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Community Charter

[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 26

Part 8 — Bylaw Enforcement and Related Matters

Division 1 — Bylaw Enforcement

Enforcement powers

260  (1) A council may make bylaws for the purposes of enforcing the bylaws of the municipality.

(2) Subject to subsection (5), without limiting the available remedies, the authority of a municipality to deal with a contravention of a bylaw includes the following:

(a) prosecution of the offence in accordance with the Offence Act;

(b) proceeding under Division 3 [Ticketing for Bylaw Offences] of this Part;

(b.1) subject to the regulations under the Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act, proceeding by bylaw notice under that Act;

(c) court action under Division 4 [Enforcement by Civil Proceedings] of this Part.

(3) If a bylaw establishes a regulation or requirement to be observed in a municipality, a person who contravenes the regulation or requirement commits an offence that is punishable in the same manner as if the bylaw had expressly forbidden persons from doing or refraining from doing the act.

(4) Section 12 (1) [authority to establish variations] does not apply in relation to bylaws imposing fines and other penalties under this Part.

(5) If a matter is prescribed for the purpose of section 4 (2) of the Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act, a council that adopts or has adopted a bylaw in relation to the matter may only enforce the bylaw by bylaw notice under that Act.

Payment of fines and other penalties to municipality

261  Fines and other penalties imposed and collected under or because of a municipal bylaw must be paid to the municipality.

Recovery of penalty and costs by legal remedy of distress

262  (1) If a penalty, or part of a penalty, and all costs imposed are not paid promptly, the justice or court may, by order, authorize all or part of the penalty and costs to be levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods and chattels.

(2) If there is no distress out of which the penalty and costs or part of the penalty and all of the costs can be levied, the justice or court may commit the offender to imprisonment for the term, or part of the term, specified in the bylaw.

Division 2 —  Offence Act Prosecutions

Penalties in relation to Offence Act prosecutions

263  (1) A bylaw under section 260 (1) [enforcement powers] may establish one or more of the following penalties to which a person convicted of an offence in a prosecution under the Offence Act is liable:

(a) a minimum fine;

(b) a maximum fine of up to $10 000;

(c) in the case of a continuing offence, for each day that the offence continues either or both of

(i)   a minimum fine under paragraph (a), or

(ii)   a maximum fine under paragraph (b);

(d) imprisonment for not more than 6 months.

(2) If no other penalties are established in relation to an offence referred to in subsection (1), the penalties established by section 4 [general penalty] of the Offence Act apply.

(3) In a prosecution for an offence against a municipal bylaw, the justice or court may impose all or part of the penalties applicable in relation to the offence, together with the costs of prosecution.

Additional sentencing powers in relation to Offence Act prosecutions

263.1  (1) If a person is convicted of an offence

(a) under subsection (3), or

(b) against a municipal bylaw in a prosecution commenced by an information in Form 2 under the Offence Act,

in addition to the penalty under subsection (3) or established in accordance with section 263, the court, having regard to the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission, may make an order

(c) prohibiting the person from doing any act or engaging in any activity that may, in the court's opinion, result in the continuation or repetition of the offence, and

(d) directing the person to take any action the court considers appropriate to remedy the harm that resulted from the commission of the offence.

(2) An order under subsection (1) must specify the duration of the order, which may not exceed one year.

(3) A person who fails to comply with an order under subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $10 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.

(4) For the purposes of section 43 (3) of the Provincial Court Act, a fine imposed in a prosecution for an offence under subsection (3) is deemed to be a fine imposed for the contravention of a bylaw of the municipality.

(5) If a person is convicted of an offence referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (b), on application by the municipality or another person for compensation, the court must give consideration to the application and, in addition to any penalty imposed, may order the convicted person

(a) to pay to the municipality or to the other person compensation, in an amount that is not more than the monetary limit specified under the Small Claims Act, for any damage or loss sustained by the municipality or other person because of the commission of the offence, and

(b) in accordance with the schedule of costs prescribed under section 132 (2) (h) of the Offence Act, to pay to the municipality the costs incurred by the municipality in investigating and prosecuting the person.

(6) In the case of a dispute, the amount of compensation payable under subsection (5) (a) must be proven on a balance of probabilities by the municipality or the other person.

(7) An order under subsection (5) may be enforced as a judgment of the court for the recovery of a debt in the amount stated against the person named.

Division 3 — Ticketing for Bylaw Offences

Ticket offences

264  (1) A council may, by bylaw,

(a) designate a bylaw for the purpose of this section, other than a bylaw in relation to a matter prescribed by regulation,

(b) designate as a bylaw enforcement officer a person who comes within a class of persons prescribed by regulation, and

(c) authorize the use of any word or expression on a ticket issued under subsection (2) to designate an offence against a bylaw.

(2) If a bylaw is designated under subsection (1), a bylaw enforcement officer may lay an information by means of a ticket for contravention of the bylaw.

(3) Despite section 13 (1) of the Offence Act, an information laid by means of a ticket is valid whether or not it is taken under oath.

(4) The use on a ticket of

(a) any word or expression authorized by bylaw under subsection (1) (c) to designate an offence against a bylaw, or

(b) a general description of an offence against a bylaw,

is deemed sufficient for all purposes to describe the offence designated by that word, expression or general description.

Penalties in relation to ticket offences

265  (1) A bylaw under section 260 (1) [enforcement powers] may establish one or more of the following penalties in relation to an offence that is dealt with under this Division:

(a) a fine not greater than the amount prescribed by regulation;

(b) in the case of a continuing offence, for each day that the offence continues, a fine not greater than the amount prescribed by regulation.

(2) In addition but subject to subsection (1), the bylaw may establish different fine amounts that apply depending on whether the amount

(a) is paid on or before the 30th day from the date on which the ticket is served under section 266 [laying information and serving ticket], or

(b) is paid after the day referred to in paragraph (a).

Laying information and serving ticket

266  (1) When laying an information by means of a ticket, a bylaw enforcement officer must indicate on the ticket the offence charged and must sign the ticket.

(2) The bylaw enforcement officer must serve the ticket on the person alleged to have contravened the bylaw.

(3) Service of a ticket under subsection (2) may be effected by

(a) serving a copy of the ticket on the person alleged to have contravened the bylaw immediately after the alleged contravention, or

(b) causing a copy of the ticket to be served in the same manner as a summons may be served under the Offence Act.

(4) Service of a ticket under subsection (2) may be proved by

(a) the oral evidence given under oath of the person who served it, or

(b) the certificate of the person who served the ticket, if the certificate is endorsed on the ticket or a copy of the ticket.

(5) The certificate referred to in subsection (4) is proof of the facts stated in the certificate and of the authority of the person who signed it without further proof of the person's appointment or signature.

Choice of paying fine or disputing ticket

267  (1) If a fine established in accordance with section 265 [penalties in relation to ticket offences] is indicated on a ticket for an offence charged, the person on whom the ticket is served may, within 14 days after the date of service,

(a) pay the fine indicated on the ticket to the municipality in accordance with the prescribed instructions, or

(b) dispute the allegation contained in the ticket by

(i)   delivering or having delivered to the address set out in the ticket a written notice of dispute, or

(ii)   appearing in person at the location set out in the ticket to give notice of dispute.

(2) A notice of dispute under subsection (1) must contain an address for the person disputing the allegation and sufficient information to identify the ticket and the alleged contravention being disputed.

(3) For the purpose of subsection (1), a notice of dispute that is delivered by mail is deemed to have been delivered on the date it was mailed.

Effect of paying fine

268  (1) A person who pays a fine in accordance with section 267 (1) (a) [choice of paying fine or disputing ticket] is deemed to have pleaded guilty to the offence with which the person was charged and to have paid the fine imposed.

(2) If a person who is served with a ticket pays the fine as referred to in subsection (1), no conviction need be drawn up or entered unless it is required under the bylaw contravened or by the person convicted or a prosecutor.

Hearing of dispute

269  (1) If notice of dispute is given in accordance with section 267 (1) (b) [choice of paying fine or disputing ticket], the council must refer the ticket to the Provincial Court for a hearing.

(2) If a ticket is referred to the Provincial Court under subsection (1), the clerk of the court must send to the person who was served with the ticket, by ordinary mail to the person's address set out in the notice of dispute, a notice of the hearing specifying a time and place for the appearance of the person before a justice.

(3) If a person appears before a justice at the time and place specified in the notice under subsection (2), section 58 of the Offence Act does not apply to the person and the justice has jurisdiction to hear the dispute without examining the notice of dispute or the notice of the hearing or inquiring into the service of the ticket on the person.

(4) Despite section 60 of the Offence Act but subject to the Supreme Court Civil Rules, a justice hearing the trial on a ticket may

(a) admit as evidence, whether or not it would be admissible under the laws of evidence, any oral or written testimony or any record or thing that the justice considers is relevant to an issue in the trial and is credible and trustworthy, and

(b) adopt procedures that are conducive to justly and expeditiously determining the matter.

(5) As a restriction, a justice may not admit under subsection (4) (a) anything that is privileged under the laws of evidence.

(6) If a person who is served with a ticket

(a) has

(i)   appeared before a justice at the time and place specified in the notice under subsection (2), and

(ii)   pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of the offence with which the person was charged, or

(b) is deemed under section 270 or 271 to have pleaded guilty to the offence with which the person was charged,

no conviction need be drawn up or entered unless it is required under the bylaw contravened or by the person convicted or a prosecutor.

Failure to appear at hearing

270  (1) A person is deemed to have not disputed a charge if the person fails to appear before a justice to dispute the charge

(a) at the time and place specified in the notice of the hearing referred to in section 269 (2) [hearing of dispute], or

(b) at a new time and place set under section 272 (4) [time extensions if person not at fault in failing to respond or appear].

(2) If a person is deemed under subsection (1) to have not disputed the charge,

(a) the person is deemed to have pleaded guilty to the offence with which the person was charged, and

(b) the fine amount indicated on the ticket is immediately payable to the municipality.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) is to be construed as abrogating the right of a person to appeal the conviction under section 102 of the Offence Act.

Failure to respond to ticket

271  (1) A person served with a ticket under section 266 [laying information and serving ticket] is deemed to have not disputed the charge if

(a) the person does not pay the fine or dispute the charge, as provided in section 267 (1) [choice of paying fine or disputing ticket], and

(b) at least 14 days have elapsed since the ticket was served on the person.

(2) If a person is deemed under subsection (1) to have not disputed the charge, section 270 (2) [failure to appear at hearing] applies.

(3) [Repealed 2007-6-4.]

(4) Nothing in subsection (1) is to be construed as abrogating the right of a person to appeal the conviction under section 102 of the Offence Act.

Time extensions if person not at fault in failing to respond or appear

272  (1) A person who is served with a ticket but

(a) does not dispute the charge, or

(b) fails to appear before a justice at the time and place specified in the notice under section 269 (2) [notice of hearing],

may apply to a justice for a time extension in the circumstances established by this section.

(2) In the case of a person who did not dispute the charge, the person may only apply if

(a) the person has, through no fault of that person, not had an opportunity to dispute the charge, and

(b) not more than 30 days have passed since the end of the period referred to in section 267 (1) [choice of paying fine or disputing ticket].

(3) In the case of a person who failed to appear before a justice to dispute the charge, the person may only apply if

(a) the failure was through no fault of the person, and

(b) not more than 30 days have passed since the date specified in the notice under section 269 (2) [notice of hearing].

(4) The justice to whom the application is made, on being satisfied by affidavit in the prescribed form and with or without hearing from the applicant, that the applicable conditions set out in subsection (2) or (3) have been met may

(a) strike out the conviction, if any,

(b) in the case of a person who did not dispute the charge, allow the person 14 days after the date the conviction is struck to dispute the charge in accordance with section 267 (1) [choice of paying fine or disputing ticket], and

(c) in the case of a person who failed to appear to dispute the charge, set a new time and place for the appearance of the person before a justice.

(5) If a conviction is struck out under subsection (4), the justice must give the person a certificate of the fact in the prescribed form.

Regulations in relation to ticket offences

273  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing the form and content of the tickets issued under this Division;

(b) prescribing matters for the purpose of section 264 (1) (a) [matters not subject to ticket offences];

(c) prescribing classes of persons for the purpose of section 264 (1) (b) [ticket offences];

(d) prescribing an amount for the purposes of section 265 (1) [penalties in relation to ticket offences];

(e) prescribing the form of a certificate of service for the purpose of section 266 (4) [laying information and serving ticket];

(f) prescribing instructions for paying a fine for the purpose of section 267 (1) (a) [choice of paying fine or disputing ticket];

(g) prescribing the form of an affidavit for the purpose of section 272 (4) [time extensions if person not at fault in failing to respond or appear];

(h) prescribing the form of a certificate under section 272 (5) [time extensions if person not at fault in failing to respond to ticket].

Division 4 — Enforcement by Civil Proceedings

Actions by municipality

274  (1) A municipality may, by a proceeding brought in Supreme Court, enforce, or prevent or restrain the contravention of,

(a) a bylaw or resolution of the council under this Act or any other Act, or

(b) a provision of this Act or the Local Government Act or a regulation under those Acts.

(2) For a civil proceeding referred to in subsection (1), or relating to any damage to or interference with a highway in the municipality,

(a) the proceeding may be brought by the municipality in its own name,

(b) it is not necessary that the Provincial government, the Attorney General or an officer of the Provincial government be a plaintiff in the proceeding, and

(c) the municipality must serve a copy of the originating documents on the Attorney General

(i)   before the end of the period prescribed by the Supreme Court Civil Rules for filing a response to civil claim by the defendant, or

(ii)   within a further time that may be allowed by the court.

(3) The authority under subsection (1) is in addition to any other remedy or penalty provided under this Act or the Local Government Act and may be exercised whether or not a penalty has been imposed for the contravention.

Division 5 — Other Matters

Entry warrants

275  If satisfied by evidence on oath or affirmation that access to property is necessary

(a) for the purposes of this Act or the Local Government Act, or

(b) for the purposes of a municipal power, duty or function under another Act,

a justice may issue a warrant authorizing a person named in the warrant to enter on or into property and conduct an inspection or take other action as authorized by the warrant.

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