Early Resolution (On Traffic Tickets) Is A Thing Of The Past

Approximately 5 years ago (in 2012) a new procedure was implemented in the Ontario Highway Traffic Court known as ‘Early Resolution.’ On the backside of most tickets, people were offered 3 choices. One to plead guilty and pay the fine, one to go to court and a third to meet with the prosecutor for an early resolution. [1]

The last option is what many Ontarians would choose since it saves them time from going to court, (usually) reduces the fine, and eliminates or reduces the amount of demerit points. It allows residents to meet with prosecutors in order to reach an agreement (although the prosecutors are the ones who stipulate the regulations and boundaries of said agreement) and if they happen to disagree on the terms of the agreement then the resident can always take the option to go to court.

So it is quite disheartening to know that there will no longer be any more ‘Early Resolutions.’ Without so much as a notice, an article or any sort of media coverage, early resolution has completely been banished.

No longer will this option be available to drivers thus leaving Ontarians to either plead guilty or go directly to court. (Talk about choices.)

toronto-parking-ticket-back

So what is this new option? You can meet the Justice of the Peace (who is a Judicial Officer that acts to ‘keep the peace’ [2]) that same day to pay the fine or to  discuss about additional options. (They may or may not reduce the fine/demerit points.)

But it was a shock to be informed that there is no set schedule that designates when the JP would come in. According to the staff at the provincial offenses office, they are unsure of when the JP would be coming in and the ‘best’ thing to do would be to call the office on a daily basis and come in whenever the JP is in…

So not only is the previously favored option reduced to nothing, but the very person that was supposed to supplant the Early Resolutions Officer can come and go as they please (as if a government appointed position was akin to that of a self employed businessperson…)

So if you’re wondering, yes, there is a perfectly good chance that you can go into the provincial offenses office, attempt to set up an appointment with the Early Resolutions Officer just to find out that they no longer exist. And then when you go to ask for the Justice of the Peace there is a good chance that you will be informed that they don’t work that day and no one is sure when they will be in next.

poaticket_380

This is all in addition to the fact that these offices don’t open on weekends, certainly don’t open on holidays, and close right as the clock strikes 5pm.

What is just as aggravating as this sudden change of jurisdiction is the complete lack of publicity. Nothing can be found online or on the city website and certainly nothing was promoted on media to notify residents. The only way an Ontarian would have known of this sudden and abrupt change would have been to go directly to the courthouse.

It is laughable that the most popular option was removed in order to ‘streamline the process.’ Funny how of all the options that the government decides to remove, they choose to ‘streamline’ the one option that most Canadians like to use.

In a time and place where government offices and salaries are paid by taxpayers, at least give us a heads up before you blatantly and retroactively change the rules of the game.

[1] http://carl-wais.com/blog/?p=62

[2] https://www.google.ca/search?q=justive+of+teh+peace&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=L4cpWZrrJYjojwTAiKboCg

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s