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rescheduled by the court
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:15 pm 
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Hi everyone! I hope someone may have some knowledge on my situation. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

So I went in to court to fight my ticket but by the time they got to me, they simply rescheduled me for another date. I made it clear that I wanted to have my trial today and not on another day. At a standstill, and with no other options presented to me, I accepted a new date.

The new date is about 10 days beyond 10 months from the offense date, which is also two months from now. Should I have said something else while in court? What were my options? And what are my options now?

Btw, special thanks to TC and lawmen. I've learned a lot from your posts.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:47 pm 
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Hello, and thanks for the compliment. You did the right thing to oppose the delay, however, the court can adjourn a trial for any vaild reason it wishes.

Section 49(2) required your consent though, and they squeezed it out of you. I don't totally understand the clause, where it says; "may be resumed before the expiration of the period..."

Period is not defined in the POA.

You should also inquiry as to why it was delayed. It doesn't sound like it was due to a shortage of time hearing your case. There is something fishy going on here.

Section 49(3) states; "... the court shall not adjourn the trial for the purpose of having the provincial offences officer who completed the certificate attend to give evidence unless the court is satisfied that the interests of justice require it."

I'm going to guess you were charged under Part I (issued a certificate and offence notice) and you indicated that you were challenging the issuing officers evidence? Am I right?

If so, he may not have been available today, and if this is why, then the court could not adjourn the trial.

You may need to do some leg work and; (a) find out why it was adjourned, and (b) somehow get a copy of the issuing officers work record for today’s date. If he was off sick, or in another court, or out of town, or simply failed to appear, etc., you can challenge the court adjournment and demand your charged be dismissed and you can seek costs against the Crown.

The judge was there. The Crown was there. Where was the issuing officer? Did you see him there? We're other witnesses being called?

Put your questions to the Crown in writing. Demand a detailed written reply by a certain date. Write the issuing officer. Demand a detailed written reply from him by a certain date if you suspect he was the reason it was ajourned. Request that there replies be in Affivadit form. That means it's sworn evidence. If they get caught lying they'll lose their job.

You didn't indicate what you were charged with so providing you other option suggestions isn't possible.

Bear in mind, that delays of 8 to 10 months typically get your charged stayed, but not always. If you live in a smaller community delays can be longer, up to 18 months for non-serious offences. If you're facing a possible prison term typically the 8 to 10 month timeframe is constitutionally required.

What were you charged with?

POA

Adjournments

49. (1) The court may, from time to time, adjourn a trial or hearing but, where the defendant is in custody, an adjournment shall not be for a period longer than eight days without the consent of the defendant.

Early resumption

(2) A trial or hearing that is adjourned for a period may be resumed before the expiration of the period with the consent of the defendant and the prosecutor.

Adjournment

(3) Despite subsection (1), if the trial is being held in respect of a proceeding commenced under Part I or II, the court shall not adjourn the trial for the purpose of having the provincial offences officer who completed the certificate attend to give evidence unless the court is satisfied that the interests of justice require it.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Thanks for the fast reply! I was charged with 136.1.a, disobey stop sign (in Toronto).

lawmen wrote:
You should also inquiry as to why it was delayed. It doesn't sound like it was due to a shortage of time hearing your case. There is something fishy going on here.

How would I go about doing that? Speaking to the administration or to the prosecutors office? And do it by letter?

lawmen wrote:
Section 49(3) states; "... the court shall not adjourn the trial for the purpose of having the provincial offences officer who completed the certificate attend to give evidence unless the court is satisfied that the interests of justice require it."

He was there. Most of the people were there for offenses issued by that officer.

lawmen wrote:
I'm going to guess you were charged under Part I (issued a certificate and offence notice) and you indicated that you were challenging the issuing officers evidence? Am I right?

Yes, I think so. I checked that box to challenge his evidence when I went in to book a trial.

lawmen wrote:
Put your questions to the Crown in writing. Demand a detailed written reply by a certain date. Write the issuing officer. Demand a detailed written reply from him by a certain date if you suspect he was the reason it was ajourned. Request that there replies be in Affivadit form. That means it's sworn evidence. If they get caught lying they'll lose their job.

Is there a formal/proper way of writing these letters? Or is it be similar to the request for disclosure?

lawmen wrote:
Bear in mind, that delays of 8 to 10 months typically get your charged stayed, but not always. If you live in a smaller community delays can be longer, up to 18 months for non-serious offences. If you're facing a possible prison term typically the 8 to 10 month timeframe is constitutionally required.

What were you charged with?

I'm in Toronto, charged with 136.1.a, disobey stop sign.

Is it also possible to request a transcript of my court time today? Would it be useful and how would I get that? I didn't give in easily and I made it clear I wanted to have the trial that day. The transcript would also have their stated reason for delaying the trial. The prosecutor simply explained to me that there was no time for me to have a trial today.

It's been a stressful day preparing and just thinking about it before and after. But with the wisdom you shared with me, I'll be sleeping a lot easier tonight.

Thanks again,

Simon


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:00 pm 
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And thanks from me as well for the complement. It sounds like what the prosecutor said, they ran out of time. Don't you just hate it when people take up the court's time with lengthy procedural and constitutional arguments?:-)

Usually you can push the trial to the very next session (i.e after lunch). The Crown likes to reschedule, otherwise the next cases get pushed and so on and so on.

Quote:
Should I have said something else while in court?
You should always indicate that you are dissatisfied with the pace of proceedings and want the earliest date possible. Then the delay is on them not you. However it sounds like they did not properly explain what was going on (which they must) so the delay should not count towards you. You can fax the prosecutor and explain that
  • you are having trouble understanding what happened and want them to explain it to you;
  • you believed you had no other choice but to accept the proposed date even though you were against it and clearly stated so;
  • you want the earliest possible trial date and want the prosecutor to confirm that this is the earliest date available;
  • express dissatisfaction with the pace things are progessing and are quite concerned about it as it will impede your ability to recall the events and make proper answer to the charge.

If they don't write back to you, then it's 11b time. However I stand with the 18 month theory so you are still short for a stay based on delay. But there have been more recent cases suggesting institutional delay for simple matters should not be more than 4 weeks which means at 11 months you can reasonably argue lengthy delay.

A list of Toronto prosecutor offices, addresses, tel and fax number's can be found on my site: (step4-->torontoprosecutor.php) Sorry I'm not allowed to link to my own site (but anyone else can)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:04 pm 
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TC, what the hell does this mean?

2) A trial or hearing that is adjourned for a period may be resumed before the expiration of the period with the consent of the defendant and the prosecutor.

It sounds like they can adjourn, and if they do not resumed within the period of time given, the case gets dismissed.

Simon, if the officer was there, then maybe the reason they gave you for the delay was truthful. It's sometimes works like the airlines. They over sell seats on a flight because data shows not everyone shows up for a flight. When everyone shows up they have to bump people because they have no seats for all the tickets sold for that flight.

The court over booked court time expecting people not to show up. When everyone did show up they didn't have time to hear all cases. Some cases take longer than expected, too. I'm not defending then just trying to figure it out, and since the officer was there, you were there, the Crown was there, The Justice was there, this must be what happened.

In any event, now you have more time to build a stronger defence.

If you are convicted, you can ask that the fine be reduced because you incurred costs (parking, traveling, day off work) attending court yesterday only to have it delayed due to the Crown and court's poor court time managment.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:18 pm 
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After re-reading s. 49, You should've refused the adjourment. The court can adjourn a trial, but under s. 2 it requires your consent for the trial to resume.

Had you refused the adjournment, they would've heard your case instead of someone elses, and since you didn't co-operate, my guess is that they would've convicted you even if you were innocent.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:04 pm 
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ticketcombat wrote:
Usually you can push the trial to the very next session (i.e after lunch). The Crown likes to reschedule, otherwise the next cases get pushed and so on and so on.

The funny thing is that my court time was booked for 1:30 and they tried to intimidate me (the crown and the officer with cuteye and everything)
that we COULD stay for the 3:00 court time to have it settled. The prosecutor even asked if the officer could stay. He said yes. I responded that I was willing to stay around for it... ...Then they backed off and booked me for another date. I remember more than 10 years ago that my mom was let off when the court took too long with other cases. Is this the normal thing that happens?

ticketcombat wrote:
You should always indicate that you are dissatisfied with the pace of proceedings and want the earliest date possible.

They probably tried to get me to request a later date. It's a good thing I made it clear I was willing to stay for the next session.

ticketcombat wrote:
A list of Toronto prosecutor offices, addresses, tel and fax number's can be found on my site: (step4-->torontoprosecutor.php) Sorry I'm not allowed to link to my own site (but anyone else can)

Is there a proper way to write? This is my opportunity to ask for disclosure now too. (Your disclosure form is extremely helpful! I would've never been able to put one together like that.) I guess I should just write with the same personal and offense information when writing the other letters?

thanks :)


Last edited by simon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:22 pm 
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lawmen wrote:
Simon, if the officer was there, then maybe the reason they gave you for the delay was truthful.

Now that emotions are out of the way. I think it's fair to say that there was indeed not enough time. There were two cases that fought it out without getting anywhere only to be booked again but with a translator...when they were speaking English without a problem.

lawmen wrote:
In any event, now you have more time to build a stronger defence.

Ya, that's where my focus will be now. I'm going to request disclosure on Monday. I didn't do it yesterday because they had forgotten to tell me what room number I'll be in (to fill in TCs form) so I've got to call in for that...which is updated the next business day according to the person on the phone. As well, I'll be glad to take in any ideas on technicalities or other points to avoid a conviction in case my defense isn't strong enough.

Quote:
If you are convicted, you can ask that the fine be reduced because you incurred costs (parking, traveling, day off work) attending court yesterday only to have it delayed due to the Crown and court's poor court time managment.

Sounds like a plan :) thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:26 pm 
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lawmen wrote:
Had you refused the adjournment, they would've heard your case instead of someone elses, and since you didn't co-operate, my guess is that they would've convicted you even if you were innocent.


How would they convict me anyway? Just because they would be pissed off (Justice included) and not give me a fair trial?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:21 pm 
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That was partly a joke. But getting a fair trial and receiving a fair verdict and fair sentence are three completely separate things.

I'm sure we can offer you some extradefence options that you were not aware of and would not have argued you yesterday. So it's not all bad that you didn't get your day in court. YET!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:06 pm 
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lawmen wrote:
TC, what the hell does this mean?

2) A trial or hearing that is adjourned for a period may be resumed before the expiration of the period with the consent of the defendant and the prosecutor.

It sounds like they can adjourn, and if they do not resumed within the period of time given, the case gets dismissed.
I read it completely differently. It's when both parties agree to a later date, neither can unilaterally move the date up without the other's consent.

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