Automotive

Ask me anything about fighting your traffic ticket (Speeding, Parking, etc.)

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Feb 24, 2008
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xGambitx wrote:
May 21st, 2012 12:37 pm
Whats the point of getting the disclosure if the charges are there on the ticket? Seems as if you're just trying to go through a loop hole of buying time/delay/drop the ticket, won't the court see through your motive?
Yes, the charges are on the ticket, but wouldn't you want to know how an officer came to the conclusion that you were in violation of some law? Its everyone's legal right to request disclosure. This may appear to be a loop hole, but if the prosecutor is doing his job correctly, then there would be no loop hole to exploit.

What if there are witnesses at the scene of the incident. Would you not want to know the contact information for who gave statements to the police and also have a transcript of what was said or have the ability to interview a witness yourself? <-- Or would you rather find this all out during your trial?

There are 3 reasons you would want disclosure of the evidence against you:

1) To prepare a good defense

2) So you are not surprised at trial concerning any new evidence that might pop up.

3) If the prosecutor believes he does not have a case to convict you, this will be shown with in the disclosure material.

xGambitx wrote:
May 21st, 2012 12:37 pm
Also, its been months and I don't EXACTLY recall the officers face, I have an idea of what he looks like but if there are so multiple officers there will it be easy to spot him?

Thanks,
This is the reason why everyone needs to make notes of what happened when they receive a traffic ticket. Everything needs to be noted including the description of the police officer.


djino
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Jan 15, 2006
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Djino: My wife got a ticket last year April for allegedly doing an illegal U-Turn. Cop said he saw her do it on camera, but it took him a while before he pulled her over (she was waiting at a light when he finally came; around 3 mins). Of course she set a first attendance for the ticket and it has taken just shy of 13 months. She also faxed (6 weeks before the court date) in the request for disclosure and has yet to get a phone call from them, she called them last week and was told if they have the disclosure she will receive a call.

So two things that seem to be in her favor:

-First attendance is 13 months after the ticket was issued
-No disclosure received

What can she say at court to get off this? Will Form 4F be sufficient just due to the lengthy trail date?

Thx.
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EP32k2 wrote:
May 21st, 2012 1:24 pm
Djino: My wife got a ticket last year April for allegedly doing an illegal U-Turn. Cop said he saw her do it on camera, but it took him a while before he pulled her over (she was waiting at a light when he finally came; around 3 mins). Of course she set a first attendance for the ticket and it has taken just shy of 13 months. She also faxed (6 weeks before the court date) in the request for disclosure and has yet to get a phone call from them, she called them last week and was told if they have the disclosure she will receive a call.

So two things that seem to be in her favor:

-First attendance is 13 months after the ticket was issued
-No disclosure received

What can she say at court to get off this? Will Form 4F be sufficient just due to the lengthy trail date?

Thx.

Has a court date been set? Ie, has she received a notice of trial? Or is this First Attendance meeting the only notice she's received?

Yes, so far she has two items working in her favour to be granted a stay (no disclosure - section 7, and unreasonable delay - section 11 (b)), but if she has not received a notice of trial date, she should not file these applications just yet.

Your wife may feel VERY intimidated to accept a plea deal during this First Attendance meeting. They will say whatever they need to to insure she accepts a deal to avoid going to court. They will make it very tempting to accept a lesser fine or a lower charge. DO NOT LET HER FALL FOR IT. Remember any conviction here will result in your insurance premiums being raised. You already have 2 tools in your arsenal that you can use later to stay your trial. There is absolutely no reason for her to accept ANY kind of deal from the prosecutor during this meeting.

Once this first attendance meeting is done and over with and you have received notice of your trial date, Complete two applications to stay your trial (one for the unreasonable delay, and another for the no disclosure).

At trial, the prosecutor will most likely drop her charges knowing she has submitted two application to stay the trial, but if he doesn't, she will just need to tell the Justice this when the Justice asks how she wishes to plea.

That is about it. She is in good shape for her charges to be dropped/trial to be stayed.

djino
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Sorry meant to say she did her first attendance last year and her trial date took 13 months from the time she got her ticket. At that time the prosecutor did try to plea a deal with my wife and of course she didn't accept it.

I'll update later this week once she goes to court...LOL
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Apr 22, 2009
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I need some insight on how I should fight my first two tickets that I received, one late last year and one early this year. I have not sent in the request for a disclosure, I have received dates for both tickets. One is in June (not sure exactly when I need to look into this as I lost the letter they sent) and the other in August, I suppose I can send the disclosure and maybe get the trail delayed as you mentioned earlier in your thread.

1st Ticket

I was going in the HOV lane, yes it was my fault. I was heading back from work and I told the cop I needed to go to the washroom really bad. He asked me how my record was and at that time it was perfect (clean). Anyways he still proceeded and gave me my first ticket. So if the cop is there, I should just plead not guilty and tell them I REALLY had to go to the washroom? Anyways, any insight of the arguments I can use would be great.

2nd Ticket

my second ticket I received was in downtown, I rarely go to downtown as the traffic is hectic. I was proceeding to go take the QEW exit and didn't really see it until I was close so I made a right turn (into the exit) from the middle lane. Again, I know I made an illegal right turn and the police officer gave me the ticket. So if I plead not-guilty to this, what arguments should I use if the police officer shows up?

thanks in advance for any input,
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EP32k2 wrote:
May 21st, 2012 2:06 pm
Sorry meant to say she did her first attendance last year and her trial date took 13 months from the time she got her ticket. At that time the prosecutor did try to plea a deal with my wife and of course she didn't accept it.

I'll update later this week once she goes to court...LOL

She has her trial this week?

Since I assume she has not followed the formal process to request to stay your trial as I outline in post #2 (which requires at least 15 days prior to trial to complete), she will need to really argue it for the Justice. Although she is legally allowed to motion for a stay at trial (without going through the formal process), she may receive some push back from both Prosecutor/Justice.

She may want to lead with the unreasonable delay instead of no disclosure since her disclosure request was only 6 weeks prior. If her only argument was the no disclosure, the Justice simply might just adjourn her case (postpone it) until her disclosure request are fulfilled. But there is a great chance the trial will still be granted a stay due to unreasonable delay.

djino
"Goodluck!"
[OP]
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xGambitx wrote:
May 21st, 2012 2:32 pm
1st Ticket

I was going in the HOV lane, yes it was my fault. I was heading back from work and I told the cop I needed to go to the washroom really bad. He asked me how my record was and at that time it was perfect (clean). Anyways he still proceeded and gave me my first ticket. So if the cop is there, I should just plead not guilty and tell them I REALLY had to go to the washroom? Anyways, any insight of the arguments I can use would be great.
Yeah, you should really find out WHEN exactly the trial date is in June. You should immediately tomorrow morning fax in your disclosure request. At trial, hopefully the cop does NOT show up. If he does, you will need to make a motion to stay your trial due to no disclosure.

Prosecutor will argue that he either didn't receive it or that it came too late. Justice will agree, but should most likely adjourn your trial. Then you can hope that the your disclosure request is not fulfilled and/or the Cop doesn't show up at your second trial.

---

Needing to use the washroom badly is NOT a defense. As part of your disclosure request, the prosecutor will need to give you a copy of the by-law concerning the HOV lane (you should NOT specifically ask for this in hopes that he does NOT include it). So you could then either argue improper disclosure, OR wait until the prosecutor makes his case. If he doesn't bring forth the by-law then he has't presented enough evidence for a conviction. When its your turn to speak, you would Motion for Non-Suit as the prosecutor has not provided the minimum amount of evidence for a conviction.
xGambitx wrote:
May 21st, 2012 2:32 pm
2nd Ticket

my second ticket I received was in downtown, I rarely go to downtown as the traffic is hectic. I was proceeding to go take the QEW exit and didn't really see it until I was close so I made a right turn (into the exit) from the middle lane. Again, I know I made an illegal right turn and the police officer gave me the ticket. So if I plead not-guilty to this, what arguments should I use if the police officer shows up?

thanks in advance for any input,
Immediately Request Disclosure, request disclosure, request disclosure.

If you don't receive disclosure by the end of June, send in a second request for disclosure.

If you still don't receive disclosure by the end of July. Complete application to stay your trial for no disclosure.

If you do receive disclosure, come back to this thread at that time so I can assist in building a defense with the help of the disclosure material.


djino
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Jan 26, 2004
2 posts
Djino :
I received a "failure to stop ticket" while travelling on a country road in Alberta for $287. This is the first ticket I have ever recieved in my life. I did apply for and received disclosure. I basically received a photocopy of both sides of my ticket with a few notes from the PO on the back of the ticket. My trial is set for September. On the ticket under "Road" the PO wrote down "single lane". There are NO single lane roads within 20km of that place. Here's what happened. On a T shaped road I was travelling up the T bottom to the top and the PO was going right to left. I came to a stop and I saw him travelling towards me and he saw me. I guess The PO assumed I would wait for him to pass but my lane was clear so I proceeded to turn right. I'm pretty sure he was looking at his laptop when I turned and startled him. The PO even stated that he thought I almost hit him. All roads in the area are NARROW country 2 WAY roads.

Do you think I have a chance in court?

Can I use the PO assumption that the road was one way in court? Would that be considered a fatal flaw?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Oct 9, 2003
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Just the thread I'm looking for.

Got a parking ticket this weekend in Toronto. Busted my ass down to the office just in time on Friday to request a trial date. I live in Ottawa however, does that mean I'll have to show up in Toronto when my trial date is set?? Any way to get out of it w/ a reduced fine?? :o
[OP]
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warren buffet wrote:
May 21st, 2012 4:08 pm
Djino :
I received a "failure to stop ticket" while travelling on a country road in Alberta for $287. This is the first ticket I have ever recieved in my life. I did apply for and received disclosure. I basically received a photocopy of both sides of my ticket with a few notes from the PO on the back of the ticket. My trial is set for September. On the ticket under "Road" the PO wrote down "single lane". There are NO single lane roads within 20km of that place. Here's what happened. On a T shaped road I was travelling up the T bottom to the top and the PO was going right to left. I came to a stop and I saw him travelling towards me and he saw me. I guess The PO assumed I would wait for him to pass but my lane was clear so I proceeded to turn right. I'm pretty sure he was looking at his laptop when I turned and startled him. The PO even stated that he thought I almost hit him. All roads in the area are NARROW country 2 WAY roads.

Do you think I have a chance in court?

Lets look at two items from what you written above: Disclosure Received and your Defense.

Disclosure

What did your request for disclosure specifically? Do you get less than what you asked for? I'm not sure about the by-laws in your jurisdiction, but here is something you may want to look into concerning Ontario that might be of interest.

Section 137
Stop signs, erection at intersections
137. In addition to stop signs required at intersections on through highways, (a) the council of a municipality may by by-law provide for the erection of stop signs at intersections on highways under its jurisdiction; and
(b) the Minister may by regulation designate intersections on the King's Highway at which stop signs shall be erected,
and every sign so erected shall comply with the regulations of the Ministry.
It basically states that there should be a by-law creating stop signs. Even without specifically requesting the by-law document, the prosecutor is supposed to give you a copy within disclosure. So if this the case in Alberta, you could apply for a stay by arguing Improper Disclosure.

Your Defense

Should you proceed to trial in which you cannot get a stay or adjournment, then you will have the opportunity to question the officer. According to your description of the events, you say you did stop, but the police officer says you did not. I also assume from your description that the police offer wasn't sitting hiding making sure everyone stops, but that he was visible and actually driving through the intersection, this is correct?

You may want to review the following which will guide you in to the questions/answers you will want to ask the police officer when he gets on the stand. I mentioned in the OP that most traffic offences are strict liability offences. You can be successful here if you are able to argue due diligence (that you took reasonable steps to avoid committing the offence).

http://ticketcombat.com/stopsign/duediligence.php

Note: I have edited a bit of the script to go inline with your situation.
Example Cross-Examination

Q. Were you facing the vehicle as it approached the intersection or were you off to the side?

A. I was driving across the intersection going Westbound on somestreet


Q. Were you visible to traffic as the vehicle approached?

A. Yes.


Q. Did you see the vehicle slow down?

A. Yes, but it didn't stop at the sign.


Q. We'll get to that in a minute. So you saw the vehicle slow down?

A. Yes.
So the police offer here admits that you slowed down. He also admits that he was visible, so you are also less likely to run the stop sign and come to a complete stop having seen the police officer at the intersection.
Q. How fast was the vehicle going?

A. 10km/h.


Q. Do you think you had a better perspective of whether the vehicle stopped watching from where you were located or did the occupant driving the vehicle have a better perspective?

A. I would say I did.


Q. So you are in a better position to see if the vehicle stopped?

A. Yes.


Q. So the driver may think he has stopped but you could see whether he has or not?

A. Yes.
You have just got the police officer to admit that you 'believed' you stopped when you actually had not. This proves your intention was too stop especially since the police officer was visible to oncoming traffic (otherwise you would not have slowed down). <-- Due Diligence defense.
warren buffet wrote:
May 21st, 2012 4:08 pm
Can I use the PO assumption that the road was one way in court? Would that be considered a fatal flaw?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately that would not be considered a fatal flaw.

Before getting into the questions and answers as I stated above, you may want to test the officer's recollection of the events. Does he recall the make/model/colour of your vehicle? Does he recall how many passengers were in the vehicle? Does he recall what the weather was like (you should make sure to get a copy of a weather report for the day the offence occured).


djino
"I hope that's enough to get you started on a defense. Goodluck!"
[OP]
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litebrite wrote:
May 21st, 2012 4:22 pm
Just the thread I'm looking for.

Got a parking ticket this weekend in Toronto. Busted my ass down to the office just in time on Friday to request a trial date. I live in Ottawa however, does that mean I'll have to show up in Toronto when my trial date is set?? Any way to get out of it w/ a reduced fine?? :o

It might be too late to follow this example, but this is what one should do when attempting to fight a parking ticket....

A parking ticket will give you 2 week due date (15 days), but you actually have 17 days. YOU NEED TO IGNORE IT ( you do not pay it, you do not request a trial, you do nothing - for now).

As per the Provincial Offences Act, s.18, they must send you a Notice of Impending Conviction after 17 days has elapse but no more than 36 days. (no you are NOT convicted yet).

YOU then have another 15 days to respond ( by either paying the fine or requesting a trial). Which means this can take up to Day 58 since receiving the parking infraction ticket.

On the 15th day (due date) of the Notice of Impending Conviction is where you should Request a trial. Why??

Provincial Offences Act, s.18.1(2) states that the city must submit ALL paperwork to the court within 75 days of receiving the parking infraction. Since you have waited until Day 58 to request a trial, they only have 17 days to do this.. If they don't, is a valid reason to have your parking ticket dropped.

-----------

So I assume you requested a trial on the 15th day of receiving the parking infraction, which means the city has 60 days to submit this to the court which has a higher chance of happening since you made the request too early.

But in the chance that they DO NOT do this within the 75 days, you can get the Justice to squash the charge. You would tell the Justice:
Section 17(2) of the Provincial Offences Act requires court documents to be filed within 75 days. They have not done this. You must quash the charge.
-----------

How much is the parking ticket? Depending on the fine (if more than $25), there is another pre-trial strategy I can talk about.

----------

There are also some trial strategies you can take advantage of depending on when you requested a trial (if you requested it on the parking infraction or on the notice of impending conviction).

-----------

Yes you will need to return to Toronto to have your day in court. So it may not be worth it to you especially since a conviction on a parking infraction HAS NO affect on your insurance. This is not to say you shouldn't bother. Going to court on a parking ticket can give you some good court experience for when you have to attend on a more serious charge.


djino
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djino wrote:
May 21st, 2012 5:45 pm
It might be too late to follow this example, but this is what one should do when attempting to fight a parking ticket....

A parking ticket will give you 2 week due date (15 days), but you actually have 17 days. YOU NEED TO IGNORE IT ( you do not pay it, you do not request a trial, you do nothing - for now).

As per the Provincial Offences Act, s.18, they must send you a Notice of Impending Conviction after 17 days has elapse but no more than 36 days. (no you are NOT convicted yet).

YOU then have another 15 days to respond ( by either paying the fine or requesting a trial). Which means this can take up to Day 58 since receiving the parking infraction ticket.

On the 15th day (due date) of the Notice of Impending Conviction is where you should Request a trial. Why??

Provincial Offences Act, s.18.1(2) states that the city must submit ALL paperwork to the court within 75 days of receiving the parking infraction. Since you have waited until Day 58 to request a trial, they only have 17 days to do this.. If they don't, is a valid reason to have your parking ticket dropped.

-----------

So I assume you requested a trial on the 15th day of receiving the parking infraction, which means the city has 60 days to submit this to the court which has a higher chance of happening since you made the request too early.

But in the chance that they DO NOT do this within the 75 days, you can get the Justice to squash the charge. You would tell the Justice:



-----------

How much is the parking ticket? Depending on the fine (if more than $25), there is another pre-trial strategy I can talk about.

----------

There are also some trial strategies you can take advantage of depending on when you requested a trial (if you requested it on the parking infraction or on the notice of impending conviction).

-----------

Yes you will need to return to Toronto to have your day in court. So it may not be worth it to you especially since a conviction on a parking infraction HAS NO affect on your insurance. This is not to say you shouldn't bother. Going to court on a parking ticket can give you some good court experience for when you have to attend on a more serious charge.


djino
"Please respond to the questions above and I'll provide more feedback!"

Wow this is good to know for the future. I was quite flustered when I got the ticket because I had put money into the meter (this was a traditional meter, not the pay stations) and no time was registered. Other cars parked in front of me had no tickets and a 2nd metre further down was flashing with no time registered so I thought it would be fine. I thought I'd take my chances. And when I got the ticket I was so mad the first instinct was to book it to the office to file a dispute of some sort.

The ticket was $30. I am thinking I probably won't go back to fight it, especially if they schedule me for a weekday.

Do you think filling this form and sending it in: http://www.toronto.ca/pay-toronto-ticke ... cation.pdf

will help my chances of getting the ticket cancelled??

And in doing google searches, it sounds like in 2008 there was an article written saying the courts are so backed up that parking tickets rarely make it to court. Hoping it's still the same situation in 2012...
[OP]
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litebrite wrote:
May 21st, 2012 8:52 pm
Do you think filling this form and sending it in: http://www.toronto.ca/pay-toronto-ticke ... cation.pdf

will help my chances of getting the ticket cancelled??

And in doing google searches, it sounds like in 2008 there was an article written saying the courts are so backed up that parking tickets rarely make it to court. Hoping it's still the same situation in 2012...

I don't have experience with the resolution process of a parking infraction dispute, so I cannot say what your expected outcome will be.

But I suppose it doesn't hurt to try this path. If you do, please let me know the result.

djino
"Thanks!"
[OP]
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WHEN YOU SHOULD DO NOTHING (Don't Pay Fine, Don't Request A Trial)

As I mention in the OP, the first thing you should do when you get a traffic ticket is Request a Trial. Though there are a few exceptions to this rule.

1) Incorrect calculation of fine

- If you get a speeding ticket, there is a set fine that should be displayed on the ticket. Please verify your charge with the corresponding charge located here.

If it appears that the calculation is incorrect then this can be Considered a Fatal flaw. BUT!, you cannot argue AT TRIAL that the fine is incorrect in hopes the Justice drops charges as the Justice can and will correct the charges then. This is the reason why you need to do NOTHING when you receive the ticket.

You will eventually be found guilty by default. Though before the Justice convicts you by default, he/she is supposed to verify the fine amount is accurate and if its not, they are too squash the charge (drop the ticket = you are not convicted).

POA section 9(1)b
where the certificate of offence is not complete and regular on its face, the justice shall quash the proceeding.
Though often the Justice may overlook this and convict you anyway. If this happens, you need to appeal based on the error of law. At this point, your ticket can no longer be amended.

http://ticketcombat.com/offences/fines.php
You can argue on appeal that the error was fatal. It won't be hard to do. You simply show the court your math skills and state what the correct fine should have been
2) Parking Tickets

A parking ticket will give you a 2 week due date (15 days), but you actually have 17 days. YOU NEED TO IGNORE IT ( you do not pay it, you do not request a trial, you do nothing - for now).

As per the Provincial Offences Act, s.18, they must send you a Notice of Impending Conviction after 17 days has elapse but no more than 36 days. (no you are NOT convicted yet).

YOU then have another 15 days to respond ( by either paying the fine or requesting a trial). Which means this can take up to Day 58 since receiving the parking infraction ticket.

On the 15th day (due date) of the Notice of Impending Conviction is where you should Request a trial. Why??

Provincial Offences Act, s.18.1(2) states that the city must submit ALL paperwork to the court within 75 days of receiving the parking infraction. Since you have waited until Day 58 to request a trial, they only have 17 days to do this.. If they don't, is a valid reason to have your parking ticket dropped.

But in the chance that they DO NOT do this within the 75 days, you can get the Justice to squash the charge. You would tell the Justice:
Section 17(2) of the Provincial Offences Act requires court documents to be filed within 75 days. They have not done this. You must quash the charge.
----

ALSO NOTE: When you receive your notice of trial, use this specific Parking infraction Disclosure Request sample letter and send it to the Prosecutor requesting disclosure of the evidence against you. This will indicate when the city filed your ticket with the court along with some other info that will be presented at trial:
DISCLOSURE REQUEST

Date: TODAY’S DATE

ADDRESS OF THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE

Court Date: YOUR COURT DATE
Location: COURT LOCATION
Defendant: YOUR NAME
Offence Number: YOUR OFFENCE NUMBER
Charge: WHAT THE CHARGE IS


________________________________________________________

General Request
With regard to the above matter and in light of the guidelines set out in R. v. Stinchcombe, 1991 CANLII 45 (S.C.C.), and subsequent cases, I am requesting that you provide me with all relevant information and documentation so that I may prepare my defence against the above charge and make full answer.

Specific Request
Without limiting the generality of the above request, I ask that you also include:
  • the documentation to commence the parking infraction proceeding;
  • the date the proceeding was commenced;
  • the officer's copy of the Parking Infraction Notice (both sides);
  • the Certificate of Parking Infraction;
  • any evidence of ownership;
  • a typed copy of the officer's notes (both sides) and an explanation of any notations or abbreviations.
Missing Information
I also request that you advise me of any information, which is not being disclosed and an explanation for such non-disclosure.

If you require further information from me or have any questions regarding my request for disclosure please do not hesitate to contact me.


_________SIGN HERE________

YOUR NAME
YOUR ADDRESS
When you do receive disclosure, reply to this thread so we can come up with a plan for trial.

djino
"UPDATED OP!"
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May 21, 2012
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Received a hand written speeding ticket but the officer did not sign it. Filled everything else out correctly but no signature in the box where they are suppose to sign. I selected the option to set a trial and that was back in the beginning of January. I still have yet to hear anything back from them. Nothing in the mail. I'm concerned to phone them as if it was lost in their process I don't want to remind them. However if it was lost in the mail I could be in trouble if they set a court date. Though maybe they just tossed it out because they saw this fatal error. But would they notify you if they did so? Hmmm if it passes 8 months without a court date set then how should I proceed? As the right to a speedy trail has been violated.
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