New Westminster parking-ticket fight all about principle 0
Mining executive Vic Bryant says it was the only way he could dispute his ticket with the City of New Westminster was after a lawyer got involved. The city withdrew his fine but the 70-year-old was left on the hook for legal fees. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
A New Westminster resident who paid $1,500 in legal fees to win $105 back for a parking ticket, said he was making a point because now the municipality won’t pay for the cost of arguing his case.
Vic Bryant said he challenged his son’s parking violation through the city’s adjudication service last year. The vehicle was ticketed at Royal Avenue and 10th Street as it was deemed too close to a driveway. There were, however, no signs indicating illegal parking.
After challenging the ticket, Bryant senior was told six days in advance to appear at city hall for adjudication or be found guilty in absence.
The original $50 fine quickly inflated after he purposely missed the early deadline to pay. To compound the penalty, Bryant said he was also found in violation by an adjudicator since he couldn’t attend that day — an additional $25 fee.
“The only way I could get the city to listen to my request was to hire a lawyer,” the Highbank Resources Ltd. CEO said Thursday.
“It is not the fine that is the important issue but the fact that I was unable to exercise my right of defence.”
In a letter dated Oct. 3, 2012, New West bylaw co-ordinator Sukh Maghera said he would “void” the bylaw notice after receiving a letter from Bryant’s lawyer.
The city official acknowledged a six-day advance notice wasn’t in accordance with provincial law, which requires 14-days.
Bryant’s case bears some similarities to the financial situation of a Delta man who was wrongfully ticketed by RCMP for stopping at a stop sign and then rolling past a stop “line” nearly five meters away.
Myron Kinach said Thursday he’s still trying to get back the more than $300 he spent to successfully fight the $167 ticket.
He insisted he fought because it was the “principle” of the matter that he was right.
“The courts are quite expensive and that’s what the system is probably hoping (for), that it would deter a small person from going ahead with it,” the self-represented litigant said.
“I have to work for a living so I can only do it in my spare time, and if you get a lawyer to do it you’re on the clock. Their clock is so expensive the average person can’t afford to do it.”
Bryant tried to reclaim the legal fees by going to small claims but the judge dismissed it as he didn’t have grounds for that type of reimbursement.