[This electronic version is for your personal use and may not be copied
for the purposes of resale in this or any other form. Formatting of
the electronic version may differ from the official, printed version.]




BILL NO. 8





Government Bill




4th Session, 56th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
45 Elizabeth II, 1996




An Act Respecting

Court Reform and Administrative Reform





CHAPTER 23
ACTS OF 1996




The Honourable William Gillis
Minister of Justice




AS ASSENTED TO BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
DECEMBER 20, 1996




Halifax
Printed by Queen s Printer for Nova Scotia







An Act Respecting

Court Reform and Administrative Reform





Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Court and Administrative Reform Act.

2 Notwithstanding any enactment,

(a) where an enactment requires the approval of the Governor in Council for the acquisition or disposal of real property or an interest in real property, the Governor in Council may, by regulation, assign to a member of the Executive Council the authority to acquire or dispose of the real property or an interest in the real property under the enactment;

(b) where the Fatality Inquiries Act, except for Section 2, the Notaries and Commissioners Act, the Solemnization of Marriage Act or the Vital Statistics Act requires Governor in Council approval of an appointment, the Governor in Council may, by regulation, assign to a member of the Executive Council the authority to approve the appointment.

3 Notwithstanding clause 2(a), a member of the Executive Council may only exercise the authority referred to in that clause where the Governor in Council has, by regulation, established policies and procedures governing the acquisition or disposal of real property or an interest in real property and those policies and procedures contain, as a minimum, the following:

(a) a requirement that the real property acquired or disposed of be less than a certain acreage or value;

(b) a requirement that the transaction be based on market value;

(c) acceptable methods of sale;

(d) a prohibition against selling real property at less than market value without the approval of the Governor in Council;

(e) a prohibition against purchasing real property at more than market value, or a certain percentage above market value, without the approval of the Governor in Council;

(f) procedures to prohibit a transaction with a party related to the minister or to senior officials in the department;

(g) a prohibition against the acquisition of a leasehold interest in real property;

(h) a procedure to determine if the real property has been identified by the Minister of Natural Resources as a significant wildlife habitat and, if it has been so identified, a prohibition against the sale of the real property without the approval of the Governor in Council; and

(i) a requirement that public notice be given of each acquisition or disposal of real property.

4 The exercise of authority by a member of the Executive Council pursuant to Section 2 is deemed to be an exercise of authority by the Governor in Council for the purpose of the relevant enactment.

5 Where an enactment authorizes a board, tribunal or commission to make an order disposing of a matter under the enactment and there is no provision in the enactment for the order to be filed and enforced in the same manner as a judgment of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, the Governor in Council may, by regulation, provide that an order of that board, tribunal or commission, whether made before or after the coming into force of this Section, may be filed and enforced in the same manner as a judgment of the Supreme Court.

6 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) assigning, prescribing or requiring anything that is required to be assigned, prescribed or required pursuant to Sections 2 to 5;

(b) respecting any matter deemed necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of Sections 2 to 5.

(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

7 (1) Subsection 3(2) of Chapter 101 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Corporations Registration Act, as enacted by Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1993, is amended by adding "incorporated and" immediately after "is" in the second line.

(2) Subsection 3(3) of Chapter 101, as enacted by Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1993, is amended by adding "incorporated pursuant to the Companies Act and" immediately after "corporation" in the fourth line.

8 Chapter 110 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Court Reporters Act, is repealed.

9 Subsections 9(1) and (3) of Chapter 159 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Family Court Act, are repealed.

10 Chapter 240 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Judicature Act, is amended by adding immediately after Section 21 the following Section: 21A A judge of the Supreme Court is ex officio a judge of the Court of Appeal.

11 Chapter 240 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 25 the following Section:

26 The Minister of Justice may establish justice centres and for each the justice centre area it serves.

12 Section 3 of Chapter 242 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Juries Act, is repealed and the following Section substituted:

3 Each justice centre area established pursuant to the Judicature Act constitutes a jury district for the purpose of this Act.

13 Chapter 242 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 18 the following Section:

18A (1) Notwithstanding Sections 17 and 18, the Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting the fee to be paid to a juror;

(b) respecting the method of paying jurors;

(c) defining "juror" for the purpose of paying jurors.

(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

14 Chapter 247 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Land Actions Venue Act, is amended by adding immediately after Section 1 the following Section:

1A In this Act, "justice centre area" means a justice centre area established by the Minister of Justice pursuant to the Judicature Act.

15 Section 2 of Chapter 247 is amended by

(a) striking out "county" in the fourth and in the fifth lines and substituting in each case "justice centre area"; and

(b) striking out "counties" in the last line and substituting "justice centre areas".

16 (1) Subsection 3(1) of Chapter 329 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Overholding Tenants Act, is amended by striking out "Form A in the Schedule to this Act" in the fifth line and substituting "the form prescribed by regulation". (2) Subsection 3(2) of Chapter 329 is amended by striking out "Form B in the Schedule to this Act" in the first and second lines and substituting "the form prescribed by regulation".

17 (1) Subsection 5(1) of Chapter 329 is amended by striking out "Form C in the Schedule to this Act" in the last line and substituting "the form prescribed by regulation".

(2) Subsection 5(2) of Chapter 329 is amended by striking out "Form C in the Schedule to this Act" in the second and third lines and substituting "the form prescribed by regulation".

18 Chapter 329 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 20 the following Section:

21 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the forms to be used pursuant to this Act.

(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

19 The Schedule to Chapter 329 is repealed.

20 Clause 2(e) of Chapter 359 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Probate Act, is repealed and the following clause substituted:

(e) "probate district" means a probate district established pursuant to this Act;

21 Section 3 of Chapter 359 is repealed and the following Section substituted:

3 Each justice centre area established pursuant to the Judicature Act constitutes a probate district for the purpose of this Act.

22 (1) Subsection 5(4) of Chapter 359 is amended by adding "or a person designated by the Minister of Justice" immediately after "registrar" in the first line.

(2) Section 5 of Chapter 359 is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (13) the following subsection:

(14) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Section, a registrar or deputy registrar may exercise the duties of a registrar or deputy registrar, as the case may be, in any probate district.

23 Subsection 125(1) of Chapter 359 is repealed and the following subsection substituted: (1) Every oath in proof of a will offered for probate shall be administered by and taken before a judge or registrar of any court.

24 Chapter 364 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Prothonotaries and Clerks of the Crown Act, is repealed.

25 Section 2A of Chapter 238 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Provincial Court Act, as enacted by Chapter 16 of the Acts of 1992, is amended by adding "(1)" immediately after the Section number and by adding the following subsection:

(2) The Governor in Council may determine and declare the seal to be used in the court and by which its proceedings shall be certified and authenticated.

26 The long title to Chapter 373 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Offices and Officers Act, is amended by striking out "Inspection of Public Offices, to Authorize the Payment of Salaries to Certain Public Officers and Respecting Security to be Furnished by Public Officers" in the second, third, fourth and fifth lines and substituting "Appointment and Duties of Court Officials".

27 Section 1 of Chapter 373 is amended by striking out "Public Offices and Officers" in the first and second lines and substituting "Court Officials".

28 The headings immediately preceding Section 2, Sections 2 to 11, the headings immediately preceding Section 12, Section 12, the headings immediately preceding Section 13 and Sections 13 to 18 of Chapter 373 are repealed and the following Sections substituted:

2 There shall be appointed, in accordance with the Civil Service Act, court administrators and such other officers and employees as are considered necessary for the administration of the courts in the Province.

3 (1) A court administrator appointed pursuant to Section 2 shall perform the powers and duties set out in the appointment or prescribed by the Minister of Justice and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the powers and duties of a court administrator may include the powers and duties formerly performed by a court reporter, prothonotary and clerk of the Crown, sheriff or court clerk.

(2) An officer or employee appointed pursuant to Section 2 shall perform the powers and duties set out in the appointment.

4 (1) A power or duty given to a court administrator, officer or employee pursuant to this Act, another enactment or a rule of court may be exercised or performed by a person or class of persons to whom the power or duty has been assigned by the Deputy Minister of Justice or a person designated by the Deputy Minister.

(2) Subsection (1) applies in respect of an enactment or rule of court made pursuant to the authority of the Legislature or of the Parliament of Canada.

5 The Minister of Justice may prescribe the days and hours during which any office related to the administration of the courts in the Province shall be open.

6 Every court administrator, officer or employee appointed pursuant to this Act shall take the oath that is prescribed in the regulations with respect to any office that the person may be performing.

7 Every court administrator, officer or employee appointed pursuant to this Act is an officer of the court in respect of which that person serves and that person shall obey the orders of the court and of a judge of the court.

8 No person, other than a person appointed pursuant to this Act, shall transcribe proceedings of a court unless the person is certified by the Minister of Justice or a person designated by the Minister of Justice.

9 A record of the proceedings of a court certified in the manner prescribed in the regulations is the official record of the proceedings.

10 (1) A person appointed pursuant to this Act to perform the duties previously performed by a sheriff is, for services performed, entitled to the fees and allowances specified in that behalf in the Costs and Fees Act.

(2) The plaintiff or other party at whose suit or instance any process is issued, and the barrister who issued the process, are severally liable to pay to a sheriff the fees and expenses of service or execution.

11 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing oaths;

(b) prescribing fees;

(c) respecting the certification of court proceedings;

(d) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(e) respecting any matter or thing deemed necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

29 (1) Subsection 11(1) of Chapter 393 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Regulations Act, is amended by

(a) adding "that is to be made by or must be approved by the Governor in Council" immediately after "regulation" in the second line; and

(b) striking out "three copies" in the second line and substituting "a copy".

(2) Subsection 11(2) of Chapter 393 is amended by striking out "copies of" in the first line.

30 Subsection 22(2) of Chapter 393 , is amended by

(a) adding immediately after clause (d) the following clauses:

(da) combine two or more regulations or parts thereof or subdivide any regulation into two or more regulations;

(db) add, change or omit any title of any regulation;

and

(b) striking out "or typographical" in the third line of clause (e) and substituting "typographical or printing".

31 Section 2 of Chapter 406 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Rural Fire District Act, is amended by adding immediately after clause (b) the following clause:

(ba) "clerk" means the clerk of a municipality;

32 (1) Subsection 7(1) of Chapter 406 is repealed and the following subsection substituted:

(1) The assessors of each municipality shall give to the clerk such assistance as the clerk may need in the preparation of the list of persons entitled to vote.

(2) Subsection 7(2) of Chapter 406 is amended by striking out "From the information so provided, the" in the first line and substituting "The".

(3) Subsection 7(4) of Chapter 406 is amended by striking out "by the sheriff" in the third line.

33 Subsection 8(2) of Chapter 406 is amended by adding "poll" immediately preceding "clerk" in the fourth line.

34 Subsection 13(1) of Chapter 406 is amended by adding "poll" immediately preceding "clerk" in the third and in the fourth lines.

35 Clause 15(b) of Chapter 406 is amended by striking out "sheriff s" in the second line and substituting "clerk s".

36 Chapter 406 is further amended by striking out "sheriff" wherever that word appears in Sections 4 to 16 and substituting in each case "clerk".

37 Chapter 426 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Sheriffs Act, is repealed.

38 Section 23 of Chapter 430 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Small Claims Court Act, as enacted by Chapter 16 of the Acts of 1992, is amended by adding immediately after subsection (3) the following subsection:

(4) Where a defendant against whom an order has been made pursuant to subsection (3) appears, upon notice to the claimant, before the adjudicator who made the order and the adjudicator is satisfied that

(a) the defendant has a reasonable excuse for not appearing at the hearing; and

(b) the defendant appeared before the adjudicator without unreasonable delay after learning of the order,

the adjudicator may set aside the order and set the claim down for hearing.

39 Section 32 of Chapter 430, as enacted by Chapter 16 of the Acts of 1992, is amended by adding immediately after subsection (5) the following subsection:

(6) A decision of the Supreme Court pursuant to this Section is final and not subject to appeal.

40 Clause 2(b) of Chapter 436 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Solemnization of Marriage Act, is repealed.

41 Subsection 4(3) of Chapter 436 is repealed and the following subsections substituted:

(3) A judge of any court in the Province is authorized to solemnize marriage.

(4) A justice of the peace recommended by the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court may be designated by the Minister of Justice to solemnize marriage.

(5) Where a judge or other person authorized to solemnize marriage in another province is temporarily in the Province, the judge or other person may apply to the Minister of Justice to be designated to solemnize a marriage in the Province.

42 Section 23 of Chapter 436 is repealed and the following Section substituted:

23 (1) A judge or a justice of the peace designated by the Minister may solemnize a marriage for which a marriage license has been issued.

(2) No particular form of ceremony is required in a marriage that is solemnized by a judge or a justice of the peace designated by the Minister except that in some part of the ceremony, in the presence of the judge or justice and witnesses, each of the parties shall declare

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

and each of the parties shall say to the other

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

after which the judge or justice shall say

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

provided that, if the judge or justice adds other words to the ceremony, no expression shall be used in the ceremony that means or implies that the marriage is not to the exclusion of all other spouses while both of the parties are alive.

(3) Where a judge or justice of the peace designated by the Minister solemnizes a marriage, the judge or justice shall charge a fee in the circumstances and in the amount determined by regulation.

(4) If the parties to a marriage solemnized by a judge or a justice of the peace designated by the Minister desire a religious ceremony in addition thereto, a certificate of the judge or justice that the judge or justice has solemnized the marriage is sufficient authority to a cleric to perform a religious ceremony.

(5) Section 25 of this Act and Sections 15 and 16 of the Vital Statistics Act do not apply to a religious ceremony of marriage of persons that is performed after their marriage has been solemnized by a judge or a justice of the peace designated by the Minister pursuant to this Section.

43 Chapter 436 is further amended by

(a) striking out the word "clergyman" wherever that word appears in Chapter 436 and substituting in each case "cleric"; and

(b) striking out the words "clergymen" and "clergy" wherever those words appear in Chapter 436 and substituting in each case "clerics".

44 Chapter 450 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Summary Proceedings Act, is amended by adding immediately after Section 4 the following Section:

4A Upon conviction following a hearing, the defendant shall pay costs in an amount prescribed by regulation.

45 Subsection 7(1) of Chapter 450 is amended by adding ", except section 734.2" immediately after "(Canada)" in the third line.

46 Section 2 of Chapter 493 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Village Service Act, is amended by adding immediately after clause (c) the following clause:

(ca) "clerk of the municipality" means the clerk of the municipality who conducts a poll to determine if this Act applies to a village;

47 Subsection 4(4) of Chapter 493 is amended by striking out ", and to the clerk of the municipality of which the village forms a part" in the second, third and fourth lines.

48 Subsection 6(1) of Chapter 493 is amended by striking out "within which the village is situate shall upon application furnish to the sheriff with" in the first, second and third lines and substituting "shall prepare".

49 Subsection 7(2) of Chapter 493 is amended by adding "poll" immediately preceding "clerk" in the last line.

50 Subsection 11(1) of Chapter 493 is amended by adding "poll" immediately preceding "clerk" in the third and in the fourth lines.

51 Chapter 493 is further amended by striking out "sheriff" wherever that word appears in Sections 4 to 13 and substituting in each case "clerk of the municipality".

52 This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.