Court challenge of seatbelt ticket gets unbuckled

Steve Sharratt
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Ryan Bennett Young decideds to pay ticket after being told he get more than twice the fine after trial

GEORGETOWN – A seatbelt challenge before a provincial court judge this week quickly became unbuckled.

Ryan Bennett Young was preparing to have his day in court after he pleaded not guilty to a seatbelt infraction last fall.

An RCMP officer involved was in court and ready to testify, and Young appeared to have his papers in order as he prepared to represent himself with the guidance of an acquaintance.

However, the accused requested an adjournment in the case since he hadn’t received full disclosure of information in the case until just a few minutes before his trial was called by Chief Judge Nancy Orr. Young said a photocopy of the notes of one of the police officers involved had only just been handed to him.

“I haven’t had time to consider this,’’ he told the judge.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Beck said the notes from the police officer were a mere two paragraphs long, but Young said he needed more time to prepare. Meanwhile, Orr said the charge stemmed back to last October and she wasn’t going to grant any further delays.

When Beck advised Orr that the Crown would be seeking the maximum fine in the matter should Young be found guilty, the unbuckling began in earnest.

Failing to wear a seatbelt is a provincial fine of $200 with a $75 surcharge, but contesting the charge in court and being found guilty could result in a maximum $500 fine with a $75 surcharge.

The defendant decided to change his mind in the matter and paid the original fine.


Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: GEORGETOWN

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Recent comments

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    February 07, 2016 - 21:33

    As Usual , It appears the laws for lawyers in suits are not the same as for a regular citizen . This has nothing to do with the fact if they were speeding or not wearing a seat belt . Everyone has the right under the charter to have their day in court and need to be shown the same courtesy as any other lawyer ,with regards to the laws of Disclosure . Something just doesn't seem right here and it . This would not be the first time R.C.M.P failed to give full Disclosure in a timely manner in a case .

  • Joe Doe
    February 07, 2016 - 20:43


  • As Usual
    February 07, 2016 - 15:08

    As usual, the backwoods failures of the PEI school system are out in full force defending some idiot who should have just paid his fine. If you don't want a ticket then wear your seat belt or don't speed. If get caught man up and stop whining like little losers.

  • James
    February 07, 2016 - 15:05

    Point Will.....I would like to see the Offciers note book and check the date prior to and after the notes were written. He should not have forgot to include full disclosure. Did he just write these notes on the way to Court? This man was not affored his full disclosure under the Charter and this case should have been tossed. For that Beck fella grandstanding he must be a piece of work. This was just intimidation for a plea change rather than embarrassment to someone. Judge ORR really surprises me on this one as she is well respected for being fair.

  • Excuses
    February 07, 2016 - 14:02

    He should have said he needed to help his girlfriend move....He may have gotten an extension then.

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    February 07, 2016 - 11:35

    No justice it seems if your representing yourself . It appears that there are different rules for lawyers and people that represent them self . Many lawyers have asked for and received delays for lesser reasons then this . Plead Guilty and fine is half of what it will be if you try to fight it . That sort of justice is called extortion in the everyday world but it seems courts are allowed to do this . Guess if you don't have a $1000.00 lawyer you will be denied your day in court .

  • Robert
    February 07, 2016 - 10:22

    The defendent should have asked for dismissal of charges due the non disclosure, not an ajournment. The amount of information is irrevelent... the accused was not provided with an ample enough time to consider the information nor prepare a critique or defense. Remember the defendent is not a lawyer and as such should not be held to have the same ability to mount a defense within a few minutes. The crown's statement that he would be seekng the maximum fine is pure intimidation designed the make the defendent waive his charter rights to timely disclosure. The judge decides guilt or innocence and the amount of fine.... the prosocuter can ask for the moon but that does not mean he will get it. Nearly the same thing happened to me (speeding ticket) and I stood firm and asked respectfully for dismissal... the prosocuter argues for an ajornment and I asked the judge what would happen I showed up unprepared... my ticket was dismssed.

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    February 07, 2016 - 09:35

    Extortion at it's finest in P.E.I courts plead guilty or we will double the fine ,no the police don't have to follow protocol regarding evidence . Why was this person not giving the same courtesy given other people looking for extensions . Funny other lawyers can and do delay courts over items like this on a regular basis ,but not this person . It would appear if you don't have a $1000 lawyer at your side your not entitled to fair justice and allowed to have your day in court . Very disappointed in Judge Orr and this decision I always thought she was a just and impartial Judge but with this ruling that goes out the window .

  • James
    February 07, 2016 - 08:02

    What Justice do we see here. The RCMP screwed up and did not give this man disclosure by law. The dumb comment of Beck means nothing. The disclosure could of been two lines not two paragraphs. Fact is this man was not affored proper disclosuse and Judge Orr should of tossed it. I am surprised at this ruling.

    • Will
      February 07, 2016 - 11:18

      This individual had time prior to the court date to request the disclosure from crown. The fact he did not his problem. Can not see there being that many notes for a simple ticket charge to review.