IF THE MEDIA CALLS: A GUIDE FOR CRIME VICTIMS AND SURVIVORSWe are proud to announce the availability of this new bilingual publication (March 2012) which provides victims with
information about the focus of media; the impact of media on victims; the risks/benefits of speaking to the media; modern
technology; tips for interacting with the media and high-profile cases.
The booklet may be used as a handout by police, victim
services staff, NGOs and others who interact directly with crime victims and survivors. Designed as an English/French
flip booklet, we are offering it in both hard copy and online - please contact the office if you would like booklets
mailed to you to share directly with your clients (email@example.com).
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS,,,PLEASE READ THIS MOST IMFORMATIVE ARTICLE
FEBRUARY 12, 2012
Family Breakdown - What is 'Legal' Separation?
Law article looks at what constitutes legal separation, what issues are usually covered in separation agreements, written
versus oral agreements, and the importance of getting legal advice before making major decisions when separating.
Description of Victim Services Directory
The Victim Services Directory has been created by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues
of the Department of Justice Canada to:
- help service providers, victims and individuals locate services for victims
of crime across Canada;
- allow victims to determine which services they may require;
- to link organizations
and victims; and
- to help all individuals access victim services.
Agency information for this Directory
has been compiled through the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Victim Services Survey and includes Agencies in all provinces
and territories across the country. The list of agencies, however, is not exhaustive.
Legal Aid Ontario
Legal Aid Ontario
(LAO) helps low-income individuals and disadvantaged communities get legal assistance through a broad range of services, including
legal help for low-income people who appear in court without a lawyer, telephone and online assistance, resources, referrals,
and assistance in retaining a lawyer if applicants meet eligibility requirements. LAO provides help in certain areas of law,
such as criminal, family, and immigration and refugee.
For more information, visit the LAO web site. Or, call the LAO client service centre at 1-800-668-8258 or 416-979-1446.
The TTY numbers are 1-866-641-8867 and 416-598-8867
Types of Divorce Applications
know you want to divorce your spouse but you’re not quite sure which types of
Application to use since there are 3 to choose from. Here’s how you decide:
Simple Divorce Application
You need to start your divorce by filing a Simple Divorce Application when:
· you want to file for a divorce in Ontario;
· you and your spouse both want
to obtain a divorce and your spouse will not be
your Simple Divorce Application;
· you and/or your spouse have
lived in Ontario for at least one year before starting the
Simple Divorce Application;
and your spouse have resolved all the issues between you such as the division of
assets, child and spousal support, and custody and access of children by means
Separation Agreement, Minutes of Settlement, or Consent and do not want a Court
Order reflecting your resolution; and
only thing being requested from the court is a divorce.
Joint Divorce Application
You need to start
your divorce by filing a Joint Divorce Application when:
and your spouse have separated;
· you want to file for a divorce in Ontario;
spouse also wants to file for a divorce in Ontario;
· you and your spouse want to
ask the court for a divorce together;
· you and/or your spouse have lived in Ontario for at least one year
before starting the
and your spouse have resolved all the issues between you such as the division of
assets, child and spousal support, and custody and access of children by means
Separation Agreement, Minutes of Settlement, or Consent and both want a Court
Order reflecting your resolution.
need to start your divorce by filing a Contested Divorce Application when:
and your spouse have separated;
· you want to file for a divorce in Ontario based on one year’s
separation, adultery, or
your spouse does not want to get divorced;
and/or your spouse have lived in Ontario for at least one year before starting
your Contested Divorce Application; and
· you and your spouse have not been able to resolve issues such as
access, child and spousal support, and the division of assets, and
you want to make a
claim in court with respect to these unresolved issues.
© 2011 Berman Barristers
Application Process for Victims Fund - Child Advocacy Centres Initiative
The Government of Canada is making $5.25 million
dollars available over 5 years to create new Child advocacy centres or to enhance existing Child advocacy centres in Canada.
This funding is in addition to the existing Victims Fund annual budget of $8.8M.
Fund is a grants and contributions program that supports a wide range of projects and activities designed to improve the experience
of victims in the criminal justice system.
What is a Child Advocacy Centre?
Child advocacy centres (CACs) provide a coordinated approach to addressing the needs of children implicated in the judicial
system either as victims of or witnesses to crime. CACs seek to minimize system-induced trauma by providing a single,
child-friendly setting for child victims or witnesses and their families to seek services, and by reducing the number of interviews
and questions directed at children during the investigation or court preparation process.
all CACs offer the same services, but key elements to a Child Advocacy Centre include:
- √ A multi-disciplinary team that includes law enforcement, child protection services, prosecution, mental health
services, victim advocacy services and the child advocacy centre;
- √ Child and family-friendly
- √ Forensic interviewing services;
- √ Victim
advocacy and support, including court support;
- √ Specialized medical support and treatment;
- √ Specialized mental health services;
- - Training and education
for professionals working with child abuse victims;
- - Community education and outreach
For more information on these elements, please consult the US National Children’s Alliance website at: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/index.php?s=36.
For the purposes of the CAC funding, the most significant elements of a CAC are the first four elements
marked with this symbol: √.
Who is eligible?
Victims Fund funding
can be provided to a variety of groups working to improve the experience of children and youth who are victims or witnesses
to crime. This funding cannot be provided to individuals. For details on who can apply, please see the Victims Fund
web site at: http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/proj.html#apply.
The main priority for this funding will be the creation of CACs in jurisdictions
that do not currently have a CAC:
- A) Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut;
- B) BC;
- C) Manitoba and northwestern Ontario;
- D) New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.
second priority for this funding will be to existing CACs and to organizations wishing to create a CAC in a region where coordinated
services exist that are CACs or have a similar model of service delivery (ie. Alberta & Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec).
What is required in the Proposal?
The application form and a guide
to assist with the proposal can be found at :
Guide : http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pb-dgp/fund-fina/guide.html
Application form: http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pb-dgp/fund-fina/form1.html
In particular, the proposal should include the following elements:
of the background of the organization such as what it does now, its current staff, and its community reach;
- Explanation of the project objectives and activities to be undertaken to achieve those objectives, such as
a feasibility study, planning and development milestones, business plan for the establishment of a CAC;
- Justification of the need for the project, including evidence of existing gaps in services for children and
their families, acknowledgements of community support where possible and explanation of participation of partners either as
service providers or funding agencies;
- Rationale demonstrating the organization’s capacity
to establish a CAC and achieve the objectives as stated above, such as planning or development done to date including background
research on cases in the geographic area.
Organizations should also explain how their proposed
approach will incorporate the elements of CACs identified above. Organizations should submit their most recent Annual
Report and any letters of support, if available.
What is the submission deadline?
Funding is available immediately for activities within fiscal year 2010-11: these activites may include but are not limited
to developmental activities, feasibility studies, or planning activities.
funding beginning between April 1 and July 1, 2011, proposals may be submitted before February 1, 2011. Projects beginning
after July 1, 2011 may submit a proposal at any time.
Proposals should be submitted to the Program
Analyst of the Victims Fund at:
Programs Branch – CAC Initiative
Department of Justice
284 Wellington Street, 6th Floor
613 957- 3706
Peace Bonds & Restraining Orders
In question-and-answer format, this CLEONET resource explains the
criteria for getting a peace bond or a restraining order, the difference between them, how to apply for one, the conditions
the court may impose on the other person, and the consequences of disobeying the order.
Although this booklet was published by a New Brunswick organization, the information in it applies across Canada.
Child Welfare Assessment Services
Under the Child & Family Services Act
Our approach involves best
practice guidelines, review of all information, and an unbiased focus on the best interests of children.
In Ontario, the 52 Children's Aid Societies are legally mandated to investigate and, if necessary,
intervene when a child may be at risk of abuse or neglect. When requested, the Child Welfare Assessment Team at the Centre
for Children and Families in the Justice System can conduct a Parenting Capacity Assessment under the Child and Family
Servcices Act to help answer questions and inform decisions about case planning in the best interests of the children.
Clinical psychologists conduct the assessment, which typically includes home visits as a key part of information collection.
The result is a report summarizing information and putting forward recommendations for case planning.
this page, you will find information for anyone contemplating a referral and information for parents or other caregivers involved
in the assessment process.
The Centre is an independent
and neutral agency and does not replace the work of the Children's Aid Society. Our Centre provides an independent assessment
when there is an unresolved conflict between the Children's Aid Society and parents over supervision, placement, treatment
planning, access arrangements, and/or child custody.
Cases evaluated by the Child Welfare Assessment team can involve these themes: attachment relationships; cases where
child protection and custody issues are intertwined; cases involving co-occurring domestic violence and child maltreatment;
parents struggling with mental health issues or addictions; intellectual or cognitively challenged parents; special needs
children; youth in long-term care when access is contemplated; treatment needs of children; and assessing relative parenting
capacity of parties who put forward a plan for the children.
Information for Parents: What to
This information can help you understand better the process of parenting capacity assessment
and answer some common questions. Bring other questions to your first meeting with a member of the team. While we use the
word "parent," we recognize that other people or caretakers such as grandparents may be involved.
is a parenting assessment?
A parenting assessment gathers information from a number of different sources
the needs of the child or children
ability to meet those needs
the skills and strengths of the parent
the relative skills and strengths of parties proposed as caretakers
of the parent child relationship
supports available to the family
This information is analysed to form recommendations promoting the best interests of the child. Recommendations may
placement options for the child
that may help the parent address problem areas
Why get a parenting assessment?
Aid, therapists, the court, or lawyers may need to understand how someone approaches parenting, including strengths and weaknesses.
Often certain problems in a parent's behaviour, or problems between a parent and child, need
to be addressed before making any decisions on behalf of the child.
Areas to consider when assesing
a person's ability to parent can include:
When are parenting assessments appropriate?
Assessments can help lawyers, Children's Aid Societies, or community agencies decide what is in the best interests
of both the parent and the child, so they can make case plans that are most helpful.
are only appropriate when a Children's Aid Society is already involved, because we are a separate agency and do not replace
the work of the Children's Aid Society.
Our independent assessments are most appropriate
when there is an unresolved conflict between the Children's Aid Society and parents over supervision, placement, or custody
of a child.
What happens in a parenting assessment?
This process usually requires 4 or
more sessions, each 2-3 hours in length.
The limits of confidentiality are explained before the
assessment begins, and parents are informed of how the information will be treated and released.
are several interviews to discuss the family situation and background history.
will involve psychological tests to learn more about the client in such areas as:
stress and anxiety levels
relationship with the child
strengths and problem areas
When possible, some sessions involve parent-child
visits to see how parents interact with their children.
If the child is not living at home, the
examiner gathers information from the home where the child is placed to describe how the child is currently doing.
Parents are asked to sign consent forms related to agencies having contact with the parent or child, now or in the
past. Signing these forms gives those agencies permission to send us information.
feedback on the assessment and can discuss the results and potential recommendations.
end of the process, a great deal of informayion is available to the team including the results of psychological testing, information
learned in interviews, information given by other agencies about their contact with the child or family, observations of the
parent with the child, and any other relevant details.
All this information is organized into
a written report given to the court, the lawyers involved in the case, and the CAS making the referral.
long will this take?
The complete process may take three to four months from the time it begins until
the final report is issued.
Navigating the courts in Ontario can be a complex process. This guide offers some insight into divorce procedures in Ontario.
With the possible exception
of the court papers required to obtain an absolute divorce, the procedure for drafting, filing and serving most other litigation
documents is too complex and too fraught with legal peril to be attempted by even the most educated laypersons. The law has
many hypertechnical rules that cannot be understood, or sufficiently mastered, without long legal study. The technical rules
of the legal system govern not only what is known as the “substance” of an area of the law, such as child support,
but also what is know as the “procedure.” The substance of the law of separation and divorce has been discussed
in the separation section
of this website. Now we turn to the procedural law, or the system of rules for having
substantive law declared and enforced by the
Put most simply, procedure is the entire body of rules directing litigants about how to use the judicial system. The rules dictate, for instance, who can filTagged as: de an application or some other paper, when it can be filed, where it must be filed, how it must be filed in
order to be validly brought before the court, how it can be served on the other party, the time limits for responses to the
claim, how a hearing is to be noticed, how a trial is to be conducted, how a remedy granted by the court is to be enforced,
and similar matters. The principal peril in failing to appreciate such procedural rules is the dismissal of a litigant’s
claim for lack of adherence to the rules or, possibly worse, the imposition of sanctions against a litigant who makes an inappropriate move at the courthouse in terms of procedure.
There are three courts in Ontario
that you may go to in the case of a divorce. The Family Court (sometimes refered to as the Unified Family Court) hears all
family law matters including
divorce, family property, child and spousal support, custody and access. There are 17 Family Court locations in Ontario: Barrie, Bracebridge, Brockville, Cobourg, Cornwall, Hamilton, Kingston, L’Orignal,
Lindsay, London, Napanee, Newmarket, Oshawa/Whitby, Ottawa, Perth, Peterborough, and St. Catharines.
If you do not live in one of these
cities, the family law matters are divided between the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice. The Ontario Court of Justice does not
decide divorce or division of property matters but does consider custody and access, child and spousal support, adoption and
child protection. The Superior Court of justice decides disputes involving divorce, property distribution, custody and access
and child and spousal support. Each court varies a little in their procedures but they are generally the same.
Pleadings and Service of Process
The court process in a divorce is
begun with an application which sets out the issues the court is asked to decide. The person who makes the application is
the applicant and the other party is the respondent. There are three types of applications: general (where parties do not
agree on how matters should be resolved); simple (where divorce is the only relief sought); and joint (where you and your
spouse agree on the issues and want to submit the application for divorce together). These forms can be filled out online
at the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website.
You can visit www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca
for forms and instructions.
Once you have filled out all the necessary forms, you must file them with the court. The court staff will ensure
that you have all the proper forms. You must then serve the documents on your spouse. You may not serve the documents by yourself.
You must have someone else make service by what is called “special service”. In order to make “special service”, a person over the
age of 18 who is not the applicant must (1) give a copy of the forms to your spouse or his/her lawyer; (2) mail a copy of
the documents with Form 6: acknowledgement of service that the person must complete and return to you; (3) give a copy to
an adult who lives at the residence of the respondent and then mail a copy to the person the next day.
The person who served the
documents must then fill out an “Affidavit of service” which tells the court when, where, and how the documents
were served. The affidavit of service must be sworn or affirmed in front of a commissioner for taking affidavits. You must then file the affidavit with the court.
The respondent then has 30
days to file a response. The response does not have to be served through “special service” and can simply be mailed,
faxed or dropped off to the
applicant or applicant’s lawyer.
all documents have been filed and served, you will generally be assigned a “First Court Date” when a clerk of
the court will review your file to ensure you have all the proper documentation you require. This step occurs for all cases
in the Ontario court of Justice
and for most cases in Family
Court. Where a “First Court Date” is not provided, you will have to ask the clerk to schedule a case conference
for the case to proceed.
The case conference is the first time you will speak to a judge about your case. Everyone named in your case must
attend the case conference and if parties have lawyers, the lawyers must attend as well. During the case conference, the judge
will look at your file and discuss chances for settling you case. The judge will also help to identify issues and point out
information that is missing. The judge is able to make certain orders at the case conference such as: an order that parties
provide each other with financial information or other documentation, such as business records; an order that one or both
parties may submit the other to questioning about the evidence they have filed; an order setting out next steps in the case; an order on consent of both parties that they attend
some form of alternative dispute resolution process; another order based on the agreement of the parties.
Each family case will have
at least one case conference. In addition, a settlement conference of trial management conference may be required. A settlement
conference allows a judge to help parties to try and settle their disputes outside of the court. A trial management conference
allows parties to provide the court with information of how they intend to present their case at trial. This helps to ensure
that proper procedures are being
followed and that there is sufficient time allocated to the
If no settlement is reached, the case will proceed to trial.
do not require a lawyer to go to trial in
family matters. However, it is a good idea to get a lawyer to help you understand the issues and court processes.
must prepare a trial record which must be served on every party and any agency required to be served. The purpose of the trial
record is to help tell your side of the case to the judge. The trial record must be filed with the court at least 30 days
before trial (Rule 23 of Family Law Rules). The trial record must include the following elements: a table of contents; a copy
of all documents (i.e. application, response etc.); any agreed statement of facts; financial statements and net family property
statements for all parties (if applicable to issue in trial), completed or updated within 30 days of the record being served;
any assessment report ordered by the court or obtained by consent of the parties; any temporary order; any order relating to the trial; any relevant parts of a transcript you intend to rely on at trial.
The responding party need not prepare a trial
record. You can, however, add any of the items listed above to the trial record no later than 7 days before the start of trial.
You must also serve the applicant
with any additions.
If you would like to have a document or witness to be available for trial
you must prepare and serve the witness with a Summons to Witness (Form 23). Any witnesses must be paid for each day he or
she is needed in court. According to Rule 23(4), a witness must be paid $50 for coming to court or to be questioned, travel
money ($5 if the person lives in the same city where evidence is to be given; 30 cents per kilometer if the person lives within
300 kilometres of court or place of questioning; or the cheapest airfare plus $10 a day for airport parking and 30 cents for travel to and from airport) and $100 per night
for meals and overnight stay if the person lives outside the city or town where they are required as a witness.
If your witness is an expert in a particular field, they must
prepare a report which must be served on the other party 90 days before trial. If this report is not served, you may not be
able to call the expert at
The actual trial is heard by a trial judge only, no jury. Trials are ordinarily held in
an open court so there may be people you do not know in the courtroom. If you think you have reasons to keep other people
out of the courtroom, you can ask a judge and the judge will make a determination if he or she will allow only the parties,
their lawyers and court staff in
When the trial begins, each side will have a chance to give a short overview of their case, starting with the applicant.
After these opening statements, the applicant will ask their first witness to come forward and will question them. Once the
is over, the respondent will have a chance to ask the witness questions. After all the applicant’s witnesses have been
questioned by both sides, the respondent will call his or her witnesses and the applicant will have a chance to question them as well.
Once all witnesses have been heard and cross-examined, including the applicant and respondent, each party will make
closing arguments, summarizing
all the evidence.
The judge will render his or her decision. If the judge needs more
time to review the evidence, he or she may reserve the judgment to a later time, or the judge may be prepared to give a judgment immediately.
Appeal is the procedure for getting a higher court to review the work
of a lower court. If the monetary relief in
your appeal is $25,000 or less, the appeal is to the Divisional Court. If the appeal is greater than $25,000 or for non-monetary
issues, the appeal is to the
Court of Appeal.
In an appeal, the dissatisfied party asks the appeals court to review what the
trial judge did to see if the trial judge did something wrong. This is a point you need to understand; the appellate court
looks at what the trial judge did to decide if the trial judge committed legal errors. The appellate court does not function
as a fact-finding body that
re-sifts the evidence to alter a decision that you feel should have gone your way based on the equities of your case.
Laypersons should not try to handle
their own appeals, as the only points that can be raised on appeal are wholly legal issues, Moreover, the procedures for raising
those points are extremely technical. Lawyers are concerned about the techniques for getting things onto the trial record,
in order to preserve those same issues for appeal. Lawyers are also concerned about putting together the Notice of Appeal,
Certificate respecting evidence, Appeal Book and Factum, in the proper manner and within the proper timeframe.
An appeal begins with the serving and filing
of a written Notice of Appeal and a certificate respecting evidence. These must be served within thirty days from the entry
of judgment or order and must be filed within 10 days of the service. Within 15 days after the filing of the notice, the other
side must serve a certificate respecting evidence or both sides can agree on what evidence will be used. Within 30 days of
filing the notice of appeal, proof that you have ordered any required transcripts
must be served.
That is just some of the paperwork required to complete (“perfect”)
an appeal, however. The main pieces of paper presented to the appellate court in most cases are the appellant’s and
respondent’s appeal book and factum. A factum is the written discussion of all the legal points being argued on appeal.
This is the appellate court’s tool for understanding each sides’s view of what went wrong (or right) with the
case at the trial court level. As with the other appellate rules, there are extremely exacting requirements for the format
and content of a factum. The factum for the appellant must be served and filed within 30 days of filing the notice of appeal.
The other side must also serve and file a factum within sixty days of the service of the appelant’s materials. In addition,
both sides must serve and file a compendium of evidence and exhibits within 60 days before the
The standard on appeal is very high. It is rare that an appeal court will reverse a decision as it will only do so
if there had been an error
This Guide is for mothers who have experienced abuse and whose children are
in supervised visitation programs. It provides basic information about how supervised visitation programs work and how mothers
can prepare themselves and their children for the experience. If Mothers are afraid of their children's father or were
abused by him, then the information in this Guide will be particularly helpful.
Download PDF.Please note that this information is from the USA but
is a very helpful resource
Tip of the Day
A lot of women are not told about the Exclusive
Possession of the Family Home
This option should be discussed at length with your Lawyer or those who have
the expertise in Family Law
If the women is married, she can apply to Family court for an order
that gives her exclusive possession of the Matrimonial home. This means that her spouse cannot come onto the property
whether shes owns or rents it and she can change the locks.
If she is a tenant, she should speak to her landlord
before changing the locks.
Is she is in a common-law relationship, it is more difficult to get an order for exclusive
possession. In this case, she can only make this request if she is asking the court to giver her children or spousal
An order for exclusive possession does not affect either person's property rights. Even if her
spouse is not allowed into the home, he can still claim a share of its value.
This information was provided
by METRAC in their Family Law Handbook firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Aid is more likely to help out for women that have noted that they have been
abused. Legal Aid will also give 2 free hours of legal advice.
The woman would have to fill out an
"Advice Lawyer Family Violence Authorization Form"
to contact www.legalaid.on.ca for further information
Going to Court
English or French is not my first language. How do I get a court interpreter?
Whether you are an accused, a surety or counsel, there are many ways to request interpretation services in Ontario's courts.
14 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to the assistance of an interpreter for people who don't understand or speak English
or French. The Ministry of the Attorney General's Court Services Division provides court interpretation services in:
- Any language required in criminal and child protection matters
- Any language in civil,
family and Small Claims Court matters, if the litigant has been given a fee waiver certificate
- French in all civil, family and Small Claims Court matters
- Sign language in all Small Claims Court matters, and
- Any language when it is ordered
by the court.
To make sure that interpretation services are available when you need them,
you should ask for an interpreter as soon as you know you will need one. Requesting an interpreter ahead of time allows court
staff time to make arrangements for the date and time required.
offers information, support and guidance. With the
applicant's permission, we undertake all necessary steps and procedures for removing a criminal record, including: Pardons,
Purges, Photograph & Fingerprint Destruction and USA Entry Waivers. Removing a Criminal Record will enable a person to
Pass a Police Clearance for Employment. Go to www.pardons.ca
to see if you qualify. Support Line 416-929-6011 or
toll free 877-929-6011
Latest from CLEONet
974 Eglinton Avenue W(416)
ON M6C 2C5
The National Justice Network e-Update would not be possible without funding received from
the Department of Justice
CANADIAN CLEARINGHOUSE ON CYBERSTALKING
Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime (CRCVC) is pleased to the announce the launch of the Canadian Clearinghouse
on Cyberstalking / Centre canadien d'information sur le cyber-harcèlement.
This web site is a cooperative project between the CRCVC and Victim Assistance Online, funded through the Department of Justice
Canada's Victims Fund.
The Clearinghouse is designed as an online resource for:
- professionals who work in this field, and
- interested members of the public.
Please visit: http://cyberstalking.ca (English) or http://cyberstalking.ca/fr (en français).
The mandate of the Canadian Clearinghouse on Cyberstalking is to provide
information resources for Canadians, for cyberstalking cases with a Canadian component, and for interested international users.
The Clearinghouse provides helpful Canadian and international educational and advocacy resources. Our databases contain hundreds
of links to freely available online documents, information resources, and national or international professional and academic
Additionally, we are providing a multi-disciplinary e-mail listserv, reserved
for vetted professionals only, where members can share information, request assistance, and learn from other professionals
who they might not otherwise have contact with.
Please share this new resource with your colleagues.
Canadian Resource Centre for victims of Crime
Law Rules Forms
Electronic versions of forms under the Family Law
Rules, O. Reg. 114/99, are available from the link below, in a viewable (Adobe PDF) and fillable (Microsoft Word 2000) format. Both
formats are printable. The fillable format can be completed on-line and saved to your computer for future reference.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What do Provincial Offences Courts
A. The Provincial Offences Courts
- process/accept payment of provincial offences fines
(except parking fines)
- prosecute/arrange provincial offence trials
- deal with walk-in guilty pleas
- accept filing of Provincial Offences Act matters including appeals, re-openings, motions and extensions of time to
- handle general inquiries about provincial offences
Please note that
court staff are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice on how to conduct your defence or assist you in filling out court
Q. What are provincial offences?
A. They include:
• speeding, careless driving, or not wearing your seat belt - Highway Traffic Act
to surrender your insurance card or possessing a false or invalid insurance card – Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
• being intoxicated in a public place or selling alcohol to a minor - Liquor Licence Act
prohibited premises or failing to leave premises after being directed not to do so – Trespass to Property Act
Health and Safety and Ministry of Environment, Labour or Finance violations
• municipal and regional by-laws
– noise, zoning, non-smoking,
Persons who are issued with provincial offences tickets
should read them carefully for a complete list of their payment and trial options.
are the different types of provincial offences notices?
A. There are three different types of provincial
Part I – an offence notice (ticket) that is issued to a defendant
listing various options on the back of the ticket (these are explained below)
Part II - a parking infraction
under Part 1 or Part 3 requiring the defendant to appear in court on a certain time, place and date.
Q. Who can issue provincial offences notices or tickets?
A. There are many
enforcement agencies who can issue you a ticket, including:
• Municipal By-law Enforcement
such as fire and building code violations
• York Region Police
• Ontario Provincial Police
• Ministry of Transportation
• Ministry of Environment
• Ministry of Labour
• Ministry of Natural Resources
• Ministry of Health
• Workplace Safety and
• Go Transit
• York Region Transit (YRT)/Viva
Q. What is the Part 1 Offence Notice (Ticket) process?
A. The Officer serves defendant
with Offence Notice
Within 15 days, the defendant must exercise one of the following three
options listed on the back of the ticket or automatically be found guilty: -
Option 1. Pays
fine - treated as a Plea of Guilty and a conviction is entered.
Option 2. Pleads guilty with explanation - Conviction
Option 3. Attends the court office to request an appointment for a first attendance meeting or a trial.
(See further explanation regarding the trial option below).
Q. What happens if
I don't chose an option and do nothing?
A. Failure to choose an option will result in being convicted
and additional costs will be applied.
Q. How many days do I have to respond once
I receive a Part 1 Offence Notice (Ticket)?
A. Please read and follow the instructions provided on the
back of the offence notice.
Within 15 days, you must choose one of the following options:
1. Plea of Guilty - Payment Out of Court
A defendant who has
been served with an Offence Notice and chooses not to contest the charge may sign the offence notice under Option 1 and make
payment to the court office on the front of the Offence Notice. The defendant must pay the "total payable" in full.
Payment is deemed to be a plea of guilty. Demerit points may apply
Payment can be made in
person or by mail. If a partial payment is made, or if the defendant's cheque is returned for insufficient funds, the
fine will not be considered paid.
2. Plead Guilty with an Explanation
This option is available to defendants who do not wish to dispute the charge, but wish to plead guilty before a Justice
of the Peace and ask for a lower fine and/or more time to pay the fine. You or an agent on your behalf must attend in person
at the court office designated on the back of your Offence Notice. Times and dates are also listed. Upon your arrival at the
designated court, you must register your name with our counter staff. Staff will give you further instructions after you sign
A Justice of the Peace will read the charge to the defendant/agent and register a conviction.
The defendant's explanations can only result in a reduction in the fine, or an extension of the time to pay. A Justice
of the Peace cannot remove or reduce the demerit points to be applied or reduce the charge. Demerit points may apply.
Two choices are available under this alternative.
1. Scheduling an Appointment. (This is called a First Attendance hearing).
The Regional Municipality
of York is designated to provide the option of a First Attendance hearing. To exercise this choice, you must attend the court
office designated on the back of your Offence Notice to set an appointment to meet with a prosecutor. A First Attendance Hearing
Notice will be mailed to you. This is an informal meeting to try to resolve your charge or charges without going to trial.
The investigating officer does not attend the meeting. It is your responsibility to advise the court of any change to your
If the matter cannot be resolved, your trial option remains available. If
you have any questions regarding your charge (witnesses or trial procedure) the prosecutor will be able to assist you.
2. Scheduling of a trial
The trial option requires you or your agent to attend the
court office designated on the back of your Offence Notice to complete and file a Notice of Intention to Appear (NIA). A trial
date will be set and a Notice of Trial will be mailed to you indicating your trial time, place and date. It is your responsibility
to advise the court of any change to your mailing address.
If an agent is representing you,
you must authorize the court, in writing, to mail the trial notice to your representative.
are there two amounts on my ticket?
A. One amount is the set fine and the other is your total payable amount.
The difference between the two amounts represents the Victim Fine Surcharge. This surcharge is imposed by the provincial government
and is added to fines given under the Provincial Offences Act. Proceeds from the surcharge are used to maintain and expand
provincial services to victims of crime.
Q. What if I need more time to
pay a provincial offence fine?
A. If you need more time to pay a provincial offence fine, visit the designated
court office on the back of your Offence Notice. You will be asked to fill out a form. This form will require you to fill
in all of the information regarding your offence including how much you have paid so far and a specific date that you would
like it extended to, etc. You may leave the request with the court for submission to a Justice of the Peace for consideration.
You may call the office after 1 week to find out if your request has been granted.
happens if I cannot attend my trial date that was given to me?
A. You may send an agent to appear on your
behalf on the trial date to request a new trial date or to enter a plea on your behalf. The court may or may not grant and
adjournment and could order the case to proceed
or your agent must attend at the court office shown on the Notice of Trial to complete, serve and file a Notice of Motion
requesting a change of trial date. The motion may be heard on any date prior to your trial date but must be served and filed
at least 3 clear days prior to the hearing of the Motion.
Q. What happens if
I miss my trial date?
A. If you miss your trial date you may be convicted without a hearing. You may attend
at the convicting court office and complete re-opening papers within 15 days of becoming aware of the conviction. You will
then appear on your re-opening application before a Justice of the Peace who will then consider the reasons for your failure
to appear at trial. The re-opening may or may not be granted.
If granted, you will receive
a new Notice of Trial by mail. It is your responsibility to advise the court of any change to your mailing address. If not
granted, the conviction will stand. You retain the right to appeal this decision.
If you were
given a Part 3 summons, the trial may take place in your absence or a new trial date may be selected without further notice
Q. How do I appeal a conviction?
A. If you were given a Part 1 offence notice (ticket), you must fill out and file appeal forms within 15 days of your
If you were given a Part 3 summons, you must fill out, serve and file appeal forms within 30 days of your
In either instance, you must pay the total payable fine given by the court or
bring a motion of recognizance and appear before a justice of the appeal court to explain why you cannot pay the fine. If
the justice is satisfied that you cannot pay the fine, you will be required to sign the recognizance promising to pay the
fine. Should your appeal go forward, you or your agent will appear before a justice of the appeal court.
Q. What happens if I miss the time to Appeal?
A. If your appeal period has
passed, you may fill out a form called "Motion to extend time to file an appeal". You must then appear before a
justice of the appeal court and request additional time to file your appeal.
driver's licence is suspended, if I pay my fine to-day when will I get my licence back?
A. It takes
3 to 5 business days to have your licence reinstated.
Q. How many points will
A. Please contact the Ministry of Transportation for that information. You can contact them at
Q. When are you open?
A. Our front counter is open from 8:30 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m.
Q. How do I make a formal complaint?
note that court staff are not able to enter into debates about judicial decisions made by the court. Such matters must be
dealt with by appealing to a higher court as mentioned above. Court staff cannot give you any legal advice or advise you on
how to conduct your appeal.
If you have a complaint concerning administrative matters, you may
provide your complaint in writing to the Manager of Court Administration at the appropriate location.
Ontario Court of Justice
Newmarket Court (Tannery)
465 Davis Drive
Law Help Ontario (LHO) is an award winning service operated by Pro Bono Law Ontario. LHO provides a wide range of legal information and resources online. In Toronto and
Ottawa, LHO operates self-help centres for low income, self- represented litigants appearing before Superior Court or Small
Claims Court. Lawyers at LHO centres provide pro bono (free) assistance for limited civil matters (no family or criminal
QUICK RESPONSE PROGRAM (VQRP)
Victims of violent crime
need effective and compassionate support in the immediate aftermath of a crime. That is why the government is establishing the Victim Quick Response
Program (VQRP). This new service responds to the most urgent needs
of victims of violent crime and will be available fast and close to home.
What will the VQRP mean for victims of violent crime in your community?
The VQRP offers immediate assistance to help victims of violent crime who require it immediate help and cannot obtain it through other sources. These
victims will have access to three new services. The new services
Expenses – for eligible victims, to secure premises for victim
safety, and provide emergency care for dependents, transportation costs or specialized crime scene
cleanup services in the immediate aftermath of violent crime.
Funeral Expenses – to
reimburse eligible families of homicide victims.
Counselling – to help victims of serious crimes recover from their experience.
These new services will be available for crimes that occurred on, or after, June 30, 2007.
Who is eligible for these new services?
A victim is eligible for these services if he
or she has reported a violent Criminal Code offence to a:
· Police Service in the province of Ontario
· Sexual Assault Centre or Domestic
Violence Shelter in cases of domestic violence or sexual assault.
· Hospital or other community agency that provides services to victims of sexual assault and/or domestic
violence and/or sexual assault in the province of Ontario.
Eligible victims may
request the emergency and counselling services directly through a
participating agency. Eligible victims may include an immediate family member or custodial
guardian of a victim who is a minor.
An individual with legal authority to act on behalf
of a victim, may also apply.
How can victims access these new services?
A victim service agency has been designated to provide victims
with access to the VQRP in over 50 locations across the province.
To locate the agencies delivering this service in your area, please refer to the listing on page
seven of the attached VQRP Information Guide.
You may also contact the Victim Support Line at (416) 314-2447 or toll-free at 1-888-579-2888
(press two  for referral to victim supports and services, then press one
 to find help and services in your community).
A Police service or a community
agency that provides support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can help an eligible victim access the program through the locally
designated victim service agency delivering the VQRP.
womens-issues - divorce-and-child-custody-false-statements-of-domestic-violence-and-abuse-and-your-rights-against-these-allegations.