Older Uniform Acts

Uniform Regulatory Offences Procedure Act (1992)

COMMENCEMENT OF PROCEEDINGS

Manner of Commencement

4.(1) A proceeding in respect of a regulatory offence shall be commenced in the (name of court established by the enacting jurisdiction).

COMMENTARY

There are advantages in having, where possible, regulatory offences dealt with a court that is separate from the criminal summary convictions court. It separates the defendants, and encourages the judges to develop a distinction between the classes of offences and the differences in the procedures. Furthermore, the court would not be operating from the one code to the other in succeeding ases. The same bench could be used and assigned to one court or the other. This should not be more costly in large centres, but may be impracticable in areas with a sparse population.

(2) A proceeding in respect of a regulatory offence may be commenced by filing a certificate of offence in the office of the court named in the certificate.

(3) A certificate of offence must be filed in the office of the court named therein as soon as is practicable after service of the offence notice or summons.

Charge

5. (1) A regulatory offences officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed an offence may issue, by completing and signing, a certificate of offence certifying that an offence has been committed, and an offence notice.

COMMENTARY

The swearing and issuing of an information is replaced with a certificate that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the alleged offence has been committed. Where the prosecution is initiated by a person other than the regulatory offences officer, the leave of a judge is required, which approximates the information procedure (See section 14).

(2) Where there is a set fine prescribed for the offence, the regulatory offences officer may, in his or her discretion, issue an offence notice that specifies the set fine for the offence.

Summons

6.(1) Where the offence notice does not specify a set fine, the regulatory offences officer shall also serve a summons in the prescribed form.

(2) A summons issued under subsection (1) shall be,

(a) directed to the defendant;

(b) set out briefly the offence in respect of which the defendant is charged; and

(c) require the defendant to attend court at a time and place stated in the summons and to attend thereafter as required by the court in order to be dealt with according to law.

Summons for Trial

7. Where an offence notice and a summons are served on a defendant, the charge shall be adjudicated by a hearing.

Set Fine Dispute

8. Where offence notice in which a set fine is specified is served on a defendant and the defendant wishes to dispute the charge, the defendant shall plea not guilty by signing the not guilty plea on the offence notice and indicating his or her desire in the form contained on the notice to appear or be represented at a trial, and shall deliver the offence notice to the office of the court that is specified in the notice.

Set Fine Payment

9. (1) Where an offence notice in which a set fine is specified is served on a defendant and the defendant does not wish to dispute the charge, the defendant shall sign the plea of guilty on the offence notice and deliver the offence notice and the amount of the set fine to the place that is specified in the notice.

(2) Acceptance of the payment under subsection (1) constitutes a plea of guilty whether or not the plea is signed and endorsement of the payment on the certificate of offence constitutes conviction and imposition of the fine in the amount of the set fine for the offence.

(3) Where the place specified in the notice to which payment of the set fine is to be sent under subsection (1) is a place other than the court office, a certificate purporting to be signed by the clerk of the municipality, or a person designated by the clerk,

(a) that payment has not been made under subsection (1); and

(b) that notice of the defendant's desire to appear or to be represented at trial has not been delivered to the place specified in the notice,

shall be received in evidence and is proof of the facts contained therein in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

Notice of Trial

10. Where an offence notice with a plea of not guilty is delivered to the court office, the clerk of the court shall, as soon as is practicable, give notice to the defendant and prosecutor of the time and place of the trial.

Set Fine on Inaction

11. Where at least fifteen days have elapsed after the defendant was served with the offence notice in which a set fine is specified, and the offence notice has not been delivered in accordance with section 8 or 9 and a plea of guilty has not been accepted, the defendant shall be deemed to not wish to dispute the charge and the court shall examine the certificate of offence and,

(a) where the certificate is complete and regular on its face, the court shall enter a conviction in the defendant's absence and without a hearing and impose the set fine for the offence; or

(b) where the certificate of offence is not complete and regular on its face, the court shall quash the proceeding with written reasons.

Defendant Outside Jurisdiction

12. (1) Where an offence notice, whether or not it specifies a set fine, is served on a defendant whose address as shown on the certificate of offence is outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court specified in the notice, 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 his or her intention on the offence notice and delivering the offence notice to the office of the court specified in the notice together with a sworn statement in writing setting out with reasonable particularity the grounds for dispute and any facts on which he or she relies.

(2) Where an offence notice is delivered under subsection (1), the court shall, in the absence of the defendant, consider the dispute and,

(a) where th dispute raises an issue that may constitute a defence, direct a hearing and serve notice of the hearing on the defendant; or

(b) where the dispute does not raise an issue that may constitute a defence, and

(i) the offence notice specifies a set fine, convict and defendant and impose the set fine, or

(ii) the offence notice does not specify a set fine, direct a hearing and serve notice of the hearing on the defendant.

(3) Where the court directs a hearing under subsection (2) and the defendant fails to appear, the court may, in the absence of the defendant, consider all the evidence including the issues raised in the dispute, and acquit the defendant or convict the defendant and impose the appropriate penalty.

Failsafe Review

13. Where a defendant is convicted and has not had an opportunity to dispute the charge or to appear or be represented at a hearing for the reason that, through no fault of his or her own, the delivery of a necessary notice or document failed to occur in fact, and where not more than thirty days have elapsed since the conviction first came to the attention of the defendant, the defendant may attend at the court or may submit affidavit evidence in the prescribed form and the judge, upon being satisfied of such facts, shall strike out the conviction and order the proceedings to be reinstituted in the manner prescribed in the order.

Private Prosecution

14. (1) A person who is not a regulatory offences officer may commence a proceeding if the person has a reasonable belief on grounds in his or her personal knowledge that an offence has been committed an the court gives leave of commence the proceeding.

(2) The evidence upon an application under subsection (1) shall be under oath and the application for leave may be heard without notice to any other person.

(3) A proceeding under this section shall be commenced by filing in the court office a certificate of offence signed by the person who is commencing the proceeding and bearing an endorsement of the leave of the court, and the court office shall serve an offence notice that does not specify a set fine and a summons in the prescribed form on the defendant.

Evidence of Written Plea

15. A signature affixed to the form of a plea of guilty or not guilty on an offence notice, purporting to be that of the defendant, is proof that it is the signature of that person, in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

Service

16.(1) An offence notice, or a summons and offence notice, shall be served within thirty days after the offence occurred by delivering it personally to the person to whom it is directed or, if that person cannot be found, by leaving it for the person at his or her last known or usual place of abode with an inmate of that place who appears to be at least sixteen years of age.

(2) Where the person to whom the summons or offence notice is directed does not reside in (the enacting jurisdiction), the summons or offence notice shall be deemed to have been duly served seven days after it has been sent by registered mail to the defendant's last known or usual place of abode.

(3) Service of a summons or offence notice on a corporation may be effected by delivering it personally,

(a) in the case of a municipal corporation, to the mayor, warden, reeve or other chief officer of the corporation or to the clerk of the corporation; or

(b) in the case of any other corporation, to the manager, secretary or other executive officer of the corporation or person apparently in charge of a branch of office of the corporation,

or by mailing the summons or offence notice by registered mail to the corporation at an address held out by the corporation to be its address, in which case the summons shall be deemed to have been duly served seven days after the date of mailing.

(4) A judge, upon application and upon being satisfied that service can not be made effectively on a corporation in accordance with subsection (3), may by order authorize another method of service that has a reasonable likelihood of coming to the attention of the corporation.

(5) Service of a summons or notice of offence may be proved by statement under oath, written or oral, of the person who made the service.

(6) A regulatory offences officer may serve a notice of offence for a contravention of (the legislation, regulations or bylaws for parking offences, by which the owner of the vehicle is held responsible) on the owner of the motor vehicle by affixing it to the vehicle in a conspicuous place at the time of the alleged offence, or by delivering it personally to the person who has the care and control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence.

COMMENTARY

Subsection (6) would be necessary only if the enacting jurisdiction made the owner of a motor vehicle responsible for a breach of parking by-laws or regulations committed by a driver other than the owner.

(7) Where service of an offence notice or summons is made by the regulatory offences officer who issued the certificate of offence, the officer shall certify on the certificate of offence that he or she personally served the offence notice or summons on the person charged and the date of the service.

(8) The regulatory offences officer who serves an offence notice or summons shall not receive payment of money in respect of a fine, or receive the offence notice for delivery to the court.

Next Annual Meeting

2018 Conference (Centennial)

Delta Hotel

Québec City, QC

August 12 - 16, 2018