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proceed contrary to sign at intersection 144(9)...2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:48 am 
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Hello all,

I was driving down vic park then I turned right on to my OWN street (old sheppard ave.) during a time that was posted as no turns (7-9am). I hardly ever go that way as I was picking my car up from a mechanic, and have never seen the sign there. I went back and checked and it is not bilingual. I also just moved into the neighbourhood 6 months ago.

Is there anyway of getting out of the ticket because I live on that street?

Or should I just use the bilingual defence? All of the threads on this site are about a year old. Does that defense still hold true or have they changed anything to correct for it?

I have a clean record and do not want the insurance hike.

If someone could provide some advice that would be great.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:28 pm 
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cchapman wrote:
Is there anyway of getting out of the ticket because I live on that street?


No, but...

cchapman wrote:
Or should I just use the bilingual defence? All of the threads on this site are about a year old. Does that defense still hold true or have they changed anything to correct for it?


Yes, you can use bilingual defence. Start off by sending in the ticket requesting the trial option, and make a disclosure request. You want the officer's notes, and an explanation and clarification of the charge. One of the things they must give you in the disclosure package is a certified copy of the by-law that put a sign like "No turns 7-9 AM MON-FRI" in place. If they don't give you proper disclosure, 20 days in advance of the trial you can file a motion for a stay.

If they do give you what you need, you can then use bilingual defence. The city of Toronto is a "designated bilingual area." What you want to do is, at trial, say that the sign is invalid, as Toronto, per the French Language Services Act, is a designated bilingual area. As such, the signs must be bilingual. This was "affirmed" by the R. v. Myers case and held up on appeal. Here's a good resource:

http://www.ticketcombat.com/step5/bilingual.php

Translation: Your ticket is toast. But you'll need to do some work to make it so.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:49 am 
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Radar identified,

Thanks for the information!

2 more questions,

1) If the cop doesn't show up to the trail I am out of it regardless correct? Which from what I understand is the most likely scenario in Toronto.

2) Since I posted the last message I had a law friend of mine look into it briefly and he said the appeal was allowed and not upheld. What he is telling me seems contrary to the information I have read on the bilingual defence. I am a little confused as I an not an expert on this. He said it still can work it just isn't as sound because the precedent was not set in the appeals. What is your opinion on this?

This is what he wrote-

"The trial judge who ruled in favour of Myers made a decision that was overturned at the appeal level. The judge who originally ruled does not hear the appeal, it is heard by 3 judges at the appeal level. What the appeal judges say trumps what the trial judge says and the trial judge can't do anything about it.

Summary of the appeals case:

Defendant disobeyed sign prohibiting turn "7 AM - 7 PM MON-FRI" -- Sign was in English only and did not include words "LUN-VEN" -- Regulation under Highway Traffic Act requires that sign in area designated by French Language Services Act shall indicate prohibited times in French as well as English -- Offence occurred in City of Toronto which is designated area under latter Act -- Defendant was charged with disobeying sign contrary to Highway Traffic Act -- Trial judge dismissed charge -- Trial judge held that sign was invalid as it did not comply with statutory requirement of being bilingual -- Trial judge also held that it was not necessary for City to enact by-law concerning language of signs for Regulation to be effective -- City appealed dismissal of charge -- Defendant did not contest appeal -- Appeal allowed -- Verdict of acquittal was set aside and conviction entered -- Penalty imposed was fine in sum of $90, which was payable within 60 days.

APPEAL by city from judgment reported at R. v. Myers (2004), 2004 CarswellOnt 5638, [2004] O.J. No. 4763 (Ont. C.J.), dismissing defendant's charge under Highway Traffic Act.

It is on the website as a "success" because he did win the trial case, and he allowed the appeal. When the city appealed the decision he didn't argue it back and let the conviction go because it would have been too expensive for his client I'm assuming. That website must be wrong, it was successful on trial but I read both the trial case and the appeals case."


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:28 pm 
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Can you provide the link for the city appeal case? Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:52 pm 
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I'll see what I can do. I can't physically get tothe link as you need to have access to the law periodicals/journals within a law school. I am sure you could go to a library and dig it up. Let me talk to my friend again to see if I can get an electronic copy or if there is another way to access it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:30 pm 
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This one was bugging me so I hauled myself over to the law library and looked up the case law. There isn't any. The only thing that exists are the transcripts of the trial decision and the appeal.

So let's set this up properly. The defendant is a lawyer. Her lawyer is an articling lawyer working for the firm. So lawyer defendant and lawyer rep. They win at trial based on the strength of their arguments. Generally their legal costs are covered by the firm. Even the appeals.

The city is miffed. The mayor gets scrummed by the media. The City of Toronto makes over $100 million/year in ticket revenue. This is BIG. Along comes a case where they might have to forgo that revenue or change all their signs. Either option is going to cost them millions. They are not going to put up with it. But what could they possibly do about it and what could they argue???

Fast forward to the appeal. The city prosecutor, the city's lawyer (Mr. Bartlett) and the defendant's lawyer (Mr. Brown) are all there. The justice walks in and asks what are we hearing today. The city's lawyer says (and this is an excerpt from the transcript [2005 CarswellOnt 10019]):
Quote:
MR. BARTLETT: I'm seeking the appeal to be allowed and a conviction entered, and fine imposed at this level.

THE COURT: The appeal to be allowed. Is it your appeal?

MR. BARTLETT: Yes, it is. It's a --appeal.

THE COURT: Then you are going to be arguing this matter, is that correct?

MR. BARTLETT: That's correct, but it's not being opposed.

MR. BROWN: That's correct.


In other words, the defendant AGREED to the conviction. You've won at trial. The city appeals. You go to the appeal and without any contest say, we'll take the conviction and the fine, thank you very much. WTF?!? Why would you do that?

The appeal court did not overturn the ruling, it entered a conviction because the appellant and the defendant agreed to the conviction without any explanation as to why. So what does this mean? You decide if the original argument is still good.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:48 pm 
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I was also confused over that one because I've seen the bilingual defence argument used in court (was in January). Officer's testimony was lengthy, precise and exacting. Defendant's only response was: Sign is not bilingual so it's not valid, and I have photos. JP asks to see photos, asks for closing arguments, then quashes the charge. So I've seen it work. Will it work for you? Can't guarantee anything, but go after all avenues including possible improper disclosure angle.

ticketcombat wrote:
In other words, the defendant AGREED to the conviction. You've won at trial. The city appeals. You go to the appeal and without any contest say, we'll take the conviction and the fine, thank you very much. WTF?!? Why would you do that?


At first, upon reading it, I had to slap myself to see if I was awake. After all that work, they just caved in? Was there some backroom bribery going on?!? "Golly gee, I spent dozens of hours preparing and researching for this, I won already, I've got all kinds of evidence and legislation to back this up... therefore I surrender." WHAT?!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Backroom bribery, i second that.

Cchapman, i got 2 tickets of this type (already posted in the forum) no left turn 7AM-9AM, one against a by-law, one against HTA.

Both charges were voluntarily dropped by the Crown when i showed up in court (Markham & 401) although cops were there on both ocassions.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:59 am 
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I just got a ticket for a prohibited right turn. Bay St. southbound onto Richmond. Is the bilingual defense still valid?

As an aside I told the officer (and I wasn't lying) that I just saw a fight break out between a guy in a black 2 door Accord and a guy on a bike at Bay and Queen. The guy on the bike beat the hell out the Accord and then the driver pulled a broom stick out of the trunk and went after bike guy... the cop could not care less. I was a little surprised that he had no interest in a violent confrontation happening right around the corner in front of City Hall.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:16 pm 
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dhetherton wrote:
I just got a ticket for a prohibited right turn. Bay St. southbound onto Richmond. Is the bilingual defense still valid?

As an aside I told the officer (and I wasn't lying) that I just saw a fight break out between a guy in a black 2 door Accord and a guy on a bike at Bay and Queen. The guy on the bike beat the hell out the Accord and then the driver pulled a broom stick out of the trunk and went after bike guy... the cop could not care less. I was a little surprised that he had no interest in a violent confrontation happening right around the corner in front of City Hall.


Does the sign say "Mon-Fri" ? If so, bilingual defense applies.

He was busy to enforce traffic laws, there is no reason to look for other problem.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Yes it does read MON-FRI... I was just curious because of the posts above noting the result of the appeal.


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