BILL 87 2003
UNCLAIMED PROPERTY AMENDMENT ACT (No. 2), 2003
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:
1 Section 1 of the Unclaimed Property Act, S.B.C. 1999, c. 48,
(a) in the definition of "holder" by adding ",
a court" after "the government",
(b) by adding the following definition:
"unclaimed court funds" has the meaning prescribed
in the regulations; , and
(c) in the definition of "unclaimed money deposit" by
striking out "section 2," and substituting "section 2
2 Section 3 is repealed and the following substituted:
Duty of administrator to make reasonable efforts to locate and notify
3 If the amount of an unclaimed money deposit meets or exceeds the amount prescribed for the purposes of this section, the administrator must make reasonable efforts to do the following:
(a) if the unclaimed money deposit is unclaimed court funds that had been held by the court in relation to a proceeding and if there has been no determination in that proceeding as to who is entitled to those funds, locate each of the parties to the proceeding who might have a claim to some or all of the funds and notify those parties about the funds;
(b) in any other case, locate the owner and to notify the owner about the money.
3 Section 4.2 is amended
(a) in subsection (3) by striking out "The administrator"
and substituting "Subject to subsection (4), the administrator",
(b) by adding the following subsection:
(4) If a claim made under this section relates to unclaimed court funds that had been held by the court in relation to a proceeding, the administrator must
(a) allow the claim if and to the extent that there has been a determination in the proceeding that the claimant is the owner of those funds, or
(b) in any other case, direct the claimant to the court to obtain such a determination.
4 Section 7.2 is amended by striking out ", at the prescribed
5 Section 17 is amended
(a) in subsection (2) by adding the following paragraph:
(q) respecting the rights and duties of the administrator
in relation to unclaimed court funds. , and
(b) by adding the following subsections:
(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must not make a regulation to prescribe a meaning for "unclaimed court funds", or make a regulation under subsection (2) (q) of this section, unless the Lieutenant Governor in Council has received the recommendation of the Attorney General after the Attorney General has consulted with the following:
(a) the Chief Justice of British Columbia, in relation to regulations affecting the Court of Appeal;
(b) the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in relation to regulations affecting the Supreme Court;
(c) the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, in relation to regulations affecting the Provincial Court.
(5) A regulation referred to in subsection (4) may provide differently for the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Provincial Court.
6 The following sections are added:
Court search and copy fees
18.1 (1) Despite the Supreme Court Rules and despite any other enactment, the administrator may search any file in a court registry that may be searched by the general public, and may take from such a file copies of any records of which the general public may take copies, without payment of any fee other than the applicable fee, if any, prescribed under subsection (2).
(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe fees payable by the administrator for
(a) any search by the administrator of any court file the administrator is entitled to search under subsection (1), and
(b) any copies taken by the administrator of records contained in a court file referred to in paragraph (a).
Unclaimed court funds
18.2 (1) Despite the Supreme Court Rules and despite any other enactment, if money paid into, or deposited in, court becomes unclaimed court funds, any of the following persons may authorize the Minister of Finance or any person designated by that minister to pay the unclaimed court funds to the administrator:
(a) a justice, judge or registrar of the court;
(b) in the case of the Supreme Court, a master.
(2) After receipt of an authorization referred to in subsection (1), the Minister of Finance or the person designated by that minister may pay to the administrator the unclaimed court funds in respect of which the authorization was provided.
(3) Despite Rule 58 of the Supreme Court Rules and despite any other enactment, unclaimed court funds paid to the administrator under this section are deemed to be an unclaimed money deposit under this Act and are not trust funds.
(4) Despite any other provision of this Act, the administrator must comply with all court orders and regulations relating to unclaimed court funds paid to the administrator under this section.