Bylaw Notice Ticketing and Dispute Adjudication System
Effective April 1, 2015, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) will implement a new system for disputing bylaw violations such as Building, Noise offenses and Property Maintenance violations. The new system, called the Bylaw Notice Dispute Adjudication System (BNDAS), regulated by Notice Enforcement Bylaw No. 2500, 2015 and Notice Enforcement Amendment Bylaw 2623, 2017, will replace the former Municipal Ticketing Information (MTI) system, allowing bylaw ticket disputes to go through an independent adjudicator, rather than through the Provincial Court system.
The system is established under the Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act and is intended to resolve disputes in a simple, cost-effective manner. The new Bylaw Dispute Adjudication System will improve efficiency in the areas of dispute resolution and fine collection by delivering a streamlined process to the public.
For an overview of the Bylaw Notice Ticket Dispute Adjudication System, refer to the Quick Fact Sheet.
Why use the new Bylaw Notice Ticket Adjudication System?
- Simplifies and expedites the dispute processes by removing minor bylaw violations from the Provincial court system;
- Reduces costs associated with using the court system (lawyers and the time spent by enforcement officers waiting to testify);
- Includes dedicated staff members (the Screening Officers) to act as a resource to help residents dealing with bylaw tickets and the dispute process.
- Allows residents to dispute tickets in-person or in writing or over the phone;
- Provides additional flexibility to encourage bylaw compliance as opposed to a strict enforcement focused system.
How does the New Bylaw Notice Ticket Adjudication System work?
Option 1: Pay Violation Notice Ticket
- The new system offers incentives for residents paying their fines on time. If the Bylaw Notice Ticket is paid within 30 days, an “early payment” discount will be subtracted from the fine. Conversely, after 30 days the full penalty fee will be due. If the Bylaw Notice Ticket is paid, there are no further procedures related to the Notice. Schedule A of the Notice Enforcement Bylaw No. 2500, 2015 provides a comprehensive list of bylaw fines covered and their corresponding early discounts/late penalties.
Option 2: Dispute Bylaw Notice Ticket
- Those electing to dispute their Bylaw Notice Ticket may do so by completing and submitting a Dispute Application form to the TNRD by fax, email, or in person, within 30 days of issuance.
- Under the new system, a regional Screening Officer (a separate position from the bylaw enforcement officer) will screen all applications for disputes. The Screening Officer will assist the disputant with the dispute process, provide information on their rights and obligations under the specific Bylaw and Acts in question, and help clarify any uncertainties about regional regulations. Subsequently, the disputant may decide to pay the Bylaw Notice fine. However, if the disputant wishes to continue the dispute then the matter will be heard by a provincially appointed and independent adjudicator. The disputant will be contacted by a Screening Officer who investigates and reviews details of the Bylaw Notice Ticket. The Screening Officer may:
- cancel a Bylaw Notice Ticket,
- enter into a Compliance Agreement and reduce the penalty upon completion, or
- uphold a Bylaw Notice Ticket.
- If the Screening officer does not cancel a Bylaw Notice Ticket, the disputant can then choose whether to pay the penalty in full or have the matter resolved though adjudication.
- If proceeding to adjudication, the disputant will apply in writing by completing an Adjudication Application for an adjudicator to hear the case and submitting the $25 adjudication fee. A date will be scheduled, and the adjudication will take place at the TNRD Office. It should be noted that the disputant is not required to personally appear at the adjudication. Representation may be made in writing, or over the phone. If the Bylaw Notice Ticket is upheld, the Late Bylaw Notice Ticket penalty will be applicable and payable. If the adjudicator rules that the offence did not occur, the Bylaw Notice Ticket is cancelled, no penalties are assessed and the adjudication fee will be returned to the disputant.
- For a visual representation of the Bylaw Notice Ticket Dispute Adjudication process, please see the Bylaw Notice Ticket Dispute Adjudication Process flowchart.
By implementing a system comprised of dedicated arbitrators and mediators, the TNRD as well as the Province of British Columbia ensures that all minor bylaw matters are resolved in a swift and efficient manner. This not only saves further taxpayer dollars, but also allows provincial and municipal time and resources to be used more effectively. As well, those challenging Bylaw Notice Ticket will receive faster service through this streamlined and efficient system.