Q&A - Trial Adjourned, Can I Recover My Expenses?

Q&A ImageI am currently disputing a speeding ticket I received in Kelowna on a new section of Hwy 33 which was not properly / adequately signed. I live on Vancouver Island and went up to Kelowna for my hearing. Due to there being to many cases that day, mine did not even get up to bat.

My out of pocket expenses were $450 not including per diem / food.

I am hoping to have my next hearing done by phone from my local Court house.

My question is, if I win, can I take the RCMP to court for my expenses?

Comments

Answer

The difficulty of overscheduling in traffic court is always present. In my experience most times about half of the people who dispute never show up. This creates a problem for court staff who have to try and make efficient use of everyone's time. Those who don't bother to show up and don't notify the court of this fact have certainly made if difficult for you, haven't they? I think that we need to go back to the day when you had to pay to enter a dispute and win or lose, if you showed up for trial you received the money back.

I am a bit surprised that they didn't arrange the schedule to put your dispute near the front of the list. I used to try and do that when I was acting as prosecutor.

Now to the crux of the matter, your expenses. This is a normal part of doing business in our court system. I'm no expert on civil law, which is what would apply if you were to try and recover your costs. I would think that the only way you might be successful is to be able to show that you were maliciously prosecuted by the police. This might be something like an officer issuing you a speeding ticket when they knew that you were not speeding.

Changes are on the horizon. BC is planning on moving to an adjudication system for tickets sometime in future which would allow a dispute in writing or resolution by telephone. No doubt this will be much more economical for all involved. My inquiries to keep up to date on this have only received the response that it is "somewhere in the future."

New Traffic Court 'Tribunals'

I seriously doubt that the new tribunals will be a solution that any accused driver is satisfied with.

If the tribunals are anything like the new impaired driving tribunals they will be brutally unfair and weighted towards the crown and government.

No driver should be happy about this pending change, they do not need to follow rules as required by the Justices of the Peace currently in place. They follow a tribunal act, which is seriously weighted against any driver accused of being impaired in BC currently.

Drivers should educate themselves on the current state of unfairness if one is fingered (rightly or wrongly) by a police officer in BC for a DUI.

I encourage all to take a read through Kyla Lee's Blog.

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