Probation of Offenders

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Probation of Offenders
PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT

CHAPTER 13:51

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Act
35 of 1947

Amended by
40 of 1961
28 of 1973
45 of 1979
18 of 1994

L.R.O.

Current Authorised Pages
Pages Authorised

(inclusive) by L.R.O.
1–17 ..

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

2 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

Index of Subsidiary Legislation
Page

Probation of Offenders Rules (G. 21.7.1927) … … … … 14

Note on Adaptation
Under paragraph 6 of the Second Schedule to the Law Revision Act (Ch. 3:03) the Commission
amended certain references to public officers in this Chapter. The Minister’s approval of the
amendments was signified by LN 120/1980, but no marginal reference is made to this Notice
where any such amendment is made in the text.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

MINISTRY OF LEGAL AFFAIRS www.legalaffairs.gov.tt

L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 3

CHAPTER 13:51

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Power of Court to permit conditional release of offenders on probation.
4. Probation orders.
5. Court may order probationer to attend at a Probation Training Centre.
6. Revesting of property when probation order made.
7. Further provisions where Court makes probation order.
8. Probationer may be required to submit to medical treatment.
9. Commission of further offences by probationers.

10. Failure by probationer to comply with probation order.
11. Probation order; disqualification or disability.
12. Transmission of documents when case is remitted to another Court.
13. Amendment of probation orders.
14. Discharge of probation orders.
15. Transmission of copies of orders for amendment or discharge of

probation orders.
16. Selection of welfare officers (probation).
17. Contributions toward homes and hostels.
18. Appointments.
19. Probation Training Centres.
20. Rules.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

4 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

CHAPTER 13:51

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT

An Act to provide for the Probation of Offenders.

[6TH NOVEMBER 1947]

1. This Act may be cited as the Probation of Offenders Act.

2. In this Act—
“probation order” means an order made under this Act placing a

person under the supervision of a welfare officer (probation);
“probationer” means a person placed under supervision by a

probation order;
“Chief Probation Officer” means a person appointed to be Chief

Probation Officer under this Act;
“Probation Committee” means a committee appointed to be a

Probation Committee under this Act.

3. (1) Subject to subsection (3), where any person is charged
before a summary Court with an offence which is punishable by
such Court, and the Court thinks that the charge is proved but is of
opinion that, having regard to the character, antecedents, home
surroundings, health or mental condition of the offender, or to the
nature of the offence, or to any extenuating circumstances in which
the offence was committed, it is expedient to release the offender
on probation, the Court may—

(a) convict the offender and make a probation
order; or

(b) without proceeding to conviction, make a
probation order.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), where any person is
convicted on indictment of an offence punishable with
imprisonment, and the Court is of opinion that, having regard to
the character, antecedents, home surroundings, health or mental
condition of the offender, or to the nature of the offence, or to

1950 Ed.
Ch. 4 No. 22.
35 of 1947.

Commencement.

Short title.

Interpretation.
[40 of 1961].

Power of Court
to permit
conditional
release of
offenders on
probation.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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L.R.O.

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Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 5

any extenuating circumstances in which the offence was
committed, it is expedient to release the offender on probation, the
Court may, in lieu of sentencing him to any punishment, make a
probation order.

(3) Before making a probation order under subsection (1)
or (2), the Court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language
the effect of the order and that, if he fails in any way to comply
therewith or commits another offence, he will be liable—

(a) in the case of subsection (1), to be fined or to be
sentenced or convicted and sentenced for the
original offence; and

(b) in the case of subsection (2), to be sentenced for
the original offence.

4. (1) A probation order shall have effect for such period
not less than one year and not more than three years from the date
of the order as may be specified therein, and shall require the
probationer to submit during that period to the supervision of a
welfare officer (probation) appointed to serve in the Courts of
Trinidad and Tobago, and shall contain such provisions as the Court
considers necessary for securing the supervision of the offender,
and such additional conditions as to residence and other matters as
the Court, having regard to the circumstances of the case, considers
necessary for securing the good conduct of the offender or for
preventing a repetition of the same offence or the commission of
other offences.

(2) Where a probation order contains a provision as to
residence, the place at which and the period for which the
probationer is to reside shall be specified in the order and, where
any such provision requires the probationer to reside in an
institution, the period for which the probationer is required so to
reside shall not extend beyond twelve months from the date of the
order, and the Court shall forthwith give notice of the terms of the
order to the Chief Probation Officer.

(3) The Court by which a probation order is made shall
furnish two copies of the order, one copy to be given to the
probationer and the other to the welfare officer (probation) under
whose supervision he is placed.

Probation
orders.
[40 of 1961].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

6 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

Court may order
probationer to
attend at a
Probation
Training Centre.
[40 of 1961
28 of 1973].

Revesting of
property when
probation order
made.

Further
provisions
where Court
makes probation
order.
[40 of 1961].

5. Where a person under the age of eighteen years is placed
by a probation order under the supervision of a welfare officer
(probation), the Court may order such person to attend at a
Probation Training Centre, established or approved under this or
any other Act, for the purpose of being given under supervision
appropriate occupation and instruction, on such occasions and at
such times to be specified in the order as will avoid interference as
far as is practicable with his working hours.

6. Where a probation order is made by a summary Court, the
order shall, for the purpose of revesting or restoring stolen property
and of enabling the Court to make orders as to the restitution or
delivery of property to the owner and as to the payment of money
upon or in connection with the restitution or delivery, have the
like effect as a conviction.

7. (1) Where a person is placed by a probation order under
the supervision of a welfare officer (probation), the Court may
order the offender to pay such damages for injury or compensation
for loss as the Court may think reasonable, but not, in the case of
an order made by a summary Court, exceeding in the aggregate
one hundred and fifty dollars or such greater sum as may be allowed
by any written law relating to the offence, and to pay such costs of
the proceedings as the Court thinks reasonable.

(2) Where a Court makes any such order for the payment
of damages or compensation as mentioned above, the order may
be enforced in like manner as an order for the payment of costs by
the offender, and where the Court, in addition to making such an
order for the payment of damages or compensation to any person,
orders the offender to pay to that person any costs, the orders for
the payment of damages or compensation and for the payment of
costs may be enforced as if they constituted a single order for the
payment of costs.

(3) Where a Court has made an order for the payment of
costs or damages or compensation as mentioned above, and part
or the whole of such sums awarded as costs or as damages or
compensation remains unpaid on the termination of the period

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 7

Probationer may
be required to
submit to
medical
treatment.

Commission of
further offences
by probationers.

specified in the order, the Court may, if it is satisfied that the
probationer has made every reasonable effort to pay, remit or
rescind the order for such sums as remain unpaid, but no remission
or rescission shall be made without a report being submitted to the
Court by the welfare officer (probation), responsible for the
supervision of the probationer.

8. Where a Court is of the opinion that it is expedient to make
a probation order and is satisfied that the mental or physical
condition of the offender is such as requires and as may be
susceptible to treatment, the Court may include in the probation
order a provision requiring the probationer to submit to medical
treatment by or under the direction of a duly qualified medical
practitioner, but the Court shall not include such a provision unless
the offender expresses his willingness to comply with it.

9. (1) If it appears to a Court that a probationer has been
convicted of an offence committed while the probation order was
in force, it may issue a summons requiring the probationer to appear
at the place and time specified therein or may issue a warrant for
his arrest, but a Court shall not issue the summons except on
information, and shall not issue the warrant except on information
in writing and on oath.

(2) A summons or warrant issued under this section shall
direct the probationer to appear or to be brought before the Court
by which the probation order was made.

(3) Where a probationer is convicted by a summary Court
of an offence committed while the probation order was in force,
the Court may commit the probationer to custody or release him
on bail, with or without sureties, until he can be brought or appear
before the Court by which the probation order was made.

(4) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court by
which the probation order was made that the probationer has
been convicted of an offence while the probation order was in
force then—

(a) if the probationer was not convicted of the original
offence in respect of which the probation order
was made, the Court may convict him of that

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

8 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

Failure by
probationer to
comply with
probation order.
[18 of 1994].

offence and pass any sentence which it could pass
if the probationer had just been convicted before
that Court of that offence; or

(b) if the probationer was convicted of the original
offence in respect of which the probation order
was made, the Court may pass any sentence which
it could pass if the probationer had just been
convicted before that Court of that offence.

(5) Where a probationer in respect of whom a probation
order has been made by a summary Court is convicted before the
High Court of an offence committed while the probation order
was in force, then—

(a) if the probationer was not convicted of the original
offence in respect of which the probation order
was made, the High Court may convict him of
that offence and may pass any sentence which
the Court which made the probation order could
pass if the probationer had just been convicted
before that Court of that offence; or

(b) if the probationer was convicted of the original
offence in respect of which the probation order
was made the High Court may pass any sentence
which the Court which made the probation order
could pass if the probationer had just been
convicted before that Court of that offence.

10. (1) If it appears to a Court that a probationer has failed to
comply with any of the provisions of the probation order, it may
issue a summons to the probationer requiring him to appear at the
place and time specified therein or may issue a warrant for his
arrest, but a Court shall not issue the summons except on
information, and shall not issue the warrant except on information
in writing and on oath.

(2) A summmons or warrant under this section shall
direct the probationer to appear or to be brought before the Court
by which the probation order was made.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


UPDATED TO DECEMBER 31ST 2014

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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 9

Ch. 4:60.

Probation order;
disqualification
or disability.

(3) A Court issuing a warrant under this section may
direct the police officer executing the warrant to grant bail,
according to the Bail Act, to the probationer pending his
appearance before the Court.

(4) If it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court by which
the probation order was made that the probationer has failed to
comply with any of the provisions of the probation order, then—

(a) without prejudice to the continuance in force of
the probation order, the Court may impose on the
probationer a fine not exceeding three hundred
dollars; or

(b) if the probationer—
(i) was not convicted of the original offence

in respect of which the probation order was
made, the Court may convict him and pass
any sentence which it could pass if the
probationer had just been convicted before
that Court of that offence; or

(ii) was convicted of the original offence in
respect of which the probation order was
made, the Court may pass any sentence
which it could pass if the probationer had
just been convicted before that Court, of
that offence.

(5) Where a Court has under subsection (4)(a) imposed a
fine on the probationer, then, on any subsequent sentence being
passed upon the probationer under section 9 or this section, the
imposition of the fine shall be taken into account in fixing the
amount of the sentence.

11. (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence and is
released under a probation order, his conviction for that offence
shall be disregarded for the purpose of any written law by or under
which any disqualification or disability is imposed upon convicted
persons or by or under which provision is made for a different
penalty in respect of a second or subsequent offence or in respect
of an offence committed after a previous conviction; but if the

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

10 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

probationer is subsequently sentenced for the original offence
this section shall cease to apply in respect of that offence, and he
shall be deemed for the purposes of any such written law imposing
a disqualification or disability, to have been convicted on the date
of sentence.

(2) Where a person is released on probation, without the
Court having proceeded to conviction, and he is subsequently
convicted and sentenced for the original offence, then he shall be
deemed, for the purpose of any written law by or under which any
disqualification or disability is imposed upon convicted persons
or by or under which provision is made for a different penalty in
respect of a second or subsequent offence or in respect of an offence
committed after a previous conviction, to have been convicted on
the date of the conviction and sentence.

12. Where a probationer is committed to custody or released
on bail by a Court until he can be brought or appear before the
Court which made the probation order, the Court shall transmit to
the other Court such particulars of the case as it thinks desirable,
and where the probationer has been convicted of a subsequent
offence by a Court, the Court shall transmit to the other Court a
certificate to that effect, signed by the Judge or Magistrate, as the
case may be, and for the purpose of proceedings in the Court to
which it is transmitted any such certificate, if purporting to be so
signed, shall be admissible as evidence of the conviction.

13. (1) Subject to this section, where on the application of
a probationer or of the welfare officer (probation) responsible for
his supervision, the Court which made the probation order is
satisfied that the provisions of the probation order, should be varied,
or that any provisions should be inserted or cancelled, the Court
may by order amend the probation order accordingly, but no order
shall be made under this section reducing the period of duration of
the probation order, or extending that period beyond a period of
three years from the date of the probation order.

(2) An order under subsection (1) may require a
probationer to reside in an institution for any period not extending

Transmission of
documents when
case is remitted
to another
Court.

Amendment of
probation
orders.
[40 of 1961].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 11

beyond twelve months from the date of that order, if the total period
or the aggregate of the periods for which he is required to reside in
any institution or institutions under the probation order does not
exceed twelve months.

(3) The Court shall, if it is satisfied, on the application of
the welfare officer (probation) responsible for the supervision of
the probationer, that the probationer has changed, or is about to
change, his residence from the district named in the order to another
district, by order vary the probation order by substituting for the
references to the district named therein a reference to the district
where the probationer is residing or is about to reside, and shall
transmit to the Court for the new district all documents and
information relating to the case, and thereupon the last-mentioned
Court shall be deemed for all the purposes of this Act to be the
Court by which the probation order was made.

(4) An order under this section cancelling a provision of
a probation order or substituting a new district for the district named
therein may be made without summoning the probationer, but no
other order under this section shall be made except on the
application or in the presence of the probationer.

(5) Where an order is made under this section for the
variation, insertion, or cancellation of a provision requiring
a probationer to reside in an institution, the Court shall
forthwith give notice of the terms of the order to the Chief
Probation Officer.

14. (1) The Court by which a probation order was made may,
on the application of the probationer or of the welfare officer
(probation) responsible for his supervision, discharge the
probation order, and, where the application is made by the welfare
officer (probation), the Court may deal with it without summoning
the probationer.

(2) Where an offender in respect of whom a probation
order has been made is subsequently sentenced for the offence in
respect of which the probation order was made, the probation order
shall cease to have effect.

Discharge of
probation
orders.
[40 of 1961].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

12 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

15. Where an order is made for the amendment or discharge
of a probation order, the clerk of the Court by which the order is
made shall furnish two copies of the order to the welfare officer
(probation) responsible for the supervision of the probationer, or,
in the case of an order for the discharge of a probation order, to the
welfare officer (probation) who was so responsible before the
making of the order, one copy to be given by him to the probationer.

16. (1) The welfare officer (probation) who is to be
responsible for the supervision of any probationer shall be selected
by the Court which makes the probation order, and if the welfare
officer (probation) so selected dies or is unable for any reason to
carry out his duties, or if the Chief Probation Officer or the
Probation Committee dealing with the case consider it desirable
that another officer shall take his place, another welfare officer
(probation) shall be selected by the Court.

(2) Where a woman or girl is placed under the supervision
of a welfare officer (probation), the welfare officer (probation)
shall be a woman.

17. Such contributions may be made towards the establishment
or maintenance of homes or hostels for the reception of persons
placed under the supervision of welfare officers (probation) as the
Minister may approve.

18. (1) There shall be in the public service—
(a) a Chief Probation Officer who shall organise

and supervise the probation service in Trinidad
and Tobago in accordance with Rules made under
this Act;

(b) a sufficient number of welfare officers (probation)
qualified by character and experience to be
welfare officers (probation) who shall perform
such duties as may be prescribed by Rules made
under this Act.

(2) The Minister shall appoint a probation committee or
probation committees consisting of such persons as the Minister

Transmission of
copies of orders
for amendment
or discharge of
probation
orders.
[40 of 1961].

Selection of
welfare officers
(probation).
[40 of 1961].

Contributions
toward homes
and hostels.
[40 of 1961].

Appointments.
[40 of 1961].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 13

thinks fit, who shall review the work of welfare officers (probation)
in individual cases and perform such duties in connection with
probation as may be prescribed by Rules made under this Act.

19. (1) The Minister may establish places, which shall be
called Probation Training Centres, at which offenders under the
age of eighteen years may be required to attend in accordance with
the terms of a condition contained in a probation order.

(2) The Minister may by Notification approve of any
existing training or education centre being a Probation Training
Centre for the purposes of this Act but may withdraw the approval
by not less than six months’ notice in writing to the person in charge
of the training or education centre.

20. The Minister may make Rules prescribing—
(a) the duties of a Chief Probation Officer;
(b) the duties of welfare officers (probation);
(c) the constitution and duties of a Probation

Committee or Probation Committees;
(d) the form of records to be kept under this Act;
(e) the remuneration of any person appointed to carry

out any duties under this Act and the fees and
charges to be made for any act, matter, or thing
under this Act to be done or observed;

(f) generally for carrying this Act into effect.

Probation
Training
Centres.
[28 of 1973].

Rules.
[40 of 1961].

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

14 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS RULES

ARRANGEMENT OF RULES
RULE

1. Citation.

DUTIES
2. Preliminary enquiries.
3. Visits.
4. Children attending school.
5. Observing conditions.
6. Advising, assisting, etc., probationer.
7. Uniform or badge.
8. Conversant with law.

REPORTS
9. Report concerning probationer.

10. Failure to observe conditions.
11. Reports to Court.

RECORDS
12. Records.
13. Result.
14. Records part of records of Court.

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L.R.O.

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

[Subsidiary]
Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 15

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS RULES
made under section 20

1. These Rules may be cited as the Probation of
Offenders Rules.

DUTIES

2. A probation officer shall make such preliminary enquiries
as the Court may direct in respect of any offender in whose case
the question of the making of a probation order is under
consideration, notwithstanding that no order has been made.

3. When any person (hereinafter referred to as the
probationer) is placed under the supervision of a welfare officer
(probation), the welfare officer (probation) shall, subject to any
directions given by the Court (whether in the probation order or
otherwise) visit the probationer and make enquiry as to his
behaviour, mode of life and employment. Such visits shall for the
first month be made (unless the Court otherwise direct) at least
once a week; and afterwards their number shall depend on the
conduct and mode of life of the probationer; provided that in the
case of persons under sixteen regard shall be had to the desirability
of the visits being made at least once a fortnight during the first six
months of the order.

4. In the case of children attending school, the welfare officer
(probation) shall visit the school and make enquiry of the head
teacher as to the child’s attendance and progress.

5. The welfare officer (probation) shall ascertain that
the probationer understands the conditions of the recognisance,
and shall by warning and persuasion endeavour to ensure his
observance of them. If the probationer fails to obey the conditions
after due warning, the welfare officer (probation) shall report as
hereinafter directed.

6. The welfare officer (probation) shall, as occasion may
arise, advise, assist and befriend the probationer, and when

G. 21.7.27.
[45 of 1979].

Citation.

Preliminary
enquiries.

Visits.

Children
attending
school.

Observing
conditions.

Advising,
assisting, etc.,
probationer.

UNOFFICIAL VERSION


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[Subsidiary] Probation of Offenders Rules

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

16 Chap. 13:51 Probation of Offenders

necessary endeavour to find him employment. For these purposes
he shall secure as far as possible the co-operation and assistance
of social workers and agencies.

7. A welfare officer (probation) shall not wear any uniform
or badge distinctive of his office.

8. Every welfare officer (probation) shall make himself
conversant with the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act
and of these Rules.

REPORTS

9. The welfare officer (probation) shall report as to the
conduct and mode of life of the probationer and his observance of
the conditions of his recognisance to such Court at such intervals
and in such a manner as the Court making the order may direct;
when the order has been made by the High Court directions for
this purpose, when the Court is not sitting, may be given by the
Chief Justice or a Puisne Judge. In the absence of any directions,
the welfare officer (probation) shall report in writing once a month
to the Magistrate of the district for which he is appointed.

10. If the probationer fails to observe any of the conditions of
his recognisance, the welfare officer (probation) shall make a report
to the Court before which the probationer is bound by his
recognisance to come up for judgment or sentence, if that Court is
then sitting or will sit within a reasonable time. In any other case
the welfare officer (probation) shall, subject to the direction of the
Court making the order, make the report to a Court of summary
jurisdiction for the district for which he is appointed.

11. The reports to the Court shall be made orally or in writing
as the Court may direct; in the absence of direction they shall be in
writing. They shall not, unless the Court specially directs, be made
in open Court or published.

RECORDS

12. The welfare officer (probation) shall keep records of all
probationers placed under supervision, and such records shall

Uniform or
badge.

Conversant
with law.

Report
concerning
probationer.

Failure to
observe
conditions.

Reports to
Court.

Records.

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L.R.O.

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Probation of Offenders Chap. 13:51 17
Probation of Offenders Rules [Subsidiary]

Result.

Records part of
records of
Court.

include the following particulars: name and address, sex, age,
offence, previous offences (if any), date and duration of order,
conditions attached to order, employment, and, in the case of
children attending school, name of school and attendance during
probation, number of visits and result.

13. Under the heading “Result” it shall be stated in general
terms whether the period of probation has been completed to
the satisfaction of the welfare officer (probation) and of the
Court. When the probationer’s behaviour has not been satisfactory,
the records should include a statement of the nature of the
misconduct and of the action taken, e.g., committal to Industrial
School or prison.

14. These records shall form part of the permanent records
of the Court and shall be kept at the Court or in such other place
and in such custody as the Court may determine.

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