We finally had 'our day in court" I'll try to be brief..
My mom and I went to defend her on this charge. Arrived early to speak with prosecurtor. She was arrogant, rude and refused any negotiations, even after I showed her a huge amount of my evidence in my mom's favor.
1) French Language Service Act-stating all english only signs are invalid in Toronto.
2) Pictures of all the english only signs in area of where mom was ticketed.
3) All 5 disclosure requests, but only 1 answered disclosure request that was missing 1/2 the information as it was unreadable, lightly copied, and still missing 1/2 of the information I requested before given to us.
4) No bylaw given to us showing WHY the sign was put in place to prove sign was valid in disclosure.
Prosecutors attitude was.. SO?
My Mom either plea Guilty and pay $110.00 then she MIGHT save 2 demerits (was originally told it was a 3 demerit offence) but up to judge to decide.
We sat from 9 AM til 1030 only then to find without notice, somehow Moms trial was changed to 1:30pm that day from 9am (what we were originally told).
Went back at 130pm.
Sat there until 230pm when Mom was called up.
I explained to judge all my evidence, as by then everything seemed so informal and we were the only ones left in courtroom, but I still stood on proceedure, calling Judge "your worship and following court protocol.
The judge asked me 3 times. Was I a lawyer or para-legal?
as i was not, I told him my mom is on small old age pension and can not afford a lawyer's bill and then he asked (demanded to know )where did I get this information to defend my mom on?
I told him thru alot of research on FSLA defense, and 1 or 2 "free 30 minuts legal advice, as well online and other court documents I've read ..etc ..
Prosecutor had to tell judge, on 1 of my disclosure requests, I forgot to remove the "ticketcombat" website address from bottom of request.
After that it all went crazy.
I was told to conference with cop to verbally get the rest of what he did not provide us as disclosure that was still missing 1/2 the informaton, (Map of where he was (location) and 1/2 of the copy of ticket). As That is ALL The disclosure I can expect to recieve at any time.
He even went on to say "Im lucky to have even recieved that much, as Traffic court does NOT give out disclosure!! Written upo, typed or otherwise!!
The original Ticket given to my mom was the ONLY disclosure they see fit to provide-Thats IT!! Thats ALL!!
IF I recieved what I did as disclosure, Im lucky at that, because to begin with, giving us a bylaw to state the sign was in place legally is absurd!!
If I want that information, I myself should find it, as its not up to the court OR Prosecutors office to provide it! Then went on to say I should once again talk to prosecutor and see about a plea to limit amount of ticket or demerits deducted.
I tried to explain she wouldnt hear us, nor was she wanting to help us. Her attitude was plea Guilty or feel her wrath!
Then he took a 20 minute recess so we again can speak with prosecutor, who was still acting like a wicked witch.
The Prosecutor then told me..
"If I intend to continue defending my mom on the evidence I have today, SHE will adjourn proceedings until a later date so she can file a motion to exclude me as my moms defender. meaning I wouldnt be allowed into the courtroom on the new date, so my 80 year old mom (who can't afford a lawyer) will have to hire a lawyer to defend her or plea guilty now and get this over _NOW!.
As "All the "so called evedince I had was incorrect and I was taking up precious court time and expense on this frivilous thinking that the French Service Languaga Act was any sort of a defense in traffic court or I was to expect more disclosure than what I recieved.."
Now, I have successfully defended myself 3 times in the past 10 years in traffice court, so I do know how to folow court protocol.
But what I experianced that day, as I see it, was a total miscarrage of justice!
They had my mom so terrified she would loose her license because she's now 80 years old, they in fact forced her to admit guilt or go hire an expensive lawyer to defend her, and she'd still loose.
I told prosecutor of my moms small pension would cause her severe hardship, and she finally said she would try and make sure NO demerit points were deducted if she pleaded guilt now. (By then I saw the Judge peering out of his small room he enters by, so I know he heard most everything I was discussing with Prosecutor.
So, when the court finally came back.. I was asked to sit quietly in the empty courtroom as I wont be defending my Mother. My mom then had to plea guilty to going thru, down a thruway, between 7-9am when in fact you can only turn right or left and not go straight when light was green, so she can save the demerits.
When judge asked if there was anything she's like to add, she asked again, if the court could consider reducing the fine from $110.00 and stressed again to judge of he limited pension.
The Judge found my Mother guilty. Then in his ruling he dismissed the charge against her without pregidous.
So yes, we did get our day in court and eventually got what we were seeking for my mom.. but in turn the judge said to me at the end, he admires me for standing up for my mom, but said I shouldnt ever take what I read off some website as truth when it comes to the law.
Because most likely I'm going to be wrong in my assessment of what I read.
Now Ive used ticketcombat website previousley a few times to successful out comes.
So I am shocked that this was allowed to have taken place in court, and I wasnt even allowed to defend my Mom on the grounds of everything I had previously found to be truthful and honest about:
1) the FLSA and english only signs
2) People are NOT allowed disclosure to defend themselves in traffic court as the ticket given is ALL the disclosure needed??
All because I wasn't a Lawyer or Para-Legal.
If the judge wanted to rule a dismissal in the end... ( I Think because he knew I did have a good defense for her, but he certainly didnt want this trial to go public, so everyone would know about Toronto's illegal signs)
Why did we just go through 1 1/2 hours of this bull where it intimmidated my Mother so much, she was forced to plea against her's and my better judgment.
I did A whole lot of research into FLSA and more defenses, and everything Ive read was, and has been used to success in other trials. But on this day, just because I wasnt a lawyer or Para-legal, invalidated me and everything I said???
In a court of Canada, thats will ONLY listen to lawyers or Para-Legals, and not the regular guy who cant afford a high priced lawyer.. Where is this judicial system going?? No Rights as you're automatically Guilty... unless you can pay for a hefty lawyers bill
*** On another topic as to the why the sign was in place******
Afterwards I did more research into why the sign was there and its bylaw.
Only beause the Queen Street Mental Health Center (now owned by CAMH) has a 250 year old wall surronding it's property, along the east end of the property (along Shaw Street, south of Queen Street to King St.
The Toronto Historical Society has deemed this a historical landmark in 2005. Thus on petition to Toronto has asked that during Rush Hours 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm Monday - Friday, No vehicles are allowed thru major intersections, southbound on SHaw Street starting at Dundas, so that it limits the amount of vehicles allowed to pass by or near this historical wall, so it limits the amount of vehicles passing by, in case there are accidents that could risk this wall from being hit, in the event an accident should occur.
Thus perserving the remainig historical wall (and an old gatehouse inside,) surrounding the Property, as sometime in 1970's Toronto removed the same wall that continued along the Queen Street, destroying that part of this historical Wall.
But it would have been much easier if the prosecutors office provided me with the bylaw, instead of me looking for it as it took me a day or 3 to find the bylaw and the accompanying documents from the Toronto Historical Society.
(I still say.. NO Matter what!! I'd do all of this again, exactly how I did, in court, as I think, what did happen was a total farce and courtroom circus.
I now believe the prosecutor when she said to me "the Judge, court clerks and her are all like a big family here, that work together daily.
And if it wasn't for the people here (In the courtroom) Toronto would be over run with people who will dilibertly break the law, because they see a small technicaliity in the law. (ie: FSLA)
I've always lived by the rules of Nature. Its the other ones you need to Be Aware of..