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Court proceedings?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Hello everyone,

I have a court date soon and am wondering whether the officers just read off their disclosure notes when interrogated.
Basically, according to the disclosure notes and the said distances and speeds quoted, by doing some simple math it just doesn't add up. My concern is whether the officer can change his story when on the stand after maybe realizing this?

Thanks in advance for your help.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:16 pm 
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If the event happened long ago, many officers don't remember exactly what happened unless there was something unique that jolts their memory. They pretty much count on their notes.

He possibly make an error or he may have differrent interpretation of what's on the note, you may want to post more details, Hiway Bear may be able to help you to interpret it from a police officer's perspective.

If the officer testimony and his note don't add up, it's resonable doubt.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:31 am 
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Thanks liveonetheedge. This happened about 8 months ago and considering how many people the officers stop on a daily basis I don't know how their "recollection" can be trusted if the facts change from what was written at the time. My opinion however, don't know whether court sees it that way.
This was an amber light ticket, the officer was monitoring an intersection at night. Mentions that my car was 15m away from the intersection when it turned amber. Also mentions specifically that "in the middle of intersection it turned red". This is a 50km/h street.

I have calculated the distance of the intersection from the stop line to the first white line of the other side it is 28.5m. How I did this? Through google maps satellite. They have a scale that can be converted to distances by simple measuring.
If I do my calculations at going 50km/h; distance away from white line of other side is 28.5m+15m=43.5m. The amber light is 3s minimum (should be 3.2s at this speed limit but I'll calc at the minimum). I would have only been about 2m away from the white line of the intersection when it turned red, not in the middle of the intersection.
Additionally, the officer says I sped up from 50-70 to run the yellow light. Well, now this is even worse, if I sped up and let's say was going at 60/h average, I would have been clear of that intersection way before it turned red and he should have given me a speeding ticket.

Mind you, my notes from after the fact tell a different story regarding speed and distance. I did speed up but only a little and I think that is why he came after me for the amber light ticket, due to the speeding up.

Does this make sense? Even though these distances and speeds are approximations from the officer, "the middle of the intersection" would be a gross approximation compared to 2 m away.

What do you guys think? Thanks again for reading the long post and giving your opinions.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:02 pm 
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The officer is required to have independent recollection of the events. The notes may "jog his memory" but he cannot simply read the notes. He must remember. Which means he could remember things differently than what's written down.

Amber lights are a tricky thing. You are required to stop. If you can't, then slow down and proceed with caution. People speed up which is the wrong thing to do. Slowing down will likely result with you being in the intersection when the light turns red. This is a "natural consequence" of you doing what the HTA requires you to do.

Now here's the dilemma. At 15m before the intersection at 50km/h, that's about one second before you are in the intersection. If you sped up, you should have cleared the intersection. If you slowed down, you should have been in the middle of the intersection when the light turned red. Which is it? It can't be both. And that's what you have to press the officer on.

Also take a look at R. v. Sandhu which will be your defence in a nutshell.

One word of caution. You did not measure the intersection, you measured somebody's photo of the intersection. Your measurements are not credible. Get a tape measure and go there early on a Sunday morning. Then you can say you measured the distance.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:06 pm 
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ticketcombat wrote:
He must remember. Which means he could remember things differently than what's written down.


Wouldn't this be "reasonable doubt" though to get two different stories from his notes and from his memory?

ticketcombat wrote:
Amber lights are a tricky thing. You are required to stop. If you can't, then slow down and proceed with caution. People speed up which is the wrong thing to do. Slowing down will likely result with you being in the intersection when the light turns red. This is a "natural consequence" of you doing what the HTA requires you to do.


The HTA says proceed with caution, however, there is no mention of slowing down. One can still proceed with caution at the speed limit and in fact, caution can be a subjective word depending on the situation and the interpretation.
However, if the light turns red before one makes the intersection it basically means that you had enough time to stop when it became amber. So wouldn't this bury me?

ticketcombat wrote:
If you sped up, you should have cleared the intersection. If you slowed down, you should have been in the middle of the intersection when the light turned red. Which is it? It can't be both. And that's what you have to press the officer on.


If he says I sped up and cleared the intersection, does that mean that I didn't proceed with caution thus the ticket? I am getting really confused now because I thought as long as you clear the intersection on yellow it means you did the right thing. And I understand the implication that one cannot just hit the gas to clear an intersection, but if the speeding is minimal then logically it should be OK, afterall even during normal driving we don't maintain constant speed it fluctuates, 5 above or 5 below should be allowable. If the speeding was 20 over as he stated on the notes, why not give me a ticket?

My main concern and point about his notes though is that they just do not add up. If the JP considers this wouldn't it be logical also to consider that maybe he just wasn't observing what happened correctly or maybe wasn't observing it from the beginning thus "reasonable doubt" since his facts are contradicting?

ticketcombat wrote:
Also take a look at R. v. Sandhu which will be your defence in a nutshell.


I have read the article, thank you for posting it but unfortunately this wouldn't apply to my case. The officer had a clear view of both the west and east traffic lights so he wouldn't need to look to the left when I was on the right, he could have just looked at the traffic light on the right.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Another discrepancy from the disclosure notes is that officer mentions two cars on road, mentions that other car going 50/hour was 10m away from intersection when light became yellow and completed intersection on yellow. Now, if I was only 15m away from intersection, ie. 5m away from other car and was speeding up wouldn't I have caught up with the other car and complete the intersection on yellow like other car?
I specifically recall that I never caught up to the other car even after the intersection but this is irrelevant.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:16 pm 
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Dimension7 wrote:
ticketcombat wrote:
He must remember. Which means he could remember things differently than what's written down.
Wouldn't this be "reasonable doubt" though to get two different stories from his notes and from his memory?

See paragraphs 78 &79 of R. v. Hamid, 2008 where the testimony changes over time. On the witness stand, the person remembered the vehicle in a different lane than in his written statement at the time of the accident. The justice will apply "weight" to the testimony. In other words, give it a degree of credibility along with all the other similar and opposing "facts".

Dimension7 wrote:
ticketcombat wrote:
Amber lights are a tricky thing. You are required to stop. If you can't, then slow down and proceed with caution. People speed up which is the wrong thing to do. Slowing down will likely result with you being in the intersection when the light turns red. This is a "natural consequence" of you doing what the HTA requires you to do.
The HTA says proceed with caution, however, there is no mention of slowing down. One can still proceed with caution at the speed limit and in fact, caution can be a subjective word depending on the situation and the interpretation.
However, if the light turns red before one makes the intersection it basically means that you had enough time to stop when it became amber. So wouldn't this bury me?
You are right that you don't have to slow down, but going the same speed doesn't sound very cautious to me unless that speed is very slow in the first place. If the light is red BEFORE you enter the intersection, then no, you would not be buried. I believe you stated you were charged with an amber light ticket. If the light was red before you entered the intersection then should have been charged with a red light ticket. They are not the same, see R. v. Reiber, 2007

Dimension7 wrote:
ticketcombat wrote:
If you sped up, you should have cleared the intersection. If you slowed down, you should have been in the middle of the intersection when the light turned red. Which is it? It can't be both. And that's what you have to press the officer on.

If he says I sped up and cleared the intersection, does that mean that I didn't proceed with caution thus the ticket? I am getting really confused now because I thought as long as you clear the intersection on yellow it means you did the right thing. And I understand the implication that one cannot just hit the gas to clear an intersection, but if the speeding is minimal then logically it should be OK, afterall even during normal driving we don't maintain constant speed it fluctuates, 5 above or 5 below should be allowable. If the speeding was 20 over as he stated on the notes, why not give me a ticket?
The officer can choose to charge you with a whole bunch of things or just one charge. It's entirely up to him. Speeding is speeding. Whether he charged you or not is separate. The point of the ticket is he believes you were facing an amber light and could have stopped. You are arguing you faced an amber light and could not stop. This is the heart of the charge. Don't let anything sidetrack you from this.

Dimension7 wrote:
My main concern and point about his notes though is that they just do not add up. If the JP considers this wouldn't it be logical also to consider that maybe he just wasn't observing what happened correctly or maybe wasn't observing it from the beginning thus "reasonable doubt" since his facts are contradicting?
YOU have to point out the contradiction of his notes and his testimony. Could you stop in time, yes or no? Do the facts support you, yes or no? This is what the justice will consider. So all the facts of where you were when the light turned red, how fast you were going, did you speed up or not, all these facts have to support whether you could or could not stop in time. You have to present the facts to support your version.

Dimension7 wrote:
ticketcombat wrote:
Also take a look at R. v. Sandhu which will be your defence in a nutshell.
I have read the article, thank you for posting it but unfortunately this wouldn't apply to my case. The officer had a clear view of both the west and east traffic lights so he wouldn't need to look to the left when I was on the right, he could have just looked at the traffic light on the right.
Sandhu was about the credibility of the officer and the defendant. In a he said/you said battle over the "facts" Sandhu weighted the evidence with the defendant. That's you. The justice eloquently explains his decision. This is extremely relevant to your defence.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Ticketcombat thank you for taking the time to respond.

ticketcombat wrote:
If the light is red BEFORE you enter the intersection, then no, you would not be buried. I believe you stated you were charged with an amber light ticket. If the light was red before you entered the intersection then should have been charged with a red light ticket.


In this case I was referring to "completing the intersection" not entering the intersection. If I had completed the intersection on red because I slowed down to proceed with "caution" I have the impression that it would bury me.


Since the cases about yellow/red lights are entirely based on credibility ie. my word vs his word, I am emphasizing the discrepancies on the written notes. To make his story "stick" he will have to change a few facts from the notes making his story quite doubtful that way.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:10 pm 
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I have used the disclosure forms from ticketcombat's website (great work by the way helping a lot of people who want to be helped) to send 4 previous requests of disclosure. I have proof of fax transmission.

Even after all these requests, all that was included in the disclosure package (after my 4th request) was a copy of my last disclosure request fax, a cover page (which they probably send to everyone), a copy of my notice of trial, and the officer's point form notes, which after staring at them for a couple of days I could understand the shortforms and such.

I would like to file a section 7 stay (I still have time) for improper disclosure.
Is it still worth sending them another disclosure request after all this before I file my section 7 stay? Or should I wait for the time to file and just go ahead?
What are the chances to get a section 7 stay?

If I file the stay and the officer doesn't show up on trial day and the stay does not get approved but court gets adjourned, can I decide on that day to go ahead with the trial for that day besides not complete disclosure?

What is the relevance/use of "both sides of the officer’s copy of the ticket"?

I apologize for all these questions.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:02 am 
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You've stated "the officer's point form notes". Does that mean he typed them out for you but did not explain the abbreviations or was it hand written? If you have made 4 disclosure requests and still have not received everything you asked for then you can go ahead and apply for a stay at least 20 days in advance of the trial.

Warning: Your subsequent disclosure requests should have progressively explained your situation. You shouldn't simply resend the disclosure request but acknowledge what they have done:
Quote:
I have sent you 4 requests on Jan 1, Feb 1, April 10 and May 17. I specifically asked for a typed copy of the officer's notes...I am still waiting for the following outstanding items or an explanation why they are not forthcoming...
You have to show diligence that YOU tried to get disclosure from them and THEY didn't comply.

**********************************************

"both sides of the officer’s copy of the ticket" is in case he noted some information on the back of his copy that he will use at trial to refresh his memory.


**********************************************

At trial, if the officer is not there they should drop the charge. If they proceed to the arraignment ("How do you plead: guilty or not?"), that means the officer is there and you can go ahead and make your stay application: "prior to entering a plea, I have made a motion for a stay..."

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:47 am 
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ticketcombat wrote:
You've stated "the officer's point form notes". Does that mean he typed them out for you but did not explain the abbreviations or was it hand written? If you have made 4 disclosure requests and still have not received everything you asked for then you can go ahead and apply for a stay at least 20 days in advance of the trial.

Warning: Your subsequent disclosure requests should have progressively explained your situation. You shouldn't simply resend the disclosure request but acknowledge what they have done:
You have to show diligence that YOU tried to get disclosure from them and THEY didn't comply...."


The notes were not typed, it's a copy of his notes from his notebook, handwritten, pointform, with abbreviations. As well, there is no date or time on that page.
Unfortunately, I have not included the "progressive explanations" on my subsequent requests.

I am wondering if I should send another disclosure request to include these explanations.
As well, it would be beneficial to me to have a DETAILED will say statement of the officer. Would that be reasonable to request ie, not just a will say statement where he will just jot down point form notes again.
Again to be fair and to prep for my defense, I do need to know what exactly he is going to say.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Dimension7 wrote:
The notes were not typed, it's a copy of his notes from his notebook, handwritten, pointform, with abbreviations. As well, there is no date or time on that page.

There is no date/time on the note pages. Notebooks are blank lines pages, where a time can be put on the left side and each bottom right corner will have a number (notebooks page #'s are 1-100)

Quote:
As well, it would be beneficial to me to have a DETAILED will say statement of the officer. Would that be reasonable to request ie, not just a will say statement where he will just jot down point form notes again.
Again to be fair and to prep for my defense, I do need to know what exactly he is going to say.

I have never ever heard of a willsay being made for any provincial matter.

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Last edited by hwybear on Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:54 am 
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hwybear wrote:
I have never ever heard of a willsay being made for any provincial matter.

Depends on the jurisdiction. Some officers will provide a will say statement when they prepare disclosure. Usually it's "the notes summarize what I intend to say..."

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:22 pm 
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Even after having his notes I don't know exactly where he was positioned when he allegedly saw me run the light. Without knowing his exact position, how am I supposed to challenge his "visibility" without positioning myself where he was and see for myself whether his statements are correct. :shock:

There has to be a way that one can get this information before going to court?

On a side note, I will be going on the weekend to measure the distance of the intersection as well as the duration of the amber light. Do I have to show proof to the JP regarding these measurements? What kind of proof would be admissible or is my word just enough?

Thank you TC for the time you are taking to answer my questions, which are quite a few, being my first time doing this. :roll:

Hwybear thanks for the input as well -there is no page number either, and on the top it says "enforcement agency notes". Is this the back of the officer's ticket copy or is this the notes from his notebook? Do they keep notes on both?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:01 pm 
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Dimension7 wrote:
Hwybear thanks for the input as well -there is no page number either, and on the top it says "enforcement agency notes". Is this the back of the officer's ticket copy or is this the notes from his notebook? Do they keep notes on both?

Ok, then the notes were made on the back of the ticket (the officers copy). I do not keep notes on both. One or the other.

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