Notified of motion to adjourn

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287
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Notified of motion to adjourn

by: 287 on
Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:27 pm

Hello,

Received a notice from the police that a motion is being put forward to adjourn upcoming trial date. Notice indicates that an officer has sworn an affidavit that the crucial witness cannot attend date trial is set for (we know there is a social engagement at 7:30 pm for the witness, trial time is 1:30 pm). This further delay is a big problem to my daughter's case. She is moving away to attend university in August, and is working full time through the summer an cannot take time off.

Is there anything she can do (there is a date the motion will be brought before the court noted on the notice) to have the current date stick?

In all likelihood, if the date is changed and there is a further delay, she will want to take a plea bargain as she needs this behind her and it will be so expensive for her to miss work or return at a later date. Any chance the prosecutor dealing with the motion next week will be open to offering the plea bargain again at this time? Is there a best way to ask for it? Our representative cannot make the motion date and time.

Thank you for the assistance.


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highwaystar
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by: highwaystar on
Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:10 am

If your daughter's representative can't personally attend, they should retain an agent to attend in their place. That's what a professional does and that's what you are paying them for--representation. If they don't do this, your daughter seriously needs to re-consider whether to continue using that representative's services. A represented individual certainly should not have to attend personally if they've retained someone. However, if worse comes to worse and no one will be attending on your daughter's behalf, then she should personally attend that day and self-represent herself.

After all, if no one attends for your daughter, its almost certain that the court will agree to the adjournment. On the other hand, if someone attends to contest the adjournment and raise the arguments you stated in your post, the court might not agree to adjourn, especially if the reason for the request is weak (e.g. person on holidays or attending some training program or non-essential event).

As for plea bargaining, it never hurts to attempt to resolve the matter. The prosecutor will certainly be able to discuss things with your daughter that day. The only issue is whether the court will permit the guilty plea (if there is one) on that specific day, since its not scheduled on the docket that day; only the motion to adjourn is. The plea might need to be done on the scheduled trial date (making the motion to adjourn irrelevant).




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by: 287 on
Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:18 am

Argh, figures! Darling daughter has a final exam at the same time the adjournment motion is scheduled for, she will not be able to attend.

Not sure if I will be able to find new representation before, they really didn't give much time for this. Can I go, as her parent? Do I need a letter from her?

Thanks a great deal


287
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by: 287 on
Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:08 pm

Good Evening,

Met with a new representative. He is advising that it would be bad form/improper to seek to contest the adjournment as the crown has done everything proper to request the adjournment, and since the victim has asked for a reschedule it will most certainly be granted regardless of their reasons for not attending. His thought is the best we can hope for is to seek a plea deal at this time, or just allow the adjournment for a future date. If it matters, this was a minor MVA, under $1000 and no injury.

I am feeling torn, as I am not confident in the advise given earlier feedback from this group. Would be interested in hearing thoughts from others who have court experience.

I do not want to direct the representative to contest the motion if it is in deed frowned upon as generally not done out of respect for victims…also know his heart would not be in it. Waiting longer for resolution is not ideal, and is most difficult for my daughter to deal with, as it will now impact work schedule and she is moving out of town in 2 months. She is just about ready to just plead guilty to anything to have it done with, if we can keep the original trial date (next week) that would be best for her to see it through.

Thank you for the help


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by: highwaystar on
Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:32 am

Unfortunately, you received bad advice. One should never easily accept or condone a prosecution adjournment in order to always protect your 11b (unreasonable delay) rights. You always want the court to know that you are ready to proceed to trial and the prosecution's actions are creating hardship/prejudice to you and/or your case. Even if the court is more than likely to accept the adjournment, always make submissions on the record so that the court has a basis in which to rely upon if you later decide to apply for an 11b stay.

Your representative is either unaware of the proper tactics of trial advocacy or simply trying to get a guilty plea out of you (and avoid the time/effort) that you deserve. Remember, trials are not a popularity contest--there are ways to advance your arguments in a respectful way. Besides, why would a social engagement at 7:30pm have any bearing on the case---courts close by 4:30pm. In any event, courts are not in the business of accommodating conveniences for witnesses; the witness better have a better excuse such as an unforeseen surgery, family illness/death, etc. If he/she has to work that day, can't find a babysitter, has to attend school, etc. the court is much more reluctant to give the adjournment since those are examples of things that could and should have been adjusted---court takes precedence over most things!


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by: 287 on
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:39 pm

The representative we hired did not have your knowledge/expertise/willingness to fight, and I can honestly say it is in short supply.

Today's motion to adjourn turned into a plea bargaining session, as my daughter did not want to have this matter carry on any longer. The prosecutor looked over everything, asked a few questions, referred to the officer and the reporting party in a derogatory way, and offered a 2 point offence, and would not offer a suspended sentence and no fine, but was not oppose to it being requested, and offered no opposition to the justice ruling in favour of it. With that, the kid moves on and no longer has it hanging over her head.

We have learned a lot, and the same mistakes will not be made again in the future. I can understand her need to have closure and move forward, if it had been me accused, I would have enjoyed the trial route as there were several issues not in favour of prosecution.




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