Automotive

Brampton parking tickets will no longer be disputed in court

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[OP]
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Nov 1, 2006
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Brampton parking tickets will no longer be disputed in court

Saw this on CTV website today: Brampton parking tickets will no longer be disputed in court

While they're trying to make it sound like a positive thing, it looks like it's designed to maximise the revenues from fines and to reduce the possibility of charges being thrown out or reduced in court.

So parking tickets are no longer fines that can be disputed in court in front of a JP, according to this. They are administrative penalties and are dealt with by City staff only. Apparently, Toronto is considering such a system as well. Other municipalities already have them: Mississauga, Vaughan, Burlington and Oshawa.
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Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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Jimbobs wrote: Saw this on CTV website today: Brampton parking tickets will no longer be disputed in court

While they're trying to make it sound like a positive thing, it looks like it's designed to maximise the revenues from fines and to reduce the possibility of charges being thrown out or reduced in court.

So parking tickets are no longer fines that can be disputed in court in front of a JP, according to this. They are administrative penalties and are dealt with by City staff only. Apparently, Toronto is considering such a system as well. Other municipalities already have them: Mississauga, Vaughan, Burlington and Oshawa.
Or it is designed to allow residents to appeal their tickets in a reasonable amount of time so that all the facts are straight and allow for a reasonable decision, rather than a confusing system that seems daunting for many to navigate.

You can look at it both ways - you can choose to look at it negatively, but that's just blindly ignoring that there are positives to it as well. Not to mention it no longer consumes a very expensive process for appealing tickets that are really minor in nature and carry no long-term consequences.
[OP]
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Nov 1, 2006
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The "old" process was a legal charge followed by a legal process with case law, legislation, the constitution, etc. The "new" process is an administrative process with a set of administrative rules. The wheels of justice in the old process may grind slowly but grind they do, starting with an assumption of innocence. The new process assumes you're guilty because you got a ticket and moves from there.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 11, 2006
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Jimbobs wrote: The "old" process was a legal charge followed by a legal process with case law, legislation, the constitution, etc. The "new" process is an administrative process with a set of administrative rules. The wheels of justice in the old process may grind slowly but grind they do, starting with an assumption of innocence. The new process assumes you're guilty because you got a ticket and moves from there.
Lol. When it comes to traffic tickets, no matter what system and how you want to use law, Constitution, etc. as an excuse to justify, there was always a presumption of guilt. Only in Criminal law, does the catchphrase that everybody likes to use to justify this waste of taxpayers' money, does "innocent until proven guilty" apply.
[OP]
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kenchau wrote: Lol. When it comes to traffic tickets, no matter what system and how you want to use law, Constitution, etc. as an excuse to justify, there was always a presumption of guilt. Only in Criminal law, does the catchphrase that everybody likes to use to justify this waste of taxpayers' money, does "innocent until proven guilty" apply.
Agreed. The fact that you received a ticket means you must be guilty and therefore have a fine to pay. After all, parking and/or police officers don't have any reason to give out tickets unless they were deserved :razz:
Deal Fanatic
Apr 11, 2006
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Jimbobs wrote: Agreed. The fact that you received a ticket means you must be guilty and therefore have a fine to pay. After all, parking and/or police officers don't have any reason to give out tickets unless they were deserved :razz:
Well, I'm not saying all tickets are deserved and that people receiving tickets are in fact guilty. I'm just saying that once a ticket is issued, the recipient is assumed to be guilty. As a result, the whole, "innocent until proven guilty" moniker does not apply to traffic tickets.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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Jimbobs wrote: The "old" process was a legal charge followed by a legal process with case law, legislation, the constitution, etc. The "new" process is an administrative process with a set of administrative rules. The wheels of justice in the old process may grind slowly but grind they do, starting with an assumption of innocence. The new process assumes you're guilty because you got a ticket and moves from there.
And why should something so minor as a parking ticket be made to follow the same legal procedures that an actual criminal charge should?
[OP]
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TrevorK wrote: And why should something so minor as a parking ticket be made to follow the same legal procedures that an actual criminal charge should?
Why not? If it is a legal matter, it should be dealt with by the judicial system. Because it's minor, it's handled by a Justice of the Peace rather than a Judge.
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Jimbobs wrote: Why not? If it is a legal matter, it should be dealt with by the judicial system. Because it's minor, it's handled by a Justice of the Peace rather than a Judge.
Why is a parking ticket a legal matter that requires use of an expensive justice system?

To me, considering the offense and the potential punishment for it, it seems like more an administrative penalty like other bylaw tickets than an expensive legal matter like a shoplifting charge. We already have a system in place to deal with bylaw tickets, and these should be (in my opinion) treated the same way because parking violations are much more similar to other bylaw infractions than a speeding ticket which has other consequences (demerits, insurance increase, etc.).
[OP]
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TrevorK wrote: Why is a parking ticket a legal matter that requires use of an expensive justice system?
I assume it was always that way until municipalities discovered they could actually generate revenue from parking penalties. Once they discovered that, they decided that they could make even more money by reducing the costs of enforcing their rules. Anyway, the point of my post was to simply point out that they have changed the way they deal with tickets.
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Jimbobs wrote: I assume it was always that way until municipalities discovered they could actually generate revenue from parking penalties. Once they discovered that, they decided that they could make even more money by reducing the costs of enforcing their rules. Anyway, the point of my post was to simply point out that they have changed the way they deal with tickets.
Was there a time when municipalities did not receive the revenue from parking tickets?

The point of your initial post was to provide your opinion, which was clearly slanted towards one side and did not consider any other side:
While they're trying to make it sound like a positive thing, it looks like it's designed to maximise the revenues from fines and to reduce the possibility of charges being thrown out or reduced in court.
It would be unreasonable to expect others not to also provide their opinion the same way you did, rather than just comment something like "Good article".
[OP]
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TrevorK wrote: The point of your initial post was to provide your opinion, which was clearly slanted towards one side and did not consider any other side:
While they're trying to make it sound like a positive thing, it looks like it's designed to maximise the revenues from fines and to reduce the possibility of charges being thrown out or reduced in court.
It would be unreasonable to expect others not to also provide their opinion the same way you did, rather than just comment something like "Good article".
You're right and wrong. My initial post is, I admit, a little ambivalent and, as you can see, was edited shortly after I wrote it. I saw the article on the CTV website while looking at something else. I searched the Automotive forum to see if this had previously been mentioned and when I saw it hadn't I decided to post it. afterwards I went to the Brampton website and read some other stuff. But I didn't really want to get into a debate about it but guess I failed in that regard :(

Anyway, in general, I believe in checks and balances and don't believe that the people running administration and enforcement of the parking system should have control over the adjudication of disputes, disagreements, etc. I prefer a system where an independent adjudicator deals with disputes. With AMPS, there is no independent adjudication and no appeal process. It is also a slippery slope. Today, its municipalities and parking tickets. Tomorrow its the province and the HTA, etc.
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Markham has moved to this "AMPs" system as well - https://goo.gl/8xDj7i. Started handing out these administrative tickets earlier this year. It's just a way to sidestep the costly provincial courts to get to their revenue more efficently. We all know and understand why it was done and let them proceed with it. I always hate this erosion of due process. The conflict of interest is mind boggling, just reading the documentation as they try to make their justification for why their hired adjudicators are independent is crazy...
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Jimbobs wrote: It is also a slippery slope. Today, its municipalities and parking tickets. Tomorrow its the province and the HTA, etc.
That's exactly what I fear. Our cities have become so dependent on tickets as a "revenue stream" that things like this will continue to take hold.
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Jimbobs wrote: Anyway, in general, I believe in checks and balances and don't believe that the people running administration and enforcement of the parking system should have control over the adjudication of disputes, disagreements, etc. I prefer a system where an independent adjudicator deals with disputes. With AMPS, there is no independent adjudication and no appeal process. It is also a slippery slope. Today, its municipalities and parking tickets. Tomorrow its the province and the HTA, etc.
Are you assuming that the adjudicator is not independent or do you have evidence of such?

They are typically a separate reporting structure to prevent conflicts of interest.


You could call it a slippery slope, but any sort of change in procedure could be viewed that way. I'm sure some say the same thing about allowing Amazon to use drones to deliver packages or self driving cars.
[OP]
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TrevorK wrote: Are you assuming that the adjudicator is not independent or do you have evidence of such?
As far as I can ascertain, they are all employees of the City.
TrevorK wrote: They are typically a separate reporting structure to prevent conflicts of interest.
As long as that reporting structure adheres to a high level of ethical behaviour, perhaps. But we are are talking about Brampton, remember? And other cash strapped municipalities.
TrevorK wrote: You could call it a slippery slope, but any sort of change in procedure could be viewed that way. I'm sure some say the same thing about allowing Amazon to use drones to deliver packages or self driving cars.
This is not a simple change in procedure. This is a radical change. Comparing this to Amazon using one delivery system or another is not even remotely analogous.
[OP]
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smokescreen15 wrote: Markham has moved to this "AMPs" system as well - https://goo.gl/8xDj7i. Started handing out these administrative tickets earlier this year. It's just a way to sidestep the costly provincial courts to get to their revenue more efficently. We all know and understand why it was done and let them proceed with it. I always hate this erosion of due process. The conflict of interest is mind boggling, just reading the documentation as they try to make their justification for why their hired adjudicators are independent is crazy...
So are the AMPS staff employees of Markham?
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Aug 27, 2009
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I had to pay a fine at the library the other day, 25 cents for a book that was overdue by one day. I returned the book on time but the library staff said I returned it late and wouldn't waive the fine. They presumed I was "guilty". I need to take this to court! [sarcasm and not a true story]
[OP]
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RETD wrote: I had to pay a fine at the library the other day, 25 cents for a book that was overdue by one day. I returned the book on time but the library staff said I returned it late and wouldn't waive the fine. They presumed I was "guilty". I need to take this to court! [sarcasm and not a true story]
Was it Shakespeare who said that sarcasm was the lowest form of wit? Although Oscar Wilde said "“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence.”

Anyway, your fictitious example is not really the sort of case that concerns me. I've seen many instances where people will turn up in court hoping a) that the officer will not turn up and the case will be withdrawn, or, b) they will plead guilty in the hopes of getting a fine reduced. These are not the situations I think are relevant here.

However, what about cases where people don't know about an offence until they receive a notice in the mail, or, worse, when they get their licence plate renewal? I know this happens frequently in Toronto. The "victim" then has to go to the courthouse and pay to get a copy of the ticket to see what the offence was, then try to remember if they parked there at the time, then decide if they want to have the matter reopened, etc. etc.

A friend of mine received a $400 plus ticket supposedly because he was parked in a handicapped spot in a part of the city he rarely if ever visited. He had to go to considerable time, effort and expense to deal with the case. In the end, the JP asked the prosecutor to apply the "probation act"! I wonder would an administrative process handled by a municipality strapped for cash be as sympathetic.
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Jimbobs wrote: As far as I can ascertain, they are all employees of the City.
That does not mean they cannot be impartial. They have to be paid by someone, and in the end that someone will always be the city.
As long as that reporting structure adheres to a high level of ethical behaviour, perhaps. But we are are talking about Brampton, remember? And other cash strapped municipalities.
I have no knowledge of Brampton - but I assume the appropriate checks/balances will be put into place and there will be a higher level of scrutiny on these sort of actions because they are so different.
This is not a simple change in procedure. This is a radical change. Comparing this to Amazon using one delivery system or another is not even remotely analogous.
I disagree - it's not a radical change at all. Rather than appealing through an expensive court-based system, you make your case in front of an independent adjudicator. Sure they didn't spend 6+ years in university to educate themselves on all facets of the law, but they only need to be familiar with the bylaws in question. At the end of the day, you are still able to appeal your ticket, and I believe in many cities there are two levels of appeals (first to the bylaw office, second is the adjudicator).

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