Extracts from a summary of legal opinions concerning existing Pools,
Libraries and Museum Bylaws.
We have assumed that the Council would not consider it worthwhile taking a prosecution for
breach of a bylaw unless the breach had caused some loss to the Council (e.g. damage to
Council property) which was sufficiently large to justify the costs of prosecution.
Bylaws on libraries [pools and museum] are not necessary. The existing law on bailment,
trespass to property and the Trespass Act 1980 provide sufficient means to protect library
[pool and museum] property and to recover for damage to library [pool and museum] property
(although they all require prosecution through the courts).
However, there are a few potential advantages to retaining bylaws, especially where they
relate to damage to Council property:
· Under section 176(2) of the LGA, the costs of remedying any damage caused by the
breach of a bylaw will be recoverable summarily, rather than through the usual court
process (under section 175 LGA). This may be a faster and cheaper option in some
cases. (Note that there may be other debt collection options that are even faster and
less resource intensive, such as going to the disputes tribunal or referring a matter to
a debt collection agency).
· It may be important to keep bylaws to preserve their deterrent effect and the
‘message’ that they send about condemning certain behaviour.
Address through other means
· Contract the library should ensure that borrowers are provided with a full list of the
terms and conditions of borrowing books when they join the library, which they should
be asked to sign in recognition that they understand and agree to comply with them.
While this may be labelled ‘contract’, it will be enforced through an action for bailment
(gratuitous loan for use), as there is no consideration passing from the borrower to
· Code of Conduct it would be useful to have an informal code of conduct outlining
appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in the library [pools and museum] posted by
the entrance to the library [pools and museum], which could be enforced by [Council
staff] using powers in the Trespass Act. “