Q&A - Police Ignore Request for Disclosure

image of police officer writing a ticketQuestion: I filed for disclosure and received a call today from the traffic court registry. They told me that the Crown Counsel is not involved and that only the officer who issued the ticket can provide disclosure. I requested the officers evidence and notes the same day I filed for dispute and never received a response.

I used express post for the request and have proof of delivery. Since I did not receive anything and court is coming up in 4 weeks, am I able to submit a request for dismissal due to non disclosure?

Disclosure in Reasonable Time

Unfortunately, this seems to be a common occurrence lately as I have received requests for information on the subject. You are entitled to receive disclosure within a reasonable time.

Contact the Officer

You have a number of options here. The first is to contact the officer directly and prompt them for the disclosure you requested. This may be enough to get what you need within a reasonable time.

Contact the Officer's Supervisor

You could also contact the officer's supervisor and explain that your request for disclosure has not been complied with. Have them direct the officer to comply.

Trial Day Strategy

On the date of your trial, if you have a conversation with the officer prior to the trial, inform them that you will not be entering a plea and you will be advising the court that you have not received the requested disclosure. See what the officer might offer and decide what suits you.

Ask for an Adjournment

If you do not have that conversation or you are not satisfied with the conversation that you did have, ask the justice to adjourn the matter with direction that the officer complies with the request.

Last Minute Disclosure

Should the officer hand you the material you requested moments prior to trial, do not enter a plea and advise the court of that fact. Request an adjournment so that you may examine the disclosure materials and decide on your course of action. You should have a reasonable time to digest the disclosure, ask for more if needed and decide on how to conduct your trial.

Making a Charter Argument

If, after all of this you still have not received disclosure, contact the court registry, advise them that you are making a Charter argument and have them schedule the matter for provincial court. Challenges of this nature cannot be heard in front of a justice in traffic court.

Getting Help

As always, your best source of advice is a lawyer and you may wish to take advantage of Lawyer Referral.

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