1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Constitution and jurisdiction of Court for each parish

   3A   Judication of Resident Magistrates' Courts for the Corporate Area

   4   Appointment and jurisdiction of Resident Magistrate

   5   Power to assign Court to more than one Resident Magistrate

   6   Power to assign more than one parish to a Magistrate

   7   One Resident Magistrate may act for another

   8   Appointment of Stipendiary Magistrate

   9   Custody of the Records of District Courts

   10   Courts of Record

   11   Seal


Appointment of Resident Magistrate and Clerk of the Courts

   12   Qualification of Resident Magistrates

   13   Transfer of Magistrate and Clerk

   14   Salary and travelling of Magistrate

   15   To be Justices for Island

   16   Appointment of Clerks of the Courts

   17   Additional Clerks of the Courts

   18   Power to appoint Clerk to more than one parish

   19   Qualification of Clerks of the Courts1

   20   Appointment of Assistant Clerks. Duties. Powers

   21   Appointment of Deputy Clerks

   22   Qualification of Deputy Clerks of the Courts

   23   Powers and protection of Deputy Clerks

   24   Limitation of powers of Deputy Clerks

   25   Business prohibited to Magistrates and Clerks

   26   Residence of Magistrates and Clerks

   27   Notes of evidence

   28   Actions by and against Magistrate

   29   Temporary appointment of Magistrates or Clerks

   30   Quarterly reports by Magistrates

   31   Report by Magistrate on uncompleted cases

   32   Judges of Supreme Court to examine reports


Duties of Clerks

   33   Issuing process, registering judgments, etc

   34   [Repealed by Act 40 of 1997 s 3.]

   35   [Repealed by Act 40 of 1997 s 3.]

   36   To keep records of all civil proceedings

   37   Destruction of papers and documents after certain periods

   38   Destruction of records after 20 years

   39   Certified copies of entries in book evidence

   40   Clerk need not prosecute in preliminary examination for indictable offences

   41   Uttering or acting under false copies of records or process


Court Administrators and Accountants

   41A   Appointment of Court Administrators and Accountants

   41B   Functions of Court Administrators

   41C   Functions of Accountants



   42   Appointment of Bailiffs and appointment and dismissal of Assistant Bailiffs

   43   Procedure as to the appointment of Assistant Bailiffs

   44   An Assistant Bailiff to be stationed at each Court House if required

   45   Powers and remuneration of Assistant Bailiffs in case of death or removal of Bailiff

   46   Appointment, powers, fees and salary of additional Bailiff

   47   Bailiffs, etc, limited to one Court except where one Magistrate is appointed to two parishes

   48   Duties, fees and responsibility of Bailiffs

   49   Appointment of Special Bailiff

   50   Execution of warrant of commitment

   51   Duty of Bailiff, etc, to keep accounts

   52   Receipt books to be kept and receipt given only from these books

   53   Bailiff to make monthly returns of writs of execution and of what has been done under them

      Examination of Bailiffs' returns with counterfoils, etc, and certificates or other dealings

      Certificate as to the result of examination

   54   Examination of the Bailiff on oath

   55   Bailiff to deliver process to the Magistrate when required

   56   Bailiff's salary and fees


Action against officers, etc

   57   Action by and against officers of Courts

   58   Power to Magistrate to enquire into the conduct of officers of his Court and to deal with cases of extortion, misconduct, or neglect of duty

   59   Power to Magistrate to appoint person to execute any order on officers of Court

   60   Assaulting Bailiff or officer in discharge of his duty or obstructing or rescuing levy

   61   Protection of officers executing irregular or informal warrant

   62   Actions for anything done in obedience to a warrant of the Court


Duties of Resident Magistrate

   63   Duty of Magistrate to attend all Courts of Petty Sessions within his parish

   63A   Weekly enquiries by Resident Magistrates

   64   Magistrate to take all preliminary examinations of charges of indictable offences

   65   Magistrate to preside in his Court, extent of his jurisdiction

   66   Fixing the times and places for holding Courts of Petty Sessions sad Resident Magistrates' Courts

   67   Magistrate's jurisdiction in Chambers

   68   Magistrate may appoint times and places for sitting in Chambers

   69   Jurisdiction in Chambers may be increased by rules

   70   Chamber applications may be made in Court or referred to the Court


Jurisdiction of Resident Magistrate's Court

(a) Common Law

   71   Jurisdiction of the Court in all common law claims below certain monetary limits

   72   Jurisdiction in all common law actions by consent of parties

   73   Prohibition of division of cause of action and permission to abandon excess over prescribed monetary limit

   74   Jurisdiction in cases of balances not exceeding $10,000

   75   Jurisdiction in cases not exceeding $10,000 of balances of partnership accounts, legacy or intestate estates

   76   Evidence to be confined to cause of action sued


(b) Interpleader

   77   Procedure and power of the Court in cases of claims to goods, etc, taken in execution of the process of the Court

   78   Claimant may deposit value of goods claimed or pay for their keep


(c) Replevin

   79   Power of Clerk to grant replevin

   80   Replevin to issue on security being given

   81   Security to be given by replevisor and particulars of replevin bond


(d) Land

   82   Definitions relating to the land jurisdiction conferred by this Act

   83   Local extent of land jurisdiction

   84   Jurisdiction of Magistrate for purposes of the Registration of Titles Act when value does not exceed $15,000

   85   Plaint by landlord against tenant or person claiming under tenant

   86   Claim for rent or mesne profits may be added

   87   Plaint by landlord against tenant when landlord's right of re-entry has accrued in respect of rent in arrear or breach of covenant

   88   Notices of plaint to be given by sub-tenant to his immediate landlord who may defend plaint

   89   Plaint by owner against person in possession without title or right of possession

   90   Plaint by the Crown against person in possession without title or right of occupation

   91   No plaint to be issued by the Crown without authority of the Attorney-General

   92   Owner entitled to rents from the time his title is recognised or established

   93   Lands adjudged to the Crown under previous laws or this Act vested in the Commissioner of Lands on certain trusts

   94   How title of owner may be established

   95   Judgment in favour of lunatic and infant establishing his title to land

   96   Plaint in cases of dispute as to title to lands not exceeding $3,000 annual value

      Procedure thereon.

   97   Plaint as to disputed boundary of adjoining lands

      Power for Magistrate to refer matter to Surveyor

   98   Plaint as to rights of way or water, or other rights or easements

   99   Plaint in dispute between the public and the occupier of lands as to rights or easements affecting such lands

   100   Form of judgment under sections 97, 98 and 99

   101   Power to refer certain matters to a surveyor to make survey and report

   102   Costs of referee

   103   Deposit to meet such costs

   104   Penalty for assaulting, hindering or obstructing surveyor, etc


(e) Equity

   105   Subject matters and limits thereof within the equitable jurisdiction of Courts

   106   Powers of Magistrate and the Officers of his Court in equity matters

   107   Local jurisdiction in equity matters


(f) Probate and Administration

   108   Jurisdiction in probate and administration matters

   109   Duty of Magistrate to ascertain that he has jurisdiction

   110   Notices of applications for administration

   111   Provision in cases for proving a will in solemn form or for revoking probate of a will

   112   Notices as to application for grants of probate and administration

      Certificates as to there being no other proceeding relating to the same estates

   113   Caveats against grants of probate and administration

   114   Stay of proceedings when it appears that Magistrate has not jurisdiction

   115   Effect of grant of probate or administration

   116   Grant of probate or administration not revocable for want of jurisdiction

   117   Procedure on judgment in contentious cases as to probate or administration

   118   Time for returning inventory

   119   Evidence by affidavit receivable

   120   Transmission to the Registrar of the Supreme Court of lists of all grants of probate or administration

   121   Record of wills of which probate or administration is granted

   122   Power to transmit to Court cases within its jurisdiction originated in the Supreme Court

   123   Administration bond

   124   Protection of bona fide payments to or by executor or administrator under grants subsequently revoked.

   125   Office copies of wills proved in Courts to be conclusive evidence of such will

   126   As to records of wills and how far such records are evidence

   127   Jurisdiction and powers of Magistrates as to disputes in testamentary cases

   128   Power as to costs

   129   Stamp duties on probates and administration protected


General Provisions

   130   Removal of cues into the Supreme Court

   131   As to actions or suits in the Supreme Court which might have been brought in a Court and as to costs therein

   132   Section 131 extended to all proceedings in the Supreme Court which might have been brought in the Court

   133   Power to transfer to Court equity suits within its jurisdiction pending in the Supreme Court

   134   Proceeding in action in the Supreme Court in which plaintiff is shown not to have the means of paying costs, to compel him to give security and procedure thereon



   135   Establishment and functions of Rules Committee

   136   Forms under this Act



   137   Powers of infants to sue

   138   Provisions as to parties to be the same as in the Supreme Court



   139   Tariff of fees

   140   Table of fees at Court

   141   Proceedings in Courts as to Court fees


Suits in forma pauperis

   142   Suits in forma pauperis


Form and Commencement of Action

   143   Actions to be commenced by lodging a plaint containing particulars specified

   144   Service of summons within the jurisdiction an patties out of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

   145   As to service out of the Island

   146   Power in certain cases to issue summons

      Service thereof and procedure thereon.

   147   Solicitor's costs under section 146 and on judgment summonses

   148   Power to amend Schedules B and C

   149   Notice of intention to defend and procedure thereon

      Clerk to notify plaintiff whether service effected or notice given

   150   Notice of special defence required

   151   Power to allow special defence without notice

   152   Counterclaim and fees payable thereon

   153   Payment into Court

   154   Payment of money into Court with or without denial of liability

      Admission in writing by defendant and procedure thereon

   155   Course, if the parties agree in a written statement as to amount payable and terms of payment


Summonses and Other Process

   156   Summonses to witnesses

   157   Power to issue process for special days

   158   Who may serve and who may execute process

   159   Proof of service of process

   160   Disobedience to summons to witnesses

   161   Service of summons under the land jurisdiction of the Courts

   162   Power to dispense with personal service in certain cases

   163   Service of commitment summons

   164   Service of notice of summons in certain cases



   165   Before whom affidavits may be sworn


Miscellaneous before Trial

   166   Power to order prisoner to be brought up to be examined as a witness

   167   Commissions de bene esse and foreign commissions

   168   As to sending causes to be heard in some other Court

   169   Power to grant time, adjourn and stay proceedings

   170   Change of venue within the parish

   171   Power to stay second action for same matter against same defendant

   172   Proceeding when Court has no jurisdiction

   173   Cost and form of security required by this Act

   174   Enforcement of recognizances

   175   Any person interested in action under land jurisdiction may be made a defendant


Mode of Trial-Jury

   176   Trial with jury in certain cases on application

   177   Generally actions to be tried without a jury

   178   How jury to be constituted

   179   Summoning jurors and penalty on disobedience

   180   Talesmen


Trial of Causes

   181   Power to nonsuit

   182   Power to refer to arbitration, effect thereof and proceedings thereon

   183   Examination of witness

   184   Trial to be summary

   185   Course if plaintiff fails to appear or to prove his case

      If the defendant admits the claim in plaintiff's absence

   186   Course if defendant does not appear

      Proviso as to setting aside default judgment

   187   Judgment on defendant's admission

   188   Who may appear and act for a party to any proceeding

   189   Facilities for proving deeds and recorded instruments

   190   Power of amendment

   191   Defendant may counterclaim and set off

   192   Procedure where cases are not concluded by Magistrate

   193   Perjury Act to apply to Magistrates

   194   Power to deal with misbehaviour in Court

   195   Power to enforce payment of fines

   196   Sums of money declared to be due to an infant, lunatic, or absentee to be paid to the Accountant-General

   197   Resident Magistrate shall transfer equity suit to Supreme Court when it appears that the limit of his jurisdiction teas been exceeded

      Proviso that Judge of Supreme Court may remit the suit to the Resident Magistrate.

   198   Magistrate may transfer suit to another Court

   199   Provisions as to the concurrent administration of law and equity

   200   Provisions as to the administration of law in special cases

   201   Power to set aside verdict or judgment and order new trial



   202   No one but admitted solicitors to recover costs in the Courts for appearing for another person

   203   The judgment is to include Court fees

      Other costs to be in the discretion of the Magistrate

      When costs to be allowed on taxation

   204   The Clerk of the Courts to be the taxing officer

      Costs to be taxed on application of solicitor or client

      Taxation to be reviewed on application of either party

   205   Costs to or against the Crown

   206   Costs allowed and taxed to be a judgment debt



   207   Judgment to be for payment forthwith

   208   In cross judgments execution to be taken out only for the difference

   209   Satisfaction of judgment

   210   Interest on judgment

   211   Assignment of judgment

   212   Assignments to be entered by the Clerk in a book and a memorandum entered on the margin of the record



   213   Execution to enforce payment of nuns ordered by Court

   214   Process if default made in payment of moneys ordered under section 196 to be paid into the Treasury

   215   Process for enforcing judgment or orders made under the equitable jurisdiction

   216   Particulars to be stated in and on warrant of execution

   217   Duty of Clerk on receiving application to issue warrant

   218   What may be taken in execution

   219   The sale and custody of goods taken in execution

   220   As to cheques, gills of exchange, bonds and securities taken in execution

   221   Order for sale of realty

   222   Directions as to sale of land

      Certificate of purchase to be stamped and to have the effect of conveyance.

   223   Judgment summons for enquiring into the defendant's means and other matters

   224   Proceedings on such summons

      Power to commit party summoned in certain events.

   225   Plaintiff may lodge with plaint a notice to defendant, that on obtaining judgment he will apply to have defendant committed

   226   Proceeding on order of commitment

   227   Writs and process under any enactment to be addressed and sent to Clerk of Courts

   228   Date of warrant of commitment

   229   Effect of imprisonment under such commitment

   230   Execution out of the jurisdiction of the Court issuing process


Execution by Attachment of Debts and Other Property

   231   Attachment of the property of judgment debtor in the possession of third person and of moneys owing to him

   232   Effect of service of summons on the garnishee

   233   Penalty for disposing of property attached

   234   Court may order seizures and detention of movable property attached

   235   Property in the hands of a public officer or in custodia legis.

   236   Appearance of garnishee for examination

   237   Investigation as to property attached

   238   Order thereon

   239   Personal liability of garnishee

   240   Procedure where liability disputed

   241   When several claimants to property attached

   242   Attachment book

   243   Obedience to order of Court to discharge garnishee

   244   How attachment may be dissolved

   245   Stay of proceedings against garnishee

   246   Allowance to garnishee for attendance

   247   Costs of application for attachment of debt


Warrants of Possession

   248   Warrant to Bailiff to give possession of land

   249   Power and duty of Bailiff under such warrant

   250   Date of warrant, how long in force



   251   Appeal in civil proceedings

      Powers of Court of Appeal in determining appeals

   252   As to appeal from a decision in Chambers

   253   Matters to which no appeal lies

   254   Special leave to appeal without deposit or security

      Such appeal to be by special case

   255   No appeal by agreement

   256   Appeals, proceedings therein

   257   Provisions relating to grounds of appeal

   258   Transmission of documents in case of appeal

   259   Appeal in form of special case

   260   Application of money deposited as security

      Costs may be taxed in excess thereof

   261   Costs of appeals

   262   Proceedings not to be removed into any other Court except as provided in this Act

   263   Clerk of Courts to certify copy of notes of evidence supplied

   264   When appeal to be heard

   265   Limitation of hearing by grounds of appeal

   266   Powers of Court of Appeal


Criminal Jurisdiction

   267   Extent of local jurisdiction in criminal matters

      Boundary of each parish to the seaward.

   268   Offences triable in the Resident Magistrates' Courts

      Other offences


   269   Power under Criminal Justice (Administration) Act

   270   Powers and provisions of enactments in force as to such offences to be applicable also when tried by a Magistrate

   271   Magistrate's power as to payment of costs

   272   Procedure when person charged with an indictable offence before a Magistrate

   273   Power of Magistrate in making order under section 272

   274   Indictment and commencement of trial thereof

   275   Trial of persons charged with indictable offences

      Procedure therein

      Power to remit case to the Circuit Court

   276   Power to stay preliminary investigation and dispose of the case in the Court

      As to evidence in such case taken in the preliminary investigation

   277   Power of Director of Public Prosecutions to give certain directions

   278   Power of amendment of indictment and of adjournment and recommencement of trial

   279   Powers of adjournment on trial of indictment

   280   Procedure after case for the prosecution closed

      As to witnesses for the accused and proceedings to secure their attendance

   281   Duty of Clerk to prepare indictable cases for hearing

   280   Procedure ill summary cases to be followed on trial of indict meets

   283   Duty of Justice as to persons charged before him with indictable offences triable in a Court

   284   Enforcement of attendance of witnesses

   285   As to process in Court and in Petty Sessions and the issue thereof

   286   Order to bring up prisoner for trial and on examination

   287   Forms to be used

   288   Forms of commitment

   289   Clerk to conduct prosecution in indictments and certain summary cases

   290   Duty of Clerk to prosecute particular summary cases as directed

   291   How records in criminal cases to be made up and kept

   292   How far such minutes or certified topics thereof are evidence

   292A   Committal to Supreme Court re proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act


Criminal Appeals

   293   Appeal from judgment of Resident Magistrate on indictment or information under special statutory jurisdiction

   294   Notice of appeal

   295   Failure to give notice of appeal

   296   Filing of grounds of appeal

   297   Liberation of accused under recognizance pending appeal

   298   Judge may order attendance of accused at hearing of appeal

   299   Transmission of record to Registrar of Court of Appeal

   300   Evidence on appeal

   301   Limitation of bearing by grounds of appeal

   302   Amendment by Court of Appeal

   303   Error or defect in form or substance of indictment or information not raised at trial

   304   Error or mistake in form or substance of judgment order or conviction

   305   Powers of Court of Appeal



   306   Savings




[Date of Commencement: 22nd February, 1928]

Cap 179.

28 of 1955
55 of 1955
15 of 1962.

40 of 1963,
42 of 1963,
33 of 1965,
33 of 1966,
39 of 1967,
43 of 1968,
42 of 1969,
14 of 1971,
26 of 1971,
45 of 1973,
7 of 1978,
15 of 1979,
7 of 1980,
17 of 1982,
6 of 1987,
6 of 1991,
3 of 1993,
13 of 1994,
32 of 1995,
40 of 1997,
2 of 2000,
19 of 2000 s 23*,
4 of 2007,
12 of 2009.


1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Judicature (Resident Magistrates) Act.

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "Magistrate" means the officer appointed as Resident Magistrate;

   "Corporate Area" means the combined area of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew;

[3/1992 s 2.]

   'Court" means the Court in which the Resident Magistrate sits in the exercise of the civil or criminal jurisdiction assigned to him as such.

3   Constitution and jurisdiction of Court for each parish

   In each of the fourteen parishes of the Island there shall be a Court, to be styled the Resident Magistrate's Court for the parish of ......, with so many stations as may from time to time be fixed by the Minister, which shall have and exercise the jurisdiction by this Act assigned to and conferred upon such Court.

3A   Judication of Resident Magistrates' Courts for the Corporate Area

   Without prejudice to section 3, the jurisdiction of the Court in the parish of Kingston and of the Court in the parish of St. Andrew shall extend over the entire Corporate Area.

[3/1993 s 3.]

4   Appointment and Jurisdiction of Resident Magistrate

   (1) It shall be lawful for the Governor-General from time to time to appoint so many Resident Magistrates, not exceeding forty six and not less than nine, as he may think necessary to satisfactorily discharge the business of such Courts, and every Resident Magistrate so appointed shall by the fact of such appointment, be capable of exercising and administering the jurisdiction and duties of any Resident Magistrate's Court in the Island.

[45/1973 s 2(a); LNs 199/1974; 130G/1997.]

   (2) Every Resident Magistrate so appointed shall be Judge of such one or more of the Resident Magistrates' Courts as shall at the time of his appointment or thereafter be assigned to him, shall have and exercise the jurisdiction or jurisdictions thereof, and shall be styled the Resident Magistrate for the parish or parishes of.

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