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New technology ‘enhances’ court user experiences

York Region’s Court and Tribunal Services collected $23.6 million in fines last year to help administer court operations, ensuring courts remain financially self-sufficient.

That’s according to a progress report recently approved by York Regional Council.

The report provides an overview of advancements over the past year to the courts’ system and a blueprint for identified actions for the remaining three years of the Court and Tribunal Services 2023-2026 Action Plan.

“York Region continues to actively explore and adopt new procedures and technology to enhance the court user experience,” says Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Through this action plan, Court and Tribunal Services will introduce process improvements to ensure equitable access to justice and effective resolution for all users of the court system.”

Court and Tribunal Services served more than 152,200 customers and scheduled 67,871 court appearances last year. It also successfully argued cases resulting in precedent-setting sentences under the York Region Forest Conservation Bylaw and established a Regional Administrative Penalty Tribunal program to move bylaw and camera-based charges from the Provincial Offences Court system to a cost-effective administrative process, according to the report.

Many actions identified for 2024 are already underway or completed, such as consolidating York Region’s two Provincial Offences Courthouses into one location in the Town of Newmarket. Other identified actions for 2024 include launching York Region’s Administrative Penalty Tribunal Program for camera-based offences; implementing a Diversity, Equity and Accessibility strategy for Legal and Court Services; and improving customer services through timely and accurate address verification processes.

“York Region’s Court and Tribunal Services are consistently advancing in operational efficiency while enhancing the overall experience for court users,” Chair of the Region’s Finance and Administration Steve Pellegrini says.

York’s Provincial Offences Court provides administrative services to more than 30 law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Most court matters can be dealt with online, including paying a ticket, requesting disclosure and court appearances, the region notes. Information in both official languages is available at York.ca/courts.

 

Photo: Provincial Offences Courthouses. (Photo courtesy of York Region)

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