Q&A - Trial Adjourned by Crown

Q&A ImageI was ticketed for speeding and contested the ticket.  I recieved my trial date notice and wasn't able to make that date.  I then applied to change the date and was approved.  After that, the ticketing officer called (my wife answered) and wanted to change the new date.  He said he would call back as he needed to speak with me, but I never heard from him.  

Recently, I recieved another court date notice in the mail.  I changed the initial date as work wasn't permitting me to make it.

The 2nd date I was issued, I moved things around to be able to attend. Now, they have changed it without consulting me and I can't juggle another date.

Is this allowable?  What happened to my date that I was notified of?  What happens if I show up for the date that I can attend?

Comments

Turnabout is Fair Play

Like you, officers have family, health and training opportunities or commitments. You cannot expect to have a court date changed for yourself and not for the officer.

In the time that I spent in traffic court, the Justice would usually grant one adjournment for each side subject to having a good reason for doing so. After that it was usually a case of you've already had an adjournment, this time the trial will proceed, ready or not.

Of course, health reasons or something like a death in the family would certainly be a good reason for a second adjournment and likely to be granted.

Hardly Fair

'Turnabout is Fair Play"?  I hardly think this is fair, nor the law.  How on earth can you quote this, would you like to see people taking an eye of an eye on the streets?  I think not.  Please quote the section of the traffic act or law that you are speaking of, I highly doubt that is the case.  Please quote facts, not recite sayings.

It is especially NOT the case when a citizen must move their schedule around, missing work and pay to attend a court hearing, when the officer is on the payroll and doing his job to attend.  Certainly NOT 'fairplay'.

Like it or not...

...that's the way it works.

The Offence Act has this to say about adjournment:

Adjournment

67 (1) A justice may in his or her discretion, before or during a trial, adjourn the trial. 

(1.1) The parties to a trial adjourned under subsection (1) must be notified of the time and place appointed for their next appearance before the court.

(1.2) For the purpose of giving notice under subsection (1.1) in relation to a violation ticket, section 15 (6) applies.

(2) If the justice adjourns a trial, the justice may, on condition that the defendant appear at the time and place set for resumption of the trial,

(a) permit the defendant to be at large,

(b) commit the defendant by warrant, in Form 10, to a prison in the territorial division for which the justice has jurisdiction, or to any other safe custody the justice thinks fit, or

(c) discharge the defendant on the defendant's recognizance, in Form 18

(i) with or without sureties, or

(ii) on depositing a sum of money the justice directs.

In all cases that I have heard, the justice seems to have thought that in fairness, either side would be entitled to one adjournment for good reason. You are free to oppose an adjournment, but I have not heard someone be successful based only on their own convenience.

Goodness, I would think you

Goodness, I would think you would keep replies here to professional level.  "Like it or not.."?  I'm here for correct and factual answers.  So in seach of that I called the Violation Ticket Centre:

You are correct, the officer can ask for an adjournment, BUT - I must be informed and have a chance to contest that change.  I wasn't given that chance.  You left out an important part of the process.  It isn't 'turnabout is fair play' - This is not apples to apples.  

I hope this helps someone else in the same situation.  Get ALL of the imformation and be informed of your rights.

Perhaps You Missed it...

I did respond that you are free to oppose the adjournment.

I didn't miss that

I didn't miss that - You left out the fact that the officer MUST contact the person BEFORE a new court date is issued.  EXACTLY the topic of my initial post.

Again - Hope this helps someone in the same situation.

Objection

The objection to the adjournment is done before the court on the date that has been set, which is the second date that you said you were going to have trouble attending. By the look of it, neither one of you wants to be there at that time. Unless you can convince the court registry to move up that date so that you can go in and argue the point before then it will be interesting to see how it resolves. Perhaps you will come back and post the outcome as an update to this thread.

Calling your residence and leaving a message does give you some notice, whether that will be enough for the justice or not will depend on who hears your trial. Before you get too upset about missing personal contact remember that the rules do allow service of a summons or subpeona compelling someone to attend court by substitution, meaning that it is acceptable to leave it at your residence for you with someone that appears to be 16 or older.

In fact, you may hear from the officer yet, unless that second court date has passed...

I'll try to remember to come

I'll try to remember to come back and update.  

As for the date, I was advised to file another PTR818 note that the officer had not contacted me.  They will most likely issue another adjournment.

I'm not sure you have things straght - I would be hard to say you object to an adjournment date when you show up.  You would already be there.  All you have to do is file the proper paperwork.

Appearing in Person

I just had a look at the PTR818 form you mention. When it is the officer that requests the adjournment, it says that "I have consulted with disputant and determined their position and informed them of their right to appear and oppose the adjournment application" I might not understand, but it seems to say to me that if you wish to oppose the adjournment, you are going to have to appear in court to do it and at this point the only "appointment" that you have to do that is on the second dispute date.

Requesting an adjournment appears to be much easier than opposing one. You as the disputant merely have to file the form, a justice reads it and notifies you of the outcome. The officer has quite a few more hoops to jump through, including notifying you that he intends to apply, setting a date for the application and notifying you of it so that you could be present to oppose it.

It appears that the officer can use form PTR819 to inform you of the request for adjournment by mail. You may get this document instead of a personal visit or telephone call.

That exact quote is found

That exact quote is found above.  The point here is that I was not 'consulted'.  I'm sure I will hear soon via mail, I'll let you know what the outcome is.

Just to be more clear: On

Just to be more clear:

On an Application to Adjourn a Hearing

There are check boxes:

 

Officer  –  I have consulted with disputant and determined their position and informed them 
of their right to appear and oppose the adjournment application:
Yes    or   No
If yes, disputant was notified by:
Telephone, Letter (copy attached), In person
 
I was not consulted.

Got an answer

My court date was getting closer and I had not received a reply concerning my second request for adjournment. (see above for what went on). I made a call to 1-877-661-8026 (violation ticket centre) about a week before the hearing date. I was informed they had gotten my request and I should have received a reply (suggesting it was lost in the mail). But at this point the paperwork was already at the courthouse and I would have to call them. They advised I could still request an adjournment.

I called the courthouse to find a different story - Yes, they received my Application to Adjourn a Hearing form (PTR 818), but because it was the second I've sent in I would not be getting a written reply. It would go before a judge on the trail date and the adjournment would be decided then.

I asked what happens if I'm not there as I couldn't make it. 1 - If my adjournment was declined, I would be found guilty. 2 - If it is granted, I would be informed after the decision.

I couldn't be there, so I just had to wait it out. I now have a new trial date for next year.

I can't state fact as I wasn't present, but I'm sure it's because I wasn't consulted by the officer when he requested an adjournment.

It seems very unfair that I wasn't contacted to be informed of my options. The 'Notice of Hearing Date' is the same in all 3 cases, telling me I can apply to adjourn and "after the justice considers your application you will be notified by mail of the result". This isn't what happened nor, as I was informed, is how things work.

Representation by an Agent

It appears then that the only thing you might do other than wait and see what happens is to have an adult appear on your behalf as your agent and request the second adjournment. If it is not granted, the agent is supposed to be able to enter a plea of not guilty for you and cross examine the Crown witnesses. The agent cannot testify on your behalf or introduce evidence for you, but could call witnesses and take part in the summation at the end.

I have yet to see the court let an agent do this though.

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