CASE LAW - R v Stein
Paul Stein was convicted of failing to wear a seatbelt for an incident that occurred on Hillside Avenue in Victoria, B.C. He was observed by Sergeant LeBlanc who pulled him over and issued the ticket. Mr. Stein's argument was that he was a commercial vehicle driver engaged in frequent stops and was exempt from having to wear a seatbelt. The justice reduced the fine.
Mr. Stein appealed the conviction and a new trial was ordered. At the conclusion of the new trial he was again convicted but was assessed the full penalty of $167.
Traffic Courts - Legit or Revenue Enforcers?
This case was first heard on Dec 7, 2012 with a reserve judgement from JJ Gordon. Mr Stein was found guilty and Gordon's decision was appealed and ordered for a new trial on June 26, 2013. This new trial on October 16th, 2013 found Mr. Stein guilty once again. And once again Mr. Stein has appealed JJ Edwards' decision to the BCSC for a date of Feb. 26 2014.
Reading the Reasons for Judgement without reading the transcripts of this trial leaves one only with the bias of the Learned Judicial Justice - which hardly promotes the facts around the proceedings.
Once again this trial shows massive evidence of bias in favour of the Crown. This appeal will be heard and the conviction overturned based on these basic appealable grounds:
1. The JP failed to adjourn and provide both parties with a reasonable opportunity to address certain issues and points which she was considering and/or came to her attention during the course of her deliberations upon her judgment, specifically:
a. case law and authorities from other provinces;
b. statute law from other provinces;
c. various findings and interpretations from these authorities that she was considering to be relevant to this case,
such being contrary to natural justice and procedural fairness.
2. The trial judge's finding of guilt prior to fully considering and researching the relevant issues, is evidence of bias and determining the case prior to the entire case being fully presented to her, including evidence and argument on those points raised in paragraph 1 above.
3. After admitting that this case was "substantially" on point, the JP then failed to give proper weight to R v Vineberg and found that the decision was of "limited use." These findings were contradictory. A case cannot be simultaneously on point, and of limited and no use, on the very issue before the court. If it was on point, it should have been followed. Any ambiguities should have been resolved in favour of Mr. Stein.
4. Mr. Stein was denied a fair and/or impartial hearing, as a result of:
a. JJ Edwards' repeated interruptions, which cause Mr. Stein to lose focus and affected his cross examinations of the Informant; and,
b. prohibiting Mr. Stein from asking relevant questions to the Informant, especially in relation to:
i. time issues. Time is a relevant factor in considering how many times someone has entered and exited the vehicle, as is the actual nature of the job, office, trade, calling, profession, employment or occupation and duties pursuant to same. The Justice's findings that the questions were "hypothetical", was in error, where the questions related to actual factual conditions of the allegations;
ii. the Informant's understanding, competence and knowledge of the relevant legislation he was enforcing.
5. The Justice failed to understand the interpretation and applicability of the statutes at issue. JJ Edwards’ findings that Mr. Stein’s questions were "unusual", displayed direct evidence of bias and prejudice towards Mr. Stein, and ignorance of the law in relation to the exemptions of 220(5) of the Motor Vehicle Act.
6. The finding and interpretation at paragraph 41 of the Judgment of JJ Edwards is incorrect, where the she states, "I do not accept that the Legislature intended a 'blanket exemption' from the provisions of s. 220(4) for employees such as Mr. Stein, who, in the context of their employment drive a commercial vehicle where they are required to alight and re-enter the vehicle at frequent intervals as they carry out their duties." This is exactly the wording that is used in s. 220(5)(c) of the Act, and her findings are an error of law.
7. The Justice erred in misapplying the Crown's duty to prove each essential element of the offence, and finding against the accused on an essential element of the offence because he could not prove he had not violated it. There was no evidence that Mr. Stein had exceeded the 40 km/h limit in s. 220(5)(c), while actually doing his work.
These are but a few of the appealable grounds the BCSC will hear on Feb 26, 2014.
It's really unfortunate that Justice cannot be served at the appropriate level of the courts, and that one must take such an insignificant traffic infraction to the BCSC not once but - TWICE!
As stated in my previous post - this is not about a measily seat belt ticket - its about keeping the revenue flowing under the guise of 'public safety' and the illusion of the necessity of government intervention into the privacy of the people. That's why Police have resorted to hiding in bushes and using telescopes to hunt down their daily revenue quota's (R. v. Thandi 2013).
Simply google or YouTube "ticket quota police" + national post, or ask your local police if this is true - watch them squirm!
(PS - Officer Graeme Leblanc (IRSU) testified that he could/has issued up to 10 tickets per hour on any given day. 10x$167 = $1670 per hour. That's up to $13,360 per officer per 8 hour day!! And most Police work long hours. Thats not a bad little business if you have 100-200 employees! No wonder why Traffic Courts will do anything to protect the "..bread and butter of Provincial Courts". (R. v. Duncan, 2013 ONCJ 160 (CanLII)
Good work! I am happy that you are challenging the intent and worthiness of this law. I am tired of loosing so many rights whenever I get behind the wheel of a vehicle and becoming a revenue source for the BC Government. IRSU units are great at generating revenues but not really improving safety.
If there was truly a shortage of police officers, as many senior police officers complain of, it could be solved by stopping traffic enforcement and having these police officers do real work.
If IRSU and the Supt of Motor Vehicles focused on drivers that were incompetent and did not even know the rules of the raod that they are supposed to obey we would have a much better system than the current cash grabs.
Wishing for a mandatory driving test every five years..... and an end to the IRSU revenue raising.
I wish you a very happy holidays and the best of success on your appeal in the New Year. Is your appeal in Victoria? I may come and watch.