorney General shall deliver the traffic ticket summons to the person charged with an offence in that ticket and that delivery is personal service upon that person.

(2) Service of a traffic ticket summons may be made on a holiday.

(3) Where a traffic ticket summons is not served in accordance with subsection (1), a traffic ticket may be used to lay a complaint before a justice and may be attached for information purposes to the summons issued by the court.

(4) A traffic ticket complaint shall be

(a) sworn to or affirmed before a justice and signed by the complainant; and

(b) deposited, together with that part of the traffic ticket providing for the report of conviction, with the court.

(5) The traffic ticket complaint need not be sworn to or affirmed before the traffic ticket summons is delivered under subsection (1).

(6) Where a judge makes a conviction on a traffic ticket complaint, he or she shall complete and forward the traffic ticket report of conviction to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

1979 c35 s15

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Parking ticket

17. (1) Where the offence charged in a traffic ticket summons is a breach of a provision relating to the parking of vehicles, the traffic ticket summons may be served by attaching it in the manner that may be prescribed by the regulations to the vehicle in respect of which the breach is charged.

(2) Where a traffic ticket summons has been served in the manner and for an offence referred to in subsection (1) and the party summoned fails to appear at the time and place appointed in that summons, then, unless the judge presiding at the time and place so appointed considers it desirable that personal service should be effected and so orders, the complaint upon which the summons is based may, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, be heard in the absence of the party summoned and adjudicated upon as effectively as if that party were then present before the judge.

(3) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations providing the manner, including the opening of the vehicle, in which a traffic ticket summons referred to in subsection (1) shall be attached to the vehicle in respect of which the breach is charged.

(4) Where a person has been summoned by a traffic ticket summons served in the manner and for a breach referred to in subsection (1) and has been convicted in default of appearance without invoking another method of summoning him or her and it is made to appear to a judge, by affidavit upon the unilateral application of that person made before the expiration of 30 days from the date that he or she received notice of the conviction, that

(a) he or she did not have notice of the traffic ticket summons in time to appear in answer to it; and

(b) he or she has a good defence to the charge,

the judge may order that a new trial be held and when that order is made, proceedings shall be taken and follow as if the person had not been convicted in default of appearance.

(5) For an offence referred to in subsection (1), the Attorney General may by order

(a) authorize a person other than a peace officer to lay a complaint and issue a summons by means of a traffic ticket; and

(b) indicate the terms and conditions of an authorization made under paragraph (a).

1979 c35 s16; 1990 c57 s1

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Payment out of court

18. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may prescribe a form of traffic ticket summons under section 15 having an additional part or having an endorsement to the effect that the person to whom the summons is directed may pay out of court a specified sum where he or she wishes to plead guilty.

(2) A person to whom such a summons is directed is not required to appear in answer to the summons where, within the time stated in it, he or she

(a) signs the plea of guilty endorsed on the summons; and

(b) delivers the summons and the specified penalty to the place stated on the summons,

and upon so doing the person shall be considered to be convicted of the offence charged.

(3) A signature affixed to a plea of guilty on such a summons and purporting to be that of the person to whom the summons is directed is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof that it is the signature of that person.

(4) Where a summons and the specified penalty are delivered to the place stated in the summons but the plea of guilty is not signed it shall be considered to be signed by the person to whom the summons is directed.

(5) Where a summons and the specified penalty are delivered to the place stated in the summons after the time stated in it as being allowed for the delivery, a judge may,

(a) without a hearing; and

(b) notwithstanding an action he or she may have taken under section 17,

direct that the summons and penalty be accepted as if they had been delivered within the time allowed.

1979 c35 s17

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Non-appearance

19. (1) Where the person to whom a traffic ticket summons is directed fails to appear in court either in person or by agent in answer to the summons, the judge

(a) may adjourn the proceedings for a period not exceeding 30 days;

(b) may hear the matter in the absence of that person or of his or her agent;

(c) may issue a warrant for the arrest of the person; or

(d) notwithstanding the offence is not in relation to the parking of vehicles, may apply subsection 17(2) or (4), with the necessary changes, and may hear the matter or make the order that is appropriate.

(2) Where proceedings are adjourned under paragraph (1)(a), the judge shall direct that the person be notified by ordinary mail at his or her last known address of the new time fixed for appearance and where the person fails to appear in court at that time, a judge may act under paragraph (1)(b) or (c).

(3) This section does not apply where, under subsection 18(2), the person is considered to be convicted of the offence charged.

(4) Where the person to whom a traffic ticket summons is directed fails to appear in court, the judge may dispense with the recording of evidence, notwithstanding that the complaint upon which the summons is based is heard and adjudicated upon.

1979 c35 s18; 1981 c82 s3

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Service out of jurisdiction

20. Where a summons is issued for a violation of a provision referred to in subsection 15(1) against a person who lives outside of the province, the summons is considered to have been served when it has been sent by registered mail to the last known or most usual place of residence of the person summoned, and a summons shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations.

1979 c35 s19

PART III
INQUIRIES

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Definitions

21. In this Part

(a) "constable" means a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force stationed in the province and a police officer employed by a city, town, municipality, community or other form of local government, constituted or incorporated under an Act of a general or special nature; and

(b) "medical practitioner" means a person who is the holder of a valid licence issued under the Medical Act.

1979 c35 s20

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Fire inquiry

22. Where property is damaged or destroyed by fire, a judge may hold an inquiry to ascertain the cause or origin of the fire, and shall hold that inquiry on direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

1979 c35 s21

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Death inquiry

23. (1) Where a person dies and there is reasonable cause to suspect that person died

(a) as a result of violence, misadventure, negligence, misconduct, malpractice or by unfair means;

(b) suddenly or unexpectedly;

(c) from illness or disease for which that person was not treated by a medical practitioner;

(d) in prison; or

(e) having apparently committed suicide,

a judge shall hold an inquiry to ascertain the causes respecting and the circumstances surrounding that death.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a judge is not required to hold an inquiry in relation to a death where

(a) the Director of Public Prosecutions notifies the judge that an inquiry is not necessary; or

(b) a person died as described in paragraph (1)(b) or (c) and a medical practitioner certifies in a written certificate that that death was solely as a result of natural causes,

unless the Attorney General directs that an inquiry be held.

1979 c35 s22

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Autopsy

24. (1) For the purpose of ascertaining under this Part the cause of death of a person, a judge may order in writing that an autopsy be held or another post mortem examination be made under the supervision of a medical practitioner named in the order.

(2) Under subsection (1) and subject to the Exhumation Act, a judge may order a constable to disinter and take possession of the remains of the deceased person and for that purpose the constable may enter a place and do those acts that are reasonably necessary for him or her to carry out the order.

(3) A judge may cancel or amend an order made under this section.

(4) A report signed by the medical practitioner who performed the autopsy shall without further proof be evidence at an inquiry but a judge may require the medical practitioner to attend and give evidence.

1979 c35 s23; 1987 c7 s1; 1988 c54 s21

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Powers of judge

25. A judge where he or she holds an inquiry under this Part, including one under section 26, has the powers of a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act.

1979 c35 s24

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Commission evidence

26. (1) A judge may request in writing of another judge to require a person to attend before that other judge and be examined with respect to the subject matter of an inquiry.

(2) The judge requested under subsection (1) shall transmit the proceedings and a deposition connected with the proceedings to the requesting judge and proceedings and depositions so transmitted are considered part of the evidence of an inquiry and are to be included in a report sent under section 30.

1979 c35 s25

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Public inquiry

27. (1) An inquiry shall be held in public.

(2) At any stage in the inquiry, the judge may, on application by a party, or otherwise, make an order directing that the evidence taken at the inquiry, or a portion of it, shall not be published or broadcast except by leave of the judge granted at a time subsequent to the inquiry.

1979 c35 s26

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Attendance at inquiry

28. (1) A person appointed by the Attorney General to act for the Crown may attend the inquiry and may examine and cross-examine witnesses and present arguments and submissions.

(2) A person who the presiding judge determines is an interested person may attend the inquiry and be represented by counsel and may examine and cross-examine witnesses and present arguments and submissions.

1987 c7 s2

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Witnesses

29. Where, in the opinion of the judge, it is necessary, witnesses at an inquiry shall be kept apart from each other or otherwise prevented from communicating with each other until they have been examined.

1979 c35 s28

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Report of judge

30. (1) At the conclusion of the inquiry the presiding judge shall make a written report to the Attorney General which shall contain findings as to the following:

(a) the identity of the deceased;

(b) the date, time and place of death or the fire;

(c) the circumstances under which the death or fire occurred;

(d) the cause of death or the fire; and

(e) the manner of death.

(2) A report under subsection (1) may contain recommendations as to the prevention of similar deaths or fires.

(3) The findings of the judge shall not contain findings of legal responsibility or a conclusion of law.

(4) The report of the presiding judge shall be made not later than 6 months from the date of the beginning of the inquiry unless an extension of the time is granted by the Chief Provincial Court judge.

(5) Notwithstanding an order under subsection 27(2), the Attorney General may make available to a person, on payment of the prescribed fee, a copy of the report or a part of it.

1979 c35 s29; 1987 c7 s3

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Incriminating answers

31. (1) A witness shall not be excused from answering a question upon the ground that the answer may tend to incriminate him or her or may tend to establish his or her liability to a civil proceeding at the instance of the Crown or a person or to a prosecution under an Act.

(2) Where, with respect to a question a witness refuses to answer upon grounds set out in subsection (1), and where, but for this section or an Act of the province or Canada he or she would have been excused from answering the question then, although the witness is because of this section or an Act of the province or Canada compelled to answer, the answer given shall not be used or receivable in evidence against him or her in a civil proceeding or in a proceeding under an Act of the Legislature.

1979 c35 s30

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Records

32. (1) A judge shall record in the prescribed manner a minute or memorandum of convictions or orders made by him or her under Parts I and II and shall note those particulars in a form that may be prescribed by the regulations.

(2) A sum paid to the court under this Act and the appropriation of that sum, shall be recorded and authenticated in a manner that may be prescribed by the regulations.

(3) Minutes, memoranda and notes made under this section shall be, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence of the matters included in them.

(4) Information recorded under this section shall be open for inspection, without fee, to a person authorized in that behalf by a judge or the Attorney General.

1979 c35 s31

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Regulations

33. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

1979 c35 s32

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