Poor Relief Act


Published: 1961

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Poor Relief (CAP. 332 1

CHAPTER 332

THE POOR RELIEF ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

-.
3 . Board of Guardians: establishment of.
4. Duties of the Board.
5 . Relief Book.
6 . Board to record its proceedings and make annual reports.
7 . Powers of the Board.
8. Persons entitled to relief.
9. Poor and destitute persons to be relieved.

10. Time and manner of paying relief.
11. Liabilities of person's property for his relief.
12. Liabilities of relatives of poor and destitute person for

his relief.
13. Recovery of burial expenses.
14. Relieving Officer to sue for the Board. Recovery and

enforcement of penalties.
15. Penalty for giving false information.
16. Power of entry.
17. Regulations.

POOR RELIEF

(15th June, 1961.) 311960.
1811989.

S.I. 3911989.

1. This Act may be cited as the Poor Relief Act. Short title.
\

2 . In this Act- Interpretation.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

2 CAP. 332) Poor Relief

"Board" means the Board of Guardians of the Poor
appointed under section 3;

"poor and destitute person7' means any and every
person who, by reason of infancy, old age, illness,
disease, bodily infirmity or mental incapacity, is
unable to maintain himself or herself.

BOARD O F GUARDIANS OF T H E POOR

Board 06 3. (1) For the purposes of this Act, there shall be
Guardians:
establishment of. established a Board, to be called the Board of Guardians

of the Poor.

(2) The Board shall consist of a chairman and not more
than six other members, to be appointed by the Cabinet,
who shall hold office during their pleasure, and for a period
of not more than three years:

Provided that at the expiration of his period of office,
any such person may be re-nominated to be a member of
the Board:

Provided also that the Minister may remove any such
person and nominate any other person in place of a member
so removed, or in place of any member dying or resigning,
or becoming incapable to act, or being absent from Antigua
and Barbuda, or failing to attend the meetings of the Board
for three consecutive months.

Acting (3) The members present at any meeting may, in the
Chairman. absence of the chairman, elect any member to act as chair-

man of such meeting.

Quorum. (4) At any meeting of the Board, any three members
shall form a quorum, and the chairman or acting chairman,
as the case may be, shall have a second or casting vote.

Secretary. (5) The Governor-General may appoint a secretary to
the Board who shall keep the minutes and accounts and con-
duct the correspondence of the Board, and who shall be the
Relieving Officer, and perform the duties of that office and
all such other duties as may be assigned to him by the
chairman.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Poor Relief (CAP. 332 3

(6) The Governor-General may appoint such other Other officers.
officers as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act at
such salaries as the Governor-General, with the consent of
Parliament, may from time to time direct.

4. Subject to any instructions which may from time Duties of the
Board.

to time be issued to the Board by the Cabinet it shall be
the duty of the Board-

(a) to administer and control all public monies
appropriated for the following purposes-

(i) outdoor pauper relief;

(ii) assistance to discharged pauper patients from
the Mental Hospital; --.

(iii) funeral expenses of paupers;

(iv) maintenance of discharged lepers, or for any
other purpose as may be approved by the
Cabinet.

(6) to co-operate with voluntary associations in
administering relief to poor and destitute persons;

(c) to control generally all matters relating to the
relief of poor and destitute persons; and

(6) to meet not less than once in every month and
at such other times as meetings of the Board may be
convened by the chairman thereof.

5 . The Board shall keep a book showing in detail the Relief Book.
name of every poor and destitute person who receives relief
from its funds, the amount of the allowance to each such
poor and destitute person, the commencement and termina-
tion of such allowances, the name of the person to whom
each payment was made, and the total amount of each weekly
distribution.

6. The Board shall keep a record of its proceedings, ~~;~of~;;,d
in which shall be entered minutes of all meetings held by .,a ,de .,,,,l
the Board, or by any committee appointed by the Board and rep0rts.
all resolutions passed and orders made by the Board and
all other matters which the Board may judge proper; and
,the Board shall once in every year submit to the Minister
a general report of its proceedings, which report shall con-

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

4 CAP. 332) Poor Relief

rain in particular a full statement as to the condition and
management of poor and destitute persons throughout
Antigua and Barbuda; and every such report shall be laid
before Parliament at its first meeting after receipt of the same
by the Minister.

Powers of the
Board.

7. (1) The Board may summon before it such persons
as it may think necessary for the purpose of being examined
upon any matter relating to any of its duties under section 4
or any other matter placed by law under its control.

(2) The Board may appoint sub-committees for such
-. purposes as it may deem fit.

(3) The Board may, with the approval of the Cabinet,
make rules for regulating its own proceedings and for such
other matters as may be necessary for the proper carrying
& of this Act.

(4) All rules made under this section shall be published
in the Gazette.

RELIEF

Persons entitled
to relief.

8. Any person who, in the opinion of the Board, is
a poor and destitute person will be entitled to relief under
this Act:

Provided that under exceptional circumstances of destitu-
tion arising from drought, epidemic disease or such like
causes, the Board, with the approval of the Cabinet, may
afford temporary relief to persons who are not poor and
destitute persons.

Poor and
destitute persons

9. (1) In every case in which a person shall apply for
to be relieved. relief, the Relieving Officer shall make enquiry into the

circumstances of the applicant, and shall, if he appears to
the Relieving Officer to be a person legally entitled to relief,
furnish him with interim means of subsistence until the next
meeting of the Board; and such Relieving Officer shall con-
tinue to afford such person such interim maintenance as may
be necessary until his claim to relief be dealt with by the
Board; and the Relieving Officer shall return an answer to
such application within forty-eight hours from the time that
it was made:

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Poor Relief (CAP. 332

Provided that if the necessary means of support are
afforded to the applicant in the meantime, the Relieving
Officer may delay giving a final answer to such application
for any period which to him may seem necessary for pro-
secuting his enquiries:

Provided also that any applicant as aforesaid shall give
to the Relieving Officer and the Board all information and
assistance which it is in his power to give on every matter
regarding his case which the Relieving Officer or the Board
may desire to ascertain.

(2) It is hereby declared that it is no answer to a claim
for relief that the claimant has relatives able or bound to
support him, and assistance cannot be refused when-the
applicant is in such a state of necessity bodily or mentally,
as fairly entitles him to relief. In all such cases it shall be
the duty of the Relieving Officer to provide the needful
sustentation in the first instance, and afterwards to proceed
against those persons who are bound by law to aliment or
assist the person relieved.

10. All allowances granted under the authority of this Time and
manner of paying Act shall be paid weekly or fortnightly at such place or places .,lief.

and on such days as the Board shall from time to time name
for the purpose. The payments shall in all cases when
practicable, be paid to the grantee personally, and when not
practicable the payment shall be made to someone authorized
to receive the same, but the Board shall in the latter case
through the Relieving Officer ascertain if each sum has been
duly received by the grantee.

11. When any person to whom relief shall have been Liabilities of
person's property

granted under this Act shall, either at the time of such relief for hi, rel;et
being granted or afterwards, own or be possessed of any
property, the amount expended under this Act in the relief
of such person, and the expenses of the burial of such person,
if dead, shall be deemed to be a debt due from such person
and his personal representatives, executors and assigns to
the Crown and shall be recoverable by the Crown according
to law:

Provided that nothing herein contained shall relieve any
persop from any criminal liability which he would incur if
this section were not law.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

6 CAP. 332) Poor Relief

Liabilities of
relatives of poor 12. (1) For the purposes of this Act every husband
and destitute shall be liable to maintain his wife and every child under
person for his the age of fourteen years, whether legitimate or illegitimate,
relief.

that she may have at the time of her marriage with him;
every father to maintain his child; every grandparent his
grandchild; every widow her child; and the father and mother
of every child born out of wedlock their child born out of
wedlock, until such child, grandchild and child born out of
wedlock respectively shall attain the age of fourteen years,
and when any poor and destitute person shall through old
age, infirmity or other defect be unable to support himself,
every child and grandchild of such person shall be liable
according to his ability to maintain such poor and destitute
person:

Provided that nothing herein contained shall be taken
to extinguish or lessen any obligation which the law imposes
upon any husband or parent in regard to the maintenance
of his wife or children, legitimate or illegitimate, independent-
ly of the provisions of this subsection.

(2) If any person made liable by this section to main-
tain any other person shall neglect or refuse so to do, then
on complaint made by the Relieving Officer in his official
name it shall be lawful for anv Magistrate. if satisfied of -
the ability of the party to make such payment, to order such
party to repay to the Board any amount expended under
this Act in the relief of the Derson whom such vartv is so

A ,

made liable to maintain, and in default of payment to deal
Cap. 255. with such party under the Magistrate's Code of Procedure - .

Act as though such order were a conviction within the mean-
ing of the said Act.

(3) If in any proceedings brought under or by virtue
of this section the parentage of any child born out of wedlock
shall be disputed by the reputed father thereof, the evidence
of the mother shall not be deemed sufficient, unless corro-
borated in some material particular by other testimony.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Recovery of
burial expenses.

13. (1) It shall be lawful for the Board in any case
where it may appear expedient to pay the cost of, and
expenses incidental to, the funeral of any person, and to
recover the amount so paid from the person who under this

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Poor Relief (CAP. 332 7

Act was liable for the maintenance of the deceased person,
or from any person intermeddling with or taking possession
of any property of such person.

(2) If any person made liable under this section to repay
the cost of burying any person shall neglect or refuse to do
so, then on complaint made by the Relieving Officer in his
official name it shall be lawful for any Magistrate, if satisfied
of the ability of the party to make such repayment, to order
such party to repay to the Board any amount expended under
this Act upon such burial and in default to deal with such
party under the Magistrate's Code of Procedure Act, as
though such order were a conviction within the meaning of
the said Act. -

14. All actions, suits, complaints, prosecutions and Relieving Officer
to sue for the other proceedings by the Board may be commenced and ~,, ,a. R~~~~~~

carried on by the Relieving Officer without naming him or :;dpe;,fg~;~t
by any other person appointed by the Board, as the case
may be, and all penalties imposed by this Act shall be
recovered and enforced under the provisions of the
Magistrate's Code of Procedure Act.

15. Every person who gives false information, know- Penalty for
giving false

ing the same to be false, in connection with any inquiry or ~n~or,a,;on~
the obtaining of any information for the purposes and under
the authority of this Act, shall be guilty of an offence against
this Act and liable on summary conviction to a fine not
exceeding one thousand dollars.

16. It shall be lawful for any member of the Board, Power of entry.
the secretary of the Board and for any other officer appointed
under the authority of this Act, to enter any premises at any
time between eight o'clock in the morning and six o'clock
in the evening for the purpose of making enquiries in con-
nection with the relief of poor and destitute persons.

17. The Cabinet may make regulations for carrying Regulations.
into effect the provisions and purposes of this Act.

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