INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
This section outlines the process for enforcing payment of fines or forfeitures through a civil court judgment.
734.6(1) Where (a) an offender is in default of payment of a fine, or (b) a forfeiture imposed by law is not paid as required by the order imposing it, then, in addition to any other method provided by law for recovering the fine or forfeiture, (c) the Attorney General of the province to whom the proceeds of the fine or forfeiture belong, or (d) the Attorney General of Canada, where the proceeds of the fine or forfeiture belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada, may, by filing the order, enter as a judgment the amount of the fine or forfeiture, and costs, if any, in any civil court in Canada that has jurisdiction to enter a judgment for that amount.
Section 734.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the recovery of fines and forfeitures that are not paid as required by the order imposing them. In such cases, the Attorney General of the province or the Attorney General of Canada may take legal action to recover the outstanding amount. If an offender is unable or unwilling to pay a fine, or if a forfeiture imposed by law is not paid as required, the Attorney General may file the order and enter as judgment the amount of the fine or forfeiture, along with any associated costs, in any civil court in Canada that has jurisdiction to enter such a judgment. This section empowers the Attorney General to take legal action to recover the proceeds of a fine or forfeiture, which may belong either to the province or to the federal government, depending on the case. The Attorney General may use any method provided by law to recover the outstanding amount, including seizing property or garnishing wages. Overall, section 734.6(1) is an important provision for ensuring that fines and forfeitures imposed under the Criminal Code of Canada are paid as required. By providing a legal mechanism for recovering these amounts, the section helps to ensure that offenders face the consequences of their actions and that the government is able to collect the revenue it is owed.
Section 734.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the issue of default in payment of fines or forfeitures. If an offender fails to pay a fine or forfeiture as required by the order imposing it, this section provides the mechanism for the recovery of the amount owed, along with any costs associated with it. The section allows for two options that can be pursued for the recovery of fines or forfeitures. The first option is for the Attorney General of the province to whom the proceeds of the fine or forfeiture belong. The second option is for the Attorney General of Canada where the proceeds of the fine or forfeiture belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada. The decision on which option to choose depends on who has the right to the proceeds of the fine or forfeiture. The procedure for recovering fines or forfeitures under this section involves the AG filing the order and entering it as a judgment in a civil court that has jurisdiction to enter a judgment for the amount(s) owed. This means that the AG can go to court to have the amount of the fine or forfeiture, plus any associated costs, entered as a judgment against the offender. This section provides a way for the government to enforce the payment of fines or forfeitures. Without an enforceable mechanism, some offenders may choose to ignore or avoid payment, thereby rendering the punishment meaningless. With this provision, there is a legal pathway for the government to recoup the funds owed. However, this provision also raises concerns regarding access to justice. Some individuals may not have the means to pay fines or forfeitures and may end up in default. The consequences of default, including the possibility of having a judgment entered against them, could lead to serious financial consequences, including bankruptcy. These negative outcomes primarily affect the most vulnerable members of society, who might already be struggling to make ends meet. This provision could thus be seen as adding to the existing systemic discrimination in the criminal justice system. Overall, section 734.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as an important tool for the government in enforcing the payment of fines or forfeitures. Nevertheless, there should also be a consideration of measures that balance access to justice with the need to uphold the rule of law. The government could consider alternatives to fines or forfeitures, such as community service, that do not disproportionately impact marginalized people. Additionally, there should be more focus on rehabilitation, education, and other social programs to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior.
Section 734.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada specifies the conditions under which the Attorney General of Canada or any province can enter the amount of a fine or forfeiture as a judgment. In doing so, the Attorney General can initiate the process of recovering the unpaid amount through civil courts in Canada. There are several strategic considerations that one must take into account when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. One of the most important considerations is the potential impact of entering the fine or forfeiture as a judgment on the offender's credit rating. This is because a judgment can negatively affect a person's credit score, which could have long-term repercussions for their financial future. This can be a crucial factor to consider, particularly for less serious offences, where the imposition of a fine is a common punishment. Another factor to consider is the likelihood of recovering the fine or forfeiture through other means, such as wage garnishment or seizure of assets. If the offender has no means to pay the fine or forfeiture, entering it as a judgment may not be an effective strategy. This is because the offender may be unable to pay the judgment, leaving the Attorney General with the responsibility of enforcing it, which can be time-consuming and costly. In cases where the offender has a sufficient means to pay the fine or forfeiture, the Attorney General may opt to enter it as a judgment immediately. The reason for doing so is that a judgment has a higher priority than other non-secured debts, which increases the chances of recovering the money owed. Additionally, entering the amount as a judgment may also prompt the offender to pay the outstanding amount to avoid further legal action. Another strategy that can be employed is to negotiate a payment plan with the offender. By doing so, the Attorney General may avoid the need to enter the amount as a judgment, which can negatively impact the offender's credit rating. Agreeing to a payment plan can also allow the offender to pay the amount owed in a manner that is more manageable, reducing the likelihood of default. Finally, it is essential to consider the costs associated with entering the amount as a judgment. This is because filing the order and entering the amount as a judgment can be expensive, and the Attorney General may need to pay legal fees and other expenses associated with the process. Consequently, it is crucial to weigh the potential benefits of entering the amount as a judgment against the costs associated with the process. In conclusion, section 734.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides the Attorney General of Canada and any province with an avenue to recover unpaid fines or forfeitures. However, several strategic considerations should be taken into account when dealing with this section, including the potential impact of a judgment on the offender's credit rating and the likelihood of recovering the amount through other means. Analyzing these considerations and employing effective strategies can help the Attorney General recover the outstanding amount with minimal cost and inconvenience.