The previous section explained that in order to convict you of a parking infraction the city must submit to the court a Certificate of Parking Infraction and provide evidence of ownership from the Ministry of Transportation.

Did they do this? Did they do it in time? You have no way of verifying this unless you see the documents yourself.

Sections 17(3), 17.1(7), 18.1(3) and 18.1.1(2.1) (remember, only one section will apply to you) require the municipality to submit this evidence. The Provincial Offences Act explicitly uses the term "evidence". This simple fact, that it is evidence that will be used against you to obtain a conviction, makes it subject to disclosure.

You must be able to see the evidence before your trial. You must be able to examine the certificate to know whether it is correct and completed properly. You must know if MTO certified that the licence plate is yours. How can you possibly raise a competent defence without exploring all the aspects to your parking charge?

Step 4 explains what disclosure is. The only way you are going to find out if they commenced a proceeding against you correctly is to request disclosure. And you can count on them not providing you with this information!

No one in the system thinks about this. They are not expecting a disclosure request from you for a parking ticket. They think all you need to know is the date, time and location of the offence. Then they will have an officer testify he saw your vehicle parked at a specific location and that it violated the sign that was posted on the street. This is how they have obtained parking ticket convictions for years. It's their game and you're not going to play it.

Disclosure RequestThe disclosure request on the right (click the image) is specifically designed for parking tickets. It asks for the minimum evidence that must be presented in court plus additional information that will assist you to prepare your defence.

You can reasonably expect that your disclosure request will be ignored or all that they will provide is a copy of the officer's notes. However be cautious if you believe your municipality will provide all the information you ask for. In that case it is better not to ask for everything or to list what you are expecting to receive.

As Step 4 explains, one of the reasons you request disclosure is so that you don't receive a complete response or any response at all. You can then apply for a stay based on insufficient disclosure. The last thing you want is full disclosure. If you list what you are expecting to receive and they give it to you, you have lost an opportunity to stay your charge.

On the other hand, you want to demonstrate to the court that you actively sought the statutory evidence in order to prepare your defence. By listing all the items you show the court that you were keenly aware of the minimum requirements and that you were eager to obtain them to check the validity of the proceeding and explore all possible defences. If you don't receive the information you wanted, you cannot raise a full answer to the charge and your right to a fair trial is impeded.

Given that it is a parking charge, that most municipalities cannot be bothered providing full disclosure or are not aware of what is required, the fact that you list the items should not trigger a thorough response at all. But be aware that this strategy could backfire. You will have to decide how much you should ask for based on how competent you believe your city is.

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