Search Results | Clear Search | Previous (in doc) | Next (in doc) | Prev Doc | Next Doc
Qp Date
This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act

[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 60

Assented to October 23, 2003

Contents
Part 1 — Introductory Provisions
1Definitions
2Application of Act
3Application of Young Offenders (British Columbia) Act
Part 2 — Enforcement of Bylaws By Bylaw Notice
4Bylaw notice
5Limitation period for bylaw notice
6Amount of penalty for bylaw notice
7Delivery of bylaw notice
8Options on receipt of bylaw notice
9If a person does not take an action under section 8
10Screening officer
11Compliance agreements
12Effect of compliance agreement
13Requiring dispute adjudication
Part 3 — Bylaw Notice Dispute Adjudication
14Local government dispute adjudication system
15Dispute adjudicators
16Limitation on jurisdiction of adjudicator
17Conflict of interest
18Adjudication procedures
19Hearings must be open to the public
20Evidence
21Adjudicator determination
22Final determination by adjudicator
23Cost and administration of dispute adjudication system
Part 4 — Collection of Bylaw Notice Penalties
24Notice required if no response to bylaw notice
25If original bylaw notice not received
26Amounts owing enforced as Provincial Court judgment
Part 5 — General
27Offence Act
28Power to make regulations
29Phasing in of this Act
30–37 Consequential and Related Amendments
38-39 Amendments to this Act
40Commencement

Part 1 — Introductory Provisions

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"adjudicator" means a person appointed under section 15 [dispute adjudicators] for a dispute;

"bylaw enforcement officer" means a person in a class prescribed under section 273 (c) of the Community Charter or section 482.91 (c) of the Vancouver Charter who is designated by a local government as a bylaw enforcement officer;

"bylaw notice" means a notice under section 4 [bylaw notice];

"compliance agreement" means a compliance agreement that a screening officer may be authorized to enter into by a bylaw under section 2 (3) (b) [application of Act];

"local government" means the council of a municipality, the board of a regional district and a prescribed body;

"screening officer" means a person in a class designated by bylaw under section 2 (3) (b) [application of Act] and appointed as a screening officer by a local government;

"vehicle" has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle Act.

Application of Act

2  (1) This Act applies in relation to a local government only if the Lieutenant Governor in Council has enacted a regulation under section 29 [phasing in of this Act] applying it to the local government.

(2) A local government may deal with the contravention of a bylaw by bylaw notice in accordance with this Act if the local government, by bylaw,

(a) subject to section 4 [bylaw notice], designates bylaw contraventions that may be dealt with by bylaw notice,

(b) subject to section 6 [amount of penalty for bylaw notice], establishes the amount of the penalty for a contravention referred to in paragraph (a),

(c) subject to section 8 (2) [options on receipt of bylaw notice], establishes the period for paying or disputing a bylaw notice, and

(d) subject to Part 3 [Bylaw Notice Dispute Adjudication], establishes a bylaw notice dispute adjudication system to resolve disputes in relation to bylaw notices.

(3) A local government that enforces bylaws by bylaw notice may, by bylaw,

(a) establish a position of screening officer,

(b) designate classes of persons that may be appointed as screening officers and, subject to section 10 [screening officer], specify the powers, duties and functions of a screening officer, which may include, but need not be limited to, the power to enter into compliance agreements with persons who dispute bylaw notices,

(c) if the powers, duties and functions of a screening officer include the power to enter into compliance agreements,

(i) specify bylaw contraventions in relation to which a screening officer may enter into a compliance agreement, and

(ii) establish the maximum duration of compliance agreements,

(d) if the powers, duties and functions of a screening officer in relation to compliance agreements include authority to provide for payment of a reduced amount of the penalty specified in a bylaw notice, establish a means of calculating the amount of the reduction, which may be different in relation to different contraventions, and

(e) establish fees or a schedule of fees for the purposes of section 23 (2) [cost and administration of dispute adjudication system].

(4) Anything that a local government is authorized to do under this Act may be done jointly by two or more local governments by agreement adopted by a bylaw of each local government that is a party to it.

(5) An agreement under subsection (4) may provide for any matter necessary for enforcement of bylaws by bylaw notice under this Act, including but not limited to the following:

(a) cost sharing and joint administration of a local government bylaw notice dispute adjudication system;

(b) joint designations of bylaw enforcement officers or screening officers.

Application of Young Offenders (British Columbia) Act

3  Despite sections 3 and 4 (3) of the Young Offenders (British Columbia) Act, that Act does not apply in respect of a bylaw notice issued, or an adjudication held, under the authority of a bylaw under this Act.

Part 2 — Enforcement of Bylaws By Bylaw Notice

Bylaw notice

4  (1) Subject to the regulations, a local government may designate bylaw contraventions which may be dealt with by bylaw notice under this Act.

(2) If a matter is prescribed by regulation as only enforceable by bylaw notice, a local government bylaw in relation to the matter may only be enforced by bylaw notice.

(3) If a contravention of a local government bylaw may be dealt with by bylaw notice, a bylaw enforcement officer may complete and issue a bylaw notice to a person against whom the contravention is alleged.

(4) A bylaw notice must contain all the following information:

(a) particulars of the alleged contravention of the bylaw in sufficient detail that a recipient of the notice would be able to identify the bylaw and the contravention alleged;

(b) the amount of the penalty that the recipient is liable to pay in respect of the contravention, the amount of a discount for early payment of the penalty, the amount of a surcharge for late payment of the penalty and the consequences of failing to respond to the bylaw notice;

(c) methods of paying the penalty;

(d) how to dispute the allegation in the notice;

(e) information required under the regulations.

(5) A bylaw notice may be completed, issued and stored

(a) in electronic format by electronic means, or

(b) by another means

that allows the bylaw notice to be reproduced in intelligible form.

(6) Despite any rule of law, custom or practice to the contrary, a bylaw notice is not invalid by reason only that it is not signed by the bylaw officer that issues it or endorsed by any person.

(7) A bylaw notice must be issued to a named person unless it is issued in respect of a contravention involving a vehicle, in which case it may be issued to

(a) the vehicle's licence plate, or

(b) the vehicle's identification number, temporary operation permit or interim permit under the Motor Vehicle Act.

(8) If a bylaw notice is issued under subsection (7) (a) or (b), the notice is deemed to have been issued to each registered owner of the vehicle as contained in the records of

(a) the government, or

(b) a person responsible for maintaining records of vehicle registrations in British Columbia or in another province of Canada.

Limitation period for bylaw notice

5  A bylaw notice may not be issued more than 6 months after the contravention in respect of which it is issued is alleged to have occurred.

Amount of penalty for bylaw notice

6  (1) Subject to subsection (3), a local government must establish the amount of the penalty payable for a bylaw contravention that may be dealt with by bylaw notice.

(2) A bylaw adopted for the purposes of subsection (1) may specify

(a) a discount for payment of the penalty on or before the last day of the period established for the purposes of section 8 (1) [options on receipt of bylaw notice], and

(b) a surcharge for payment of the penalty within a specified period following the date the penalty becomes due and payable.

(3) A penalty under this section may not exceed $500.

Delivery of bylaw notice

7  (1) A bylaw notice may be delivered

(a) in person to the named person,

(b) by mailing a copy of the bylaw notice,

(i) if the bylaw notice is in respect of a contravention involving a vehicle, to the address for each registered owner of the vehicle involved as contained in the records of

(A) the government, or

(B) a person responsible for maintaining records of vehicle registrations in British Columbia or in another province of Canada,

(ii) to the actual or last known address of the named person, or

(iii) if the named person is a corporation or a business, to the registered office or head office as contained in the records of the Registrar of Companies,

(c) if the bylaw notice is in respect of a parking contravention, by leaving the bylaw notice on the vehicle involved, and

(d) in a manner prescribed by regulation.

(2) A bylaw notice delivered under subsection (1) (b) is presumed to have been received by the person to whom it is addressed on the 7th day after mailing.

(3) A bylaw notice delivered under subsection (1) (c) is presumed to have been received by each registered owner of the vehicle, as contained in the applicable records described under subsection (1) (b) (i), on the day it is left.

(4) A notice delivered under subsection (1) (d) is presumed to have been received within the prescribed period.

Options on receipt of bylaw notice

8  (1) A person who receives a bylaw notice must, within the period established by bylaw,

(a) pay the penalty in accordance with the bylaw notice, or

(b) request dispute adjudication in respect of the allegation made in the bylaw notice in accordance with the instructions on the bylaw notice.

(2) The period under subsection (1) must not be less than 14 days after the date on which the person received or is presumed to have received the bylaw notice under section 7 [delivery of bylaw notice].

If a person does not take an action under section 8

9  (1) Subject to sections 24 [notice required if no response to bylaw notice] and 25 (1) [if original bylaw notice not received], if a person who receives or is presumed to have received a bylaw notice does not comply with section 8 [options on receipt of bylaw notice], the penalty set out in the bylaw notice is immediately due and payable by the person to the local government indicated on the bylaw notice.

(2) Subject to sections 24 and 25 (1), if a bylaw notice has been issued to a vehicle licence plate and section 8 is not complied with in respect of the notice, the penalty set out in the bylaw notice is immediately due and payable to the local government indicated on the bylaw notice by each registered owner of the vehicle who receives or is presumed to have received the bylaw notice, but in no case may the local government collect more than the penalty set out in the bylaw notice and any authorized surcharge.

(3) Subject to section 24, an amount due and payable under subsection (1) or (2) may be recovered in accordance with Part 4 [Collection of Bylaw Notice Penalties].

Screening officer

10  (1) If a local government establishes a screening officer position and appoints a screening officer, a bylaw notice issued to enforce a bylaw of the local government must be reviewed by the screening officer before a dispute adjudication in respect of the bylaw notice may be scheduled.

(2) A screening officer, after reviewing a bylaw notice, may

(a) cancel the notice if, in the screening officer's opinion,

(i) the contravention did not occur as alleged,

(ii) the bylaw notice does not comply with section 4 (4) [bylaw notice — required information], or

(iii) a ground for cancellation authorized by the local government is satisfied,

(b) confirm the bylaw notice and refer it to an adjudicator unless the request for dispute adjudication is withdrawn, or

(c) if authorized by bylaw, enter into a compliance agreement with the person.

Compliance agreements

11  (1) A person who enters into a compliance agreement with a screening officer is conclusively deemed to have accepted liability for the contravention as alleged in the bylaw notice.

(2) A compliance agreement must set out the amount of any reduction authorized by a bylaw under section 2 (3) (d) [application of Act] and may include the terms and conditions the screening officer considers necessary or advisable.

(3) A local government that authorizes compliance agreements must establish the maximum duration of compliance agreements by bylaw under section 2 (3) (c) [application of Act].

Effect of compliance agreement

12  (1) If a person who has received a bylaw notice

(a) enters into a compliance agreement with a screening officer in respect of the contravention alleged in the notice, and

(b) observes or performs all the terms of the compliance agreement,

the amount of the penalty set out in the bylaw notice is deemed to have been paid.

(2) If, in the opinion of the screening officer, a person who has entered into a compliance agreement breaches a term of the agreement or otherwise fails to observe or perform the terms of the compliance agreement, the screening officer may rescind the agreement.

Requiring dispute adjudication

13  (1) If a screening officer rescinds a compliance agreement, the person who entered into the compliance agreement with the screening officer may, within 14 days after receiving notification of the rescission, require the screening officer to submit for dispute adjudication the issue of whether the person observed or performed the terms and conditions of the compliance agreement.

(2) If a person referred to in subsection (1) does not require dispute adjudication before the expiration of the period specified in that subsection, the penalty set out in the bylaw notice is

(a) subject to the regulations, immediately due and payable to the local government indicated on the bylaw notice, and

(b) recoverable in accordance with Part 4 [Collection of Bylaw Notice Penalties].

Part 3 — Bylaw Notice Dispute Adjudication

Local government dispute adjudication system

14  A local government may establish a bylaw notice dispute adjudication system, in accordance with this Part, that provides for the hearing and determination of disputes in respect of whether

(a) the contravention alleged in a bylaw notice occurred as alleged, or

(b) the terms and conditions of a compliance agreement were observed or performed.

Dispute adjudicators

15  (1) If one or more local governments establish a dispute adjudication system under section 14, the deputy attorney general must appoint one or more adjudicators to determine the disputes, each of whom

(a) must

(i) have the prescribed qualifications, and

(ii) take an oath in the prescribed form, and

(b) must not

(i) be an employee of a local government, or

(ii) hold an elected office in a local government.

(2) One or more rosters of adjudicators appointed under subsection (1) must be established for the purpose of selecting adjudicators to hear disputes in respect of bylaw notices.

(3) Rosters may be established

(a) for the Province generally, and

(b) for one or more local governments.

(4) An adjudicator for a dispute must be selected

(a) from a roster, and

(b) in the prescribed manner.

(5) In addition to determining disputes, an adjudicator may exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions assigned to adjudicators under this Act.

Limitation on jurisdiction of adjudicator

16  Whether or not the matter arises in the course of hearing and determining a dispute in respect of a bylaw notice or a compliance agreement, an adjudicator may not decide any of the following:

(a) a matter involving the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

(b) a matter for which notice under section 8 of the Constitutional Question Act is required;

(c) a matter involving a determination of aboriginal or treaty rights or claims;

(d) a challenge to the validity of the bylaw that is alleged to have been contravened;

(e) a prescribed matter.

Conflict of interest

17  An adjudicator may not hear a dispute if the adjudicator has or is reasonably apprehended to have a bias or an interest in relation to the outcome of the dispute.

Adjudication procedures

18  (1) Before making a determination in a dispute, an adjudicator must provide the parties to the dispute with an opportunity to be heard.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a party may be heard, at the election of the party,

(a) in person or by an agent,

(b) in writing, including by facsimile transmission or electronic mail, or

(c) by video conference, audio conference, telephone or other electronic means, if available.

(3) If a person who has requested or required dispute adjudication elects to be heard in a manner set out in subsection (2) (c), the person must pay the local government the amount by which the local government's adjudication cost is increased because of the manner of hearing.

(4) If a person who has requested or required dispute adjudication is not heard by an adjudicator because the person fails to appear, the adjudicator must order that the penalty set out in the bylaw notice is

(a) subject to the regulations, immediately due and payable by the person to the local government indicated on the bylaw notice, and

(b) recoverable by the local government in accordance with Part 4 [Collection of Bylaw Notice Penalties].

(5) Subject to the regulations, an adjudicator may

(a) adjourn a hearing, and

(b) adopt procedures that are conducive to justly and expeditiously determining a dispute.

Hearings must be open to the public

19  (1) A dispute adjudication must be open to the public unless the determination is to be based on written materials.

(2) If a determination is based on written materials, the local government must make those materials available to the public.

(3) Public access to an oral hearing or to the materials submitted for an adjudication in writing may be provided by the local government in any reasonable manner, which may include by electronic means.

Evidence

20  (1) In a dispute,

(a) the technical and legal rules of evidence do not apply, except the rules relating to privileged communications, and

(b) an adjudicator may accept any evidence the adjudicator considers to be credible, trustworthy and relevant to the dispute, including the evidence of any person.

(2) An adjudicator may accept evidence in any manner the adjudicator considers appropriate including, without limitation, any of the following manners:

(a) orally;

(b) in writing;

(c) electronically.

Adjudicator determination

21  (1) The standard of proof for resolving a dispute referred to in section 14 [local government dispute adjudication system] is proof on a balance of probabilities.

(2) If, after the hearing required under section 18 [adjudication procedures] in respect of a dispute referred to in section 14 (a) [local government dispute adjudication system], the adjudicator is satisfied that the contravention alleged in the bylaw notice occurred as alleged, the adjudicator must order that the penalty set out in the notice is immediately due and payable to the local government indicated on the bylaw notice by the person to whom it was issued or deemed issued.

(3) If, after the hearing required under section 18 in respect of a dispute referred to in section 14 (a), the adjudicator is satisfied that the contravention alleged in the bylaw notice did not occur as alleged, the adjudicator must cancel the bylaw notice.

(4) If, after the hearing required under section 18 in respect of a dispute referred to in section 14 (b), the adjudicator is satisfied that the person did not observe or perform, as applicable, the terms of the compliance agreement, the adjudicator must order that the penalty set out in the bylaw notice is immediately due and payable by the person to the local government indicated on the notice.

(5) If, after the hearing required under section 18 in respect of a dispute referred to in section 14 (b), the adjudicator is satisfied that the person observed or performed, as applicable, the terms of the compliance agreement, the adjudicator must order that the penalty set out in the bylaw notice in respect of which the compliance agreement was entered into is conclusively deemed to have been paid.

(6) An amount ordered as due and payable to a local government under this section and a fee imposed under section 23 (2) [cost and administration of dispute adjudication system] are recoverable by the local government in accordance with Part 4 [Collection of Bylaw Notice Penalties].

Final determination by adjudicator

22  (1) The determination of an adjudicator under section 21 [adjudicator decision] is final and conclusive, and is not open

(a) to review in a court except on a question of law or lack of jurisdiction, or

(b) to appeal to any body.

(2) An application under the Judicial Review Procedure Act in respect of the determination of an adjudicator under this Act must be brought within 30 days after the determination is made.

Cost and administration of dispute adjudication system

23  (1) A local government that establishes a bylaw notice dispute adjudication system is responsible for

(a) the administrative work of the dispute adjudication system,

(b) the administrative costs of the dispute adjudication system,

(c) the remuneration and expenses of adjudicators at the prescribed rates, and

(d) subject to the regulations, the cost of administering a roster of adjudicators.

(2) A local government may provide for a fee of not more than $25 payable by a person who is unsuccessful in a dispute adjudication, in relation to a bylaw notice or a compliance agreement, for the purpose of recovering the costs of the adjudication system.

Part 4 — Collection of Bylaw Notice Penalties

Notice required if no response to bylaw notice

24  (1) If, at the end of the period established for the purposes of section 8 (1) [options on receipt of bylaw notice], a person to whom a bylaw notice was delivered in any other manner than in person has not responded to the bylaw notice, the local government must deliver a notice to the person indicating the amount owing under the bylaw notice and how and where payment may be made.

(2) A notice under subsection (1) must be delivered in a manner authorized under section 7 [delivery of bylaw notice], with the exception of the manner authorized under section 7 (1) (c).

(3) Collection procedures under section 26 [amounts owing enforced as Provincial Court judgment] may not be started until 28 days after the date a notice under subsection (1) is received or presumed received under section 7 (2) or (4)[delivery of bylaw notice].

If original bylaw notice not received

25  (1) If a person to whom a notice is sent under section 24 (1) [notice required if no response to bylaw notice] advises the local government within 21 days after the date the notice is received or presumed received under section 7 [delivery of bylaw notice] that the bylaw notice was not received,

(a) the debt that arose under section 9 [if a person does not take an action under section 8] is cancelled, and

(b) the local government must reissue and deliver the bylaw notice to the person in a manner authorized under section 7 [delivery of bylaw notice], with the exception of the manner authorized under section 7 (1) (c).

(2) If a person to whom a copy of a bylaw notice is delivered under subsection (1) does not take an action under section 8 (1) [options on receipt of bylaw notice], within the period established for the purposes of that section, the penalty set out in the bylaw notice is, subject to the regulations, immediately due and payable by the person to the local government indicated on the bylaw notice and may be recovered in accordance with this Part.

Amounts owing enforced as Provincial Court judgment

26  (1) An amount due and payable to a local government under this Act may be recovered by filing a certificate in the prescribed form in the Provincial Court.

(2) A certificate under subsection (1) that is in respect of an amount that has been owed to the local government for more than 2 years before the date of the certificate may not be filed under this section.

(3) A certificate under this section must be signed by the corporate officer or a delegate of the corporate officer, and must include all the following information:

(a) the details of the bylaw notice, including the date and place of the contravention;

(b) the total amount owing in respect of the bylaw notice and, separately, the amount of the penalty, any surcharges that apply and any amount payable under section 23 (2);

(c) the name of the person who is required to pay the penalty;

(d) the date that the penalty became due and payable;

(e) whether the amount outstanding is payable because of

(i) a determination under section 21 (2) or (4)[adjudicator decision], or

(ii) a default referred to in section 9 (1) or (2)[if a person does not take an action under section 8], 13 (2)[requiring dispute adjudication], 18 (4)[adjudication procedures] or 25 (2)[if original bylaw notice not received].

(4) Subject to the regulations, a certificate filed under subsection (1) is of the same effect, and proceedings may be taken on it, as if it were a judgment of the Provincial Court for the recovery of a debt in the amount stated against the person named.

(5) A certificate under subsection (1)

(a) is admissible in any proceedings to recover the certified debt without proof of the signature or official position of the person appearing to have signed the certificate, and

(b) is proof of the certified facts.

Part 5 — General

Offence Act

27  The Offence Act does not apply in respect of a bylaw contravention if a bylaw notice is issued in respect of the contravention.

Power to make regulations

28  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing that contraventions of bylaws that are in relation to specified matters may not be designated by a local government bylaw under section 4 (1) [bylaw notice];

(b) prescribing matters for the purpose of section 4 (2) [bylaw notice];

(c) prescribing information that must be included in a bylaw notice;

(d) prescribing a limit on the amount of a surcharge under section 6 (2) (b) [amount of penalty for bylaw notice];

(e) prescribing for the purpose of section 7 (1) (d) [delivery of bylaw notice] another manner of delivering bylaw notices and prescribing when notices delivered in that manner are presumed to be delivered;

(f) prescribing the qualifications that a person must have to be eligible for appointment as an adjudicator;

(g) respecting the appointment of adjudicators;

(h) establishing an oath of office for adjudicators;

(i) establishing the rate of remuneration for adjudicators;

(j) establishing a schedule of expenses that may be paid to adjudicators;

(k) establishing procedures

(i) for maintaining a roster of adjudicators, and

(ii) selecting adjudicators from a roster;

(l) prescribing procedures that an adjudicator must follow;

(m) prescribing matters for the purposes of section 16 (e) [limitation on jurisdiction of adjudicator];

(n) prescribing a form of certificate for the purpose of section 26 (1) [amounts owing enforced as Provincial Court judgment];

(o) prescribing that a justice, on application, may suspend for a specified period or cancel a certificate filed under section 26 (1) in respect of a default referred to in section 26 (3) (e) (ii), including prescribing the procedures and grounds for a suspension or a cancellation and the consequences of a suspension or cancellation;

(p) prescribing that despite section 13 (2) [requiring dispute adjudication], 18 (4) [adjudication procedures] or 25 (2) [if original bylaw notice not received], in prescribed circumstances, using prescribed procedures and whether or not a certificate has been filed under section 26 (1) [amounts owing enforced as Provincial Court judgment], a local government must

(i) schedule an adjudication or reissue a bylaw notice, and

(ii) cancel the debt that arose under section 13 (2), 18 (4) or 25 (2);

(q) assigning powers, duties and functions to adjudicators.

(3) In making regulations under this Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may delegate a matter to a person or organization, including the maintenance of rosters of adjudicators.

Phasing in of this Act

29  Without limiting section 28 (1) [power to make regulations], the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) specifying local governments in relation to which this Act applies, and

(b) applying this Act to different local governments at different times.

Consequential and Related Amendments

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of sections 30 to 39.]

Section(s)   Affected Act
30–31   Community Charter
32–34   Local Government Act
35–36   Offence Act
37   Vancouver Charter

Amendments to this Act

Section(s)   Affected Act
38–39   Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act

Commencement

40  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.