How To Submit a Traffic Ticket Request for Disclosure

In most municipalities, you will be told that you are not able to request disclosure until you receive your “Notice of Trial” in the mail. Ask the clerk what the location is, in which you must make your request for disclosure. If you do get a “Notice of Trial” you may find out who the prosecutor is and make arrangements to fax/mail the disclosure request form to them.


How long does it take to receive disclosure?

It normally takes four (4) to eight (8) weeks, after you have requested it (which takes place after you have received your Notice of Trial in the mail and you have filled out a “Disclosure Request Form” and handed it in to the appropriate office. You will receive it in the mail.

Can I wait 9 weeks before my scheduled trial, to submit the Disclosure Request Form?

Yes – but this should be the maximum amount of time you wait.

What happens if I have made the request for disclosure and I have not received it, prior to the scheduled trial?

If you have made the request, at least 9 weeks before the trial and you have not received it, it is important that you call the office at which you submitted the disclosure request (there will be contact information on the actual request form) and ask them when you’ll be receiving the disclosure in the mail. Don’t allow a clerk at that office to instruct you to show up to the office in person to receive your disclosure, insist that it is mailed to you. You have already exerted considerable energy in preparing for your case, the least they can do is mail you out the requested disclosure. This should be done at least two (2) weeks before the trial. Whatever you are told, should be written down (the name and position of the person who told you, as well as what that person told you and your response). It is important to chronicle the events as they happen, as the Court may demand details about your attempts to obtain disclosure in your particular case and you will be in a position to accurately answer any question asked of you.

If by the trial date I still have not received the Disclosure, what should I do?

If you made a “Request for Disclosure” to the appropriate office, after you received your Notice of Trial.
If you made this request at minimum of nine (9) weeks, prior to the scheduled trial date.
If you called up the office (at which you submitted your request for Disclosure) at least two weeks prior to the scheduled trial date, and requested (or insist if need be) that the Disclosure be sent to your residence.
If you have taken all of these steps above, and you show up for your trial date, you can request the following:

you can explain to the Court that you are not in any position to proceed, given that you have not received full disclosure (which is your right under section 7 of the Charter) and therefore can not make a full answer and defense to the charge which is scheduled for trial.

To proceed, without disclosure, would be very prejudicial to your case and as such you can request that the Justice of the Peace (your “Worship”) or the Judge (your “Honour”) provide a “Stay of Proceedings” with respect to the charge(s) that brought you to the Court to begin with. It is important to remember that it is the responsibility of the Justice of the Peace or the Judge to guard and protect the rights flowing from Section 7 of the Charter from any breach.

Typically, the Justice of the Peace/Judge will make inquiries about your attempts to obtain disclosure. He/She will ask what steps you took and on what dates, to achieve disclosure. You will have to explain that you received your Notice of Trial in the mail and then proceeded to the Court office to fill out and submit your “Request for Disclosure Form” (You should have a copy of the form, which has been received and stamped by the intake clerk) at this point you should hand the Prosecutor/Crown and the Justice of the Peace/Judge a copy of the stamped Request for Disclosure Form. You should then explain that you called the same office after the fact (at least two weeks prior to the scheduled trial) and reminded them that you had submitted a request for disclosure and were wondering how long it would take before you received it.

After you have provided an explanation, the Prosecutor/Crown will inform the Court how long it normally takes (to receive disclosure) to have a disclosure request acted upon and sent to the accused (you).

The same Prosecutor/Crown may suggest that since the Officer is present, that his/her notes can be photocopied and provided to you so you can review them for your trial, on the same day – Always object to receiving disclosure and expecting to participate in the trial on the very same day!

This is extremely inappropriate, and prejudicial, as you cannot be reasonably expected to have an adequate and sufficient amount of time to review the notes, prepare for your defense and argue the case, all within a span of an hour or two. Remember, the Attorney Generals, Federally and Provincially require a minimum of fifteen (15) days notice of anyone filing an “Application for Stay of Proceeding” pursuant to the Charter, so why would you only be provided with an hour or a few minutes, this is wholly inadequate, insufficient and unrealistic, to prepare for your case, upon receiving your disclosure request.

The ultimate remedy for lack of disclosure (see Stinchcombe, a Supreme Court Decision) in the spirit of the Stinchcombe decision, is a “Stay of Proceedings” (this means that the judicial matter comes to a stop, as the case will not proceed if the Court grants, what is commonly referred to as a “Stay”. If by your second appearance, the Crown/Prosecutor will have run out of excuses to adjourn the matter, yet again and if you request a “Stay” from the justice (Justice of the Peace) you will receive it. If you don’t request the stay, it will not be offered or given, you must insist upon it or demand it, before it is given to you.

It is more likely that the Prosecutor/Crown will request that the matter be adjourned (rescheduled) to the near future, giving his/her office and opportunity to have the disclosure you requested, to be delivered to you.

Lack of disclosure means you don’t know the full case against the accused (you) and that inhibits your preparation for trial.

You can argue that time has already elapsed and that you have had to take time off of work and that you would prefer that the entire matter by “stayed” and that you did not have to return to the court room again.

The Justice of the Peace/Judge will make the decision. If too much time (ie.- a year) has already elapsed (from the time that you were charged to the date of the trial) he/she may grant the “stay of proceedings” request, as the matter would have to be rescheduled again to a later date. Or, he/she may grant the Prosecutor’s/Judge’s request and agree to adjourn the matter (put it over to a later date).

It is important to keep in mind that the Justice of the Peace that will be hearing your matter, has an obligation to ensure that your rights under section 7 of the Charter are guarded and protected.


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