For Immediate Release
Aug. 14, 2012
Ministry of Justice
Bylaw adjudication system arrives in Valemount
VALEMOUNT – Area residents can now take their disputes related to minor bylaw infractions, like animal complaints and noise control, to an independent adjudicator working outside the traditional courtroom.
The Village of Valemount has joined more than 50 local governments using an adjudication system piloted eight years ago and offered through the Ministry of Justice.
The adjudication system saves time and money and makes efficient use of court resources as it eliminates the roles of court and court registries in the administration and hearing of these disputes.
Another unique aspect of the adjudication system is that each local government determines which bylaws they want covered. For instance, some smaller communities might not have to deal with parking violations, so they can focus the system to deal with bylaws specific to their area.
As part of ongoing reform to the justice system, the B.C. government is increasing the number of alternative ways to resolve disputes without requiring individuals to use the courts. This can reduce stress, shorten the time required to resolve disputes, and ultimately cut costs for both the individual and taxpayer.
Minister of Justice and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond –
“Taking a matter to court can be a lengthy process, and this system saves people time and helps reduce pressure on the courts without increasing costs to taxpayers. This will allow Valemount to join more than 50 other local governments who currently use this process.”
Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken –
“Valemount has been searching for a good way to address bylaw infractions and arising issues. Bylaw adjudication is a friendly and simple way for complainants to challenge tickets and makes it easy for the Village of Valemount to defend them.”
· More than 50 local governments throughout British Columbia are currently using, or are in the process of developing, a bylaw dispute adjudication system.
· Disputes range from parking tickets to dog licensing and minor zoning infractions.
· The City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and District of West Vancouver were the first in B.C. to establish a bylaw adjudication system as part of a 2004 pilot project.
· Individual municipalities track the number of bylaws managed by the adjudication process, and they have screening officers assist prior to the formal adjudication.
· The overall process will have had several thousand matters resolved and adjudicated since the inception of the program.
· Independent adjudicators are appointed by the Deputy Attorney General.
· The qualifications are prescribed in regulation and include:
o Experience as an adjudicator of disputes.
o Post-secondary training in adjudication.
o Successful completion of specialized bylaw dispute adjudication training.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice
250 888-3545 (cell)
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