As you can see from the above document, the Ontario Court of Justice will 'hear' me on November 2. For you who find yourselves in the unhappy position of having to file a (private) criminal charge (criminal charges are usually filed by police officers) then here is a brief overview of what I have learned thus far.
- A criminal charge must be filed in the jurisdiction that the offense occurred - which is why I had to travel 500 kilometres to Ottawa to file.
- The police need not investigate your complaint if they don't 'feel' like it. And since they can 'request' documents not available to a private citizen (I need a copy of Mr. Fuchs's medical records and a coroner's report) - their inaction can cripple your case.
- Filing a criminal charge begins by filing out a two page form that requires...
- The accused name and contact info
- The 'particulars' of the offense - ie. when and where it occurred
- Details of the offense - what happened and to who
- You then meet with the Justice of the Peace in her/his office. (Note: that your entire conversation is recorded) The JP - mine was G. Susan Stewart and she was terrific... patient, knowledgeable, and professional - will help you compose the wording of your criminal charge. In my case it reads....
- The JP then has a court clerk type up the final wording and set a court date which is typically two to three weeks in the future.
- At that first court date, I will present my case, verbally and in writing. I have been advised to keep both modes of communication short, factual, and devoid of emotion. So I will simply detail the reasons that I laid the charge and provide documents and witnesses to support my charge. Fortunately, the judge has the ability to subpoena documents eg. Mr. Fuchs's medical records and the Coroner's report - so I will eventually obtain the substantiating material that I need.
- Then a second court date will be scheduled for sometime in January 2016
- The Crown Prosecutor will attend that session and the Judge and Crown will decide whether to proceed. If they do proceed, an arrest warrant will be issued.