I'm helping my friend with a "penalty notice" (parking ticket) in one of the growing number of municipalities that has adopted the new administrative monetary penalty system (AMPS) to deal with parking infractions (https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/070333)
I will share what the process is like once this ticket makes it through the system. I haven't been able to find much resources online for this so I hope that this will help others in the future. But I would like to ask if anyone has had experience dealing with parking tickets through this new AMPS process?
I've dealt with a couple of parking tickets in Markham. The upside to this system is that the meeting with the review with the screening officer comes up much more quickly than waiting for a trial. The downside is screening officers are not likely to cancel a ticket unless there's an obvious error. The screening officer is also far less likely to reduce a ticket if a particular plate has had several tickets (whereas a plate's "history" is irrelevant in the court system).
Thanks for sharing! Do you happen to have any experience going to the next step to a hearing officer?
I'm planning on taking this ticket through the entire system, just to satisfy my curiosity and also so I know what it's like and how to handle this in the future.
But yes, so far, I requested a screening review online yesterday and they replied the same day with a date and time for the screening review, which is scheduled for three weeks from now. This is definitely much faster than the court system and more convenient (i.e. filing ticket online vs. filing ticket in person at the courthouse/mail)
I don't. Sorry. Having the tickets reduced from thirty-something dollars to something in the teens or about twenty was good enough for me. It would have cost much more in terms of time to push for more.
Update: I went to the screening review today for my friend's parking ticket. It's basically like a first attendance meeting or an early resolution meeting.
The screening officer looked at the evidence (i.e. photographs) from parking enforcement and showed it to me. This is different from early resolution meetings that I've experienced in the court system because they usually don't have the evidence prepared for early resolution; they tell you to request disclosure only after a trial date has been set, so you don't get to see the evidence until then. In my opinion, being able to see the evidence makes it easier to decide if you want to pay the ticket or dispute it further.
The screening officer said that she would not be able to cancel the ticket, but she reduced the fine from $40 to $25 using her "reviewed allowable reduction".
The screening officer was also much nicer than the court staff and the prosecutors that I've dealt with before!
I will be taking this to the next step to a hearing review, just to see what the process is like. It seems that the hearing review is set up like a tribunal, so I will share how it's different than the court system.
Also I'm not sure if this is consistent everywhere with the new AMPS process, but the City of Markham's bylaw says that the hearing officer can only:
(1) affirm the decision of the screening officer;
(2) reduce the fine;
(3) cancel the ticket; and/or,
(4) extend the amount of time to pay
So basically there is nothing to lose, the worst that happens is that you pay $25, which is already a reduced fine from the original $40. Whereas, in the court system, the prosecutor's plea deal is no longer valid if you go to trial and if you're found guilty, it's up to the justice to decide the penalty based on legislation (and usually it's just brought up to the original set fine on the ticket or increased).
Thanks for the update. I also found the screening officers quite pleasant. They didn't have photos in my cases, but both had a "slide show" on a small digital frame of what does and does not constitute legal parking.
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