Copyright and Disclaimer Print


JUSTICE OF THE PEACE ACT

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE ACT

Chapter J‑4

Table of Contents

                1       Definitions

                2       Jurisdiction

                3       Ineligibility

                4       Appointment of justices of the peace

                5       Appointment of non‑presiding justices of the peace

                6       Powers and duties

                7       Term of appointment

             7.1       Reappointment of justices of the peace

             7.2       Appointment of ad hoc justices of the peace

                8       Oaths

                9       Supervision and duties

              10       Complaints

           10.1       Restriction on other employment

              11       Resignation

              12       Determination of complaint or information

              13       Provincial Court Act

              14       Status of certain appointments

              15       Regulations


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1   In this Act,

                                 (a)    “Chief Judge” means the Chief Judge of The Provincial Court of Alberta;

                                 (b)    “Judicial Council” means the Judicial Council established under Part 6 of the Judicature Act;

                             (b.1)    “justice of the peace” means a justice of the peace who is appointed under this Act as a justice of the peace and includes an ad hoc justice of the peace;

                                 (c)    “non‑presiding justice of the peace” means a justice of the peace who is appointed by the Minister under section 5(1);

                          (d), (e)    repealed 2011 c20 s8.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s1;2009 c27 s2;2011 c20 s8

Jurisdiction

2   A justice of the peace has jurisdiction throughout Alberta.

RSA 1980 cJ‑3 s1;1998 c18 s3

Ineligibility

3   No person other than a Canadian citizen is eligible to be appointed as a justice of the peace.

RSA 1980 cJ‑3 s2;1991 c21 s16

Appointment of justices of the peace

4(1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint a person as a justice of the peace if the Judicial Council has determined that the person is qualified.

(2) An order under subsection (1) shall designate whether the appointment is full time or part time.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), a designation under subsection (2) may not be changed except with the consent of the Judicial Council and the justice of the peace.

(4) A person whose appointment has been designated as a full‑time justice of the peace may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to have the appointment designated as a part‑time justice of the peace.

(4.1)  A person whose appointment has been designated as a part‑time justice of the peace may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to have the appointment designated as a full‑time justice of the peace.

(5)  The following are not eligible to be appointed or to remain as justices of the peace appointed under this section:

                                 (a)    an employee of the government of Canada or Alberta or of a municipality or Metis settlement;

                                 (b)    a person employed

                                           (i)    to serve or execute civil process, including a sheriff or a bailiff,

                                          (ii)    to preserve and maintain the public peace, including a member of any law enforcement agency,

                                         (iii)    to prosecute an offence under any federal or provincial statute or regulation or municipal bylaw,

                                         (iv)    to issue any offence notice, or

                                          (v)    to work in a penitentiary or in a correctional institution as defined in the Corrections Act, including a warden or a guard;

                                 (c)    a councillor of a municipality;

                                 (d)    a councillor of a Metis settlement or a member of the Metis Settlements General Council;

                                 (e)    a Member of the Legislative Assembly;

                                 (f)    subject to sections 7.1(1) and 7.2(1) a person who is 70 years of age or older.

(6) The appointment of a justice of the peace under this section terminates if the person becomes ineligible under subsection (5).

(7)  A person whose appointment as a justice of the peace under this section has expired or terminated may not be employed by the Government of Alberta or be appointed to a Provincial agency as defined in the Financial Administration Act until at least the amount of time prescribed by the regulations has elapsed since the date of the expiry or termination.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s4;2009 c27 s3;2011 c20 s8

Appointment of non-presiding justices of the peace

5(1)  The Minister may appoint a person as a justice of the peace designated as a non‑presiding justice of the peace.

(2)  A non‑presiding justice of the peace is appointed as a justice of the peace solely for the purposes of exercising the following, to the extent that their exercise is consistent with the constitutional requirements for independence, if any:

                                 (a)    administering oaths or affirmations or taking declarations;

                                 (b)    processing judicial interim release orders;

                                 (c)    adjourning cases where a judge of the Provincial Court or a justice of the peace is not present;

                                 (d)    performing any other functions and duties prescribed by the regulations.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s5;2011 c20 s8

Powers and duties

6(1)   Notwithstanding that a statute or regulation provides that any power or duty must be exercised by 2 or more justices of the peace, the following may be exercised by any one justice of the peace:

                                 (a)    receiving an information or complaint or receiving an information or complaint from another justice of the peace and granting a summons or warrant on it;

                                 (b)    issuing a subpoena, summons or warrant to compel the attendance of any witnesses for either party;

                                 (c)    doing all other acts and matters necessary preliminary to a hearing.

(2)  A justice of the peace may conduct a hearing or settlement conference or hear an application under Part 4 of the Provincial Court Act.

(3)  In the absence of any provision to the contrary in any statute and subject to the regulations made under this Act, a complaint or information may be heard, tried and determined by one justice of the peace.

(4)  Nothing in this section shall be taken to confer on any justice of the peace, other than one who is also a judge of the Provincial Court acting in that capacity, the power to hold a preliminary inquiry under the Criminal Code (Canada).

(5)  Every justice of the peace is by virtue of the office a commissioner for taking affidavits and declarations and for administering oaths and affirmations.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s6;2011 c20 s8

Term of appointment

7(1)  Subject to sections 4(6), 7.1(1) and 7.2(1), a justice of the peace appointed under section 4(1) holds office for 10 years and  may be removed from office only in accordance with Part 6 of the Judicature Act.

(2)  An appointment referred to in subsection (1) may not be renewed or extended except in accordance with section 7.1 or 7.2.

(3)  A non‑presiding justice of the peace holds office at the discretion of the Minister.

(4) to (8)  Repealed 2011 c20 s8.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s7;2005 c41 s2;2009 c27 s4;
2011 c20 s8

Reappointment of justices of the peace

7.1(1)  A justice of the peace appointed under section 4(1) may, if the justice of the peace is not disqualified under section 4(5)(a) to (e), be reappointed as a justice of the peace in accordance with this section.

(2)  Where a justice of the peace referred to in subsection (1) is approaching the age of 70 years but the term of appointment of that justice of the peace under section 7(1) has not expired, the Chief Judge may request that the Lieutenant Governor in Council reappoint the justice of the peace for a term of one year.

(3)  Where a justice of the peace has been reappointed under this section, the Chief Judge may request that the Lieutenant Governor in Council reappoint that person for a term of one year.

(4)  The Chief Judge may request the reappointment of a justice of the peace under this section if

                                 (a)    the Chief Judge determines that the reappointment will enhance the efficient and effective administration of the Court, and

                                 (b)    the request is made in accordance with and subject to the criteria established by the Chief Judge and approved by the Judicial Council.

(5)  Where the Chief Judge requests under subsection (2) or (3) that the Lieutenant Governor in Council reappoint a justice of the peace for a term of one year, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall, subject to subsection (7), reappoint that justice of the peace for a term of one year.

(6)  Subject to section 4(3), (4) and (4.1), a justice of the peace reappointed under this section must be designated as a full‑time or part‑time justice of the peace.

(7)  A justice of the peace shall be reappointed under this section only if

                                 (a)    a request for reappointment has been made under subsection (2) or (3),

                                 (b)    the justice of the peace in respect of whom the request has been made has consented to the reappointment, and

                                 (c)    the justice of the peace has not attained the age of 75 years.

(8)  A justice of the peace who has been reappointed under this section may, subject to subsection (7), be reappointed under subsection (5) for further terms of one year until 10 years has elapsed from the date on which the justice of the peace was appointed under section 4(1).

(9)  Notwithstanding anything in this section, a term of reappointment of a justice of the peace who is reappointed under this section expires when

                                 (a)    the justice of the peace attains the age of 75 years, or

                                 (b)    10 years has elapsed from the date on which the justice of the peace was appointed under section 4(1),

whichever occurs first.

(10)  Subject to Part 6 of the Judicature Act, no justice of the peace reappointed under this section may be removed from office before the expiry of the justice of the peace’s term.

2009 c27 s5;2011 c20 s8

Appointment of ad hoc justices of the peace

7.2(1)  A justice of the peace appointed under section 4(1) or reappointed under section 7.1(1) may, if the justice of the peace is not disqualified under section 4(5)(a) to (e), be appointed as an ad hoc justice of the peace in accordance with this section.

(2)  Where 10 years has elapsed from the date on which a justice of the peace referred to in subsection (1) was appointed under section 4(1), the Chief Judge may request that the Lieutenant Governor in Council appoint the justice of the peace as an ad hoc justice of the peace for a term of one year.

(3)  Where an ad hoc justice of the peace has been appointed under this section, the Chief Judge may request that the Lieutenant Governor in Council reappoint that person for a term of one year.

(4)  The Chief Judge may request the appointment or the reappointment of an ad hoc justice of the peace under this section if

                                 (a)    the Chief Judge determines that the appointment or reappointment will enhance the efficient and effective administration of the Court, and

                                 (b)    the request is made in accordance with and subject to the criteria established by the Chief Judge and approved by the Judicial Council.

(5)  Where the Chief Judge requests

                                 (a)    under subsection (2) that the Lieutenant Governor in Council appoint, or

                                 (b)    under subsection (3) that the Lieutenant Governor in Council reappoint,

an ad hoc justice of the peace for a term of one year, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall, subject to subsection (6), appoint or reappoint that ad hoc justice of the peace for a term of one year.

(6)  A justice of the peace shall be appointed or reappointed under this section only if

                                 (a)    a request for appointment has been made under subsection (2) or a request for reappointment has been made under subsection (3),

                                 (b)    the justice of the peace in respect of whom the request has been made has consented to the appointment or reappointment, and

                                 (c)    the justice of the peace has not attained the age of 75 years.

(7)  A justice of the peace may, subject to subsection (6), be appointed or reappointed under subsection (5) for a maximum of 5 terms of one year.

(8)  Notwithstanding anything in this section, a term of appointment or reappointment of a justice of the peace who is appointed or reappointed under this section expires when

                         (a)    the justice of the peace attains the age of 75 years, or

                                 (b)    the justice of the peace has served 5 terms of one year as an ad hoc justice of the peace,

whichever occurs first.

(9)  Subject to Part 6 of the Judicature Act, no justice of the peace reappointed under this section may be removed from office before the expiry of the justice of the peace’s term.

2011 c20 s8

Oaths

8(1)  Every justice of the peace, before acting, shall take and subscribe before a person authorized to administer oaths and declarations in Alberta the oath of allegiance and the judicial oath prescribed by the Oaths of Office Act.

(2)  The oaths once taken and subscribed shall be transmitted forthwith by the justice of the peace to the Department of Justice and Solicitor General.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s8;2013 c10 s36

Supervision and duties

9(1)  The Chief Judge of the Provincial Court

                                 (a)    shall supervise and assign duties to justices of the peace, and

                                 (b)    may delegate the supervision and assignment of duties referred to in clause (a) to a judge or a supernumerary judge of the Provincial Court.

(2)  The judge or supernumerary judge to whom the Chief Judge has made a delegation under subsection (1)(b) may further delegate to justices of the peace administrative functions including scheduling, record‑keeping, interfacing with police agencies and developing forms.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s9;2011 c20 s8

Complaints

10(1)   This section applies only to justices of the peace appointed under section 4, reappointed under section 7.1 or appointed or reappointed under section 7.2.

(2) A complaint about the competence, conduct, misbehaviour or neglect of duty of a justice of the peace or the inability of a justice of the peace to perform duties shall be dealt with in accordance with Part 6 of the Judicature Act.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s10;2009 c27 s6;2011 c20 s8

Restriction on other employment

10.1   Unless otherwise authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council,

                                 (a)    a justice of the peace who is designated as a full‑time justice of the peace shall not practise law;

                                 (b)    a justice of the peace who is designated as a part‑time justice of the peace shall not practise criminal law or family law, appear as counsel on any matter in the Provincial Court of Alberta, represent any client in any proceeding involving the Government of Alberta or the Government of Canada, or represent the Government of Alberta or the Government of Canada in any proceeding.

2011 c20 s8

Resignation

11   A justice of the peace may at any time resign the position of justice of the peace in writing signed by the justice of the peace and delivered to the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court.

RSA 1980 cJ‑3 s6;1991 c21 s16

Determination of complaint or information

12(1)  Where a justice of the peace

                                 (a)    hears, tries and determines a complaint or information, or

                                 (b)    conducts a hearing or settlement conference or hears an application under Part 4 of the Provincial Court Act,

that justice of the peace shall do the things referred to in subsection (2).

(2)  Where subsection (1) applies, the justice of the peace while carrying out the functions referred to in subsection (1)

                                 (a)    shall hear, try and determine the matter in the Provincial Court, and

                                 (b)    for the purpose of hearing, trying and determining the matter is, subject to the regulations, empowered to exercise all of the powers and perform all of the duties of a judge of the Provincial Court.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s12;2008 c32 s17;2011 c20 s8

Provincial Court Act

13   Sections 9.21, 9.5 and 9.51 of the Provincial Court Act apply to a justice of the peace in the same manner as if the justice of the peace were a provincial judge.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s13;RSA 2000 c16(Supp) s28

Status of certain appointments

14   The appointment or designation of a justice of the peace for a term of years made before April 30, 1998 is confirmed and validated from the date of the appointment or designation, as the case may be.

1998 c18 s3

Regulations

15(1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

                                 (a)    governing the process under which a person may be selected to be appointed as a justice of the peace;

                                 (b)    prescribing the statutes, the regulations and the bylaws of municipalities or any provision of them in respect of which a justice of the peace may hear, try and determine a complaint or information;

                                 (c)    prescribing duties that shall not be assigned to justices of the peace;

                              (c.1)    governing and restricting the jurisdiction and powers of justices of the peace;

                                 (d)    respecting a duty roster for justices of the peace;

                                 (e)    respecting the qualifications of a person to be appointed as a justice of the peace, including a justice of the peace designated as a non‑presiding justice of the peace;

                                 (f)    respecting the application of a justice of the peace for a change in designation from full time to part time and from part time to full time;

                                 (g)    respecting fees to be paid to non‑presiding justices of the peace;

                                 (h)    prescribing the period of time for the purposes of section 4(7);

                                  (i)    prescribing functions and duties for the purposes of section 5(2)(d);

                                  (j)    prescribing fees to be paid for each proceeding or specified service;

                                 (k)    requiring and governing the making of returns and reports by justices of the peace;

                                  (l)    governing the remission of fines, penalties, forfeitures or other sums of money;

                               (m)    respecting any matter necessary and advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purposes of this Act.

(2)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall make regulations

                                 (a)    respecting the remuneration to be paid to justices of the peace; 

                                 (b)    respecting the remuneration to be paid to justices of the peace who sit part time;

                                 (c)    providing for and governing the benefits to which justices of the peace are entitled.

(3)  A regulation made under subsection (2) shall, if so provided in the regulation, be effective from a date prior to the making of the regulation.

RSA 2000 cJ‑4 s15;2005 c41 s3;2011 c20 s8