Court not allowed to lower set fine amount
TORONTO – A justice of the peace wants to challenge Toronto’s bylaw that people should have to pay the set fine amount on parking tickets.
Patrick Marum told those in his Markham Rd. courtroom Monday morning to deal with parking tickets that he didn’t think it was fair to take a day off work to pay, and with little or no law experience, to foot the full price of the ticket. Marum reduced fines for the tickets before him unless they were withdrawn.
A records management company named Iron Mountain appeared in court on Oct. 17, 2014 to fight six parking tickets — ranging from $40 to $15 — in exchange for a guilty plea. The fines were reduced by a justice of the peace. The City of Toronto appealed one of those fines and a judge’s decision issued in July declared Iron Mountain should pay the set price on the ticket, according to the city.
WHAT MARUM SAYS:
— Ordering the people of Toronto to pay the full amount of the ticket for disputed parking matters while others in Ontario have more flexibility is unfair.
— “It seems to me that the City of Toronto bylaw is a step lower than the provincially enacted laws and … a bylaw should not have the authority to overrule a provincial law or any of its sections.”
— He wants to make sure unrepresented defendants have their rights protected.
— Offences committed prior to the Iron Mountain decision — as were the ones Marum heard Monday — are not governed by that decision, even if that decision is correct.
CITY SPOKESMAN JOHN GOSGNACH WITH INFO FROM LEGAL SERVICES:
— A justice of the peace of the Ontario Court of Justice cannot overrule the decision of a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice (Iron Mountain was decided by a judge). Also, a decision of a justice of the peace is not binding on a fellow justice of the peace.
— “I’m told that the higher court ruling about Iron Mountain still stands. (Monday’s) action did not set a new precedent.”
— The fixed fines can be found in the Municipal Code Chapter 950, Section 950-1201.
— The fixed fines were first introduced in 2011 and amends the previous Chapter 950 municipal code. On Jan. 23, 2014, the amendment came into effect.
PEOPLE IN THE COURT FIGHTING TICKETS:
— A man named Dean brought his mother’s death certificate as an explanation for why he had been illegally parked at Scarborough Grace Hospital. Without hearing the reason, Marum reduced the ticket from $30 to $10. “In some instances, yeah, they should reduce the fine,” Dean said. “I have to go pay for parking right now. Plus the gas money to get here in the first place. But instead of going into the whole spiel, better just to pay the $10.”
— Ernest D’Souza, 64, fought the first parking ticket he received in 32 years of living in Toronto. The back of his car was jutting four feet from the curb. His ticket was reduced from $50 to $30. “A lot of people cannot afford to pay,” D’Souza said. “I am losing $100 for not going to work to argue this $50 ticket.”