The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has joined a system intended to keep bylaw infractions out of court.
The process was piloted a decade ago and is intended to remove the courts from simple matters, such as zoning or dog complaints.
“Sun Peaks and Barriere use it,” TNRD development services director Regina Sadilkova said Wednesday. “They’ve spoken favourably. The advantage is it keeps it out of court.”
Under the current system, the regional district, like the City of Kamloops, issues bylaw tickets. Those receiving tickets — for unsightly premises, for example — can either pay the ticket or challenge it in court.
Under the new system, those receiving a notice either pay the penalty or apply to have it adjudicated by an independent government official.
Sadilkova said arguments to that official can be done by email, for example. That eliminates the need to attend bylaw court in Kamloops.
The adjudicator’s decision is considered final. But errors in law, for example, can be appealed to B.C. Supreme Court.
The province has approved use of the system for the regional district. It must still pass a local bylaw authorizing the change.
The maximum fine under the system is $500. A $25 surcharge is also levied to fund the system.