VICTIMS’ RIGHT TO PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT, 1994
S.O. 1994, c. 39 55
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. (1) In this Act,
"accused or convicted person" means a person accused or convicted of a crime;
"crime" includes an alleged crime;
"related person" means, in relation to an accused or convicted person,
(a)an agent or other personal representative of the accused or convicted person,
(b)an assignee of the accused or convicted person,
(c)a spouse or former spouse of the accused or convicted person, and
(d)a person who has at any time been related to the accused or convicted person, whether by birth, adoption or marriage;
"victim" means a person who suffers injury within the meaning of the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act, harm or pecuniary loss as a direct result of a crime.
Series of crimes
(2) A series of crimes shall be deemed to be a single crime for the purposes of determining a victim’s rights to payment and for the purposes of the administration by the Public Trustee of money received.
(3) The Public Trustee shall determine, in his or her discretion, whether two or more crimes by an accused or convicted person constitutes a series of crimes for the purposes of this Act. In making this determination, the Public Trustee is not required to consider the interests of a person entitled to be paid under a contract described in section 2.
2. (1) This section applies with respect to a contract under which money is to be paid to an accused or convicted person or to a related person,
(a)for the use of the recollections of the accused or convicted person respecting a crime;
(b)for the use of documents or other things in the possession at any time of the accused or convicted person that may be related to a crime;
(c)for an interview with the accused or convicted person or with a related person in which the person recounts matters respecting a crime;
(d)for an appearance by the accused or convicted person or by a related person, other than an appearance to address victims’ groups or incarcerated persons.
Obligation to inform Public Trustee
(2) Each party to a written contract shall give a copy of it to the Public Trustee. Each of the parties to an oral contract shall reduce it to writing and give a copy to the Public Trustee.
Payment to the Public Trustee
(3) A person who is required under a contract to pay money to the accused or convicted person or to a related person shall pay it instead to the Public Trustee.
(4) If the accused or convicted person or a related person receives money under a contract, the person shall be deemed to hold the money in trust for the Public Trustee and shall promptly pay it to the Public Trustee.
(5) A person who pays money to the Public Trustee under this section shall be
deemed to have complied with the contract in connection with which the payment is made, to the extent of the payment to the Public Trustee.
(6) A person who fails to comply with this section is guilty of an offence and upon conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding $50,000.
Public Trustee to hold funds
3. (1) The Public Trustee shall hold the money he or she receives under section 2 in trust for the persons specified in this Act.
Fees and charges
(2) Subsections 8(2) and (3) of the Public Trustee Act apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to money received by the Public Trustee.
List of payors, etc
(3) The Public Trustee shall make available to the public for inspection on request a list of persons who make payments relating to contracts, the payments received by the Public Trustee and the name of the accused or convicted person in relation to whom the payments are made and received.
Notice to victims
4. (1) Upon first receiving money under section 2 relating to a crime, the Public Trustee shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the community in which the crime was committed or was alleged to have been committed indicating that the Public Trustee has received money relating to the crime and advising victims of their rights under this Act.
(2) Despite subsection (1), if the Public Trustee is satisfied that he or she can contact all the victims of a crime otherwise than by advertising, the Public Trustee may use whatever method he or she considers appropriate to notify the victims.
(3) The Public Trustee may give such further notice to victims as he or she considers advisable.
(4) The cost of advertising to notify victims may be charged against the money received by the Public Trustee.
Limitation period extended
5. Despite subsection 61(4) of the Family Law Act and section 45 of the Limitations Act, a person who considers themself to be a victim may bring an action for the recovery of damages against an accused or convicted person if the person does so within five years after the date on which the Public Trustee first receives money under section 2 in respect of the crime.
Application for payment
6. (1) A person who obtains judgment in an action against an accused or convicted person relating to a crime may apply to the Public Trustee for payment of the amount of the judgment and costs from the money the Public Trustee holds in trust.
Payment to victim
(2) The Public Trustee shall pay the amount necessary to satisfy the award of judgment and costs in accordance with this section,
(a)if the Public Trustee is satisfied that the person is a victim of a crime committed or alleged to have been committed by the accused or convicted person; and
(b)if the Public Trustee has received money under section 2 relating or possibly relating to the crime.
(3) If the amount of the judgment and costs payable to all victims of a crime exceeds the amount of money held in trust in respect of the crime, the Public Trustee shall distribute the money to the victims on a pro-rated basis.
(4) If the Public Trustee receives additional money under section 2 after making a payment under this section, the Public Trustee shall pay the additional money to the victim to the extent necessary to satisfy the award of judgment and costs.
Consequence of acquittal
(5) If the Public Trustee is notified that a person accused of committing a crime has been acquitted while an application under this section is pending and if no further appeal of the acquittal is taken, the Public Trustee shall not make any further payment otherwise required by this section.
Application for release of funds
7. (1) A person entitled to receive money under a contract referred to in section 2 may apply to the Public Trustee for payment from the money the Public Trustee holds in trust relating to the contract.
(2) The Public Trustee shall pay the amount owing to the person under the contract in accordance with this section,
(a)if the Public Trustee has paid the judgment and costs payable under section 6 to all victims of the crime who have applied for payment; and
(b)if the Public Trustee is satisfied as to the entitlement of the person under the contract.
(3) If the amount payable under all contracts relating to a crime to persons applying under this section exceeds the amount of money held in trust in respect of the crime, the Public Trustee shall distribute the money to the applicants on a pro-rated basis.
Restriction on payments
8. (1) The Public Trustee shall not make a payment under this Act relating to a crime until five years and six months have elapsed after the Public Trustee first receives money under section 2 relating to the crime.
(2) A person who would be eligible to receive a payment from the Public Trustee but for subsection (1) may apply to court, on notice to the Public Trustee, to authorize a payment before the time provided in subsection (1).
(3) Despite subsection (1), the court may authorize the payment if the court is satisfied that doing so is fair in the circumstances.
(4) The Public Trustee, in his or her discretion, may postpone making any payment relating to a crime or a contract, other than a payment authorized under subsection (3), if the Public Trustee has notice of an action against an accused or convicted person that has not been finally disposed of.
(5)The Public Trustee shall be deemed not to have received notice of an action unless a party to the action gives the Public Trustee a copy of the statement of claim.
Status of Public Trustee
(6)The Public Trustee shall not be made a party to an action for the sole purpose of enabling a person to make an application for payment under this Act.
9.The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,
(a) governing applications under this Act and providing for application fees to be paid to the Public Trustee;
(b)governing the payment of money under this Act;
(c)respecting such other matters as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers advisable for the administration of this Act.
10.This Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
11.The short title of this Act is the Victims’ Right to Proceeds of Crime Act, 1994.