This will likely be one of my last posts as I always get in crap for attacking the cops. HMMMMMM mods.....think any differently of my comments now that the dead immigrant story has come out at YVR? Still think the police are so golden???
Anyways, also I got taken out by a car last August on my VFR. Although I will survive my injuries, the bike will not. I was really attached to that bike, and getting older and seeing my own mortality, as well as the terrible driving that persists in our society, I do not think one can ride and statistically have a good chance of surviving for years. This is due to the stupidity of some drivers, and one can't avoid everything. I've had three lucky strikes where I got to walk away and not wake up dead, or wake up in ICU with a new prosthetic leg fitted, due to bad drivers. I think I will not continue to tempt fate.
It's been a good run old friend.
So the ticket....
In May of 2008 I got a ticket for running a red light. I stopped, got bored and then safely went. A cop in the distance saw me and ticketed me. He pissed me off from the start as the first words out of his mouth were not: "Thankyou for stopping"
So, of course, I dispute it. (Those of you that do not are morons).
I get a court date for Sept 2009. I adjourn the court date, as work conflicted.
I go back last week (Dec 09). I missed the court date in the mail, I called the central ticket registry to see the tickets status, and found out the date was in two days.
So I pack my bags, travel to Richmond and research some case law.
I'm going to get it tossed on the basis that the court date took too long. (again why everyone should dispute). I get my case law together and I am ready to rock.
There is a problem: Dumb traffic court judges are not clever enough to do Charter challenges. So my argument was a charter challenge, and I needed to give 2 weeks notice to be seen before a real judge. I only knew about this court date for 2 days so I could not give enough notice.
So I was going to have to get the cop to call no evidence, or get an adjournment to another day. I was confident of getting either option.
Before court I speak with the cop, ask him to withdraw the ticket, explain that it has been so long, and that I have come at great expense and loss of work to be with him that day. I have learned my lesson, and please yank the ticket.
I show him my case law, clearly indicating it is a fresh precedent, and fully applies. He lies, and says it won't matter, because I didn't give 2 weeks notice, and that I am a blatent red light runner and he will not give me a break. (Wait a minute- is he implying running a red light at speed is safer than stopping first???)
So I tell him I'll see him in front of the traffic judge, and get my adjournment (if I can't talk the judge into ruling in my favour anyways) and perhaps see him again in a few weeks in front of a real judge.
We go into court, and I sit there reviewing my papers, reading a book, or making notes.
He realizes that Timmy Ho's is calling his name and he has no other cases in court. So he comes to me, we speak quietly in the courtroom, and he says he'll pull the ticket because he's "not going to waste his time coming back". That's all I wanted, so I waited until he said that in front of the judge, and called no evidence. (Never trust a cop, always wait until it is in front of the judge)
So anyone who wants to stand up for themselves here is the intel and the precedent to quote:
REGINA V. MICHAEL STEPHEN PODGER
Here is a cut and paste of the document. Basically if your ticket court date is older than 12 months from the ticket this gets you off with no questions asked. The court must abide by a higher or similar court's decision. The nice thing about this is that it is assumed there is a bias against you- the defendant and motorist. You do not have to prove there is as with some past precedents.
Look up more precedents that apply to your tickets at:http://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/jud...ase/index.html
The easiest way to win is by quoting a relevant precedent in your favor.
Good luck, and help each other out, dispute all your tickets. PM me for help with your specific case if you like.
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT OF THE HONOURABLE JUDGE WALLACE
Counsel for the Crown:
Appearing on his own behalf:
Place of Hearing:
Date of Judgment:
January 30, 2009
 THE COURT: The facts in this matter are that, firstly, the accused is a heavy equipment salesman and represented himself in this matter.
 On December 9th, 2007, Mr. Podger was given the ticket for changing lanes without signalling. That same date he wrote a letter to the "Ticket Dispute Processing Centre," in Victoria, advising that he wished to dispute the ticket. He subsequently received a letter dated December 31st, 2007, as a result of an inquiry by him of ICBC, indicating they registered the dispute on December 27th, 2007. Mr. Podger heard nothing else until early November 2008, when he received a notice dated October 31, 2008, that the hearing date for the dispute would be January 6, 2009.
 On November 26, 2008, Mr. Podger provided a notice to Crown counsel, the Attorney General, and the court registry, of his intention to argue that his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been breached. He also asked the Crown for disclosure of the case against him.
 By letter dated December 11, 2008, he was advised that the January 6, 2009, date had been set before a judicial justice of the peace who did not have authority to hear Charter arguments and therefore the matter needed to be set before a Provincial Court judge. Today, January 30, 2009, is the date set for this hearing before me.
 Mr. Podger argues that the time it has taken for this dispute to be heard has been too long and, therefore, his rights guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to have his trial without unreasonable delay have been breached. He calculates the delay as running from the date of the ticket, December 9, 2007, to today, which is 13 months and three weeks.
 Crown counsel takes the position that the delay runs from the time of the ticket until, as I understand it, the first hearing date. That is a total of 12 months and 27 days.
 Both parties have referred to the case of R. v. Morin from the Supreme Court of Canada as, I agree, the law binding on this court. The Morin decision indicates there are essentially four factors that need to be considered in assessing the delay here.
 First of all, the length of the delay. In this case, it is a substantial period of time, whether it is 13 months and three weeks or 12 months and 27 days. This is a long period of time, in my opinion, from the time of receiving a traffic ticket until finally getting into court to argue about it. The Crown argues that the difference in time between the accused's position and the Crown's position for calculation of delay is attributable to Mr. Podger's decision to make an argument under the Charter and therefore should not be considered as delay for this Charter argument. The right to make a argument such as this is the right of every citizen who is protected by the Charter. I find it is not a period of time that should be discounted as a result of his deciding to exercise his right to argue this matter. Therefore, I consider the delay to be 13 months and three weeks.
 The second point as set out in Morin is whether the person making the argument ever waived any of the time of delay. In this case, Mr. Podger has never indicated he could not proceed at any time and never waived any of the delay.
 The third element to be considered is the reasons for delay. Mr. Podger explained to the court that his understanding is that previously, these kind of disputes were booked at the court registry where they were going to be heard. Now there is a central processing centre for the tickets. I accept his evidence, having looked at the documents that are part of the court file now that, indeed, there is a central processing system and as a result of his filing his dispute, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia now handles dealing with these tickets. It appears, then, no evidence being presented to the contrary, that all the reasons for the delay are the process by which the dispute is handled and set down by ICBC.
 The fourth element and really the only element in dispute here is whether there has been prejudice to Mr. Podger as a result of this passage of time. Mr. Podger at one point indicated that the delay, in and of itself, is a prejudice to him. I must say on my review of the law, that that does not appear to be the law as it has evolved since the Morin decision. The courts seem to have decided that there has to be more than just the passage of time, although prejudice can be inferred from the passage of time in some particular circumstances.
 However, Mr. Podger has also indicated specific prejudice which he has suffered. First of all, he says that after such a long period of time, his memory is affected which prejudices his ability to give his evidence. By the time the notice appeared setting out the hearing date in January, he had essentially forgotten about it.
 He also indicates that because of the long delay, he had to take approximately three days off work to attend to the court and research the requirements for making this argument.
 He argues if this had been handled in a timely fashion, he would not have to bring the delay argument and the matter would have been resolved quickly and without the further costs that have been incurred by him in terms of time and effort.
 He also argues that there has been a degree of stress in preparing for this matter and dealing with the bureaucracy which is directly attributable to the delay. I accept that that is the case.
 He has also presented an argument to the court concerning how the change of the system of points against a driver's licence is dealt with. I do not find this is attributable to the delay here and, therefore, this does not carry any weight.
 Crown counsel submits, as I indicated, that there is a lesser delay than the applicant alleges. I do not find that the delay was the 12 months and 27 days but, rather, 13 months and three weeks.
 The Crown's position is that actual proof of prejudice has not been made. As I say, I do accept from the cases submitted by Crown that some actual prejudice must be shown, not just the delay itself.
 As well, Crown counsel points out that the onus is on Mr. Podger to prove on the balance of probabilities that a breach is made out and that there is no onus on the Crown to disprove any breach.
 Just for Mr. Podger's sake, so that he understands what that phrase means, "balance of probabilities," the burden that is on you, Mr. Podger, in raising a Charter argument means that you must prove to the court that it is more likely than not that your Charter rights were breached. That is all that phrase means.
 Mr. Podger had submitted some three cases regarding disputes of tickets and the Morin decision. Crown counsel submitted for the court's consideration 13 cases, some of which are concerned with traffic tickets, some of which are concerned with criminal law but deal with the issue of delay. What I conclude from my reading of all these cases quickly, (some of them I have read before), is that each case turns on its own facts.
 I find that in this case Mr. Podger did experience some actual prejudice as a result of the delay. By this I mean that as a result of waiting so long to advise him of when the hearing would take place, Mr. Podger had put the matter from his mind, thinking it was not going to be dealt with. As well, he then had to consider his position, having received the notice after so much time after the actual incident. I find this did cause a stress to him and also caused him to lose some days of work in preparing for this matter.
 I also infer there is a general prejudice to an individual from the passage of over a year in time because this length of time does affect a person's memory. Crown takes the position that when Mr. Podger disputed this matter he should have made some notes on which he could rely regarding the incident. In terms of making notes at the time, those of us involved in the justice system might automatically think that way. But I do not expect that citizens understand that they should make notes if they are going to be disputing the matter for a hearing somewhere down the road. It seems that Mr. Podger thought the matter would be heard quickly and, therefore, he would not have to make notes.
 I find that the applicant has made out all the elements from the Morin decision with respect to what I must consider to find there has been an unreasonable delay. I find that in this case, 13 months and three weeks is an unreasonable delay to get from the date of the offence, of such a minor offence, to a hearing.
 Next, I must next consider whether a judicial stay of proceedings is the appropriate remedy or not. The Morin decision and the cases that follow, all emphasize that there must be a balancing of the societal interest in proceeding versus the remedy that should be given to an individual as a result of having his Charter rights breached. As Mr. Podger has pointed out, this is a minor regulatory offence, not a criminal offence. Obviously a delay in bringing serious criminal offences to prosecution will be treated differently and society's interest will be given more weight than a case such as this in prosecuting a failing to signal a lane change, especially where there is no evidence that any harm resulted from it.
 Having knowledge of how matters are scheduled in this local courthouse when they are required to be set by the judicial case managers in this courthouse, I am sure that this matter would not have taken, without any delay on the part of the accused, 13 and three-quarter months to get a first hearing. However, the government has chosen to deal with this type of matter through a central booking system. Either cases get lost in the system for some period of time or the government has not dedicated enough resources to keep up with the number of disputes made. Accordingly, matters may not be dealt with in any kind of reasonable time. The Morin decision refers to the matter of where the government chooses to put its resources, where Mr. Justice Sopinka stated:
While account must be taken of the fact that the state does not have unlimited funds and other government programs compete for the available resources, this consideration cannot be used to render s. 11(b) meaningless. The Court cannot simply accede to the government's allocation of resources and tailor the period of permissible delay accordingly.
 It appears to me that the government has decided to save financial resources by somehow operating a central system for dealing with ticket disputes which it appears has led to a long delay in the matters being heard before the court. I accept what the Supreme Court of Canada said that individuals who are dealing with minor offences should not have to compromise their right to a speedy trial because the government decides it is going to do what is most efficient for them, without taking into account the stress and prejudice this brings to individuals dealing with what are in many cases very minor traffic offences in many cases, which is specifically the case here.
 Therefore, I find that the delay is unreasonable in all the circumstances and a judicial stay of proceedings is appropriate. I direct a judicial stay of proceedings be entered in this matter.