Non-Resident Fighting an Ontario Ticket
I live in the United States or another Province/Territory or Country? I received a ticket in Ontario, while vacationing there. Can I dispute the ticket, without having to actually attend a court for a trial in Ontario?
Yes. There is a mechanism that allows those motorists, who don’t live in the district, province/terrority or country to dispute a ticket (in writing) without having to actually attend a scheduled trial date in an Ontario courtroom.
The mechanism is found in Section 6. (1) of the Provincial Offences Act, (see PART I – Commencement of Proceedings by Certificate of Offence) it reads as follows:
6. (1) Dispute without appearance – Where an offence notice is served on a defendant whose address as shown on the certificate of offence is outside the country or district in which the office of the court specified in the notice is situate, and the defendant wishes to dispute the charge but does not wish to attend or be represented at a trial, the defendant may do so by signifying that intention on the offence notice and delivering the offence notice to the office of the court specified in the notice and delivering the offence notice to the office of the court specified in the notice together with a written dispute setting out with reasonable particularity the defendant’s dispute and any facts upon which the defendant relies.
(2) Disposition- Where an offence notice is delivered under subsection (1), a justice shall, in the absence of the defendant, consider the dispute and,
(a) where the dispute raises an issue that may constitute a defence, direct a hearing; or
(b) where the dispute does not raise an issue that may constitute a defence, convict the defendant and impose the set fine.
(3) Hearing- Where the justice directs a hearing under subsection (2), the court shall hold the hearing and shall, in the absence of the defendant, consider the evidence in the light of the issues raised in the dispute, and acquit the defendant or convict the defendant and impose the set fine or such lesser fine as is permitted by law.
(4) Application of the section- This section applies in such part or parts on Ontario as are prescribed by the regulations.
This section does not apply to all parts of Ontario (s.6.4). If the address on your driver’s license indicates that you live outside the district, province, territory or country of the district with respect to the address of the court, then this applies to you.
You would have to sit down and write up a “defence” to the ticket you received (remember the 5 w’s- who, what , where, when and why) and hand deliver (unless the specific court with allow you to mail it in) it along with the ticket (this is the “offence notice”) to the court office in that area. This should reach the court office within 15 days of receiving the ticket.
The Justice of the Peace (the “justice”) will review the ticket and your written explanation (your defence). If the justice does not believe that your written defence raises any issues that could constitute a defence, then you will be convicted and the set fine will be imposed. You’ll receive a letter in the mail indicating that you were convicted with a request to pay the fine.
If the justice believes that your written explanation raises an issue which could constitute a defence to the allegation (the grounds on which the person who issued the ticket believes to be in violation of a municipal by-law, the Highway Traffic Act / Provincial Offences Act then a hearing will be scheduled to hear your written defence to the charge(s).
Once the hearing takes place, depending on the evidence presented and the explanation received by the court, you will either be convicted or acquitted. If convicted, a fine will be imposed and you will receive notice in the mail. If acquitted, the charge(s) will be dropped.
Parking Tickets issued in Ontario to out of Province, out of Country driver’s:
Parking ticket fines cannot be collected by any City in the Province of Ontario, for vehicles that bear a licence plate issued in another Province/Territory in Canada or State or Country. See Post.