Bylaw Offence Notices
The District of North Cowichan has chosen to implement the bylaw offence notice administrative penalty system to provide for a less formal court-based processes for simple bylaw contraventions like parking violations. Through the adoption of the Bylaw Offence Notice Enforcement Bylaw, North Cowichan has become a party to the Nanaimo Bylaw Dispute Adjudication Registry which has established a dispute process that is presided over by a neutral adjudicator with the maximum penalty that may be imposed established by regulation (currently $500).
A bylaw offence notice (BON) may be written by a Bylaw Compliance Officer and delivered in various ways, including in person or by being left on a vehicle. Pursuing an administrative penalty may have some similarities to a court proceeding but is less formal and occurs outside of the court system as an adjudication. The penalties under the BON enforcement system are strictly monetary, the burden of proof is substantially less, and the adjudicator does not have the ability to adjust the penalty amount.
How to pay a Bylaw Offence Notice?
If you pay your BON within 14 days of receipt, your fine may be reduced by 50%. Column A2 in Schedule “A” of the Bylaw Offence Notice Enforcement Bylaw identifies which offences are eligible for early payment reductions. If paid within 15-28 days of receipt, then the full value of the BON is due unless you have entered into a compliance agreement with the Screening Officer. A late payment penalty surcharge is applied if unpaid after 28 days and may be sent to collections.
To Pay by Mail
You can send a cheque or money order by mail to:
District of North Cowichan – Bylaw Services
7030 Trans-Canada Highway
Duncan, BC V9L 6A1
To Pay in Person at the Municipal Hall
You can pay your BON in person at the Municipal Hall by cash, money order, cheque, or debit card.
Click here for the Municipal Hall’s general operating hours.
Your payment must be accompanied by a copy of the ticket, or a note giving sufficient information to identify the ticket, including:
- the TICKET NUMBER (from the top right corner on the face of this ticket);
- your FULL NAME and MAILING ADDRESS;
- the DATE OF OFFENCE and the BYLAW NAME and SECTION of the offence.
Frequently Asked Questins
- Why is adjudication used?
Adjudication simplifies the dispute process and allows for minor violations to be removed from the Provincial court system; therefore, more cost effective and efficient. It is more convenient since in-person attendance at the adjudication is not mandatory, and it reduces the ticket dispute time.
- What is an adjudication hearing?
An adjudication allows the District of North Cowichan to hear bylaw violation disputes locally rather than through the Provincial Court System. Under the Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act, the Provincial Attorney General appoints private adjudicators to hear from both the disputant and the District of North Cowichan and decide if the offence took place. Adjudication hearings are open to the public and are scheduled by the City of Nanaimo, as the District of North Cowichan participates in the Nanaimo Bylaw Dispute Adjudication Registry. For more information on adjudication, visit the Bylaw Dispute Adjudication System webpage.
- Can I dispute a bylaw offence notice if it is paid?
No – once you have paid the BON, you cannot dispute the ticket. For more information on disputing a BON, visit the Disputing a Bylaw Offence Notice webpage.
- What happens at the adjudication hearing?
The adjudicator will hear from both the disputant and the District of North Cowichan. The adjudicator reviews the evidence submitted by both parties and makes a decision based on the facts of the case. The adjudicator can only make a determination of whether, the offence took place or not. The adjudicator does not have the jurisdiction to cancel the bylaw contravention notice due to personal circumstances, nor can they reduce the fine amount. If you are unable to attend the hearing on the date and time specified, please contact the Bylaw Services at 250.746.3266 or firstname.lastname@example.org 14 days prior to your hearing date. Failure to attend your hearing will result in a guilty verdict and a $25.00 administration fee is added to the fine amount. For more information on adjudication hearings, visit the Bylaw Dispute Adjudication System webpage.
- What happens if I am unable to attend the hearing?
If you do not show up for the scheduled hearing, the notice is upheld. You may submit a written submission or arrange a conference call prior to the adjudication.
- Do I need to appear in person for the hearing?
No. If you cannot appear in person, you may submit a written submission or arrange for a conference call prior to the adjudication.
- Can I appeal the adjudicator's decision?
No – the decision of the adjudicator is final.
- Can the adjudicator consider my financial situation?
No – the adjudicator has no authority to change the penalty amount. The adjudicator can only determine if the offence occurred.
- What happens if I do not pay the penalty for the violation?
Unpaid BONs are forwarded to a collection agency to recover the penalty.