Convicted 2X for IMPROPER LEFT w/o NOTICE OF TRIAL

Rollwith
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Convicted 2X for IMPROPER LEFT w/o NOTICE OF TRIAL

by: Rollwith on
Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:32 pm

Hi Everyone! First time post so bear with me please :)

I would like to understand how I can best proceed given what has transpired so far and much has transpired that I will share so I can get help and in turn I can help others -

Here goes -

I received a ticket on August 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM for : HTA 144 (9) Prohibited Left Turn.

NOTE:
I elected on September 7, 2013 to go with OPTION 3 - Trial Option by attending the court house at 137 Edwards St. - 2nd Floor and my ticket was stamped by the court clerk as RECEIVED my request for a trial.

I made a DISCLOSURE REQUEST dated Nov. 15, 2012 and sent it by registered mail with tracking to the court house at 137 Edwards St. - 2nd Floor and got tracking confirmation that it was received on Nov. 19, 2012.

I received via Canada Post regular mail (not postmarked) on January 22, 2013 a NOTICE OF FINE AND DUE DATE letter with a "Conviction Date" supposedly on 2013 Jan 16 with a "Date Due" set for 2013 Feb 15.

So in essence, not only did I not get my "disclosure request" fulfilled, I never received a NOTICE OF TRIAL that I requested as required in person at the court house on September 7, 2012, yet I was convicted in absentia at a trial supposedly held on January 16, 2013.

My first question, how is it even likely given the supposed backlog of Toronto traffic court trial requests that a court date is supposedly available in about 4 months (only 131 days that even include days the courts are not open like weekends and whatever holidays) time?


I again on February 6, 2013 attended the court house at 137 Edwards St. - 2nd Floor and asked how I can be convicted on January 16, 2013 without even being sent a NOTICE OF TRIAL letter? The court clerk printed out via their ICON INQUIRY SUBSYSTEM an OFFENCE INQUIRY report which only shows dates for the following :

NOTE:
OFFENCE DATE : 22 08 12
SERVICE DATE : 22 08 12
SENT DATE : 16 01 13

Interestingly there is no record for NOTICE (of Trial) DATE or any indication when such notices are sent.

With that information, I formally filed for a "REOPEN" request* since I never received any NOTICE OF TRIAL for the trial held on January 16, 2013 where I was convicted in absentia. I also submitted in person another DISCLOSURE REQUEST dated Feb. 6, 2013 along with my completed REOPEN request forms. She reviewed them and made no comments except to swear in my submission under oath.

I received via Canada Post regular mail and this time postmarked (Feb. 8, 2013) on Feb. 13, 2013 finally a NOTICE OF TRIAL letter dated Feb. 6, 2013 and with a Trial Date set for "27th day of MARCH, 2013, at 09:00 a.m. in Room B at 60 Queen St. W. It states that it was "Issued at the TORONTO SOUTH POA OFFICE this 6th day of February, 2013. Same day that I submitted my RETRIAL request forms and DISCLOSURE REQUEST.

* filed on Feb. 6, 2013 the following - AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF A REQUEST FOR REOPENING, NOTICE OF INTENTION TO APPEAR and DISCLOSURE REQUEST

I attended court on March 27, 2013 for 09:00 a.m. and arrived 30 minutes early (as requested on a bright orange notice NOTE TO DEFENDANT sheet) to speak with the prosecutor. The prosecutor arrives late with only 15 minutes before 09:00 a.m. Since I was first in line, the prosecutor asked how I was going to plea. I replied that I have not received "full disclosure" despite requesting it formally in writing twice. She said I can go to some room downstairs and get the police notes printed and to come back to the court room with it. Prosecutor was not very helpful but I along with another "defendant" manage to find the place and a court clerk printed each of our police note copies as fulfillment of our full disclosure.

Note:
The police notes provided was sparse with the note page ("Enforcement Agency notes") section of my ticket with a reference -

"See <another ticket #> for more details. The year, make, number of doors and colour (incorrect but non-fatal as "Sil"). "Clear day roads." "Thursday"

<another ticket #> note page shows -

nnAnn - nnnn "Solo" <where n is a numeric and A is a character>

"Bech" nnnn

POI - nnnnnnn <Proof of Insurance?>
"07-AUG-2013" <Expiry Date of Policy?>

"TOY CAMRY 4D" <not my car>

<There is a drawing of the NO LEFT street sign including the "10 pm - 7 AM MON - FRI".>

"Today is WEDNESDAY"

"2 signs checked before and after enforcement. Clearly posted unobstructed. Clear day roads."

<There is a drawing of the intersection showing where the signs are located, street names, where north is and where he ("me") and his cruiser were located.>


With the police notes in hand, I returned to the court room with the court room in session and sat in the back. A long non-stop procession of "defendents" or their "reps" pleading guilty for a lesser fine. Finally, I was called up and the officer who issued my ticket was there. I recognized him from that night.

I was asked how I wish to plea so I mentioned that I had just received "disclosure" just minutes ago so I felt it was unfair to me to be able to prepare an adequate defense. I was asked why I didn't obtain "disclosure" sooner. I said I tried twice back in Nov. 15 2012 by registered mail and then again on Feb. 6, 2013 in person when I filed for a "REOPEN" to get this trial reopened. The JP asked the Prosecutor if this was true and the Prosecutor said they did not receive my requests. The Prosecutor asked me where I had sent my disclosure requests. I said at the address (137 Edward St. - 2nd Floor) at the back of my traffic ticket where I had filed for a TRIAL and a subsequent REOPEN. She then made it sound like I was an idiot for not knowing that's not where "disclosure" requests are to be made and that the TORONTO.CA website clearly depicts where such requests are to be sent or made in person. I said I had no idea that I was to search the TORONTO.CA for such information when I truly believed all my traffic tickets matters were to be dealt with at the only traffic court house I know and have been dealing with.

So the Prosecutor then ask what I want to do. I said I couldn't possibly defend myself "today" fairly. The JP provided me with an adjournment to a later date which was provided to me verbally ultimately by the court clerk verbally after the Prosecutor upon conference with the officer of his availablility. Note that I was not given anything in writing. This was a date and time I had to scribble down along with a court number that was changed a few times along with the date as well.

Now with the knowledge that I was to use TORONTO.CA as my resource for traffic ticket matters as "directed" to me by the Prosecutor, I read about how "Adjournments and motions" are to be handled and it clearly states that "If the case is adjourned, the clerk in the court should provide you a reminder slip indicating the new appearance date and time set for your trial. If your case is being adjourned, you may be scheduled to appear in a different courtroom. Parking Tag Operations staff will mail the defendant an additional reminder providing courtroom information where the case will be heard. Once a trial date has been rescheduled, all parties notified of the original date must be notified."

Neither the "clerk in the court" nor the clerk from "Park Tag Operations" provided me the proper NOTICE in writing as required according to their own procedures they expect us to obey or should have known that I would rely upon such Notices depicted as being made available to all involved especially the "Defendant".

I received via Canada Post regular mail (not postmarked) on August 1, 2013 a NOTICE OF FINE AND DUE DATE letter with a "Conviction Date" on 2013 Jan 24 with a "Date Due" set for 2013 Aug 23.

So now for the second time, I was not provided the expected and relied upon NOTICE OF TRIAL letter and again convicted in absentia.

We are now hitting the anniversary of my offence date on 2013 Aug 22 and wonder if I can argue 11b with any success for this ticket to be quashed? If 11b is not viable then should I file for another REOPEN and provide evidence that court "procedures" on the official City of Toronto's TORONTO.CA is the Prosecutor deemed traffic court resource that are to be used and obeyed but were not followed such as the required NOTICE OF TRIAL not being issued to the Defendant TWICE?! Anyone know of anyone who was able to argue successfully the unfair traffic court "procedures" namely the lack of proper NOTICE OF TRIAL issued as one would expect from the traffic court information depicted on TORONTO.CA to be relied upon when an adjournment or motion is granted?

If I can't get my ticket quashed then my case for making such a turn at an intersection that I used to do at least weekly for many years prior to the installation of a "new" left turn disallowed sign that now restricts left turns when none existed before to left turns outside of "10 PM to 7 AM MON - FRI" was a surprise to me late at night. I was told by the officer that this no left turn sign was put in over a year now. I have a perfect 32 year driving record and now I'm given a ticket for turning left into a street after 10 pm (actually 12:00 AM as written by the officer) without any risk of endangering anyone . I strongly feel the punishment for such a minor infraction carries too high a penalty with 2 demerit points, $120 fine and worse for me is the high potential for my auto insurer to use as an excuse to jack up my rates (> $1000) for up to 5 years this moving violation staying on their shared databases. This does not teach me anything except thinking that cops can be real jerks when they could have (with my pristine driving record) given me a stern warning or even issue me a Toronto By-Law disobey no-left turn ticket which only carries a fine but not report to my insurer costing me >$1,000. I would even agree to donate $120 to the City of Toronto but not in the form of an OHTA ticket. We are already as Ontarians paying the highest auto insurance rates in Canada.

I also have issues with a traffic court system that I find is inherently unfair to the "defendant" who is clearly at a disadvantage not knowing the "procedures" set by municipal workers in positions of justice of the peace, prosecutor and officer ALL of whom are paid by the tax payers. From what I have read, none require law degrees or to even study law to hold their respective positions. There is are no "Rules of Civil Procedures" for traffic "court" that I can find that are used by real judges, real lawyers and everyone else for trial under the Supreme Court of Ontario. I use "real" since they are called to the bar and regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada. I heard (anyone?) there is real case law to ensure fairness in the justice system that any possible assistance be given to the "defendant" not knowledgeable about the "justice" system. This assistance is to be provided by the "judge" and "prosecutor" regarding the "workings" of their system they work with day-in and day-out. Instead, traffic court with it's appointed municipal workers in positions as JPs and Prosecutor being intimidating and worse demeaning to the "defendant" more frequently than not. Are my experiences unique?

If I have to, I will appeal and take whatever traffic court trial conviction to a proper court and show just how unfair the traffic court system really is. Has anyone had to take it that far?

I provided great detail in hopes that someone can see something that I'm missing so I can better prepare for a trial if need be.


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Decatur
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by: Decatur on
Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:21 pm

I see the problem of your second conviction. You didn't show up in court for the date that they gave you. They aren't required to send a new notice of trial if you were there to get the date yourself. The quote from Toronto.ca appears to be a section relating to "Parking Tickets" hence the use of the term Parking Tag Operations staff.


Rollwith
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by: Rollwith on
Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:50 pm

Thanks for your prompt reply. That's my unfortunate misunderstanding that the "procedures" and "options" available for traffic tickets is not that same as those provided for parking tickets now that you have pointed that out. So where am I to find out what my options are for a traffic ticket conviction in toronto.ca as directed by the Prosecutor. This toronto.ca website is NOT easy to use to find information for court procedures related to my ticket. Where can I go to get this information?
Decatur wrote:I see the problem of your second conviction. You didn't show up in court for the date that they gave you. They aren't required to send a new notice of trial if you were there to get the date yourself. The quote from Toronto.ca appears to be a section relating to "Parking Tickets" hence the use of the term Parking Tag Operations staff.




Rollwith
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by: Rollwith on
Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:20 pm

Thanks for the POA link because I will need it along with other relevant resources since I just got confirmation that my Reopening application has been approved and I will finally have my day in court in November, 2013 so now I have a defence to prepare.

I now have an example here that although difficult and was told by many that it's highly unlikely that a second reopening would be granted by the POA Office but it was - so now my work begins.

Has anyone seen other NO LEFT TURN signs that prohibits turns between 10 PM to 7 AM MON - FRI in Toronto? I can't imagine such a NO LEFT TURN sign being very common in Toronto. What useful purpose would such a NO LEFT TURN sign serve? Anyone? I just want to know if I'm missing something here.




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by: Rollwith on
Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:48 pm

True there are plenty of signs prohibiting turns during rush hour time frames and the rationale for such signs are clear for managing traffic but to provide a sign such as the one located at Davenport Rd. and Belmont St has no real useful application (i.e. safety, traffic congestion, etc.) to me.

Why would a NO LEFT TURN sign be needed to prohibit a left turn into Belmont St. from Davenport Rd. during off-peak traffic hours namely a NO LEFT TURN between 10 PM to 7 AM from MON to FRI. Yet NO restrictions during high-peak traffic rush-hour time frames?! Why only restrict left turns during the "off-hours" for weekdays yet the weekend is spared?

I'm hoping someone can help me locate another similar NO LEFT TURN between 10 PM to 7 AM from MON to FRI sign so I can prove just how rare such a specific off-hours NO LEFT sign is.
Stanton wrote:I've seen lots of signs prohibiting turns during certain hours, though typically during rush hours. What intersection is it at? If we knew we might be able to give you an idea of why.


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by: epcjay on
Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:21 pm

Rollwith wrote:True there are plenty of signs prohibiting turns during rush hour time frames and the rationale for such signs are clear for managing traffic but to provide a sign such as the one located at Davenport Rd. and Belmont St has no real useful application (i.e. safety, traffic congestion, etc.) to me.

Why would a NO LEFT TURN sign be needed to prohibit a left turn into Belmont St. from Davenport Rd. during off-peak traffic hours namely a NO LEFT TURN between 10 PM to 7 AM from MON to FRI. Yet NO restrictions during high-peak traffic rush-hour time frames?! Why only restrict left turns during the "off-hours" for weekdays yet the weekend is spared?

I'm hoping someone can help me locate another similar NO LEFT TURN between 10 PM to 7 AM from MON to FRI sign so I can prove just how rare such a specific off-hours NO LEFT sign is.
Stanton wrote:I've seen lots of signs prohibiting turns during certain hours, though typically during rush hours. What intersection is it at? If we knew we might be able to give you an idea of why.
Generally, these signs are erected for residential streets for trying to eliminate extra volume of cars for using it as a thru-way to reduce noise. A quick google search yields a full study on it. If you are interested, here it is http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011 ... -37520.pdf

Here's another one of these signs.
http://goo.gl/maps/obxH3

Even though the sign is rare, it won't hold well during court. All it will prove is you weren't pay attention on the road.


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by: Rollwith on
Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:11 pm

The reasoning for such signs are understood when it's to deal with the real issues you have mentioned. The sign currently in place at Belmont and Davenport makes no sense and is contradictory to the end goal.

At the cost to Toronto taxpayers of over $50,000 to first remove the left turn lane and adding signs and then the subsequent removal of such signs and the replacement of the left turn lane removed only after a year as explained in your supplied "study". I could understand why the Belmont residents Not In My Backyard fight to reduce traffic through their neighbourhood during rush-hour. It was a slim win at 15-13 and mayor Rob Ford voted against this NO LEFT during rush hour through Belmont. He was right that this appeasement to a small group of people created major problems with traffic flow so it was ultimately put back to permit Left Turns.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/tor ... cle587486/

What remains makes no sense to permit LEFT TURNS during rush hour but to ban them after-hours (10PM to 7 AM). There is very little traffic during that time to cause noise and I can't imagine the traffic to be any less during the weekends but there are no prohibitions.

The example of a sign you have provided makes sense that it prohibits ALL right turns overnight (10 PM to 7 AM). This sign is consistent with the objective to limit "overnight" traffic.

The "rare" argument is not the main argument since like you said the prosecutor will certainly try to make the argument that I must not be paying attention but I have evidence that it's not easy to read the signs where they are placed and it was not during daylight hours.

I believe it's a valid point when the road traveled along Davenport southbound is quite curved as you head to towards Belmont so will not provide a direct line of sight to a NO LEFT 10PM - 7AM MON-FRI sign that's again not typically expected. I calculated that I will have about only 2 seconds or so before seeing the sign directly based on the speed traveled. Davenport is also not well lit leading up to the intersection and Belmont cannot be easily seen even if one knows it's there, so, one will be looking left and not see the NO LEFT sign clearly enough to read the prohibited time frame which was once prohibited during rush hour times for only one year and then it was changed to overnight weekday hours and before that LEFT TURNS were always permitted. It would take another moment to register a NO LEFT 10PM - 7 AM MON-FRI because it's simply not expected ("rare"). It's human to interpolate based on a "logical" framework we each have developed. That's how our human minds work. Who out there interprets every piece of visual data as if it's new each time especially at a place we are familiar with?

Generally, these signs are erected for residential streets for trying to eliminate extra volume of cars for using it as a thru-way to reduce noise. A quick google search yields a full study on it. If you are interested, here it is http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011 ... -37520.pdf

Here's another one of these signs.
http://goo.gl/maps/obxH3

Even though the sign is rare, it won't hold well during court. All it will prove is you weren't pay attention on the road.[/quote]


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by: ynotp on
Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:32 pm

For your purposes the sign said do not turn at this time. You did. This sign is visible for 60 meters before the intersection so it is a legal sign. Arguing that the sign is rare or unnecessary is going to result in a conviction. Time for a new strategy.


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