An expert has warned that the courts will be overwhelmed for a long time due to the competition of tickets issued for non-compliance with sanitation measures last year.
“It’s hard to maintain because it’s an important workload that surrounds the legal system,” predicts Martin Valois, a professor at the University of Montreal who specializes in the organization and the functioning of the courts.
Between April 1, 2020 and April 30, 16,200 tickets were submitted to Quebec under the Public Health Act, according to the latest information from the Bureau des Infractions and fines.
Of these, 5,724 competed with their fines, which means they will have the same number of trials to determine whether they are guilty or have committed acts.
So far, 13% of people who have received a “ticket” have pleaded guilty or paid without request.
There is nothing to go on
“Usually, most people pay their fines because they don’t have time to argue. But here we are talking about a very large amount [minimum 1000 $ en plus des frais de 546 $], Argues Mrs. Valois. For the most part, people are going out and defending themselves by saying they have nothing to lose and that they can travel ”.
According to her, “it is difficult to say, but because court time and resources are unlimited, these actions could go on until at least the end of 2022.”
“For some districts, it’s less of a hassle, but for others, in Montreal, where there’s a lot of tickets, it’s more difficult.
Also, the large number of people who got the ticket did not file a petition within the statutory deadline, which complicates the lives of the officers who want to run after them to recover the amounts due.
“We cannot ignore scrutiny. When we do not respond, the default judgment will be given in our absence. They will then have to pay substantial costs,” Martin Valois stressed.
Tickets In numbers
(Reduction in Quebec between April 1, 2020 and April 30)
- 5724: Please do not be guilty
- 964: Guilt request
- 1258: Without request, with full payment
- 3842: Failure to request within the legal time limit
- 4473: Waiting for request
Source: Bureau of Crime and Penalties