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May 15, 2008
Media Advisory - Corrections to story in National Post
  
The National Post story ‘Drivers Decry Night Court Shutdown’ published today stated:

“The city's court services division quietly decided this month to shut the twice-weekly courts, which dealt with parking tickets and minor traffic violations.”

Here are the facts:

While the City regrets the closure, the decision to stop providing Justices of the Peace (JPs) for night court sessions was made by a provincial body, the Ontario Court of Justice. The City administers the courts, which require JPs to preside over cases. Recently, the number of people using night courts had declined and between January and April of this year, approximately one-third of the people scheduled to appear for a parking infraction failed to do so and received an automatic conviction.

The City believes access to the justice system is important and those wishing to access the system should be afforded all reasonable opportunities to do so. The City and the Ontario Court of Justice recently launched a Saturday pilot project on May 10 at the Old City Hall court. It allows the public to meet with a prosecutor by appointment, and if they reach an agreed upon resolution, bring that resolution to a JP for approval. The pilot operates between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

The City does not expect to receive a change in revenue with the closure of night court. Night court addresses minor traffic and parking violations only, and does not deal with charges such as trespassing or illegal dumping.

Toronto is the only Ontario municipality to have night court, and they have operated during a time where there were shortages of court rooms and JPs. The City has worked with the Province of Ontario to address these issues and improve public access to the courts, with the City building additional court rooms and the province appointing more JPs for Toronto.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Rob Andrusevich, Strategic Communications, 416-397-4149, randrus@toronto.ca


 

 

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