Mandatory First Attendance?

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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:41 pm

Mandatory First Attendance?

by: nonamebrand on
Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:04 pm

Short 1-Liner:

Court clerk scheduled a meeting with the prosecutor for me and said it was mandatory, even though I specified I wanted a trial date for my speeding charges. Is this proper procedure?


Got a speeding ticket for 30km/h over on the 401 near Cornwall just about 2 weeks ago. I live in Toronto.

My goal is to have this not affect my insurance rates, so I aim to have this ticket dismissed at a trial. I would also be ok with the charges being modified to non-moving charges, if that is ever done.

Yesterday, I brought the ticket to Cornwall's provincial offences court and asked for a trial. I specified I did not want a meeting with the prosecutor, and requested a trial date.

The court clerk gave me a Notice of Intent to Appear form to fill out. I completed this form and received a First Attendance Notice paper, which stated I must appear for a meeting with the prosecutor. I said again to the clerk that I would like to go straight to trial, and not meet with the prosecutor, and was given the response that the meeting is mandatory, and not optional.

Question: I was under the impression meeting with the prosecutor in advance of the trial was optional, and that the defendant (me) has the option of meeting or not. Is it a good idea to attend this meeting anyway, or better to go back to the courts and request a trial instead?

The reason I ask is because I live in Toronto. I originally planned to only have to go to Cornwall twice (once to set up a trial, once for the trial), now I must go a third time, knowing the prosecutor will most likely not be able to give me a deal I would be happy with?

Thank you for your thoughts.
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Radar Identified
Posts: 2881
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Location: Toronto


by: Radar Identified on
Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:50 pm

The trial date is mandatory. I'm not too familiar with Cornwall but I'd think that any First Attendance meeting would be optional, unless there was some sort of summons given to you. I could be wrong though...
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. * OR
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Simon Borys
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:20 am

by: Simon Borys on
Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:03 pm

"First attendance" usually refers to the court date on the summons, which would make it obligatory. As has been said, any date on a summons or any official court date (when court is sitting and your name is on the docket) is mandatory. Nothing in the HTA or POA says meetings with prosecutors are.
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