The Ontario Court of Justice has acquitted a Toronto civil litigation practitioner of a Highway Traffic Act offence after finding a justice of the peace gave the appearance of bias towards him at trial.
The case involved Michael Jagtoo of Jagtoo & Jagtoo Professional Corp. over an alleged speeding incident on April 23, 2009. Five days before he was to go to trial before Justice of the Peace Robert Boychyn on Sept. 29, 2009, Jagtoo tried to request disclosure from prosecutor Jane Moffatt. But he sent the request to the wrong office, meaning Moffatt didn’t receive it until the day before trial. As a result, it was too late for her to process it, according the Dec. 9 ruling by Justice Robert Beninger on Jagtoo’s appeal in Durham (Regional Municipality) v. Jagtoo.
On the trial date, Jagtoo asked Moffatt to agree to an adjournment. But in court before the proceedings were to begin, Moffatt showed Jagtoo the police officer’s notes and summarized them for him. Jagtoo argued he didn’t read the notes, and Beninger ruled Moffatt’s actions didn’t constitute proper disclosure.