This is an appeal that deals with the right to be tried within a reasonable time as guaranteed under section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Respondent was charged with having ownership and possession one hundred and thirty-three (133) dogs, and having the care and control of same, and failing to provide said animals with the required food, water, shelter and care as provided in subsection 4(1) of Regulation 2000-4 made under the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, contrary to subsection 18(1) of the Act, thereby committing an offence contrary to and in violation of subsection 18(2) of the Act. The Respondent was also charged with having, without a licence issued in accordance with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and its regulations, operated a kennel, contrary to and in violation of subsection 4(c) of Regulation 2010-74 made under the Act, the whole contrary to subsection 23(1) of the Act, thereby committing an offence contrary to and in violation of subsection 23(2) of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
An initial appearance in Provincial Court took place on May 9, 2012. The matter was adjourned until May 23 at the Respondent’s request, at which point he pled not guilty to both offences. The judge scheduled the trial for November 19 to 21, 2012. Mr. Lavoie sought a stay of proceedings on the first day set aside for the trial, November 19, claiming unreasonable delay since part of the evidence disclosed to him in May 2012 still had not been translated from English to French as requested. The judge adjourned the matter until December 7, 2012, for hearing of the motion. She reserved judgment on the issue and adjourned the hearing until January 23, 2013, for decision. On January 23, 2013, she issued her decision, and ordered a stay of proceedings for unreasonable delay.
The court found that the trial judge erred in her analysis of the reasonableness of the delay and found that there was no infringement of the accused’s right to be tried within a reasonable time — allowing the appeal. Ordering that the Respondent, Normand Lavoie, be tried.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: New Brunswick