officer death in the family

polybomber
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officer death in the family

Unread post by polybomber on

So I went to trial today to contest my speeding ticket ready to argue improper disclosure by the prosecution but when I got there I saw the row of cops sitting down on the bench but didn't see mine. One of them asked who I was looking for I told them the cops name and they replied that he hadn't arrived yet. I then asked the prosecutor if I could speak to the cop but the prosecutor wouldn't let me. In court the prosecutor pulled me outside and told me that the cop had a death in the family. In court the prosecutor told the JP that one of the other cops had just informed him that the officer had a death in the family. I was completely unprepared for this and the only argument I could come up with on the spot was that I had suffered an economic penalty to come here. The JP replied that well we'd give you an adjournment if it happened to you. What I should have said was that I was the only person in the room who wasn't paid to be there so the penalty disproportionately affects me.

I do find it fairly suspect that there actually was one. I kinda think maybe one of the other cops was covering for their buddy, but of course I can't prove it. I suppose at my next trial on the 22nd of October in Ottawa, that I could tell the officer that I'm sorry for their loss, and if they ask what I'm talking about I can remind them of their death in the family around July 29th. While it was never mentioned I suppose at the next trial I should argue that the delay should be attributed to the prosecution since it is prejudicial to my case. Does anyone have any experience with this situation and is there any case law or precedents regarding crown witness problems that would be helpful?


iFly55
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Unread post by iFly55 on

the new delay is without a doubt attributed to the crown; from the alleged offense to the new trial, is it longer than 11 months? if it is, you have an opportunity to use an 11b


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

polybomber wrote:I do find it fairly suspect that there actually was one. I kinda think maybe one of the other cops was covering for their buddy, but of course I can't prove it.
I can assure you that's not the case. Neither the police nor the Crown would put their career on the line and risk criminal charges simply to get an adjournment; especially for a speeding ticket.


tdottopcop
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Unread post by tdottopcop on

I find it despicable that you're trying to turn an officer's loss into an advantage for yourself after being caught for (probably) breaking the law.

You're also questioning the entire reason for his absence solely BECAUSE he is an officer. If the JP or prosecutor were absent, you would not be attacking their credibility.

How would you like it if you were in the same situation and the crown began asking you questions about a death in YOUR family? What if it was the officer's wife/child/brother, etc? You feel it's appropriate to bring personal matters like that into a dispute regarding a minor traffic ticket?

Case in point: the officer wasn't available. The delay is upon the crown- there's your advantage.

The system isn't perfect but at least a certain amount of compassion is extended to everybody fairly. Pull your head out, bro, and move on.
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polybomber
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Unread post by polybomber on

I find it despicable that you're trying to turn an officer's loss into an advantage for yourself after being caught for (probably) breaking the law.
First of all, I am not trying to turn the officer's loss into my advantage. My ticket went to trial remarkably quickly. I got it in March 2011 so to have the trial in July seems fast to me at least compared to Toronto. So even with this new delay I doubt I'll be able to file an 11b so I don't see how I gain from this. Frankly since I'm not a lawyer I have to spend quite a few hours preparing for trial each time before I go to court so any delay even a reasonable one such as a family member death causes me to spend more time and effort on this matter. This is why I feel that this sort of delay affects me more so than the other members of the system who are all paid to be there and can thus afford to be 'compassionate' since it doesn't personally affect them. I wold compare it to the difference between a salaried employee who's client doesn't show up for a meeting, and someone arranging dinner with a friend who lives an hour away and then has to drive all the way out and they're not there. Even if the friend's reason for cancelling is good which do you think is more frustrating?
You're also questioning the entire reason for his absence solely BECAUSE he is an officer. If the JP or prosecutor were absent, you would not be attacking their credibility.
I have nothing against the police most of them are hard working fine individuals. I am suggesting that because this happened on a Monday on a very nice hot weekend perhaps the officer decided to take an extra day off. If it happened to me I would certainly be expected to provide some sort of proof but because some random officer among the bunch said it then no proof needed. Frankly I think that is open to abuse. While I'm inclined to believe Stanton that it wouldn't happen and that the crown and the officer wouldn't say it unless it was true, I'd feel much better about it if the officer had to provide proof like anyone else.
How would you like it if you were in the same situation and the crown began asking you questions about a death in YOUR family? What if it was the officer's wife/child/brother, etc? You feel it's appropriate to bring personal matters like that into a dispute regarding a minor traffic ticket?
Like I said before if it happened to me while I don't know what the procedure would be I'm sure I'd be expected to provide proof that a family member died and therefore the crown wouldn't need to ask questions about it. I'm certainly not interested in getting into the personal issues around what happened. All I wanted was proof that the death occurred, more than some officer's say so who wasn't under oath when he said it. I don't think that's unreasonable. I also don't think that the severity of the offense has any bearing on what evidence needs to be provided. Many of the prosecutors seemed to have the same attitude you do which is that well they don't need to provide disclosure because it costs money and the offense is so minor. I have a right to be tried fairly and that can't happen if the prosecution or the police are allowed to cut corners because 'Its only a minor offense so no big deal right?'. I don't think it would be unreasonable to provide a stay in the unlikely event a witness has a death in the family for minor offenses such as these.

Its good to know though that the delay is at least on the crown for this so at least that helps make it fair(not that it will likely help me since 11 months from March is February and I doubt the trial will take that long.). On a somewhat unrelated note so far the crown has refused to provide any more disclosure. Would it be a good idea to explain to them why I want each additional piece of disclosure, or could that provide too much of my strategy? For example so far I have received a few pages on testing procedures from the manual but I have concerns that the gun the officer's notes indicated he used is different from what I remember him using. So having the complete manual would be helpful because I could question him on his knowledge of the gun that he said he used, or just generally see how experienced he seemed to be with it.


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Decatur
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Unread post by Decatur on

You're not going to get a copy of the manual as part of dislosure, nor training records of the officer. The most you'll get is a copy of the tesing procedure for the radar that was used. Some jurisdictions will allow you to view the manual and you can make notes at that time.
If you insist on getting all of the disclosure you are asking for, you actually do have to explain why you want it as that could become part of your argument in court.


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Simon Borys
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Unread post by Simon Borys on

I think the delay in this case because of why the officer couldn't be there could be considered neutral delay and not necessarily attributable to the crown.




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