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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Hello All,

Today I was driving in an unfamiliar area in York Region (Markham). I was driving westbound in the inside lane on a 2 lane road in heavy traffic. I turned into a dedicated left turn lane and made the turn immediately due to the opening in oncoming traffic. Once I made the turn, I noticed a police officer parked in their typical “quota grab position” already speaking to another driver he had caught. As he leaves the other driver’s window, he signals me to pull over. I am not sure what he saw because he was preoccupied by the other driver. It is not illegal to drive straight through or make a right onto the street in question.

At this point, I had not figured out that I had done anything wrong, aside from the fact that I was being pulled over. The officer tells me that left turns were not allowed between the hours of 7-9am (it was 8:30am). I questioned him about where the signage was and he attempted to point it out to me. I could not see the sign from where I was stopped. He claimed that this sign had been there for more than 4 years, even though the person that I was meeting denied that claim, it was fairly new, not that this was important. He gave me (and the car in front of me) the ticket for 182 (2) and I went about my business.

On my way out of the area I went back to the site to see where this sign was and take photos. I noticed that there was a sign on the curb side grassy area on a telephone pole directly across 3 lanes from the dedicated turn lane. In other words, you would already be in the left turn lane before even seeing this sign and this is assuming that your view of the sign was not blocked by the 2 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic to my right. However, there is another sign on the southbound road about 5 feet down the street on the far side, it is difficult to see from the turn lane unless you know to look down the street for it and likely have already begun your turn. One would imagine that these signs could be better placed to inform drivers. They are perfectly placed for being hidden. As additional information, there is a relatively new cement median to my left and it was surrounded by construction pylons obviously taking some of my attention away from signage. Of course, the median would have been a perfect place for a clear no-turn sign but there was none. Needless to say, had either of these signs been visible, I would have avoided the turn.

I do plan to fight this in court using the typical disclosure process, so I have a few questions:

1) I know that “ignorance of the law” is not a defense but the placement of these signs made it extremely difficult to see and the median would have been a much more reasonable and visible place for such a sign. Is there any case to be made that even though I broke the law, it was due to poor signage? A side note, are there any laws that regulate where/how signage must be placed?

2) On the ticket there are the typical 2 options: guilty/pay and trial. But there is an option “early resolution” to meet with a prosecutor to try and deal with this ahead of time. It has been a while since my last ticket and I am not sure if this option is new? I do know you meet with a prosecutor before your court date but I don't recall this option on tickets before? It says that “Choosing this option DOES NOT forego a trial”. Does choosing this option and then choosing to go to trial cause any difficulty to the regular process of trying to get disclosure and when it is not provided ask for the case to be tossed out?

Thanks!

Mike


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
I filed for a trial and received my court date in 4 months.

Today I dropped off my request for disclosure.

I did not provide a phone number with my request, as per the suggestion by TicketCombat.com. When I submitted my paperwork, the receptionist made a point to say "we will not be mailing disclosure, we will contact you by phone to pick it up". Does this verbal disclaimer give them a valid excuse to not provide disclosure? Should I have given a phone number?

I plan to provide a second request in a couple of weeks when I do not receive, should that one contain a phone number?

Thanks!


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:52 pm 
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High Authority

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
Sign placement and visibility is covered by regulation 615 of the HTA: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/regu/ ... g-615.html. There are requirements for how far back signs must be visible from, etc.

I’m personally of the belief you should provide your phone number. If the Court office told you they would call and you intentionally left off your phone number, how will you argue it the Crown’s fault you never obtained disclosure?


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Stanton wrote:
I’m personally of the belief you should provide your phone number. If the Court office told you they would call and you intentionally left off your phone number, how will you argue it the Crown’s fault you never obtained disclosure?



Thanks for the reply..

I was concerned about their "We dont mail... We will call" was a tactic to have a "valid" excuse for not provide disclosure. I would much prefer written communication to provide proof of communication or lack-thereof. I fear that this method of "we will call you" can lead to them not providing disclosure and then claiming "we called and you never showed up" when the trial comes. Since there is no written communication, what proof would I have to go against their claims that they called?

Maybe I will provide my phone number in my next disclosure request unless someone suggests otherwise..


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:23 am 
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Leave an email address.


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
bend wrote:
Leave an email address.


Thank you Bend... I think I may do that. But I have some time before my second round of disclosure to decide if I want to include my phone number or not.

Another question for you all. I recall somewhere (maybe TicketCombat) that every sign erected by the city has to have a by-law for it. Can I demand this with my next disclosure request? Does the prosecution have to provide me with proof that this sign was "legally" installed? If not included, will this constitute incomplete disclosure?

Thanks,

Mike


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:44 am
Posts: 1063
mikeyb wrote:
I have some time before my second round of disclosure to decide if I want to include my phone number or not.


If they are persistent on leaving a number, i'd probably just leave one. It's not that big of a deal. I understand you want something written down, but it's not going to matter much. They can claim they mailed you something just as easily as saying they called you. If you leave an email address along with a physical address, it cuts down on the excuses on trial day. Better than leaving just an address and without a phone number.

You'll have to pick up disclosure though if they aren't willing to send it.


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:09 pm 
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High Authority

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
Ticketcombat is an excellent resource and starting point, but don’t take it as gospel.

Posters on this forum have reported mixed results arguing the requirement to provide a bylaw for signs. The Crown will typically argue the sign itself is evidence of the bylaw. Unfortunately I don’t know what case law says on this point. Be prepared to argue why the sign itself shouldn’t be considered sufficient evidence for the Court.

It also might not hurt for you to do some research and see if a bylaw actually exists for the sign.


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Stanton wrote:
Ticketcombat is an excellent resource and starting point, but don’t take it as gospel.

Posters on this forum have reported mixed results arguing the requirement to provide a bylaw for signs. The Crown will typically argue the sign itself is evidence of the bylaw. Unfortunately I don’t know what case law says on this point. Be prepared to argue why the sign itself shouldn’t be considered sufficient evidence for the Court.

It also might not hurt for you to do some research and see if a bylaw actually exists for the sign.


Thank you Stanton,
I was just curious. I did actually find the meeting where the sign was approved online. I assumed it was legitimate but thought that maybe a lack of by-law in disclosure would aid in a case for lack of disclosure. It was worth a shot. I have another possible defense in mind...

Thank you all,


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
mikeyb wrote:
I was just curious. I did actually find the meeting where the sign was approved online. I assumed it was legitimate but thought that maybe a lack of by-law in disclosure would aid in a case for lack of disclosure. It was worth a shot.

I only suggested you check in case no bylaw existed. Regardless, if the Court agrees that the Crown has an onus to prove the existence of the bylaw, that’s their responsibility in Court. The fact that you’re aware of its existence doesn’t negate that.


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:09 am 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Hey All,
Today I submitted my notice for constitutional question to the prosecution and the court since I have not received any disclosure and my trial is roughly 16 business days away.

I was pretty nervous when the clerk at the prosecution office found out what I was submitting and told me to hang on as she walked away to speak with someone. I was sure she would come back saying that they will provide me with my disclosure right now. I didn't know how I would react to this? Take it? leave it and say "too late"?... Thankfully, she returned from either finding out what her job required for this procedure, or double checking that they did not have my disclosure and accepted my documents and sent me on my way.

So, I plan to argue for a Stay based on not receiving disclosure. From what I read, I simply have to ask for the stay, walk the court through my documents, what I asked for and when. However, I would assume that the prosecutors will not take too kindly to giving up on trying to win and may have some tactics to present me with disclosure on the spot and set a new court date? Do I require any case law to prove that a stay should be granted based on lack of disclosure or is this an "automatic" thing based on my rights being violated?

Are there any tips or tricks I can use to be sure that I am not forced to come back to another court date. I have already taken time off work, the punishment of more days off work and lost income would be unreasonable due to the prosecution not doing what is required by law. I fear being put on the spot and the court or prosecution trying to force me into coming back again, this time with the disclosure that they did not provide in the 3 months of pre-trial time.

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated.


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:08 pm
Posts: 550
mikeyb wrote:
From what I read, I simply have to ask for the stay, walk the court through my documents, what I asked for and when. However, I would assume that the prosecutors will not take too kindly to giving up on trying to win and may have some tactics to present me with disclosure on the spot and set a new court date? Do I require any case law to prove that a stay should be granted based on lack of disclosure or is this an "automatic" thing based on my rights being violated?
IMO you wasted your time and money filing the stay for non-disclosure.

Although you have asked for a stay, I wouldn't pursue it because you may be pigeon holed into proceeding directly to a trial.

The courts do not grant stays for traffic disclosure issues; a stay is a remedy for a charter challenge; in your case the remedy is giving you disclosure. You're complaining the crown hasn't given you disclosure, the courts will then order the crown to give that to you. You'll be getting disclosure (officer's notes) on your trial date.

The danger is that the crown will make you introduce your charter challenge after you're arraigned. If you accidentally plead "not guilty" and then start talking about stays... it's already game over. You've proceeded to trial w/o getting disclosure. You have to do a lot more research into how to introduce a charter challenge, because based on what you wrote about simply walking in and going through disclosure requests, you have no idea.

After you're arraigned you're at the mercy of the JP, he may not adjourn the trial to a different date. Some JPs sympathize with self-represented defendants, but others will look at you trying to make complicated charter challenges and think you're a wolf under sheep clothing. You may have to proceed to trial on the same day. It's going to be kangaroo court after you're arraigned.


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
iFly55 wrote:
IMO you wasted your time and money filing the stay for non-disclosure.


This is disappointing but thank you for your input.

I would not have put so much time and effort into fighting this if the courthouse wasn't 5 minutes from where I live. Filing papers and whatnot could be done without any real hardship to my time.

What I am looking to do is explain to the court that I was expecting to defend myself to the charges against me and I followed all proper procedures and timelines that it seems is part of the trial process. Whereas the crown, who have much more resources than I, did not follow their required duties. Had they fulfilled their obligation to provide me with my disclosure in a timely manner, I would have 1 court date that we (court, crown and I) agreed to. Based entirely on their lack of following procedure, I will now be forced to appear in court with lost wages for the day only to be given my disclosure and given the option to speak to the charges unprepared or take another day of lost wages. This makes no difference to the crown but a hardship to me. This does not seem "fair". I understand that the system is far from "fair" towards citizens but I would like to try and show the JP that neither of these options are acceptable to me and there is no other option but to grant a stay.

I assumed that I would likely receive some type of resistance to my attempt to stay the proceedings but what would my options be if/when I am told either come back another time or defend myself without preparation?

By the way, I am far from a pro in this area, thankfully I have never had to deal with these types of things. I am going on the advice from TicketCombat. Obviously, I simplified what I will have to do but was just trying to ask if I require to bring in case law for a stay request? Also what to expect the Crown to say or do in order to trick me. You did give me a number of tricks that they will use to try and trick me. Any further help, what to expect, etc. is appreciated..

Thanks.


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
Hello All,
Sorry for re-replying to this old thread. I have still not received any disclosure from the prosecution. My trial will be coming up shortly and just want a definitive answer to a couple questions.

1) Should I ignore my attempt for a stay based on lack of disclosure? Is there any chance of this being accepted or considered by a JP?

2) Should I expect the court to require another trial date after being given disclosure on the spot and by "accepting" this new trial date, do I harm my chances at getting an 11b? Can they claim that I "agreed" to the later trial date and therefore can not claim unreasonable time?

Thanks,

Mike


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Re: 182 (2) Disobey Sign - Help
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:13 am 
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! To everyone on here that devote their time to helping others....

I went to court today prepared to only ask for an adjournment due to a lack of disclosure. After some of the comments on here, I was planning on ignoring the charter question and wait for another trial.

When I met with the crown, he opens the file and right on top is my charter challenge paperwork.. My heart dropped. He goes through the paperwork and says "1, 2, 3 request for disclosure.... and it has been 1,2,3,4 months.... That is adequate time for disclosure, I am going to withdraw your case. Go have a seat". I was speechless but still nervous something could go wrong...

I was thinking maybe since my police officer was not there, they would just let this go. But the officer (pretty sure it was him) showed up a bit later. I saw him check in, have a word with the crown and then he said goodbye to the other officers and left. This is when I thought for sure I was free and clear.

When I was called up by the JP, the crown told the JP that there was a charter challenge and the JP looked at me and asked "Do you want to give up your charter challenge..." I was not prepared for this. I was really scared there was some type of trick here. I tried to be as clear as possible so I do not do anything wrong. "If the charges are withdrawn, I will not continue with the charter challenge".

And I was FREE TO GO!

Thank you to everyone!


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