I was ticketed for not stopping at a stop sign a while back, and followed some of the instructions on the ticket combat website, but the prosecutor and justice didn't seem impressed with my attempt to stay trial today. Who is wrong in this case, them or me, and any advice is much appreciated!
Here's a bit of a summary:
May 5 - stopped after turning right on bicycle. Officer told me I didn't stop. I know I stopped about 1 meter behind stop sign for elderly lady (road is unmarked) and he didn't see me do it.
Oct.. 19 - received notice of trial
Oct.. 19 - went to court house at 60 Queen St. Filled out form from their website and got disclosure, a single page of notes from officer. I should have faxed in a letter with no phone number, but I hadn't read that advice at the time.
Nov.. 9 - came to court. compared my notes with officer's notes. The notes were different (same ticket number, but different written notes due to computer glitch)
The case was adjourned for a different reason: I couldn't read the officer's writing so I wasn't sure if I was charged with 136.1.a or 136.1.b.
The officer photocopied and gave me his actual notes from his notebook then and there. New trial date was set for today (Jan. 22).
Nov.. 9 - I wanted more information, including stop sign by-law, so I faxed in request that they give you on ticket combat website (didn't give phone number, only address).
Dec.. 5 - no response to previous fax, so faxed another request
Jan.. 2 - no response to previous two faxes, so faxed it a third time
Jan.. 22 - still no responses to any of my previous faxes, but came to court ready for trial with my questions for cross-examination and my photos (prepared correctly thanks to this website!). Before pleading I said to the Justice "prior to pleading, I'd like to put a motion before the court to stay the proceedings as my charter section 7 rights have been violated". The prosecutor stood the matter down to talk to me as I didn't get to talk to her before. She was condescending and rude and said she knew I got the requests I faxed from the internet, and said I didn't need things on there. I argued how do I know what I need until I receive it. She just laughed. She said I received everything I was going to get. I saw the officers notes and that's all that was required. She said wasn't required to give me a copy of the by-law, and suggested if I want it I go to city-hall and look it up. She kept pushing me to have a trial, and I insisted 3 unanswered faxes was a violation of my rights. She gave up and said "Fine, the Justice will tell you the same thing". She then mentioned this to the justice after, and the justice agreed I wasn't entitled to get everything I want from prosecutor and that they don't have to give me the by-law. She said if I wanted to adjourn again so I could go do a bit more research about procedure, that was ok. The justice was pushy too and tried to scare me out of a trial. She kept mentioning how she sees trials end within 1 minute because people get up there and admit their guilt and they just want to give an explanation. I said I understand and I wanted to have a trial with all the facts I'm entitled to so that I can plead not guilty. I insisted I felt my rights were violated and I wanted to go through whatever procedure I had to. She said I would have to file 11b, but she tried to talk me out of it because it's "complicated and lots of forms". Seemed ridiculous for her to say that to me. But she agreed and adjourned so I could "do more research and decide what I want to do."
I thought from reading ticket combat I have the right to the stop sign by-law, and the prosecutor must provide it to me, and 3 unanswered faxes violates my right to disclosure. I made 4 good-faith efforts to get disclosure: once in person where I was given the incorrect notes, and 3 times by fax 3 months, 2 months, and 1 months before the trial, where I was ignored completely.
Doesn't seem right to me. The prosecutor kept saying to me "you can't just show up and surprise us with motion to stay the trial." (ok, I'm not an expert in procedure - but I read this on ticket combat I thought). And she said "even if you go through all the constitutional stuff, the remedy for no disclosure is just to give you the disclosure, not to stay the trial, and you already had everything you are going to get.". But, I argued, I sent 3 faxes to get disclosure and they were ignored. She laughed again and didn't respond to that.
Are they wrong, or am I wrong? If I am wrong, I'm ok with that, I'll just go through with the trial and try to put doubt in the justice's mind that the officer doesn't remember accurately, or get him to admit it's possible he didn't see me stop because of an obstructed view. If they are wrong, what should I do? Do I have to file 11b? Is that the correct next step? And, if they're both wrong, I got the feeling that as long as they agreed with each other, because I'm in their court, if they decide I'm wrong, then I'm wrong even if I'm right. I stayed my ground and insisted which got me another adjournment, but they were not going to stay the trial.
Next trial date is now in March. Any advice is much appreciated!!!