It happens.

A snow storm.  A traffic accident.  Can’t find parking close to the court.  Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the gods conspire against us and prevent us from travelling from Point A to Point B on time.   Then you rush into court to find out that your matter has already been judged without you and you were found Guilty.  Now what?

The Justice of the Peace must sign a “Record of Re-Opening Application” and a “Certificate Striking Out Conviction” before they can hear the matter.  The reason why is that the court has become functus officio.  It is a Latin term meaning “having discharged one’s duty.”  Once you are convicted, that’s it.  The court no longer has the power to hear the matter.  [There is another reason:  it creates an administrative nightmare for the Clerk of the Court if they don’t have those forms signed.]  However, under the Rules of the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) in Provincial Offences Proceedings (Revised Regulations of Ontario, Regulation 200, The Courts of Justice Act), you can make a motion without notice under section 7(6) to request a re-opening under section 11 of the Provincial Offences Act.

Normally, when you do it the long way, you have 15 days from having knowledge of the conviction to bring a form called an “Affidavit in Support of a Request for Reopening” to swear in front of a Justice of the Peace where it will take up to 2 hours (I’ve even heard of up to 3 hours) of your time during the day to wait your turn.  The Justice of the Peace may reject your Affidavit, accept the Affidavit and accept your plea of guilty to a lesser and included offence or fine, accept the Affidavit and issue a Notice of Trial, or give any such order as the Justice of the Peace sees fit.   Then you wait for another day to get justice.

The motion short-cut that I have  mentioned above doesn’t require an Affidavit due to section 46(4) of the Provincial Offences Act.  Simply put, if you and the Prosecutor agree to a set of facts, you don’t need proof or evidence to make your point.  Getting the Prosecutor to agree is the key here.

But why didn’t you hire a Paralegal in the first place, so you don’t have to endure this kind of hassle? Call toll-free at 1-855-566-4089 to book your appointment today.