Trial Request - Follow-up
If everything has gone as it is supposed to, you should receive a Notice of Trial in about 4 to 8 weeks. In busier courts it might take longer to get your notice; Toronto in particular is known for taking a long time to schedule trial dates. Very small courts may do it faster than usual. The court office should mail the notice to the address listed on your driver’s license once they’ve scheduled the date, but there are benefits to following up yourself before receiving it.
Administrative errors have been known to happen in court offices, and sometimes they will lose a trial request and mark a charge as “Failed to Respond,” which means you are automatically found guilty and convicted. If you have a receipt of submitting your trial request to the court, you’ll be able to get that undone, but it can be a hassle to deal with after the fact. Moreover, until you can get the conviction removed, it will appear on your record, which can cause problems if you are relying on a clean driving record for any reason.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen, you should follow up with the court approximately 10 to 15 days after filing your request. That should be more than enough time for the request to register in most systems, but it should also (if you’ve been diligent about filing on time) be a good amount of time before most courts’ cut-off times. If you filed your NIA form in person you hopefully obtained contact information for the court clerk. If not, call the court phone number and get transferred to the clerk.
Provide the court clerk with your Provincial Offences Number (P.O.N.) if you’ve kept record of it. It will be the fastest way to ensure they can find your information. If you have lost this information, you can provide them with your name, date of birth, driver’s license number, or other personal information so they can make a search.
Ask the clerk if they have received your request for a trial, and make sure to get a definitive YES or NO. You don’t want to come away from this not being sure what’s happening and be forced to call them back. If the answer is YES, see if they have scheduled a date for you yet. They probably haven’t yet, but if they have then you can make a note of it for use later.
If the answer is NO, then you need to make sure that this error is corrected. Tell the clerk that you have a receipt indicating the date you submitted your request. Tell the clerk whether you submitted by mailing your speeding ticket by registered mail or by filing a NIA form in person. Find out how many days you have until you are automatically found guilty and convicted, and ask the clerk what options you have to prove that you submitted your request.
Most of the time, this will require that you go to the court in person and submit a new NIA form or mail a completed replacement of missing documentation form to the court.
If the court you’re contacting is a busy court, such as the courts in Toronto, they may take longer to get your request processed, so it is usually better to err on 15 instead of 10 days to follow up with them. Make sure you contact the court to follow up before 30 days have passed since your date of offence as listed on the speeding ticket.
Once you’ve confirmed that the court is processing your request, you can sit back and relax until you receive your notice of trial. If you want to be proactive, you can continue to contact the court every so often to ask if they’ve scheduled a trial date. If you’re going to contact the court yourself, do so only about once a month, especially for busier courts.
If you do receive a trial date from following up with the court, make sure to ask them for the contact information of the appropriate prosecutor for your case. See the section on requesting disclosure for more information.
Once you have your trial date for your speeding ticket, you will move on to requesting disclosure.