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Thread: Courts, Lawyers and Judges =Dewey Scruem and Howe

  1. #16
    Smart Canuck glowworm2k's Avatar
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    While Chris likely has a good case for an appeal, I'm with Insane: is it really worth it? The lawyer and court costs for an appeal could easily make the $750.00 fine look like chump change. If the going rate for a lawyer is $200+/hr (many are twice that), plus the costs of transcripts, plus Chris's time (don't forget to put a cost on the days you spend hanging out at the courthouse and the time you have to spend preparing and stressing), plus the time involved - another couple months, minimum.... that $750, while high, starts to sound pretty appealing. I agree that the situation stinks and that the outcome is likely not what Chris or anyone would have wanted, but as they say, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away...."

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    searching for answers i_forget's Avatar
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    Careless is 6 points off his license, failure to share is 2 points. While I agree that he does have a good case to win, with the way that he was treated in court I would doubt that if he appealed it that it would go well. It has already been put off a few times, and the judges in Brantford will probably be super POd that he is appealing and the outcome of the situation could potentially be a lot worse (the 6 points). Losing 2 points off of your license is not too big of a deal...he will have slightly higher insurance rates (unless his record is clear to this point and they forgive the boo-boo) for a couple of years and then he will be done with it.
    If he appeals and they are mad and nail him with the careless, he will lose 6 points, it will cost him more money in lawyers or paralegals and court costs plus his insurance is going to go through the roof. If he appeals and wins, he will not lose the points off his license, but he is still going to be out financially, so is it worth the stress and aggravation?

    This town has three different levels of treatment for its citizens. The people that think they are important get away with whatever they want because they have created their own circle of self-importance. The people who are "trouble" are targeted, and everyone in between pays for it.

    Personally, I would take the lesser fine and move on.

  3. #18
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    Thank you all for the replies. Chris has read them all and people have brought up very valid points.

    Yes it is a 2 point offense. On his record right now, he has two minor tickets and the one at fault accident. So right now he cannot afford his own insurance at any rate. He is under my insurance now. Were he to get the six points, it would make him uninsurable even on mine.

    While the point has been brought up about lawyers for the appeal, he would not hire one. If it were to be appealed, he would represent himself. He, as pointed out, cannot afford a lawyer again.

    He just is ticked off that he was treated this way. He feels that every time something happens to him, he gets the short end of the stick for some reason. On the other hand, he did not have to endure the stress of trial and waiting for a verdict to come.

    He did get six months to pay and the judge did tell him that he could get longer after that as well.

    He thinks that maybe it is time to move on. As noted, by the time he pays for the transcripts, which you need 3 copies of them for appeal, it could be over $300 right there. That is $300 that can go towards the $875.00 he owes. Maybe, just maybe he will get lucky and my insurance will not pull his driving record this year and he might get a "free ride" on this ticket.....

    He thinks he will suck it up and just spread the word about how he was treated by Highway Enforcement Legal Protection. He was already regretting hiring them but could not afford to throw the money away and hire another one so late in the game.

    He says he will go Thursday and cancel the transcript. Hopefully this will get him some good luck. Lord knows he has had enough bad luck the past couple of years!
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    Canadian Genius Tweetybird999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poirot View Post
    Lawyers cost a ton of money.
    It does not cost a ton of money to get an opinion. A couple of hours. Yes, I realize they vary in cost, but isn't an informed opinion worth a few hundred?
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    searching for answers i_forget's Avatar
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    Tell him to think positively......there is ALWAYS someone out there worse off. Life is full of ups and downs, just have to roll with it and smile
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_forget View Post
    Tell him to think positively......there is ALWAYS someone out there worse off. Life is full of ups and downs, just have to roll with it and smile
    Chris says he wants names and numbers for proof! *LOL*

    He still says that the fine is way too high considering it was him that was almost killed. The minimum for Careless is $400 and the max is $2000. But then he looks at it like it is only $73.00 per month for twelve months for the fine to get paid off. When you look at it that way, it is not too bad really, even when not working. He thinks maybe he can hawk some surplus stuff and get some extra cash.

    As the saying goes: Talk is cheap until you talk to a lawyer! *LOL*

    Edit to add:

    I just sent an email for Chris to his paralegals telling them how disappointed he is in the way things were handled. Also he is looking for a letter explaining why they suddenly changed their position from going to trial to telling him he had no chance of winning, as well as why they induced and badgered him to take the plea, despite the fact that it was obvious that there would be no trial on Monday so why the rush? Also, he has asked for a refund of $500 of his retainer for "breach of contract", since he instructed them twice in writing to file an application to have the charged stayed for delay and they refused.

    He said that if they do not do that, he will be filing a complaint to the Law Society as well as filing a claim in Small Claims Court for misrepresentation.

    Also, regardless of above, he has decided to at least investigate his options since he has up to fifteen days to file the appeal... I guess there is nothing wrong with that... Maybe he will not second guess if he does that.
    Last edited by theweaves_dad; Tue, May 1st, 2012 at 08:08 PM.
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  7. #22
    Frosh Canuck KMammy's Avatar
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    Your insurance will rerate for the claim regardless of whether or not they pull the conviction record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMammy View Post
    Your insurance will rerate for the claim regardless of whether or not they pull the conviction record.
    what "claim" would they re-rate for? He accident is already on there now. It would be the third traffic ticket that they would find that is new.

    He is still undecided as to what to do. He did a quote on Kanetix including the new conviction and the insurance quoted was over $4000.00 for the two of us. If that is the case, he will not be driving past October when the policy comes due anyways. He said if that is the case, he may as well appeal it. Then if ends up in no conviction, he can apply again for insurance. If he ends up getting the conviction removed and it goes back to Careless and he somehow loses that, well he would not be insurable in any event.

    He has 30 days to appeal, so he is still asking questions and thinking about it.
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    I thought you were obligated to report any and each of the tickets or convictions for any driver to your insurance agent as a requirement of the policy.
    I didn't think you could just wait until they find out somehow or at renewal time.
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  10. #25
    searching for answers i_forget's Avatar
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    A gf of mine did car insurance, and she told me that they are notified by the Ministry of Transportation when there is a change to a drivers abstract. In Chris's case, they know about his accident, but the full effects of the accident (points and such) may not be reflected on the insurance until the court case is completed. Unless he has been convicted of careless, they cannot take the 6 points off, they would wait until the outcome.

    They use a formula to determine risk. Right now, the rate is based on the previous tickets (points deducted from his license) and the claim for damages from his accident. When they are notified of his conviction for the accident, the risk formula will change (because he will have now lost his additional points and he will be convicted of being at fault for it) and the rate will go up.

    I am also pretty sure that because he is living with you and you are related, even if you do not put him on your insurance, they will still take into account that there is a chance that he will drive your car, which will put up your insurance rates.

    I think $4000 is really cheap for insurance considering that he has 2 or 3 tickets and an accident. You may want to double check that.
    Someone correct me if I am wrong....
    Last edited by i_forget; Sat, May 5th, 2012 at 01:33 PM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_forget View Post
    A gf of mine did car insurance, and she told me that they are notified by the Ministry of Transportation when there is a change to a drivers abstract. In Chris's case, they know about his accident, but the full effects of the accident (points and such) may not be reflected on the insurance until the court case is completed. Unless he has been convicted of careless, they cannot take the 6 points off, they would wait until the outcome.

    They use a formula to determine risk. Right now, the rate is based on the previous tickets (points deducted from his license) and the claim for damages from his accident. When they are notified of his conviction for the accident, the risk formula will change (because he will have now lost his additional points and he will be convicted of being at fault for it) and the rate will go up.

    I am also pretty sure that because he is living with you and you are related, even if you do not put him on your insurance, they will still take into account that there is a chance that he will drive your car, which will put up your insurance rates.

    I think $4000 is really cheap for insurance considering that he has 2 or 3 tickets and an accident. You may want to double check that.
    Someone correct me if I am wrong....
    In reply to the above:

    A gf of mine did car insurance, and she told me that they are notified by the Ministry of Transportation when there is a change to a drivers abstract. In Chris's case, they know about his accident, but the full effects of the accident (points and such) may not be reflected on the insurance until the court case is completed. Unless he has been convicted of careless, they cannot take the 6 points off, they would wait until the outcome.
    I disagree with this because when Chris got his own insurance renewed for the second year, he had the 2 tickets on his record and his insurance did not change a bit. His broker told him that was because Dominion did not check his abstract and seen the 2 tickets. At that time, she said "Probably next time they will check." As for the "Ministry reporting when the abstract changes", no they do not. Insurance companies pull the record themselves.

    They use a formula to determine risk. Right now, the rate is based on the previous tickets (points deducted from his license) and the claim for damages from his accident. When they are notified of his conviction for the accident, the risk formula will change (because he will have now lost his additional points and he will be convicted of being at fault for it) and the rate will go up.
    The finding of fault has nothing to do with him being charged, convicted or anything like that. He hit a truck head on, that makes him 100% at fault even if he is found not guilty of the careless charge. Chris was told after he asked for the appeal papers that even if he asks for an appeal, the 2 points go on his license automatically and immediately. It is the fine he can postpone.

    It says on my insurance policy that he had 1 claim and was 100% fault. Even on acquittal, that will never change. When a guy hit me 2 years ago, he was not charged with anything and was 100% at fault in the accident.

    I am also pretty sure that because he is living with you and you are related, even if you do not put him on your insurance, they will still take into account that there is a chance that he will drive your car, which will put up your insurance rates.
    While I cannot say 100% accurate what will happen in the future, his record should not interfere with my insurance if he is no longer on it. I know the company will want a waiver signed, my other one did when I tried to put him on the policy. With him being 39 and financially independent, they should not be allowed to raise my rate because he lives here. They never before with his record. If this is what happens, I will be arguing that.

    As for the $4000, it was just an estimate from Kanetix.... we won't really know until October when renewal comes up.

    Oh and to greencanuck, you do not have to report anything to insurance. The ticket (conviction) does not go on it until the next year... And if he appeals, I wouldn't think it would go on there until that is done, but could be wrong on that part of it.
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  12. #27
    Frosh Canuck KMammy's Avatar
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    If the change in circumstance is a change in risk then you are obligated to report it to your insurance company no matter if you're at renewal or not. Getting your license suspended or a change in use of the vehicle fall under these. Basically, anything that would change the amount they charge.

    Unless Chris gives up his license or is insured elsewhere (and you'd have to provide proof of that) they will want to charge for him. You'll need to sign a waiver voiding all but 200,000 liability if you want him off your policy, but that shouldn't be a problem if he's not driving your vehicle.
    Last edited by KMammy; Mon, May 7th, 2012 at 01:48 PM.

  13. #28
    searching for answers i_forget's Avatar
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    Good luck, tough situation and choices.
    Last edited by i_forget; Mon, May 7th, 2012 at 08:17 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMammy View Post
    If the change in circumstance is a change in risk then you are obligated to report it to your insurance company no matter if you're at renewal or not. Getting your license suspended or a change in use of the vehicle fall under these. Basically, anything that would change the amount they charge.

    Unless Chris gives up his license or is insured elsewhere (and you'd have to provide proof of that) they will want to charge for him. You'll need to sign a waiver voiding all but 200,000 liability if you want him off your policy, but that shouldn't be a problem if he's not driving your vehicle.
    By what you wrote above, there is no change to either one of those situations. Chris is still licensed. He just incurred two points on his license. He just found his 2010 renewal yesterday and it said on there there was nothing on his record in November 2010, as stated earlier he had 2 tickets at that point.

    As for the second part, I have no idea what you are tallking about. If he is not driving, he can sign a waiver saying he is not driving the van period. In that event, were he to drive and get into an accident, not only is he not covered, the entire policy would be void, meaning if he totalled the van or injured someone etc, the insurance will not cover anything.

    So I still say it does not have to be reported unless renewed. I never contacted insurance for any ticket my wife received and she received many. Accidents are different, they do get reported by police even if no claim is made (found that out the hard way because of my wife too). Will investigate a bit though to make sure because if it were his insurance, I would not care, but this is my spotless record on the line... I just have to be careful in doing it.
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    Frosh Canuck KMammy's Avatar
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    I understand that those aren't the circumstances. I was merely correcting you on the fact that you don't have to self report mid term. If you review your wording you'll see that you have a brief grace period and then are, in fact, required to report anything that changes the terms the insurance was issued under.

    The waivers you're referring to are standard endorsement forms. They do not void all insurance, that's not legal as you can't prejudice a third parties right to recovery. They limit the amount payable in a claim in which the restricted person is driving to 200,000 liability only and acknowledge that they withhold the right to subrogate against you for anything paid out.
    Last edited by KMammy; Mon, May 7th, 2012 at 09:27 PM.

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