The Municipal Ticket Information (MTI or municipal ticketing) was
introduced in 1989 to simplify the prosecution of minor local
government bylaw matters.
In its design, the MTI system resembles a
Provincial Violation Ticket, which allows an enforcement officer to
certify the allegation and deliver the ticket to the alleged
offender without first visiting a Provincial Court justice to swear
the Information and obtain a Summons, and the alleged offender to
admit the offence and pay the penalty without appearing in court.
Note that although this form of prosecution is referred to as
“municipal” ticketing, under the Local Government Act and Islands
Trust Act, the provisions of the Community Charter that authorize
municipal ticketing also apply to regional districts and local trust
committees of the Islands Trust. While the provisions are not
identical, the City of Vancouver is also authorized to use a form of
municipal ticketing provided in
Part XXII of the Vancouver Charter.
In order to make use of municipal ticketing, a local government must first adopt a bylaw that lays out the key elements of how ticketing will work in that jurisdiction. This is usually done in a comprehensive bylaw that identifies:
Community Charter Bylaw Enforcement Ticket Regulation provides
some limitations on the authority to designate offences that are
subject to ticketing, the classes of individuals who may issue
tickets, and the maximum penalties that may be imposed by a ticket.
Under the regulation, municipalities may not enforce bylaws
establishing motor vehicle speed limits or regulating the discharge
of firearms through the MTI process. In the case of speed limits,
police may issue a provincial Violation Ticket, which ensures that
penalty points associated with this infraction are applied. In the
case of the discharge of firearms, prosecution under the Offence Act
ensures that the alleged offender must appear before a judge in
order to resolve the charge.
A municipal council may allow one or several classes of persons,
such as police officers, bylaw enforcement officers, local
assistants to the Fire Commissioner, to issue tickets for any given
offence. In this way, individuals with specialized knowledge of the
bylaw at question may be authorized to apply that knowledge in the
investigation and laying of a ticket.
The penalty established for any contravention may not exceed $1,000,
which is the maximum penalty permitted under the Community Charter
Bylaw Enforcement Ticket Regulation. This penalty is the “face
value” of the ticket, the amount that must be paid to avoid an
appearance in court or a deemed conviction. If the ticket is
disputed, the justice hearing the case may impose a lesser fine if
there are mitigating circumstances.
The formats for municipal tickets are prescribed. For a general ticket,
(PDF, 26KB)provides the face of all copies of the ticket, Form
A.1 provides the back of the copy that the local government will
provide to the court, and Form A.2 provides the back of the alleged
offender’s copy. For a motor vehicle-related ticket,
(PDF, 126KB) provides
the face of all copies of the ticket, Form B.1 provides the back of
the copy that the local government will provide to the court, and
Form B.2 provides the back of the alleged offender’s copy. Forms B.3
and B.4 provide both sides of the demand notice that may be left on
the windshield of a vehicle and later completed with the details of
the registered owner of the vehicle.
Upon being served with a ticket, which may be personally delivered
or left at the person’s residence with someone who appears to be at
least sixteen years of age, a person has 14 days in which to pay the
fine amount specified on the ticket, and accept liability for the
offence, or notify the local government that the person wishes to
dispute the ticket. Instructions for how to provide this notice must
be printed on the ticket (Form A.2 or B.2). The local government may
establish an incentive for early payment by specifying one fine
amount if the ticket fine is paid within 30 days, and another fine
amount if the ticket fine is paid after.
Disputed municipal tickets are referred to the Provincial Court for
hearing by the local government. Upon referral, the clerk of the
court issues a notice of a hearing, setting the time and place for
the hearing and notifies both the local government and the
disputant. As the penalties associated with an MTI do not place the
alleged offender in jeopardy of imprisonment and the fine amounts
are relatively small, the presiding justice has some flexibility to
hear a wider range of relevant, credible and trustworthy testimony
as evidence and to adopt procedures that speed the fair conclusion
of the hearing.
If a person has indicated that he or she wishes to dispute the
allegation but fails to attend the hearing, the justice must review
the ticket and convict the person in his or her absence and impose
the penalty if the ticket appears to be in order. A person so
convicted, who was not at fault for missing the hearing, may apply
to the court for a time extension under limited circumstances. This
appearance may be in writing, based on an
Affidavit (Form C ) (PDF, 23KB) submitted attesting to the reasons for failing to respond or appear.
If a person fails to respond to the ticket at all, neither paying
the fine nor notifying the local government that he or she want to
dispute the charge, the local government may submit the ticket to
the court for consideration of a justice. As when a person fails to
appear for a hearing, the justice must review the ticket and convict
the person in his or her absence and impose the penalty if the
ticket appears to be in order.