How To Request Disclosure

Requesting disclosure is simple and easy. It can be made by mailing or faxing the Prosecutor's Office in the court location where your trial will be held. Your notice of trial will have that address at the top of the page. When he receives your request, the prosecutor will then make a formal request to the police officer.

Depending on the municipality, you will either receive a telephone call to come pick up the material or it will be mailed to you. Please note that most jurisdictions will not mail it.

Here is a disclosure form that you can use. If you live in Toronto, here are the address, telephone and fax numbers for the Toronto prosecutors' offices.

Your jurisdiction may also offer a disclosure form to use.[1] Do not use it! At first glance you may think their simple form is really convenient and straightforward to complete. If it has not been easy for you up until now to even request a trial, why would they start being so helpful all of a sudden? Don't be fooled by this trap. By completing their disclosure request form, all you complete is your information and the ticket number. There is no room to actually state what you want. That puts the ball in their court to provide you with whatever they deem to be relevant since you haven't asked for anything specific.

There are several reasons for requesting disclosure:

  • to examine the evidence against you;
  • to ask for extensive information so that they cannot possibly reply; and
  • to use their non-response as grounds to dismiss your charge.

Always make your own disclosure request and specify in detail what you want. For safety, if you fax your disclosure request, you should keep a copy of the fax confirmation page or better still, deliver it in person and swear an affidavit that you delivered it. This does not cost anything and can be completed by a commissioner of oaths at the court house.


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Your disclosure request should include a reasonable return date (diary date) of seven days for Canada Post to deliver it (if you don't fax it) plus 15 days for the prosecutor to gather the information. You should request disclosure well in advance of your trial so that you have enough time to review it and also enough time to request further follow up information.

You must be vigilant with following up. The City of Toronto can take between four and eight weeks to respond to a disclosure request. At trial, the justice will be looking for evidence that you simply didn't fax in a request but that you actively sought disclosure. This will make your argument for improper disclosure more convincing. After your diary date has expired, send another follow-up fax requesting disclosure again.

If you put your telephone number on the disclosure request, expect a call from the prosecutor's office offering all sorts of excuses and explanations like they don't provide disclosure before a trial is scheduled, or that it will take several more weeks to prepare the material or that the officer hasn't responded yet. None of this will be in writing and you won't have any proof that they said any of it to you. That's why it is recommended that you not include your phone number on the disclosure request form. It will force them to put any communication with you in writing.

Even if you do get a telephone call, unless you get adequate disclosure, send them another follow-up! It will demonstrate to the justice that you were actively trying to prepare your defence and that the prosecutor is at fault.

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1. The City of London includes a disclosure request form with the Notice of Trial.