City of Lethbridge appealing court dismissal of charges against LOPS

Last month, the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society had 17 charges dropped against them by the provincial court. The City of Lethbridge is appealing that decision.

The City of Lethbridge, via hired counsel, filed a notice of appeal yesterday in the matter of suing Timothy Slaney, one of the founders of the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society.

The appeal was filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Lethbridge by Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer, an Edmonton-based law firm.

Slaney had been ticketed by the City of Lethbridge last autumn for his involvement with LOPS in setting up a temporary supervised consumption site in Galt Gardens.

Technically, the 17 offences cited against Slaney were violations against sections 38 and 41 in municipal bylaw 58: holding an activity in a park without a permit and failure to follow direction.

Last month, the judge, Kristin Ailsby, dismissed the case against Slaney when the city’s lawyer, Lauren Chalaturnyk, failed to show up on two occasions: 26 March and 9 April.

The notice of appeal claimed that Ailsby erred in her judgement by dismissing the tickets without notifying Chalaturnyk and RMRF personally or via Miranda Hlady, Slaney’s counsel. The notice all claims errors in not considering the procedural history of each ticket, not having the jurisdiction to make a final determination on the tickets, and breaching procedural fairness.

Chalaturnyk and RMRF are requesting in their appeal that the dismissal of the 17 tickets be reversed and that they be remitted back to the provincial court criminal division. It also requests that Slaney (either personally or through Hlady) be required to file notice of constitutional question.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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