I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everybody who spends a few hours of their day everyday to check up on us civilians and help guide us through the legal chaos that is our court system.
I also owe a THANK YOU to ticketcombat's website as well!
I've had 2 court cases this year...both a few months apart.
One was for an improper right turn and one was today for parking in a fire route.
The improper right turn was 13 and 1/2 months from date of infraction, so I followed ticket combat's website and filed for an 11B.
The process went smooth and everybody accepted my folders no problem. My court date came and when I checked in with the prosecutor, she had written "11b" next to my name and didn't bother to offer me a "deal" she just said "ok sit down" and I was one of the first few people to be called up and she accepted my 11B motion. This was at the Markham court house
my 2nd time around to do an 11B was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay difficult!
Right off the bat, i went to an Ontario court of justice (The one on Eglinton) the same one I went to the first time to ask a commissioner of oaths to sign my sworn statement, the clerk did not know what to do so she had to call for assistance. The woman who came over yelled through the glass window that "You're filing for an 11B, sorry we don't handle that here, you need to talk to a lawyer" I stayed persistant and told her that I'm not filing for an 11B right now, it's PART of an 11B but i'm not asking her to accept an 11B application, she just simply needs to allow me to swear my statement under oath. After 15 minutes of "disagreements" she ended up picking up the phone and calling a Justice of the Peace who was "on call". All I heard was "Ok...yes....he wants to swear on a statement, ok...but...yeah but....ok so how do I do that?....oh...ok...ok thank you"...
then she looks over at me and says "Ok, so how many copies do you have??"
She signed all 6 copies of my statement and i went to serve all the appropriate people.
Old City Hall is awesome but it was a maze and I took a while to find the prosecutor's office.
Then came today, I was booked for the 1:30 session.
I was "privileged" to attend the new court rooms at 70 centre street the new extentions of the Edward Street court rooms
As soon as I walk in, I see the prosecutor talking to the girl who types the transcripts and she says "This 11B doesn't work" and laughs
My fiancee (who was in the car with me at the time) and I show up to sign in.
Right away the prosecutor says "ok how do you wanna plea?"
I said "You have my folder, I'm gonna motion for an 11B"
She tells me I don't know the law AND the court didn't officially file my paper work for a trial until Jan.10th so I'm way UNDER the 12 month that I "claim"
I remind her that the date I got my ticket was November 4th, and today is December 2nd, it's 2 days away from 13 months.
She cuts me off RUDELY and says "Just take a seat, we'll have to go to trial, are you prepared to go to trial? All I need to say is you were parked there and case closed"
I told her "YES, I HAVE ALL MY EVIDENCE"
She said "Evidence??"
I said "Yes, I'm prepared to go to trial" and gave her a big smile
She saved me for last, we didn't get called up until 2:30 she reads what I'm charged with and the JP asks how do I plea
I told the JP "before entering a plea your worship, I would like to motion for an 11B infringement"
the prosecutor threw her hands up in the air over dramatically and says I can't use my 11B.
the JP asked why I filled for an 11B, I told her as a canadian citizen I have a right to a speedy trial to which I did not waive and it's been about 13 months since the date I've been charged.
The JP said if I wanted to argue my 11b or go to trial there'd be no time and I'd have to come back another day.
I stayed firm and told the JP that I did not think it was fair that the 11B would be ignored today and if I was to come back another date, that further supports the 11B.
the JP agreed and asked me to stay for the 2nd afternoon session and if there's time she'll squeeze me in.
At this point, the prosecutor asked everybody remaining to leave the room and she ran out of the courtroom.
3pm session begins and I tell my fiancee "We're sitting in the front, I want to stay on the prosecutor's mind, I wanna make sure everytime she turns around I'm watching her and I wanna remind her we've got unfunished business"
So we sit in the front, and like Ticketcombat says, it's like cows going to the slaughter house, she scares everybody into pleading guilty.
her favourite lines were "The JP is really nice, if you plea guilty, she'll reduce your fine to $80 instead of $250 that's a lot of savings" and "I just have to say you were parked there and you're guilty". It wasn't very fair that the officer was standing next to the prosecutor to scare off the civilians.
Anyway, they zoom by all the guilty pleas and ironically there's time left for my case.
I approach the desk, bow and say good "afternoon again your worship"
the JP says so you want to motion for an 11B? the prosecutor objects and repeats again about the court not filing the proper paperwork till Jan 10th.
I answered with the fact that I'm just a regular citizen, I don't work in the court system and it's not my fault the court took forever to do my paperwork. If we adjourn my case, memories will fade, I'll forget the details...so will my fiancee who's my witness
The prosecutor shouts "WITNESS? I WAS NEVER TOLD OF A WITNESS"
I wanted to yell back "well if you didn't have that attitude with me and didn't cut me off and treat me like a child, i would've been able to finish talking with you and you would've been notified of my witness"
Regardless I also added that as a civilian, I was able to go to the scene and take pictures, collect evidence, take a day off work and actually stay till the END of the 2nd session that's how serious I take this $250 ticket.
The prosecutor then gets flustered when the JP asks "Do you object with the 11B?"
she replies with "uh..what?..uh....well.." then she whips out random sheets of paper that has precedents that rule against the 11B..
I also noticed on the top of the printed page that she printed out these sheets TODAY right after she kicked us all out from the 1:30 session!
The prosecutor tried to say that I didn't serve the 11B to the right offices, she claimed I was missing 2 offices.
I replied with "The other two stamps are on the back of the application, they stamped it on the back"
That's when the prosecutor flips to the back and goes "OOH....I never knew stamps on the back would be acceptable"
I stayed firm and pleaded with the JP that if we adjourn then I'd want the delay charged to the crown and it would only solidify my 11B application.
Again the prosecutor argued the court didn't file my paper work till Jan 10th AND if I had a problem with the court date why didn't I file the 11B in a "timely" manner, 3 weeks before trial date is not sufficient enough.
I think it's sufficient enough if she AND the JP got a copy in their hands!!
Anyway, after all that, the JP grabs a sheet of paper and says "ok so you were charged on November the 4th 2010, it is now December 2nd 2011..that would make it 13 months from the infraction date which is sufficient enough for an 11B. Unfortunately we don't have all the resources in the court system to ensure a speedy trial for everybody but nobody should have to deal with the anxiety of being charged and not being able to represent themselves until over a year later. It is my decision that I will STAY THE CHARGES"
The prosecutor looked upset but we both said "Thank you your worship" and my Fiancee and I walked out.
The officer stayed silent and didn't look over at us at all.
I walked out with my head held high and big smile on my face.
I doubt I can type the name of the prosecutor out on this forum but her initials are J.M and all I have to say is what she's doing is not right.
She's using scare tactics to scare people into pleading guilty.
A lot of people actually have a case but because of her one liner "all i have to do is say you were parked there and you're guilty"
Everybody pleaded guilty...
Everybody except me
So Thanks again everybody!
Long story but a positive story about a victory..
I hope this will inspire the rest of us to fight our tickets and fight for what we think is right and not be afraid of the court system!
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
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