On Wednesday, March 10th , the Valleyfield courthouse was host to several appearances in connection with ticket disputes in the context of violation of sanitary measures.
It was in Room 4 of the courthouse that Judge Nancy Lecompte was named to render her decisions and hear the trials. It is important to stress that a citizen has the right to go to trial to contest a ticket. As a result, 7 appearances were scheduled.
At first, Daniel Cnossen, Carlo Diodati and Alexandre Rodrigue had regrouped the charges and they were awaiting the decision of Judge Lecompte. The three men, as well as 6 other individuals, who decided to pay for the tickets without resorting to a trial, gathered in a garage located on Chemin Saint-Louis in Saint-Lazare on April 11th , 2020.
During the trial, the defendants tried to convince the court that they were present in the garage to perform essential work. But, the judge didn’t believe this version. In fact, pizza and bottles of beer were found on site by the police.
Under Article 64 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the onus is on the defendant to establish that he or she enjoys a statutory exception, exemption, excuse or justification for being on site. What the defendants have failed to demonstrate.
Judge Lecompte found the three men guilty and therefore ordered them to pay the tickets of $ 1,546 each.
Questioned while leaving the courtroom, the attorney for the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, Me Caroline Doré specifies that it is false to believe that the tickets are all cancelled, but that citizens can request a trial to try to explain themselves to the judge.
“The police have been issuing tickets for several months”, says Me Doré. People should now know that these are valid and need to be paid. ”
Another special appearance. That of a group of friends who decided to meet in a park in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot. There were 9 adults and two children in the group, the police determined that these were 4 different family bubbles. It should also be noted that those arrested were not residents of the area. They came from Laval and Montreal.
In good faith, the police only issued one statement of offense per family. “We didn’t want to look heartless, said the officer who testified before the judge. The tickets were issued on the spot. Afterwards, I asked the people to leave and we followed them until they crossed the bridge to Montreal.”
The defendants tried to explain that they respected social distancing and that the police saw it wrong. One also said the group took a break at the park while scouting for properties for sale.
As the defendants did not retain the services of a lawyer, the proceedings were significantly delayed. Furthermore, it was impossible for the magistrate to hear the entire case. That’s why it was postponed until next May.